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College Admission Letter Example: Free & Effective

In this article, I will share a step-by-step process with personal insights and a customizable template to begin your journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the Purpose : Recognize that your letter is more than just an application; it’s a narrative of your academic journey, achievements, and the unique qualities you bring to the university.
  • Be Authentic : Authenticity resonates. Share real-life examples that highlight your strengths, resilience, and character.
  • Structure is Key : A well-structured letter includes an introduction, body paragraphs detailing achievements and experiences, and a conclusion that reaffirms your interest in the program.
  • Customize Your Letter : Tailor your letter to each college by mentioning specific programs, professors, or opportunities that excite you about attending.
  • Proofread and Revise : Ensuring your letter is free from errors is crucial. Seek feedback and make revisions to polish your narrative.
  • Free Template : Start with a template but personalize it to reflect your genuine interest and enthusiasm for the college and program.

Step 1: Start with a Strong Introduction

Your opening sentence sets the tone for your entire letter. Begin by introducing yourself and expressing your enthusiastic interest in the college and the specific program you are applying to.

Mention what draws you to the institution and how you believe it aligns with your academic goals and career aspirations.

Example Introduction : “I am thrilled to submit my application for the [Program Name] at [College Name]. The innovative curriculum and the college’s commitment to [specific aspect, like ‘community service’ or ‘research excellence’] resonate deeply with my academic interests and personal values.”

Step 2: Highlight Your Academic and Personal Achievements

In this section, delve into your academic journey, significant achievements, and the challenges you’ve overcome. Emphasize any unique experiences that have shaped your perspective and prepared you for college. This could include leadership roles, community service, internships, or special projects.

Watercolor painting of a diverse group of three students discussing their college application.

  • List of Achievements : Include awards, recognitions, or notable projects.
  • Personal Growth : Share experiences that demonstrate resilience, leadership, and personal growth.
  • Relevance : Connect your experiences to how they’ve prepared you for the program you’re applying to.

Step 3: Explain Why You’ve Chosen This College

Trending now: find out why.

This is where your research about the college pays off. Discuss specific aspects of the college or program that excite you. Mention any professors whose work you admire, the unique opportunities the college offers, and how these align with your academic and career goals.

  • Program Specifics : Courses, professors, or research opportunities that attract you.
  • College Culture : Aspects of the college’s culture or values that resonate with you.
  • Career Goals : How the program aligns with your career aspirations.

Step 4: Conclude with Confidence

Your concluding paragraph should reiterate your excitement and readiness for the college experience. Affirm your belief that the college is the ideal place for you to achieve your academic and professional goals. Express your eagerness to contribute to the college community.

Watercolor painting of a young woman with dark skin and short curly hair, wearing casual attire, intently typing on a laptop

Example Conclusion : “I am eager to bring my passion for [your field of interest], along with my dedication to [specific contribution, like ‘community service’ or ‘academic research’], to [College Name].

I am confident that [College Name] is the perfect environment for me to thrive academically and personally, and I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to your vibrant community.”

Tips from Personal Experience

  • Be Yourself : Authenticity cannot be overstated. Admission officers are adept at distinguishing genuine narratives from embellished ones.
  • Customization Is Key : A generic letter won’t stand out. Customize your letter for each application to reflect your genuine interest in the program and college.
  • Seek Feedback : Before submitting, have someone review your letter. Fresh eyes can catch errors and offer valuable perspective.
  • Follow Instructions : Adhere to any specific guidelines provided by the college. This demonstrates attention to detail and respect for the application process.

College Application Letter Sample

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, Zip] [Email Address] [Phone Number] [Date]

[Admissions Office] [College Name] [College Address] [City, State, Zip]

Dear Admissions Committee,

[Introduction: Introduce yourself and express your interest in the specific program and college.]

[Body Paragraph 1: Highlight your academic achievements and any relevant experiences.]

[Body Paragraph 2: Discuss specific aspects of the college or program that appeal to you and how they align with your goals.]

[Conclusion: Reiterate your excitement about the opportunity to attend and your belief in the fit between your aspirations and the college’s offerings.]

[Your Name]

I invite you to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. Whether you’re embarking on writing your own admission letter or refining an existing draft, I’m here to offer guidance and support.  What challenges are you facing in your writing process? Let’s start a conversation to navigate this journey together.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

college application cover letter example

Q: What is a College Application Letter? 

Answer : A College Application Letter is a document that a student submits to a college or university as part of their application for admission.  The letter typically provides information about the student’s academic background, extracurricular activities, personal qualities, and other factors that make them a good candidate for admission.

Q: What should be included in a College Application Letter? 

Answer : A College Application Letter should include the student’s name, contact information, and the name of the college or university they are applying to. 

It should also provide information about the student’s academic background, including their GPA, test scores, and any relevant coursework or academic achievements. 

Additionally, the letter should highlight the student’s extracurricular activities, personal qualities, and other factors that make them a good candidate for admission.

Q: How long should a College Application Letter be? 

Answer : The length of a College Application Letter can vary, but it is generally recommended that the letter be no longer than one page. The letter should be concise, well-organized, and easy to read.

Q: What is the purpose of a College Application Letter? 

Answer : The purpose of a College Application Letter is to provide the college or university with information about the student that is not included in other parts of the application, such as transcripts and test scores. 

The letter is an opportunity for the student to showcase their personality, interests, and achievements, and to demonstrate why they would be a good fit for the college or university.

Q: How important is a College Application Letter in the admissions process? 

Answer : A College Application Letter can be an important factor in the admissions process, as it provides the college or university with additional information about the student that is not included in other parts of the application. 

The letter can help the student stand out from other applicants and demonstrate why they would be a good fit for the college or university. However, the weight placed on the letter can vary depending on the specific college or university and their admissions process

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College Application Letters: Cover Letters & Letters of Continued Interest

College application letters.

College application cover letters support your college applications, college resume, and college application essay prompts. In combination with the other elements of your college applications, particularly your college entrance essay, college application letters help establish your “why.” In short, a college application letter is a cover letter for your college applications that describes your background, skills, and interest in the school. When looking at college application cover letter examples, pay attention to the values that they express. College application letters and college entrance essays are similar in that they are exercises in personal branding. When reading college application cover letter examples, pay attention to the messages they convey. 

If you’re wondering how to write a college application letter, CollegeAdvisor.com has advisors who can walk you through every part of the process. If your goal is to get into top colleges, CollegeAdvisor.com can help. We’ll analyze examples of college application letters and discuss the letter of continued interest to help you craft successful applications. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the different kinds of college application letters you may encounter when completing your college applications. We’ll discuss the college application letter and the letter of continued interest, as well as teacher recommendation letters.

If you want to read college application cover letter samples, you’ve come to the right place!

What is a college application letter?

To learn how to write a college application letter, you must first understand its purpose. Do this by checking out college application cover letter examples. College application letters and college resumes serve as introductions for your college applications. Unlike college application essay prompts, there are no specific questions to answer in your cover letter. Instead, include the essential elements of university application letters: your background, what makes you unique, and your reasons for wanting to attend that particular college. In short, what makes you, you .

As you’ll see when reading example college application letters, college application cover letters are not all that different from what you would write in a cover letter when applying for a job or graduate school. The purpose of college application cover letters, college entrance essays, and college resumes is to persuade colleges that you are the strongest candidate for admissions. 

College application cover letters are not the time to be shy, but they’re not the time to be pretentious either. When reading college application cover letter examples, you’ll see that there’s a fine line. Your tone matters. In your university application letters, show your experiences and accomplishments while portraying character traits that colleges value. To get into top colleges, find a balance between being proud of your accomplishments and being humble.

College application letters – Who requires them?

Unlike college entrance essays, college application letters are required by very few colleges. However, the skills you’ll develop by writing university application letters will serve you well as you approach your college application essay prompts. When researching college application examples, you’ll notice that there are optional materials to submit. If you’re serious about your college applications, submit university application letters to show your interest. 

College application cover letters are particularly effective if the college does not have college application essay prompts that ask you to explain why you want to attend the school and/or why you want to study your major. They are even more strongly recommended when applying to colleges that don’t have any supplemental essays. You’ll see many college application cover letter examples that focus primarily on academics, but you can include so much more.

Though university application letters are rarely required, they provide an ideal way to introduce yourself. After all, you’ll notice when reading college application cover letter samples that the goal is to help the admissions committee get to know you as a person. You are more than just your grades and scores.

If you want to get into top colleges that don’t allow you to submit a college resume or don’t provide interviews, you need to take extra steps to earn acceptance. Often, you can repurpose content from college application essay prompts that ask why you want to study your major! The college application essay format differs from that of a college application letter, but they serve a very similar purpose.

Test your knowledge about other aspects of the college admissions process in our quiz below!

What is a letter of continued interest?

A letter of continued interest (LOCI) is a letter you send to a college when you are deferred or placed on the waitlist. So, not everyone will need to write a college application letter of continued interest.

Your letter of continued interest has three primary goals: 

  • Reaffirm your interest in the school.
  • Provide additional context for your application. 
  • Discuss accomplishments on your college resume that have occurred since you submitted your application.

In this guide on how to write a college application letter, we discuss all forms of college application letters in detail. We’ll expand on the above goals to explain the strategies for writing effective letters.

Explaining teacher recommendation letters 

In addition to submitting a college application cover letter and, potentially, a letter of continued interest, your application will also include recommendation letters . These letters enhance your college application entrance essay and build on answers to supplemental college application essay prompts. 

Due to the shift away from standardized testing, other parts of your college applications are inevitably getting more attention in the evaluation process. When assessing your college applications, admissions committees will often rely on letters from your teachers and counselor in place of interviews.

When reading sample college application letters of recommendation, you’ll observe that some are better than others. But, it can be a bit harder to find example teacher recommendations than it is to find college application cover letter examples. To ensure high-quality letters, create a plan well in advance of your senior year. You’ll want to ask teachers to write your recommendations who know you best beyond your grades. The strongest sample college application letters of recommendation speak to both your personal and academic strengths. 

College application sample recommendation letters with the biggest impact typically come from teachers from your core junior year courses – math, science, English, and social studies. If there’s a teacher from your junior year who taught you during your sophomore or senior year too, even better! Teachers who know you through multiple environments – clubs, classes, sports, or other areas – can often do the best job speaking to your growth and achievement over time. 

Choose teachers who know you best

Ultimately, the most effective sample college application letters of recommendation are written by the teachers who know you best. Pay attention to the college application requirements for each school on your list. Note when reading example college application letters of recommendation who the intended audience is. Some schools require math or science teachers for STEM and business majors , while others require English or social studies teachers for humanities majors .

For example, when looking at college application sample requirements, MIT writes “One recommendation should be from a math or science teacher, and one should be from a humanities, social science, or language teacher.” Caltech also requires one math or science teacher evaluation and one humanities or social sciences teacher evaluation. 

Some applicants are tempted to send more letters than the college applications require. However, aim for quality over quantity. If you want to ask another teacher to write a recommendation letter for you, ask yourself what perspective they will bring to your college applications that isn’t already covered in your college entrance essay or other recommendation letters. 

Don’t hesitate to provide materials to help your teachers and guidance counselor write their letters of recommendation for you. In fact, you should! When reading college application sample letters of recommendation, you’ll note that they are specific and provide examples where possible. Some teachers will even have you fill out a standard form to gather information from you. So, by having additional information already prepared, you are helping them tremendously. 

Here are some materials you can provide to help your recommendations augment your college applications:

  • College entrance essay
  • College resume or a list of your extracurricular activities and awards
  • Responses to college application essay prompts.
  • A sample college application letter that you’re sending to one of your colleges.
  • A few paragraphs about why you want to study your major or pursue your intended career. 
  • Key elements of the course you took with them, such as a favorite project or unit. 

When preparing materials to give to teachers, read the instructions given to recommenders by MIT. Even if you aren’t applying to MIT, the information can still be helpful to know. By understanding the process of writing recommendation letters on the teacher’s side, you can see what information will help them write a strong letter for you. 

Don’t wait until you’re submitting your college applications to ask your teachers for recommendations. Some teachers limit the number that they will write, and you want them to have plenty of time to write a quality recommendation. To make sure you have the best recommendations , ask teachers late in your junior year or early in your senior year.

The College Application Letter

As we’ve mentioned, a college application letter is a cover letter for your college applications. It describes your background, skills, and interest in the school. It’s different from both the college application essay format and the letter of continued interest. When reviewing college application samples, you’ll see that your cover letter works together with your college resume and college entrance essay to help admissions officers get to know you. 

Below, we’ll discuss how to write a college application letter and walk through a sample college application letter. But remember, you want your letter to be original! Don’t feel limited by what’s in any examples of college application letters.

Do all schools require a college application letter?

No — few schools actually require college application letters. However, learning to write a strong college application letter can help you in other aspects of the college admissions process. Reading college application cover letter examples can also help you learn how to write for the admissions committee audience. 

One of the ways to learn how to write a college application letter is to read sample college application letters. For instance, the same skills that help you write a strong and concise college application letter will help you in the college essay format, too.

The college application letter – What should I include?

So, you know the purpose of college application letters, but what should you include in them? Reading college application cover letter samples can help you determine this. While the college application essay format lends itself to focusing on one topic or story, college application cover letter examples highlight the importance of covering several different topics.

College application letters should contain the following elements: 

1. school name and address.

You college application letter should follow formal letter formatting guidelines, which include writing the full name of the college or university you are applying to in the upper left hand corner of the letter. Try to be as specific as possible with the address you choose to use.

2. Salutation

A standard salutation is suitable for your college application letter. However, it is a great idea to do your research and use the full name of the admissions officer assigned to your region.

3. Introduction

The best examples of college application letters open strong. Thank the admissions committee for reviewing your application, and introduce yourself. Do you have a unique connection to the school? Can you hook the reader in some way to make them want to keep reading?

4. Explanation of academic interests

Your primary purpose in college is to earn a degree, so notice that in example college application letters most of the space is often devoted to discussing academic plans. Include your intended major and career path, as well as interdisciplinary interests.

5. Discussion of extracurricular interests

The college application essay format may be a place for you to discuss extracurricular involvement, so use this space to elaborate or discuss additional interests. These could be connected to your academic plans, but they don’t have to be.

6. Conclusion

Express your interest in the school! Impactful example college application letters have a clear and brief conclusion that reaffirms your desire to attend and enthusiasm for the opportunity to join the next class of undergraduates. Point to specific classes, professors, programs, organizations, and aspects of the college that pique your interest. No one is going to hold you to your plan, but colleges want to see that you have one.

8. Complimentary Close

Lastly, every good college application letter should include an expression of gratitude alongside your close and your signature.

In the example of a college application letter above, there are a few key details to highlight. The letter is essentially a five-paragraph essay, with one paragraph for each of the five elements. This differs significantly from the college application essay format. In this college application example, the college application letter has clear and distinct sections, and this is very common in college application cover letter samples.

Depending on your interests and plans, you could take a more integrated approach. You’ll read some examples of college application letters that center around a theme or broad plan rather than separated into individual paragraphs.

This sample college application letter is a narrative. The applicant’s goal is to tell her story to the admissions committee. The best sample college application letters paint a picture for the reader and draw the reader into the storyline. Though it can feel like being vivid and descriptive is a waste of your space, “showing instead of telling makes for stronger college applications.

How to format your college application letter?

When reading sample college application letters, you’ll observe that they are formatted very similarly to professional cover letters. Your university application letters should be one page single-spaced. The heading should also be consistent across college application letters. 

  • Your full address
  • The date you will send the letter
  • The admission officer’s name
  • The college name
  • The college address

Then, open your letter with a salutation. Many examples of college application letters open with “Dear” and are addressed to the admission officer. If you cannot find your regional admissions officer, it is fine to address the letter to the admissions office as was done in the sample college application letter above. Once you write the body of your letter, don’t forget your closing salutation – “Sincerely,” and then your name. 

Once you read several sample college application letters, you’ll understand the best practices. After writing a university application letter for one school, you don’t need to start from scratch for additional schools. Adapt what you have to fit the next college’s context and your specific interests on their campus. 

Being concise is key. Your university application letter should not be redundant. If it exceeds one page, see where information you mention is repeated elsewhere in your application. In your cover letter, focus on the content that makes you as original and unique as possible. Most importantly, don’t forget to proofread your university application letters! 

Can a college application letter help me with other parts of my application?

Think of the college application cover letter as the glue that holds your college applications together. When writing it, think about it as your opportunity to show your best self. After brainstorming the content, you’ll be better equipped to craft your candidate profile into a cohesive narrative and articulate why you want to attend the college.

Though many parts of your college applications will be out of your control by the time you reach your senior fall, the college application cover letter is one that you can control. Use it to elevate your college applications, show interest in your top schools , and make yourself stand out among other applicants!

The Letter of Continued Interest

Another form of college application letter is a letter of continued interest . In sample college application letters of continued interest, you’ll see that the primary purpose is to reaffirm your candidacy for a spot in the next incoming class of undergraduates. 

Though it can feel like a waiting game, the waitlist should not be passive. As soon as you are waitlisted or deferred, begin crafting a letter of continued interest. The best college application sample LOCIs are submitted promptly. Put in the effort to show you’re serious about attending. 

College application example LOCIs should focus on recent updates. Likely, a lot has happened since you submitted your application, particularly if you applied by the early deadlines. Strong college application sample LOCIs convey accomplishments and experiences that either add to previously mentioned ones or provide another dimension to your application. 

Letter of continued interest – When and where to submit?

Learn as much as you can by reading college application example LOCIs, but know that each school’s process for when and how to submit them is different. Additionally, the process may vary based on whether you were deferred to the regular decision round of admissions or waitlisted after the regular decision round. It’s important to follow each university’s directions.

Many schools will request that you upload your letter of continued interest to a portal. Some will request that you email it to an address – typically the admissions office. Others won’t allow you to submit any additional materials. If you’re in doubt, call or email the admissions office and ask. 

What to include in your letter of continued interest?

You’ll notice common trends when reading college application sample LOCIs. Effective college application example LOCIs convey a tone of sincerity, gratitude, and enthusiasm for an opportunity to attend. A strong sample college application letter of continued interest includes four elements. 

First, reaffirm your interest in attending the school if offered the chance to matriculate. Then, discuss relevant developments to your application, such as additional extracurricular accolades and continued academic successes. Sometimes, you’ll see a sample college application letter of continued interest that mentions how a student improved a lower mid-year grade or discusses a new leadership role. 

When reading a sample college application letter of continued interest, remember that colleges are looking for reasons to admit you, so don’t be shy! Offer to answer any questions they have and provide additional info in the conclusion of your letter. 

It’s important to back up your claims with supporting evidence. Strong college application sample LOCIs provide examples and specific details, just as you would in a cover letter or essay. Be vivid and descriptive as you share your story!

However, college application example LOCIs that include overly emotional appeals or merely complement the university are unlikely to be effective. Your letter of continued interest should be all about you. Though it can be difficult to realize this when reading college application example LOCIs, recognize that the content of your letter should fit within the context of the rest of your application. 

The many types of college application letters – Final Thoughts

In this guide, we covered several types of letters associated with your college process – college application cover letters, teacher recommendation letters, and letters of continued interest. Reading sample college application letters, whether they are college application cover letter samples or LOCIs, can help you do your best work. But, remember that every applicant’s college application process is unique. 

Our final tips for writing college application letters:

  • Proofread. College application letters with typos or grammatical errors reflect poorly on your effort and candidacy. Use a polished and professional tone in everything you write for your college applications.
  • Be yourself. Though this goal can get lost in the requirements, scores, and grades, you should focus on helping the colleges on your list get to know who you are . 
  • Follow the requirements. Each college has their own requirements for how they want you to submit materials. Pay close attention to the details for each college as you go through the admissions process. 

CollegeAdvisor.com can help guide you through every step of the college application process. Check out our blog , webinars , or register with CollegeAdvisor.com today. Good luck!

This guide to college application letters and letters of continued interest was written by Caroline Marapese, Notre Dame ‘22. At CollegeAdvisor, we have built our  reputation  by providing comprehensive information that offers real assistance to students. If you want to get help with your college applications from CollegeAdvisor.com  Admissions Experts , click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.

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college application cover letter example

College Application Cover Letter Examples

As a college instructor and communication expert with extensive nonfiction and educational writing experience, Mary shares tips and advice related to a wide variety of topics.

Learn about our Editorial Policy .

When you are applying for college admission, it's important to do everything possible to make sure your application really stands out. Sending a cover letter in support of your application materials can be a great way to capture admissions officers' attention in a positive way while also giving them a chance to learn a bit about your personality and unique circumstances.

Example Cover Letter Templates for College Applications

You can use a cover letter whether you are applying via the Common Application or if you are submitting an individual admission packet. Choose the sample letter below that best fits your needs and adjust it to convey key highlights of why you should be considered for admission. To access each letter, simply click the image. It will open as an editable PDF file that you can customize, save and print. This guide for Adobe printables can be of assistance if you need help with the documents.

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Sample Cover Letter for College Application Packets

If you are submitting a school-specific applicant packet, include the letter with all of your other materials (such as your application form, essay, and application fee).

Example Cover Letter to Pair With the Common App

If you are using the Common App, also known as the Common Application, you may still want to send an individualized cover letter to the schools that you're most interested in attending. Consider sending your cover letter to each school's admissions representative at the same time you complete your Common App, or even a few days before.

Writing Your College Application Cover Letter

While the samples here are great starting points, you will need to adjust them to focus on your specific situation. You will need to include:

  • Why you want to attend this particular school
  • What your academic interests are
  • How the school is a good fit for your academic interests and long-term goals
  • How your background and future interests make you a great candidate to consider
  • Any special connections you have to the school (i.e., do you have relatives who graduated from the school?)
  • Details on how the other components of your application packet will be received
  • A specific request to consider you for admission
  • Details on how to contact you

Stand Out to College Admission Officers

A well-written cover letter can be a terrific add-on to your college application package. Not everyone will think to send this kind of document, so it just might help you stand out among the other applicants. Of course, a poorly written letter can have the opposite effect. So, be sure that your letter follows an appropriate business letter format, really presents you in a positive light, is well-written, and error-free .

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5 College Student Cover Letter Examples Working in 2024 

Stephen Greet

  • College Student Cover Letter
  • College Student Cover Letters by Experience
  • Write Your College Student Cover Letter

Your education has equipped you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in any role you set your sights on. You perform excellent research, meet deadlines, and can handle data accurately.

But did you write a cover letter and complementary college student resume to provide an effective overview of your capabilities?

Whether you’re applying to an advanced degree program or one of your first jobs, we have the resources to help you succeed. Check out our college student cover letter examples that have helped many academics grab their dream opportunities in 2024.

college application cover letter example

College Student Cover Letter Example

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College student cover letter example

Why this cover letter works

  • As with this college student cover letter, use specific examples (whether volunteer work, internships, or babysitting siblings) to showcase your childcare proficiencies. Relevant keywords here include first aid/CPR. Meals preparation, storytelling.

Level up your cover letter game

Relax! We’ll do the heavy lifiting to write your cover letter in seconds.

College Application Cover Letter Example

College application cover letter template

  • The essence is to paint a vivid picture of an all-around student. Even better, spotlight prior community involvements. That exhibits your active engagement in contributing positively to society and your potential to further these values in the target tertiary institution.

College Student No Experience Cover Letter Example

College student no experience cover letter example

  • See how Nabil showcases his ability to connect with and care for canine pets in this college student no experience cover letter, using metrics to emphasize impact. Transferable skills gained during coursework (cue time management) can be pivotal for your candidacy.

College Student for Internship Cover Letter Example

College student for internship cover letter example

  • Go further to project yourself as a result-driven multifaceted candidate who isn’t just familiar with industry-specific proficiencies and tools (Cue SEO, SMM, and Google Analytics) but has used them to generate tangible results (Think 13% growth in followers).

College Graduate Cover Letter Example

College graduate cover letter template

  • Draw on specific examples from internships or college projects where you delivered concrete results—this could range from leading a team project to developing a software program that addressed a real-world problem. Better yet, show how you used technologies like Python, Java, React, and C++ to achieve these feats.

Related cover letter examples

  • College Student resume
  • High School Student
  • Entry Level
  • Career Change

Tips to Write an Effective College Student Cover Letter

Salesperson pops out of computer screen to depict outselling the competition with sales cover letter

As a college student or recent grad, you may have limited work experience , making a cover letter feel challenging. However, with the right planning and use of your academic knowledge, you can write a cover letter that stands out. 

The first step is reviewing the job description and picking out job skills that each company emphasizes. For instance, someone applying for a marketing internship may notice a company needs help with lead generation. Then, they could highlight knowledge gained during classes about creating effective landing pages and social media campaigns that will help the company achieve its goals. 

college application cover letter example

Grab attention with the opening of your college student cover letter

While writing reports for your classes, you’ve likely heard that immediately grabbing a reader’s attention is essential. The same is true with cover letters. The best way to make that initial connection is to greet the organization’s contact person by name. You can often find that in the job description or company website.   

Now that you have the hiring manager’s attention, you’ll want to take things a step further by connecting to the company’s mission and needs in your opening paragraph. For example, a college student applying for a dental hygiene internship may want to emphasize their eagerness to use their knowledge in X-rays and routine cleanings to help patients achieve a healthy smile.

The example below falls short since the applicant doesn’t greet someone by name or explain how their educational knowledge has equipped them for the role.

Needs to be more specific! 

As a recent graduate of Boston College’s nursing program, I’m eager to apply for the nursing internship at your company. I believe my education has equipped me with the knowledge to be a great addition to your team.

The opener below provides a more substantial overview of how the applicant’s knowledge from their animal behavior studies and skills in dog training commands will make them a great fit as a dog walker with Park Cities Pet Sitter. 

A great opener referencing specific skills! 

Dear Mr. Hill,

As one of the dedicated students of Southern Methodist University studying animal behavior in our Biology department, I am eager to bring my skills to Park Cities Pet Sitter as your next dog walker. With two years of experience volunteering at Dallas Dog and my proficiency in basic training commands and positive reinforcement techniques, I can provide excellent care to your canine clients.

college application cover letter example

Provide the right experiences in the body of your college student cover letter

In the body of your college student cover letter, it’s important to get specific about the job skills that make you a great fit. For example, if you were applying for a student teaching opportunity, you may want to emphasize the classroom management and curriculum planning abilities you’ve gained in your college classes.  

You should also use numbers whenever possible. Even if you don’t have much work experience , you can still find data to back up your skill set, like grades, GPA, or accuracy.

A great body paragraph with essential metrics!

A summer internship at Chitech Solutions empowered my SEO prowess. Leveraging Google Analytics and keyword optimization strategies, our team facilitated a 28% improvement in organic search rankings and an 11.9% boost in website-generated leads.

college application cover letter example

Leave a lasting impression while closing out your college student cover letter

Think of the closing of your cover letter like you’re wrapping up a persuasive class presentation. You’ll want to find ways to relate back to key points about how you connect to the company’s mission and the skills that make you a great fit. 

For instance, if you were applying to an entry-level accounting role, you could relate to how you’ll use your skills in QuickBooks to help a company achieve compliant financial practices.

Then, like any good persuasive presentation, you’ll want to use a call to action and thank the hiring manager for their time. 

The closer below isn’t making the right impact since the applicant doesn’t go into enough detail about the skills gained from their degree or their connection to the company’s mission.

Needs more detail to make an impact!

I believe my human resources degree has made me well-equipped for this internship. I look forward to discussing this role with you further. 

Rebecca Romanov 

The closer below does a better job relating to the applicant’s dedication to child safety and education, making them a great fit for Sittercity’s needs. 

Stand out by relating to the company’s mission! 

My experiences, coupled with my dedication to child safety and education, would be invaluable at Sittercity. Also worth noting, I have included my police clearance for your review. I look forward to discussing how my skill set could benefit and enrich your team at Sittercity.

Seline Dupont

College student cover letters should be one page long. Keep it concise and relevant for each job you apply to. For example, if you were applying to an entry-level IT role, a short overview of your troubleshooting and programming knowledge from relevant courses would help you stand out. 

You’ve likely gained a lot of skills through your education, so listing all of them would make your cover letter too long. Instead, try to focus on three to five that are relevant to a company’s needs, such as pressure management and structural analysis for someone applying to an engineering internship. 

The best achievements to write about will be ones where you have metrics to show your impact and that are highly relevant to company needs. For example, if you were applying to a production management internship, you could explain how you used lean management processes in a class project to boost efficiency by 41%. 

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60+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]

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No matter where you are in your career, or what job you’re applying for, submitting a cover letter with your resume is a must . 

Done right, a cover letter will effectively complement your resume and explain to the hiring manager in more detail why you’re the right person for the job.

Writing a cover letter, however, is easier said than done. 

You have to effectively demonstrate that you’ll be able to perform the responsibilities listed in the job description and that you’d be a better fit for the company compared to other candidates. 

And unless you’re a professional writer, this can be a very hard task.

Fortunately, we created these cover letter examples to inspire you and help you get started with your own cover letter!

Let’s dive in!

21 Cover Letter Examples 

#1. career change cover letter example .

cover letter example for career change

Here’s what this cover letter does right:

  • Has an ideal length. This cover letter includes all the relevant information for the hiring manager without getting into too much detail.
  • Relevant introduction. The candidate explains that they’re changing careers and why they want to work in this new field from the get-go.
  • Explains their related experience. The candidate explains how their previous experience in retail sales can help them succeed in PR.

Check out our guide video guide to learn how to write a Cover Letter that gets you HIRED!

#2. Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example 

cover letter example for a recent graduate

  • Personally greets the hiring manager. The candidate has taken the time to find the hiring manager’s name and address them by it, which makes the opening of the cover letter much more personal.
  • Wraps up with a call to action. The candidate wraps up the cover letter by suggesting a meeting with the hiring manager, which makes them more memorable.
  • Explains why the candidate is the right person for the internship. In this cover letter for an internship , the candidate explains how they’ve previously interned in a different firm, which gives them the experience to succeed in this role.

Have you just graduated from college? Make sure to check out our guide on writing an entry-level cover letter from start to finish! 

#3. Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Middle Management

  • Use of bullet points. The candidate presents the information in a concise and reader-friendly way, making it easy for the hiring manager to find their key achievements. 
  • Formal closing. The candidate has used a formal and polite tone to conclude their cover letter, which combined with a call to action makes them look professional and passionate about getting the job. 
  • Explains how the company would benefit from hiring them. The candidate outlines exactly what they could do for the company, which not only highlights their skills but also shows they’ve done their research on the company’s needs. 

#4. Business Manager Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for business manager

  • Detailed header. In addition to the must-have contact details, this candidate has also included their professional Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, making it easy for the hiring manager to look more closely into their career. 
  • Concise and to the point. This candidate has used short paragraphs and bullet points to make the cover letter easy to skim through. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By letting the hiring manager know they’ll be contacting them soon, they’re more likely to make an impression.

Check out this article for a complete writing guide and an inspiring business manager resume sample. 

#5. Ph.D. Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for phd

Here’s what this cover letter does right: 

  • Attention-grabbing introduction. In the opening paragraph, this candidate explains why they’re passionate about pursuing a Ph.D. in great detail. 
  • Explains the candidate’s qualifications in detail. The candidate builds on their passion by explaining how they’re also qualified for the degree because of their education history and academic achievements. 

#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for senior executive

  • Professional and minimalistic template. This senior executive has used a professional but minimalistic template that lets their work experience do the talking. 
  • Achievement-oriented opening paragraph. Right from the get-go, this candidate explains what makes them so good at their job, effectively grabbing the hiring manager’s attention.  
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By suggesting to have a meeting and discussing how they can help the company meet its goals, the candidate stands more chance to make a positive lasting impression. 

#7. Architect Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example

  • Modern resume template. This architect has picked a template that perfectly matches his industry, as it is professional and modern at the same time. 
  • A personal greeting to the HR. They address the hiring manager by their first name, which helps make a better first impression. 
  • Measurable achievements. By quantifying their achievements, the candidate proves their achievements instead of just claiming them.

Struggling with your architect resume ? Check out our full guide!

#8. Business Analyst Cover Letter Example 

cover letter examples

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has listed both their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, providing the HR manager an opportunity to learn more about the candidate.  
  • Mentions what the candidate can do for the company. This cover letter doesn’t just explain why the job would be great for the candidate, but also how the candidate would benefit the company. Win-win, right? 
  • Error-free and reader-friendly. It’s super important for the cover letter to have no spelling or grammatical errors and be reader-friendly. This candidate made sure they did both.

Need a resume alongside your cover letter? Check out our guide on how to write a business analyst resume . 

#9. Consultant Cover Letter Example 

best cover letter example

  • Professional cover letter template. Being an experienced consultant, this candidate has picked a professional template that doesn’t steal the spotlight from their achievements. 
  • Experience and achievement-oriented. The candidate has effectively elaborated on their top achievements relevant to the job. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. To show they want the job, this candidate has also explained how passionate they are about their profession.

For more advice on landing a job as a consultant, check out our guide to writing a consultant resume .

#10. Digital Marketing Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Digital Marketing

  • Creative cover letter template. This digital marketer highlights their originality by picking a creative cover letter template. 
  • Lists the candidate’s awards. The candidate has taken advantage of the cover letter to list their most noteworthy awards in the industry. 
  • Concludes with a call to action. As they used a call to action to conclude their cover letter, the HR manager will be more likely to remember them.

Want to take your digital marketing resume to the next level? Check out our guide!

#11. Graphic Designer Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example for Graphic Designer

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has included additional contact information such as their website link, as well as their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.  
  • Ideal length. This cover letter is concise, which means that the HR manager is more likely to read it from start to finish.  
  • Draws attention to the candidate’s strong points. Although this candidate is a recent college graduate, they’ve managed to effectively show that they have enough knowledge and experience to do the job right.

Read this guide to write a graphic designer resume that’s just as good as your cover letter!

#12. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Administrative Assistant

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. The candidate picked a well-designed but minimalistic template for their cover letter. 
  • Focused on skills and achievements. This cover letter is packed with the candidate’s skills and achievements, proving he can be an excellent employee. 
  • Formal closing. Politeness can go a long way and the candidate has used this to their advantage to make an impression. 

Our article on how to write an administrative assistant resume can help you take your job application to the next level.

#13. Front Desk Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Front Desk

  • Modern cover letter template. This template incorporates memorable colors and clear lines, which make the cover letter very visually appealing. 
  • Attention-grabbing introduction. Using an attention-grabbing intro, the candidate is more likely to make an impression. 
  • Calls the HR to action. By including a call to action, the candidate is reminding the HR of their immediate availability. 

#14. Human Resources Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Human Resources

  • It is concise and to the point. The candidate doesn’t dwell on unimportant details the HR won’t be interested in. 
  • Uses a traditional cover letter template. The cover letter design is more on the conventional side, which fits the industry better. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s strong points. The candidate has rich work experience and they use the cover letter to elaborate on it. 

This HR resume guide can help you get your resume just right.

#15. Sales Agent Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example  for Sales Agent

  • Attention-grabbing cover letter template. As a salesperson, this candidate knows how important first impressions are, so they’ve picked a catchy cover letter template. 
  • Has an ideal length. At the same time, they’ve also made sure to keep their cover letter at just the right length. 
  • Lists the candidate’s career highlights. The candidate has made perfect use of the space by mentioning their most impressive professional achievements. 

Check out this sales agent resume guide to create an attention-grabbing sales resume .

#16. Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Receptionist

  • Modern but minimalistic cover letter template. The template’s design hints the candidate is creative but professional at the same time. 
  • Uses a catchy introduction. The candidate has used an attention-grabbing opening paragraph to catch HR’s attention. 
  • Concludes the cover letter formally. The candidate proves that they’re polite and well-spoken, a quality very much important for the role they’re applying for. 

Take your receptionist resume to the next level with this receptionist resume guide .

#17. Information Technology Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Information Technology

  • Mentions measurable achievements. Numbers make an impact, which is why this candidate has included measurable achievements. 
  • Lists both soft and hard skills. The candidate has mentioned a great mix of soft and hard skills, showing how well-rounded they are. 
  • Contains relevant contact information. The candidate’s GitHub, website name, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles are all great additions to the resume. 

Looking for tips to help you write a great IT resume ? Check out our guide!

#18. Real Estate Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Real Estate Agent

  • Ideal length. Short and to the point, this cover letter is bound to get noticed by the HR manager. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. This candidate reinforces the HR to call them back through a final call to action. 
  • Mentions the right skills. On top of their sales accomplishments, the candidate touch upon important soft skills such as customer service and communication . 

This real estate resume guide will help you take your resume from good to great.

#19. Teacher Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Teacher

  • Mentions relevant contact information details. This candidate has included optional (but relevant) contact information details, such as their LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium profiles. 
  • Achievement-oriented. The candidate has elaborated on their achievements in more detail throughout their cover letter. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. For some jobs, being passionate is much more important than for others. Teaching is one of these jobs, which is why this candidate explains their passion for the job. 

Our guide on how to write a teacher resume has all the tips you need to land the job.

#20. Project Manager Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Project Manager

  • Leverages a catchy introduction. Through a catchy introductory paragraph, this candidate is sure to grab the HR’s attention and get them to read the rest of their cover letter.
  • Lists measurable accomplishments. This candidate explains exactly what they’ve achieved using numbers and hard data. 
  • Personally greets the HR. A personal greeting sounds much better than “Dear Sir/Madam,” and the candidate knows this. 

This guide on how to write a project manager resume can help you perfect your appication.

#21. Paralegal Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Paralegal

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. This cover letter design looks good but doesn’t steal the show from the candidate’s abilities.
  • Mentions the candidate’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Although the candidate is a recent graduate, they’ve used the cover letter to explain they have enough skills and achievements to do the job.
  • Lists measurable achievements. The candidate proves they did well in their internship by mentioning quantifiable achievements.

Check out this paralegal resume guide to perfect yours.

40+ More Cover Letter Examples and Guides 

Couldn’t find a cover letter example for your field? Do not worry.

Below you can find a number of other cover letter examples for different fields and industries:

  • Acting Cover Letter Examples
  • Accounting Cover Letter Examples
  • Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Architecture Cover Letter Examples
  • Attorney Cover Letter Examples
  • Barista Cover Letter Examples
  • Bartender Cover Letter Examples
  • Business Cover Letter Examples
  • Business Analyst Cover Letter Examples
  • College Student Cover Letter Examples
  • Computer Science Cover Letter Examples
  • Construction Cover Letter Examples
  • Consultant Cover Letter Examples
  • Customer Service Cover Letter Examples
  • Data Analyst Cover Letter Examples
  • Data Entry Cover Letter Examples
  • Dental Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Digital Marketing Cover Letter Examples
  • Elementary Teacher Cover Letter Examples
  • Engineering Cover Letter Examples
  • Executive Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Finance Cover Letter Examples
  • Graphic Design Cover Letter Examples
  • Healthcare Cover Letter Examples
  • Human Resources Cover Letter Examples
  • IT Cover Letter Examples
  • Law Cover Letter Examples
  • Management Cover Letter Examples
  • Marketing Cover Letter Examples
  • Mechanical Engineering Cover Letter Examples
  • Medical Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Nurse Practitioner Cover Letter Examples
  • Physician Cover Letter Examples
  • Project Manager Cover Letter Examples
  • Receptionist Cover Letter Examples
  • Retail Cover Letter Examples
  • Sales Cover Letter Examples
  • Social Work Cover Letter Examples
  • Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples
  • Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Examples
  • Teacher Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Team Leader Cover Letter Example

What is a Cover Letter? 

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your resume . 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can give the hiring manager more insight into what makes you a good candidate and help them make up their mind about whether they should invite you for an interview. A bad cover letter, though, will get ignored (at best) and lose you the job (at worst).

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

The first thing to remember is that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you shouldn’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume and call it a day. 

Optimally, you should use your cover letter to shed more light on your skills and qualifications, as well as explain anything you didn’t have space for in your resume (e.g. a career gap or why you’re changing careers).

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, though, putting all this together might seem pretty tough. 

Fortunately, you can follow our tried-and-tested format to make the experience much easier:

  • Header - Input your contact information.
  • Greeting the hiring manager - Open the cover letter with a “Dear Sir or Madam,” or use the hiring manager’s name if you know what that is.
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the hiring manager’s attention by getting straight to the point. Mention what your professional experiences are, and what role you’re applying for.
  • The second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Mention your top 2-3 achievements, your top skills, why you want to work in that specific industry, and whatever else is relevant.
  • The third paragraph - End your cover letter with a call to action. E.g. “I would love to meet personally and discuss how I can help Company X.”
  • Formal closing - Something like this: “Thank you for your consideration. Best, John Doe.”

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

cover letter structure

9 Tips to Write a Cover Letter (the Right Way)

Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk about cover letter tips . Below, we'll give you all the knowledge you need to take your cover letter from "OK" to "great."

#1. Pick the right template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

And what’s a better way to leave a good impression than through a professional, well-formatted, and visual template?

You can simply pick one of our tried-and-tested cover letter templates and you’ll be all set!

cover letter examples templates

#2. Add your contact details on the header

The best way to start your cover letter is through a header. 

Here’s what you want to include there:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

Optionally, you can also include the following:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your content portfolio site or blog.

#3. Greet the hiring manager the right way

Once you’ve listed all your relevant contact information, it’s time to address the hiring manager reading your cover letter. 

A good practice here is to find the hiring manager’s name and address them directly instead of using the traditional “dear sir or madam.” This shows that you’re really invested in the company and that you took your time to do some research about the job.

So, how can you find out the hiring manager’s name?

One way to do this is by looking up the head of the company’s relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Office.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of server at a restaurant. In that case, you’d be looking to find out who the restaurant manager is.

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

If you still can’t find out the hiring manager’s name, here are several other greetings you can use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

#4. Create an attention-grabbing introduction

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph.

The problem with most cover letter opening paragraphs, though, is that they’re usually extremely generic, often looking something like this: 

Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

As you can probably tell, this opening paragraph doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything other than that you’ve worked the job before - and that’s not really helpful in setting you apart from other candidates. 

What you want to do, instead, is start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position. 

For example:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as my excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the role of X at Company Y.

The second example shows how the candidate is a top performer. The first just shows that they’ve worked a sales job before.

Which one are YOU more likely to invite for an interview?

#5. Show you’re the perfect person for the job

One great thing about cover letters is that they allow you to expand more on the top achievements from your resume and really show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. 

A good way to do that is to first read the job ad and really understand what skills/experiences are required, and then to ensure that your cover letter touches upon the said skills or experiences.

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+. As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation and management process end-to-end. This means I created the ad copy and images, as well as picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

#6. Explain why you’re a great company fit

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

To convince the hiring manager that you’re a great company fit, do some research on the company and find out what it is you like about them, or about working there. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company's product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

Then, turn your top reasons for liking to work there into text and add them to your cover letter! 

#7. Wrap up with a call to action

To make the end of your cover letter as memorable as possible, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Mention anything you’ve left out that you think could help the hiring manager make up your mind.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. After all, it never hurts to be polite. 
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. A call to action is a great way to make your cover letter ending as memorable as possible. 

#8. Write a formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions in a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

#9. Proofread your cover letter

Last but not least, make sure to always proofread each and every document that you’ll be including in your job application - cover letter included. 

The last thing you want is to be claiming you’re a great candidate for the job with a cover letter full of typos! 

For an even more comprehensive guide on how to write an impactful cover letter , check out our article ! 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some questions about cover letters? Check out the answers below:

1. How do I write a simple cover letter? 

To write a cover letter that’s simple but also professional, make sure to include a header with your personal information, a formal greeting to the hiring manager, an attention-grabbing opening paragraph, a second paragraph explaining why you’re a good candidate for the job, and a formal closing (preferably with a call to action). 

2. What are the 3 parts of a cover letter? 

The three parts of a cover letter are: 

  • The introduction , namely the header, the greeting to the hiring manager, and the opening paragraph. 
  • The sales pitch is usually the body of the cover letter. 
  • The conclusion involves a formal closing and a signature line.

3. What makes a great cover letter?

A great cover letter should be personalized for each job you’re applying for, instead of being overly generic. It’s also preferable to address the hiring manager by their name and not use the overly-used “Dear Sir/Madam.”

To make a great first impression, you should mention 1-2 of your top achievements in your opening paragraph - the more job-specific they are, the better. Also, don’t stop at showing the hiring manager why you’re a great candidate for the job. Make sure to also talk about how you’re a good culture fit for the company.

Last but not least, wrap up your closing paragraph with a call to action to give the hiring manager a little extra something to remember you by. 

4. When is a cover letter necessary?

Unless the job ad specifically states otherwise, you should always include a cover letter with your job application .

Even if the hiring manager doesn’t read it, you will look more professional simply by including one.

And that’s a wrap! We hope our cover letter examples and writing tips will inspire you to write a cover letter that will land you your next job.

If you’re looking for more invaluable career advice and articles, make sure to check out our career blog , or any of these related articles: 

  • How to Write a Resume
  • Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
  • Cover Letter Format (w/ Examples & Free Templates)

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How to Write an Academic Cover Letter With Examples

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Requred Job Application Materials

Submitting your application.

When you are applying for a faculty position at a college or university, your  cover letter  will differ significantly from the standard business cover letter.

Your cover letter may be reviewed by Human Resources department staff to determine if you meet the basic qualifications for the job. If it does, it will be forwarded to a search committee comprised mostly of faculty members and academic deans. 

These individuals will be accustomed to reading more lengthy academic cover letters and  resumes  or curriculum vitae (CV) than would be customary in the business world. They will also often be more interested in the philosophical foundations for your work than the typical business recruiter.

Kelly Miller / The Balance

Tips for Writing an Academic Cover Letter

Your initial challenge will be to pass through the Human Resources screening. Review each of the required qualifications included in the job announcement and compose statements containing evidence that you possess as many of the skills, credentials, knowledge, and experiences listed as possible. 

Address as many of the preferred qualifications as possible. 

Give concrete examples to support your assertions about your strengths. 

Your faculty reviewers will typically have an interest in your philosophy and approach to teaching and research within your discipline. They will also be evaluating how your background fits with the type of institution where they work.

Research the faculty in your target department to assess their orientation and expertise. Emphasize points of intersection between your philosophy and the prevalent departmental philosophy.

If you possess traditionally valued areas of expertise that are not already represented by the current faculty, make sure to point those strengths out in your cover letter. It's important to tailor your letter to the orientation of the college and adjust the mix of emphasis on teaching and research based on the expectations in that setting. 

Colleges will typically want to hire new faculty who are passionate about their current research and not resting on past research credits.

Describe a current project with some detail and express enthusiasm for continuing such work. 

Try to do the same with any evolving teaching interests. 

Highlight any grants and funding you have received to undertake your research activities. Incorporate any awards or recognition which you have received for your teaching or research activities. Some text should also be devoted to other contributions to the college communities where you worked, such as committee work, advising, and collaborations with other departments.

Your cover letter should be written in the same basic format as a business cover letter. An academic cover letter is typically two pages compared to a single page for non-academic letters.

Here’s an example of the appropriate format for a cover letter and guidelines for formatting your letters.

Academic Cover Letter Example

You can use this sample as a model to write an academic cover letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

Academic Cover Letter Example #1 (Text Version)

Robin Applicant 123 Main Street, Anytown, CA 12345 555-555.5555 robin.applicant@email.com

April 5, 2021

Dr. Sylvia Lee Chair, English Department Search Committee Acme College 123 Business Rd. Charlotte, NC 28213

Dear Dr. Sylvia Lee,

I am writing to apply for the position of assistant professor of English with an emphasis in nineteenth-century American literature that you advertised in the MLA Job Information List. I am a Dean’s Fellow and Ph.D. candidate at XYZ University, currently revising the final chapter of my dissertation, and expecting to graduate in May I am confident that my teaching experience and my research interests make me an ideal candidate for your open position.

Over the past five years, I have taught a variety of English courses. I have taught a number of American literature survey courses, as well as writing courses, including technical writing and first-year writing. I have extensive experience working with ESL students, as well as students with a variety of learning disabilities, including dyslexia and dysgraphia, and disabilities like ADD and ADHD. I pride myself on creating a classroom environment that accommodates the needs of my students while still promoting a high level of critical thought and writing skills. Some of my most satisfying experiences as a teacher have come from helping struggling students to grasp difficult concepts, through a combination of individual conferences, class activities, and group discussion. I know I would thrive as a teacher in your college, due to your belief in small classroom size and individualized support for students.

Not only does my teaching experience suit the needs of your school and department, but my research interests also fit perfectly with your description of the ideal candidate. My dissertation project, “Ferns and Leaves: Nineteenth-Century Female Authorial Space,” examines the rise and development of American female authors in the 1840s and 1850s, with a particular focus on patterns of magazine publication. I argue that, rather than being submissive to the requirements of the editor or publisher, female authors, in fact, developed a more transparently reciprocal relationship between themselves and their readers than previously has been assumed. I apply recent print-culture and book-history theory to my readings of novels, magazine articles, letters, and diary entries by various female authors, with a particular focus on Sara Willis (known by her pseudonym Fanny Fern). I plan to develop my dissertation into a book manuscript and continue to research the role of female writers in antebellum magazine culture, with a particular focus on the rise and influence of female magazine editors on literary culture.

My research interests have both shaped and been shaped by my recent teaching experiences. Last spring, I developed and taught a course on the history of print culture in America. I combined readings on theory and literature that addressed issues of print with visits to local historical museums and archives. My students conducted in-depth studies on particular texts (magazines, newspapers, novels) for their final papers. I believe my interdisciplinary teaching style, particularly my emphasis on material culture, would fit in well with the interdisciplinary nature of your English department.

I am therefore confident that my teaching experience, my skill in working with ESL and LD students, and my research interests all make me an excellent candidate for the assistant professor of English position at ABC College. I have attached my curriculum vitae and the two requested sample publications. I would be happy to send you any additional materials such as letters of reference, teaching evaluations, and past and proposed course syllabi. I will be available to meet with you at either the MLA or C19 conference, or anywhere else at your convenience. Thank you so much for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.

Robin Applicant (hard copy letter)

Robin Applicant

Academic Cover Letter Example #2 (Text Version)

Betty Applicant 567 North Street, Boston, MA 02108 555-555.555 betty.applicant@email.com

Dr. Robert Smith Chair, Department of Biology Acme University 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Dr. Smith,

I am writing to apply for the position of Assistant Professor of Biology with a focus on molecular biology at XYZ University, as advertised in the March issue of Science. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of XYZ in the Department of Molecular Biology, working under the advisement of Professor Linda Smith. I am confident that my research interests and teaching experience make me an ideal candidate for your open position.

My current research project, which is an expansion on my dissertation, “[insert title here],” involves [insert research project here]. I have published my dissertation findings in Science Journal and am in the processing of doing the same with my findings from my current research. The laboratory resources at XYZ University would enable me to expand my research to include [insert further research plans here] and seek further publication.

Beyond my successes as a researcher (including five published papers and my current paper in process), I have had extensive experience teaching a variety of biology courses. As a graduate student at Science University, I served as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer for both biology and chemistry introductory courses and won the university award for outstanding teacher’s assistant. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of ABC, I have had the opportunity to teach Introduction to Biology as well as a graduate-level course, Historicizing Molecular Biology. In every class, I strive to include a blend of readings, media, lab work, and discussion to actively engage students with the material. I would love the opportunity to bring my award-winning lesson planning and teaching skills to your biology department.

I am confident that my research interests and experience combined with my teaching skills make me an excellent candidate for the Assistant Professor of Biology position at XYZ University. I have attached my curriculum vitae, three recommendations, and the two requested sample publications. I would be happy to send you any additional materials such as teaching evaluations or past and proposed course syllabi. I will be available to meet with you at the ASBMB conference or anywhere else at your convenience. Thank you so much for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.

Betty Applicant (hard copy letter)

Betty Applicant

It’s important to submit all your application materials in the format requested by the college or university. You may be asked to email, mail, or apply online via the institution’s applicant tracking system.

You may be required to provide references with your application, so be prepared to submit a list of references. The institution may also request transcripts, teaching evaluations, and writing samples.

Send only what is requested. There's no need to include information that the institution hasn't ask for.

However, you can offer to provide additional materials like writing samples, syllabi, and  letters of recommendation  in the last paragraph of your letter.

Follow the instructions in the job posting for submitting your application. It should specify what format the college wants to receive.

Here are some examples of what you may be asked to include with your cover letter and resume or CV:

  • A cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three references.
  • A cover letter (PDF format) of interest indicating your qualifications and reason for application, Curriculum Vitae (PDF format), and a minimum of three professional references, including phone and email contact information.
  • A letter of interest, a Curriculum Vitae, a teaching vision statement, a research vision statement that specifically indicates how you would interact with or collaborate with other department faculty, and three references.
  • A cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three references. Please upload these as ONE document in RTF, DOC or PDF format.

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  1. College Student Cover Letter

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  3. Sample College Application Letter

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COMMENTS

  1. How To Write a College Application Cover Letter (With Template)

    1. Write your name and street address. At the top of your cover letter, write your first and last name. On a separate line include your street address, followed by your city, state and zip code on another line. 2. Include the date. Below your contact information, write the date you plan on sending the cover letter.

  2. College Admission Letter Example: Free & Effective

    Example Introduction: "I am thrilled to submit my application for the [Program Name] at [College Name]. The innovative curriculum and the college's commitment to [specific aspect, like 'community service' or 'research excellence'] resonate deeply with my academic interests and personal values.".

  3. How to Write an Application Letter for University (+Sample Included)

    Use a proper salutation. Begin your college application letter with a formal salutation. The standard, in this case, is "Dear". Be sure to avoid informal salutations such as "Hey", "Hi", and "Hello". 💡 Tip: Do your best to personalize your university application letter in every way that you can.

  4. College Student Cover Letter Example (w/ Tips for 2024)

    Content. Top ↑ College Student Cover Letter Example 5 Steps for the Perfect College Student Cover Letter #1. Put Contact Information in the Header #2. Address the Hiring Manager #3. Write an Eye-Catching Opening Statement #4. Use the Cover Letter Body for the Details #5.

  5. College Application Letter

    Reading college application cover letter samples can help you determine this. While the college application essay format lends itself to focusing on one topic or story, college application cover letter examples highlight the importance of covering several different topics. College application letters should contain the following elements: 1.

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    Adaptable cover letter introduction example. Dear Mr. Vallant, As a student of organizational behavior and occupational psychology, I relish any opportunity to explore the human condition. Working as a research associate in your HR consultancy would offer a fascinating real-life perspective to my studies.

  7. College Cover Letter Examples and Templates for 2024

    2. Salutation. Address your recipient by name as in the first example below - this is the quickest way to show you're sending a job-specific letter and not a boilerplate. If you can't find the person's name, use a variation of "Dear Hiring Manager" so your greeting is still tailored somewhat to each job opening.

  8. College Student Cover Letter Sample

    Here are tips on how to format your cover letter properly: Include an introduction, two to three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Keep the font size between 10.5 and 12 points (be sure to choose a professional cover letter font). Make sure the margins are ½"-1" on all sides side. 3. Open with a strong introduction.

  9. College Application Cover Letter Examples

    Writing Your College Application Cover Letter. While the samples here are great starting points, you will need to adjust them to focus on your specific situation. You will need to include: Why you want to attend this particular school. What your academic interests are. How the school is a good fit for your academic interests and long-term goals.

  10. College Student Cover Letter Example & Writing Guide

    Sample Cover Letter for a College Student—Structure Checklist. Your contact info in a sharp header. The company's contact info. Dear (hiring manager's name) Paragraph #1: introduction and an achievement that's tailored to the job. Paragraph #2: key skills and why you fit the job. Paragraph #3: your passion + why you want in.

  11. 5 College Student Cover Letter Examples Working in 2024

    5 College Student Cover Letter Examples Working in 2024. 5 College Student Cover. Letter Examples Working in 2024. Stephen Greet March 7, 2024. Your education has equipped you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in any role you set your sights on. You perform excellent research, meet deadlines, and can handle data accurately.

  12. How to Write a Cover Letter for Scholarship (With Examples)

    Customize each scholarship application letter. When writing cover letters, it's the little touches that make all the difference. Once you've read a stack of cover letters (like the scholarship committee has), it becomes pretty easy to judge which ones are generic cover letters and which ones have been tailored to an individual scholarship.

  13. PDF Cover Letters for Academic Positions

    A cover letter must accompany and be tailored to any application you submit. STEM letters should not exceed one page. Humanities and social sciences letters may extend up to two pages. Check with faculty in your department. Address to the individual named in the job posting, or with "Dear Members of the Search Committee." The cover letter ...

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  15. Academic Cover Letter Sample

    Academic Cover Letter Sample. November 2, 1998. Dr. Naomi Sellers. Chair, English Search Committee. Box 58. Baxter College. Arcadia, WV 24803. Dear Dr. Sellers: I am writing to apply for the position as assistant professor of English with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition that you advertised in the October MLA Job Information List.

  16. How to Write an Academic Cover Letter With Examples

    Academic Cover Letter Example #1 (Text Version) Robin Applicant 123 Main Street, Anytown, CA 12345 555-555.5555 [email protected]. April 5, 2021. Dr. Sylvia Lee Chair, English Department Search Committee Acme College 123 Business Rd. Charlotte, NC 28213. Dear Dr. Sylvia Lee,

  17. College Student Cover Letter Sample & Tips

    Hiring Manager's Name. 341 Company Address. San Antonio, Texas, 78006. (xxx)xxx-xxxx. [email protected]. Dear [Hiring Manager's Name], My name is [YOUR NAME], and I found your post looking for marketing interns on the Mays Business School bulletin board yesterday. I'm a fourth year marketing student at Texas A&M, where I've had ...

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  19. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    Mission. The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives.