Recent Graduate Cover Letter Examples
Starting your career as a new graduate is a daunting prospect, but you have a good chance of landing a job if you launch an aggressive search. And while a cover letter by itself isn't ever going to win you a job, a well-crafted cover letter should be part of this proactive strategy. In fact, customising your letter to each job you apply for can open doors to new opportunities. Ready to provide your CV with some helpful back-up? We've compiled tips for how to write a cover letter for a first job along with recent graduate cover letter examples to help you get started.
You can view our graduate cover letter examples in this article or download the new graduate cover letter template in Word.
Define Your Career Goals
Before you start applying for the first job listing you see, do some career exploration to figure out what your goals are and what skill set you bring to the table. Hiring managers should not have to figure out how your skills meet their needs. Do that work for them in your cover letter.
As you gain clarity about what you're good at and most want, you'll be ready to communicate from a genuine, confident place. If you find you have more than one possible direction, write different cover letters for each objective.
Get to Know the Employer
While distributing the same cover letter to every employer saves time, you won't stand out from the crowd of applicants doing the same thing. You need to try and find out as much as possible about the company and what their business is looking for. Going the extra mile not only shows your willingness to make an effort but will also help you realise if this company would be a good fit for you on a personal level.
Translate Your Experience
A good cover letter explains why you, over all the other candidates, are worth taking the time to find out more about. This is ideal for graduates who have yet to gain any significant work experience. You might lack real-world work experience, but your graduate cover letter can be chock-full of activities that demonstrate your potential to succeed. These activities could include volunteer work, class projects and extra-curricular activities, as well as special interest projects – such as travelling, reading, music, etc.
As a new graduate, a job cover letter should take advantage of any of your high or stand-out academic achievements. If you took initiative in any school activities that show leadership or qualities around being a team-player, these are worth mentioning. Anyone can write about being a "great team-player," but it's by including real-life examples that you'll help the recruiter understand how you will demonstrate these skills in the workplace.
Pay Attention to Format
Your uni essays might have been 20 pages long, but a cover letter for a graduate should be short and sweet. Your cover letter is not your autobiography – hit on the key points that would interest employers in concise paragraphs:
- Include a brief opening paragraph that mentions the specifics of the position you're targeting, followed by four to five bullets reflecting qualifications that are relevant to their requirements.
- The final paragraph should end with a bang – clearly state how you would contribute to the employer's operation and confidently ask for an interview.
Take a look at the graduate cover letter examples included in this article to get a general sense for what your own letter should look like.
Graduate Cover Letter Examples
We've provided two recent graduate cover letter examples: one for Bachelor of Arts (BA) graduates and one for Bachelor of Science (BSc) graduates. These letters can be simplified for email cover letters.
Journalism Cover Letter Template
Eva Williams Number, Street, Town, Postcode 1st June 2021 (07795) 555 555 | [email protected] Portfolio URL
Mr Oliver Smith
52 West Street
Dear Mr Smith,
Regarding the reporter position currently advertised on Monster.co.uk, please find attached a copy of my CV for your consideration. I have recently graduated with first-class honours in English Language and Literature from XYZ University and hope to put this to use as a journalist at your award-winning publication.
My university course covered many topics, and I was particularly drawn to communications, the media, and culture. I am looking to develop my reporting, writing, and editing skills. I have put my course theory into practice in a variety of ways, most effectively as a news reporter intern at DEF News, where I wrote feature articles of interest to Sometown-area residents, and as a blogger at somedomain.co.uk, a student-run blog featuring long-form articles on local and national political news. In my time at the blog, I increased audience engagement along with individual website visits and social media visibility.
Having extensively researched your company's values, I was especially interested in your commitment to freedom of expression for the press. I feel it would be the ideal place for me to begin my career, and I believe I can be an excellent addition to your team.
You may review my news clips at somedomain.co.uk.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Electrical Engineering Cover Letter Template
1st June 2021
(07795) 555 555 | [email protected]
Mr Youssef Meskin
Dear Mr Meskin,
Regarding the junior electrical engineer position currently advertised on Monster.co.uk, please find attached a copy of my CV for your consideration.
I have recently graduated with first-class honours in Electrical Engineering from XYZ University and hope to put this to use in the field of heavy industrial manufacturing.
The course covered many topics, and I was particularly drawn to how to maintain, troubleshoot, and upgrade plant electrical equipment. I am looking to develop specialist skills in this area and build a successful career. I have put my course theory into practice in a variety of ways, most effectively as an electrical engineering apprentice at XYC Company, where I helped to repair circuity, wiring, and other electrical and electromechanical issues.
Having extensively researched your company's values, I was especially interested in your commitment to employee growth, training, and education. I feel it would be the ideal place for me to begin my career, and I believe I can be an excellent addition to your team.
Start Your Graduate Job Search at Monster
Now that you have a few graduate cover letter examples and tips to inspire you, it's time to start writing. Once you have a draft you feel proud of, head over to Monster to find more tips for recent graduates, including how to write a winning resume, interview with confidence, and land that first job.
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Graduate Cover Letter Template
If an employer requests a CV to apply for a vacancy you should always include a graduate cover letter. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and explain your suitability for the role. You must take time over your cover letter and make sure they are immaculate. Spell checkers are not enough. Be sure to use the cover letter examples provided to give you the best chance of grabbing your dream job!
Writing a graduate cover letter
What is a cover letter? It's an accompanying document to your graduate CV and often they are an important method of communication. They can provide an informal and friendly view of personal events to people, or they can be formal documents offering factual information to people you have not met. This is your chance to tell them what skills you have and why you want to work specifically for that company. Unlike email, letters are tangible and layout is as important as content.
Graduate cover letters have a standard format and this is shown in the cover letter examples attached. If you are writing to a named person then it is 'Yours sincerely', if you write 'Dear Sir/Madam' the correct ending is 'Yours faithfully'.
A graduate cover letter should:
- Introduce them to your personality and your commitment to them
- Give compelling examples of your suitability to the company as well as the role
- Make references to key requirements they look for
- Suggest there is even more to learn about you over a call or in person
- Make the employer want to talk to you
- Demonstrate your written communication skills
Some golden rules
Never put anything in your cover letter that cannot be backed by your graduate CV or application form. The human resources staff will look for discrepancies and for any mistakes that show a lack of attention to detail. Also anything you write can be brought up during graduate interviews , so make sure you can back up what you write with good examples. Don’t forget it is actually a criminal offence to lie on your cover letter for a CV, so always be honest but convincing about what you know or the skills you have.
There are some conventions about letters of application. Generally letters sent with CVs or graduate job applications should:
- be addressed to a named person;
- state why you are writing, what you are applying for and what you are currently doing;
- flag up the most important/relevant thing you want the employer to know about you;
- use eye catching key words that the employer is likely to be looking for. You can work it out by thinking about the job spec and by doing your research;
- refer the reader to your CV or job application form;
- show that you know something about the company;
- make a connection between your skills and abilities, and company needs or wants;
- identify the career you are seeking;
- be reasonably brief.
Remember if the covering letter for a job application is poor, the employer may not bother to read your CV. This also applies to application forms as well so remember this keeps you in the race for the job, it is essential to not stumble at the first hurdle.
Attached are two examples of cover letters of a job application. Both are acceptable. Use these examples only as a guideline; your covering letter should show your originality and if you are serious about working for a particular company it should not be difficult to adapt these examples. Our cover letter guide is to help you start writing your own letter, so yours should be bespoke to the company. You're telling them you want to work for them specifically and anything generic will only decrease your chances. Remember, you will have to justify what you say and why you said it at a job interview.
Format of a graduate cover letter:
The personal statement can be used as a heading to a CV or as an additional statement on an application form.
The personal statement is not solely for telling the employer what a great person you are, it is about telling the employer what you hope to achieve in the future, that you will fit into their structure and you have transferable skills which will be useful for them. This is your chance to show what you have found out about the company and why you want to work for them. Even more important is to show why you would be a good asset for the team. For example:
"My career objective is to enter research in the ... industry. I have demonstrated strong research skills during university project work and much of my experience has been within a team environment. I am able to take responsibility for my own work as well as being able to demonstrate leadership when required. Meeting deadlines has been a consistent part of my academic and working life and I have learned how to communicate with people in situations which require tact. My academic skills have given me the ability to communicate effectively on paper as well as through presentations."
The personal profile reflects the type of person you are. It offers the employer a taste of your character and your goals, and many CVs use a skills profile. Show why you think this role is perfect for you. For example:
"I am an outgoing person who can talk to people at all levels and have been complimented on my ability to listen to other people. I can take responsibility for my own work and my own goals, but I also enjoy working with other people to reach a common goal. Reflection is an important part of my personality and this has led me to develop a strong feeling for detail without losing sight of the whole picture. ... holds strong fascination for me and my objective is to work in research within this field."
"My academic and work experience has taught me to work well with other people and to take responsibility for my own work. I have an outgoing personality and am keenly interested in good health through exercise and diet. One of my most important assets is my ability to listen to people."
Skills profile identifies your competence in a variety of skills and these can be shown through bullet points or by a short sentence linked to specific skills. Keep this concise, but include everything relating to the job spec. They will want to see as many directly relatable skills to the job as possible. For example:
"During my academic study and work experience I have developed skills such as:
- problem solving
- time management (etc)"
Or you might support them with a short sentence, for example:
My university project work has demanded that I undertake investigation into a specific topic and analyse the information before putting recommendations forward in a presentation."
During my time at university I have undertaken full-time study, part-time paid work and enjoyed my sport with the basketball team. I have prioritised each of these activities successfully."
The best skills to write about are the ones that have achieved something positive. Any examples you have that a skill you applied to hit a target or anything positive will stand out on a cover letter. The main thing is that it must be concise. Let them see why they should want meet you, so make it personal and tailored towards their business. Whatever style you adopt remember what you say in your profile is open for questioning at an interview.
Email cover letters
When submitting a cover letter for a job applications there are a few things that you must remember to check. Firstly check that your cover letter and CV, for that matter, is attached. Be careful and check the formatting of the email and cover letter. Ensuring the font is the same all the way through. Try to keep the font consistent throughout your CV, cover letter and email. This will just look more professional. Make sure your read the job specification when applying; they may want something specific in the email subject.
The final advice
- make your graduate cover letter tailored to the company.
- make it concise.
- make it persuasive and eye catching.
- proof read. Read it once, then read it again and then read it again. If possible get someone else to read it for you to catch every little typo or grammatical error.
- use an appropriate format; it must look professional i.e. for business purposes.
- make it generic.
- waffle! Think about what is relevant to the company and particularly the actual position/role.
- make it more than one side of A4.
- leave errors that will make it easy for the company to reject your application.
- forget to put the address of the company at the top of the cover letter and to sign it with you name. It is a formal letter so it must be in the correct format.
Opt for a creative approach
It is diffiuclt to make your application stand out from the crowd. However, in some instances you could opt for a creative approach! Take this example bellow of an applicant using a spotify playlist to apply! This may not be appropiate to use in some applications however it is some food for thought.
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How to write a graduate cover letter
If you’re a recent graduate, read this guide to discover:
- How to stand out from other candidates by writing a great cover letter
- Your cover letter layout should include a head section and a body section
- What you need to say in your cover letter
- The common cover letter mistakes which you must avoid
- Your cover letter should be no longer than one page of A4
- The best fonts to use in your cover letter
You’re in the right place if you’re wondering…
- “How to write a cover letter for a fresh graduate?”
- “How to write a cover letter for a graduate scheme?”
If you’re applying for a graduate job or graduate scheme , this page will take you through everything you need to write a cover letter that could persuade a hiring manager or graduate manager to look at your CV .
It shows you what to include in your cover letter and how to lay it out so it will compel the hiring decision maker to read on.
Main sections of this guide
Don’t hesitate to fast forward to the section you think would be most helpful to you.
- “What makes a good graduate cover letter?” ⏩
- “How long should a graduate cover letter be?” ⏩
- “What is the best font for a graduate cover letter?” ⏩
- “How to lay out a graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Cover letter layout example for graduates” ⏩
- “What to put in a graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Mistakes to avoid when you write your graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Checklist for when basing your new cover letter on a previous cover letter or a cover letter template” ⏩
- “Graduate CV advice” ⏩
What makes a good graduate cover letter?
A good graduate cover letter is clear, concise and professional. It shows a potential employer the following:
- You can deliver value for them
- You possess the skills required for the job
- You’ll be a great addition to their culture
- That you genuinely want the job
The following points will help make you more attractive to the hiring manager and gain an interview.
Demonstrate you’ll deliver value to the employer and/or solve the problems they face
You can use your cover letter to show that you understand the sector and market, and how your studies and experience to date give you insight into the issues confronting the employer.
Spell out that you have the skills and experience to excel in the role
Focus on skills relevant to the job you’re applying for and mention transferable skills that will help you progress through the organisation.
So ‘problem solving’ and ‘time management’ can be equally as attractive as ‘coding’ or ‘marketing strategy’, for example.
Explain how you’d be an excellent addition to their culture
Use the letter to stress how your values and interests coincide with the organisation’s.
For example, the company has a thriving school work-experience programme and you have volunteered at school.
Make clear you know about, and are interested in, the employer
Show in your cover letter that you have done your research and know about the company’s structure, operations, markets, products and services.
Your cover letter is clear and concise
The easier you make your letter to read, the more likely it will be read, which is the letter’s whole point.
No-one ever complained that something was too easy to read. So, don’t waste their time with unnecessary information or ‘show off’ with overly complicated language.
Your cover letter is not an essay. It has a particular purpose – making the hiring manager read your CV and invite you for an interview.
Perhaps most importantly, take the time to check your spelling and grammar. It would be a shame to spoil a great letter with obvious typos and spelling mistakes.
The language you use in your cover letter shows that you’re polite and professional
You want to sound friendly but remember, you’re not with your mates in the pub, so avoid greetings like, “Cheers!” and “How’re things?”
On the other hand, you don’t want to sound like a robot or a Victorian school head. You need to strike a balance between formal and informal: a conversational, polite and professional style.
Put yourself in the hiring manager’s position and write it like you’d expect to read it in their situation.
How long should a graduate cover letter be?
Your graduate cover letter should be no longer than one side of A4.
Given all the information which you should include, you’ll likely fill the whole page.
What is the best font for a graduate cover letter?
Best font for a cover letter.
Use a font that’s easy to read, such as:
Avoid ‘novelty’ fonts like Comic Sans, which is almost universally reviled.
Best font size for cover letter
Your font size should be around 10 or 12 – the standard font sizes for letters using the fonts recommended above.
Don’t be tempted to reduce the size to squeeze more information onto the page; you’ll make the reader struggle to read it (and make it less likely to be read).
If you have too much information, edit it down, don’t shoehorn it in.
Best line spacing for a cover letter
To improve readability, choose line spacing at 1.5. Each row of text in your letter will have similar gaps as this web page.
How to lay out a graduate cover letter
Lay out your graduate cover letter like this:
Right at the top – your first and last name only, in bold.
Your university course and qualification
Only add this if the job description requests it or it is specific to the job you’re applying for: if it’s a specialist engineering graduate job, for example, and you have just gained a good degree in that specialism.
In this case, add, ‘Biomedical Engineering BEng, 1st class honours’ (or whatever your qualification is).
Phone number and email address
Put this at the top, underneath your name.
Doing this makes it as easy as possible for the recruiter or hiring manager to contact you if they want to offer you an interview.
Don’t add your address or location. This information will be on your CV (see our “How to write a graduate CV” guide).
If you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, put the URL underneath your email address and phone number.
Take a look at our piece “How to write a great LinkedIn profile” if you don’t yet have one.
Your portfolio URL or website URL
If you have an online portfolio or a personal website, include the URL here too, but only if it’s up-to-date and demonstrates your skills.
Underneath your contact and online information, add the date that you send the letter. It may not be the date that you write it, which could be a few days before you sort out your CV or other documents and online profiles.
If you write your letter in advance, save it and review it just before sending, adding in the date.
Ideally, you should address the hiring manager by name:
Dear [Mr/Ms] [last name of hiring manager],
If you don’t know the name for the person responsible for hiring, there are three ways you can find out. We cover them in our “How to find out the name of the hiring manager” guide.
If you can’t find their name, any of these are appropriate:
- Dear Sir/Madam,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Talent Acquisition Team,
- Dear Graduate Coordinator,
The job or programme you’re applying for
In bold or underlined text, add the job or graduate programme you’re applying for, along with any reference codes.
You can make an impression in your opening statement, inspiring the reader to look at your CV and invite you for an interview.
Your skills and experience
Show how you could meet the requirements of the job or programme.
Your cultural add
Briefly show how your personality, motivations and interests add to the employer’s mission and culture (you should be able to determine what this is from its website).
End your cover letter by thanking them for taking the time to read it and reiterating your interest in the opportunity.
Sign off with “Kind regards” followed by your first name.
Cover letter layout example for graduates
Check out our free example cover letter and cover letter template for recent graduates:
- Free cover letter template for graduates
- Customise your own cover letter based on this template in around 30 minutes
- We’ve also provided an example graduate cover letter which shows the kind of text you’ll need to add to your cover letter
- See how to layout your cover letter, and what info you need to include
What to put in a graduate cover letter
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your LinkedIn profile URL, if you have one
- The job title that you’re applying for (and job code, if applicable)
- The graduate programme name you’re applying to and its reference code, if it has one
- The date you submit your job application
- A polite and formal greeting
- An impactful opening statement explaining why you want to work for the employer
- Examples from your further education or part-time work that demonstrate you have the skills required for the job
- A description of how you would be an excellent addition to the employer’s culture
- A thank you to the hiring decision-maker for taking the time to consider your application
- A polite and formal sign-off
For further information, read our detailed guide:
- What types of information need to go into your cover letter
- Today’s cover letter writing conventions
- Your cover letter should have header and body sections
- How to start and end your cover letter with the right level of formality
- The importance of writing an impactful opening statement
Mistakes to avoid when you write your graduate cover letter
- Don’t make include any spelling or grammar mistakes
- Don’t make any typos
- Don’t repeat the contents of your CV
- Don’t make it about your wants and needs
- Don’t badmouth anyone
- Don’t speak negatively about your current situation
- Don’t write long-winded sentences
- Don’t be vague or trivialise
- If you’re basing your cover letter on one you used for another job application, don’t forget to remove any mention of the other job
- Don’t mention any other jobs you’re applying for
- Don’t lie
- Don’t ask what the salary is, declare your salary expectations, or try to negotiate salary
- Unless you’re applying for a graduate scheme or work placement
- Don’t be overly familiar
- Don’t overshare details about your personal life
- Don’t try to be funny
- Don’t put the employer’s address at the top of your letter
- Don’t put your address at the top of your letter
For information on why you shouldn’t make these mistakes, see our dedicated guide:
Read this guide to discover the most common cover letter mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Checklist for when basing your new cover letter on a previous cover letter or a cover letter template
You don’t have to write every cover letter from scratch, but neither can you recycle every part of it.
The best way to speed up the process of writing your cover letter is to either base it on our free, “Graduate cover letter example” , or on one of your previous cover letters.
Use our checklist to ensure you don’t accidentally leave any placeholder text or info from a previous job application in your new cover letter.
You’ll harm your chances of landing an interview if you accidentally leave placeholder text or content about another job in your cover letter.
Typos and spelling errors are also likely to result in your application being rejected.
Carefully follow the steps in this guide to avoid such mistakes.
Graduate CV advice
- How to stand out from other candidates by writing a great CV
- What sections you should include in your CV
- How to layout the various sections of your CV
- The best CV sections headings
- Selecting and positioning your skills and achievements so that it sounds like you’d excel in the role
- Basics of writing a personal statement that’ll catch the attention of a hiring decision maker
- How to describe your previous jobs, if you’ve had some
- How to record your university degree and school grades
- The number of A4 pages your CV should be
- What fonts to use in...
- Free CV template for graduates
- Customise your own CV based on this template in around 60 minutes
- We’ve also provided an example graduate CV that shows you how to use the template
- See how to layout your CV, and what info you need to include
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Graduate School Cover Letter Examples
With writing tips and a step-by-step guide.
Looking at graduate school cover letter examples is a good idea if you plan on applying to a graduate school program, as you may be required to include a cover letter with your CV for graduate school and other application components. Even though it is not a required document for all grad school programs, a well-written graduate school cover letter can help you stand out to the admissions committee and improve your chances of being accepted into your chosen program. This is especially true if you are applying to a highly selective institution or trying to get into graduate school with a low GPA.
This blog will discuss everything you need to know about writing a cover letter for graduate school. You will learn why cover letters are important, learn tips to make your graduate school cover letter stand out, and you will get to review cover letter samples that will inspire you to write your own.
>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<
Article Contents 10 min read
What is a graduate school cover letter.
A graduate school cover letter is a brief letter that applicants attach to their graduate school application. Much like a work cover letter, such as a research assistant cover letter , for example, graduate school cover letters are meant to introduce you and your application to the reader. They give you an opportunity to make an excellent first impression, tell the admission committee that you are interested in their graduate school program and why you believe it is a good fit for you.
Graduate school cover letters have become less popular as graduate schools typically ask students to fill out their personal information and submit materials online. If you are sending specific application materials or your entire application by mail, then you will need to include a graduate school cover letter. Additionally, a few institutions, like the University of Illinois graduate college, for example, require students to submit a graduate school cover letter with their application, even when it is online.
Furthermore, even when a graduate program does not explicitly ask for a cover letter, including a well-written and informative letter can help differentiate you from the other students by leaving a lasting impression on the admission committee, thus increasing your chances of admission. That said, before you start writing a cover letter for such a program, you should verify the school's admissions website to ensure that the school accepts additional documents.
It should also be noted that many graduate students look for work and research opportunities at the school that they will be attending. If that is the case for you, then you will need a graduate school cover letter with your application for that school-related internship, job, or research opportunity. For example, if you’re interested in conducting research with a specific professor while you complete your master’s, then it would be a good idea to send them your application with a cover letter attached so that you can communicate your suitability for their research project.
Graduate school cover letters are academic letters, meaning that they need to be formatted in a way that is professional, clear, and concise. Your graduate school cover letter should be no longer than a page, written in a classic font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman or Calibri, sized 11 or 12.
The text of your letter should be organized and separated into paragraphs. Keep in mind that your letter may go through several readers, and not all of them may be experts in the field you intend to study, so do not use overly technical language or industry-specific jargon. Keep your language succinct, clear, and consistent throughout the letter.
Lastly, your letter needs to provide a quick introduction to you as a candidate and pique the reader's interest so that they want to read the rest of your application. This means that you should not use your cover letter to list all of the experiences and skills that make you perfect for this graduate program. Simply express your interest in the program, select one or two experiences, skills, or values to focus on, and relate those to your suitability for the program you're applying for.
Wondering how to get into grad school with a lower GPA?
Step 1: Brainstorm & plan
The first thing you want to do before you start working on your cover letter, or any graduate school admission essay, is make a plan. Think about what you want to say in your cover letter and write it down. Remember that you only have a few paragraphs to work with, and you do not want to repeat information from your personal statement or other application components.
Once you know what you want your cover letter to say, organize it so that it flows nicely, and it is easy to follow. Your graduate school cover letter should follow the structure of a typical letter. It should have an introductory paragraph, the main body, and a closing paragraph.
Step 2: Address your letter
As mentioned earlier, your graduate school cover letter is, in fact, a letter! Therefore, you should begin by addressing it the way you would in a formal letter. Write your full name and mailing address at the very top. We also recommend including your email address and phone number, but this is optional. On the following line, write out the date, and then write the recipient's name (typically, this is the name of the head of the department or just the name of the school you are applying to) and their address. You should verify the school's admissions webpage for this information. If it is unclear and you are unsure whom to address in the letter, contact the school and ask for this information to ensure that your documents get to the right person.
This first section of your letter should follow this template:
1234 Imaginary Lane
NameofCity, TN 34421
December 12, 20XX
Dr. John Smith
Department of Psychology
BeMo Academic University
66 University Circle
NameofCity, TN 34457
Once again, because this is a formal letter, you want to open your letter with the appropriate greeting or a personal salutation. If you have the name of a specific recipient, you can use the most common salutation for graduate school cover letters, which is "Dear [recipient's name]." Do not forget to include the recipient's title if you have it. If you do not have the name of a specific recipient, then you can simply address the letter "To Whom It May Concern".
Step 4: Introduce yourself and express your interest in the graduate program
The reader will already have your name at the top of the page, but your introductory paragraph should tell them why you're writing this graduate school cover letter. You should use it to state your interest in your chosen graduate program and briefly mention your academic background and accomplishments thus far.
Take a look at this example for context:
I am pleased to submit my application for the Master of Applied Psychology program at X university. As a recent psychology graduate of YZ university, this graduate program is the perfect next step toward achieving my goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Step 5: Talk about your suitability for this program
This is the main body of your graduate school cover letter. You should try to limit this to one paragraph, but you can use up to two of them if necessary. You should briefly touch on why you chose this particular school and program, what skills you have that have prepared you for this program, and what makes you an ideal applicant.
You can talk about what you intend to do after this degree or specific professors and faculty members you wish to work with. The information you share here will be personal, so there is no golden template. Just ensure that it is written in an organized fashion that is easy to read and understand.
Step 6: Conclude and close your letter
In your last paragraph, make sure you thank the recipient for their time and consideration. You should also encourage them to reach out to you if they need additional information, or if they have any questions. Then finally, You can close your cover letter with a warm, professional closing salutation. "Sincerely" or "Warm Regards" followed by your name are some acceptable closing salutations you can use.
Step 7: List enclosed documents
This section of your graduate school cover letter will look different depending on the school you are applying to, and the application format used. If you are applying by mail, you should list the enclosed documents in the same envelope as your cover letter. If you are applying online or by email, verify that all of the documents listed on your cover letter are attached and ready to send.
This section should be at the very bottom of the page. It should list the documents in a bullet point format, in the order in which they are enclosed. The list should look something like this:
- Program application form
- Statement of purpose
- Academic transcripts
Letters of recommendation
Graduate school cover letter examples
Graduate school cover letter example #1.
1234 Dream St.
Winnipeg, MB R3J 8T6
August 12, 20xx
Dr. Trevor Thorne
Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media
Toronto, ON M4C 2Y9
Dear Dr. Thorne,
I am excited to submit my application for consideration for the English literature master's program at BeMo Academic University. I have spent the past four years learning the basics of literature analysis through my bachelor's degree in the field, and I am eager to take this next step in my educational journey in order to further my training.
My undergraduate studies allowed me to explore and learn about different forms of literature from around the world. Still, I often found myself drawn to the impressive works of Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte, and many other great English writers. I had the opportunity to study in London for a year, where I attended a seminar on the impact of Charlotte Bronte's work on modern feminism led by none other than Prof. Jane Smith. She is one of the many brilliant professors in the English, Theatre, Film & Media department at BeMo that I hope to learn from.
You will find enclosed the required application documents, including my academic CV, which provides more information on the research I have been able to do and publish so far in my short academic career. I am especially interested in the role that authors such as William Shakespeare played in the development of modern English, and I wish to explore that further through research. I feel that the rigorous curriculum this program offers will inform my future writing and research efforts, and allow me to achieve my goals.
Thank you for your time, attention, and consideration. It is truly appreciated. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information.
Program application form
Statement of purpose
Official undergraduate transcripts
102-9876 Mainland Rd.
New Haven, CT 44567
April 8, 20XX
University of BeMo
175 Academy lane
New York, NY 34567
To whom it may concern,
It is my pleasure to submit my application for the Master's degree in Early Childhood Development in the Psychology department at The University of BeMo. I am currently completing my bachelor's degree in psychology and plan to graduate in the fall. Since my goal is to pursue a career as an educational psychologist, this particular program is the perfect next step toward achieving my goal.
My undergraduate degree includes coursework in childhood psychology, special needs education, school and family crisis intervention, and many other courses that have given me the basics required to keep up with the thorough coursework that awaits me in your rigorous program.
I have also gained valuable knowledge in the field through shadowing and internships in different schools in my community. Observing other child educators at work confirmed that this is the right career path for me, and it motivated me anew to learn how I can best help children develop a love of learning from the early stages of their educational careers. I know that there is only so much I can learn from observing, and the fact that this program provides six months of hands-on training is one of the many reasons why I am hoping to be a student at BeMo next year.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information or documents. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Research Interest Statement
Cover letters are supposed to be a brief introduction to your application, so unless otherwise specified by the school, they should not be longer than one page. We recommend sticking to three to four paragraphs, as this is long enough to share substantial information without losing your audience. Keep in mind that your reader will also be reviewing your other application components, so you do not need to address everything in this one letter. The information in your other application components, such as your statement of purpose , will complement your cover letter. So, treat your cover letter like a summary of your candidacy; keep it short but impactful.
Have you started working your graduate school CV? Check out this video for tips:
Be genuine & professional
The individual or committee that will review your application will probably be people that help run the program you're applying to. It is, therefore, best that they get a sense of who you genuinely are. Communicate honestly and let your personality shine through. This will help make your cover letter more memorable. That said, keep in mind that this is a professional document and that genuine does not mean informal or unprofessional. Your tone should still be courteous and consistent throughout the letter.
Proofread & edit carefully
We cannot stress how important this is. Remember that your graduate school cover letter will be one of, if not the first, document that the admissions committee will see from your application. You do not want their first impression of you to be negative. Your letter should be easy to read and follow, and it should be error-free.
Take the time to review your letter multiple times and edit for flow, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and typos. Better yet, reach out to a grad school essay tutor for assistance. They can review your cover letter and help you edit it to make sure it is up to par.
Grad school essay tutors can also help you with other tricky written application components, such as grad school career goals statements . So, do not hesitate to contact one if you need grad school application help. ","label":"Bonus tip","title":"Bonus tip"}]' code='tab1' template='BlogArticle'>
It is a brief letter that you attach to your graduate school application. This letter should state your interest in the program, and briefly explain why you chose it, as well as why you are a good fit for it.
Many programs do not request graduate school cover letters, but they are more common than most people think. Additionally, several programs accept grad school cover letters even when not required, so you can still submit a cover letter to help your application stand out.
That depends on the program that you are applying to. Some schools may request a cover letter for online applications, and others may not require one, but they allow students to submit them as an optional component.
Graduate school cover letters are not replacements for admission essays like a personal statement or statement of intent . So if your school requires a graduate school cover letter, do not assume that this means you will not have to write any grad school admission essays.
Unless you are given the name of a specific member of the admission committee, you should address your graduate school cover letter to the "Admissions team," "[subject] Head of Department," or "To Whom It May Concern."
You can make your graduate school cover letter stand out by making sure your personality shines through in your writing, telling a short anecdote or interesting fact about you in the body of the letter, and detailing your relevant skills and experience.
Graduate school can be pretty competitive, but the level of competition depends on the specific program you will be applying to. Some programs have acceptance rates as high as 60%, while others admit less than 10% of applicants.
Graduate school advisors are admission experts who help students plan and prepare for graduate school applications.
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Graduate cover letter example
- Free cover letter template for graduates
- Follows all the latest cover letter writing best practices
- You only need 30 minutes to customise it for your application
- Example cover letter shows you how to use the template
- See how to layout your cover letter, and what info to include in your cover letter
Main sections of this page
Don’t hesitate to fast forward to the section you think would be most helpful to you:
- “Example of a graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Graduate cover letter template” ⏩
- “How to write a graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Graduate CV advice” ⏩
Example of a graduate cover letter based
This is an example cover letter based on the “Graduate cover letter template” ⏩ below.
It’s written for the following fictional candidate and position:
- His name is Matthew Williams
- He has a 2:1 in Business Management form City University
- He’s applying for a Graduate Project Manager position at Great Energy
- He wants to work for them because he admires their innovative approach to energy poverty
- He has a good STAR example to demonstrate his skills and experience
- The hiring manager is called Jane Sterling
BA (Hons) Business Management, 2:1 Honours
07295 623562 | [email protected]
28th June 2022
Graduate Project Manager | Ref GPM 2022
Dear Ms Sterling,
I really appreciate how Great Energy helps its customers choose the best energy tariff for them, even if it means the business earns less in the short term. In my opinion, your commitment to reducing energy poverty makes your No Meter Low Cost tariff the most innovative development of recent years. I’d find working for the organisation behind it challenging and rewarding.
I recently graduated from City University with a 2:1 in my BA (Hons) Business Management degree. My studies taught me a lot about project management and communications, which I know are integral to the Project Manager role.
As you’ll see from my CV, my course involved a six-week placement in a local business. As I was interested in utilities, I chose to work with a local water treatment business which was having problems attracting and retaining good employees. Thanks to the marketing skills I learned as part of my degree, I was able to help create a compelling campaign aimed at further education colleges which featured little-known facts about water treatment. I believe this campaign helped attract a record number of candidates for their next available role.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.
Graduate cover letter template
The template below follows all of the current best practices for writing a cover letter .
It’s free, and you’re welcome to use it as many times as you like.
Please note, the template below contains placeholder text in [square brackets]. Please be careful to substitute the placeholder text for words that are relevant to your situation.
To avoid making mistakes when using this template, follow the advice in the “Cover letter checklist” guide on our sister site, Milkround.
[Your first and last name]
[Your university course and grade achieved/expected]
[Your telephone number] | [Your email address]
[Your LinkedIn URL] | [Your online portfolio URL]
[Date you’re submitting your CV and cover letter]
[ Job title you’re applying for ] | [ Job ad code, if applicable ]
Dear [Mr/Ms] [hiring manager’s last name],
I really appreciate how [employer’s name]’s [employer’s product or service which you admire] improves people’s lives by [how employer’s product or service improves people’s lives]. For me, [name the best feature of the employer’s product or service] makes [employer’s product or service] the best in the market. I’d find working for the organisation behind it challenging and rewarding.
I recently graduated from [university name] with a [degree subject and classification]. My course taught me [transferable skill required for the job] and [transferable skill required for the job], which I know are integral to your [Job Title] role.
As you’ll see from my CV, [outline a STAR example from your university course or a student placement which demonstrates that you would be able to handle the requirements of the job. Include the situation, task, action and result.]
[Your first name]
How to write a graduate cover letter
First, see our detailed guides for writing a cover letter:
- “How to write a cover letter”
- “How to start a cover letter”
- “How to end a cover letter”
- “What to put in a cover letter”
- “How long should a cover letter be?”
- “What is the best font for a cover letter?”
- “How to find out the name of the hiring manager” on our sister site Milkround
If you’re a graduate, you’ll find our “Graduate cover letter example” useful.
The advice below is specific graduates applying for graduate schemes , graduate jobs and entry-level jobs .
Research the organisation
The hiring manager will expect graduate applicants to have done their homework.
As someone who has spent the last three or four years studying, this should be something that comes naturally, but you’ll need to be able to pull out the details that will show you know something about the organisation and the position, and why it appeals to you.
If you can see they are proud of a recent project or development, mention it in your letter.
Highlight the transferable skills you’ve learned on your degree
Not everyone has always known what they want to be in life. It’s quite common to get to the end of your degree and decide that you want to work in a completely different field.
If you’ve invested even longer in studying for a medical or dentistry degree, you’ll probably want to become a doctor or a dentist. But many degrees aren’t at all vocational, and the career path is much less clear.
Most university degrees do, however, give you a lot of transferable skills, from time management to teamwork. These are skills you should mention in your cover letter.
Your personality is as important as your degree
Researching the business should give you an idea of its culture and values.
Your cover letter is a good place to show that you share those values and are the type of person that would fit in with the organisation.
Graduate CV advice
Follows all the current best practices for CV writing in the UK – all our advice up-to-date!
Contains everything you need to know , including:
- What to include in your CV
- How to layout your CV
- 4 CV examples
- Free CV template for all job applications
- You only need 60 minutes to customise it for your application
- Example of good CV shows you how to use the template
- Discover how to layout your CV, and what info to include in your CV
- Free CV template for graduates applying for the first job after university
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How to write a cover letter for a graduate job
Last updated: 5 Oct 2023, 09:35
Although the majority of graduate employers now use online application processes, ome jobs require that you apply with the traditional CV. However, CV’s need a compelling cover letter to accompany them. Think of it as an introduction to yourself and follow our helpful tips. Remember, you need to stand out from the crowd.
What to include in a cover letter
A CV cover letter should be no more than one page long – around four or five brief paragraphs.
Always include the name of the person, not 'Dear Sir/Madam'. This is particularly important when you're making speculative applications because you want your letter to reach someone who can act on it.
Specify why you are writing (eg in response to an advertisement or on a speculative basis). If it's about an advertised job, state the job title you are applying for (and reference number, if there is one) and where you saw it advertised.
State briefly why you want to work for this particular organisation and why they should employ you. Don’t repeat what is in the CV, but highlight your ‘unique selling points’. Be as specific as possible about how your experience matches the job. (If the letter is accompanying an application form rather than a CV, this is not always necessary as you will have used the form to make these points.) Also, make sure you have done your research and found some key facts about the organisation that you can refer to an emphasise your suitability in working for them.
Give details of your availability for interview. If relevant (eg if the employer has several different graduate schemes), state which other positions with the organisation you would also like to be considered for.
Finish with a keen but professional sign-off.
Your name and address
Put your contact details at the top of the letter – right-justified (i.e. lined up against the right-hand margin) or centred. Include your postal address, telephone number and email address.
The recipient's name and address
This is usually left-justified (i.e. lined up against the left-hand margin).
Leave one line space below the recipient’s address, then put the date you are writing the letter.
Always start ‘Dear’ followed by the person’s title (Mr, Ms, Dr etc) and surname, eg ‘Dear Mr Smith’.
If you don’t know their name, start ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ (NOT ‘Madame’ – that means something different!). But it is always best to find out the name of the person who you want to read your letter, which in today's online world is easier than it's ever been, but don't be afraid to pick up the phone and ask someone in the organisation if needs be.
Get the insights and skills you need to shape your career journey with Pathways. We’ll show you exactly what goes into a convincing cover letter, so you can give yourself the best chance of getting to the next stage of the application process.
Leave one line space below the salutation, then put the subject of your letter, underlined. For example ‘Application for graduate trainee position’. Include the job reference number if there is one. This makes life easier for the HR person reading the letter. In an email, this will go in the subject line.
The body text
Write clearly and succinctly. It's vital that you don't go overboard on the thesaurus, clarity is key and don't write in words that you would never use verbally. There is no need for extra embellishments.
Normally, a formal letter should not be more than one side of A4. Structure your letter with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Use business-like language: this should be closer to the essays you write at college than the letters you send to your parents.
Finish the letter ‘Yours sincerely’. Leave a space for your signature, then type your name. If you can create a digital signature or insert an image of your signature it can add a nice touch.
‘Yours sincerely’ is traditionally used when you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, but is becoming less common.
Cover letter checklist
- Are your contact details up to date?
- Have you spelled the employer's name correctly?
- Have you included the job title, reference number and where you saw the advertisement?
- Have you kept a copy?
- Have you kept it to one page where possible?
Cover letter overview
1. do your research.
Find out something about their organisation that makes you want to work and say why.
2. Know the job spec
Write about why this job is perfect for you and use examples. This is an opportunity for you to show employers that you have done your homework. You should also match it with your CV. Highlight your most relevant experience in the cover letter and then the recruiter can read the details in the CV.
3. Short and sweet
When it comes to cover letters, keep it to one page and no more than three to four paragraphs. Remember to include the date and a proper formal greeting. You can use a person’s first name if you have introduced yourself previously.
4. Be yourself
Don’t go overboard on the thesaurus. Instead use simple, clear language. Give specific reasons why you want the job and why you are the right person for the job. Remind the employer at the end of the letter that you would very much like to hear from them for an interview.
Visit the career advice section of gradireland.com for more practical tips.
gradireland editorial advice
This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.
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