Preparing a cover letter as a recent graduate comes with its own challenges, mostly because you have very limited work experience – a major selling point for job applicants. Since you can’t flaunt the ‘many years’ you have been in the business, you have to work extra hard to convince a prospective employer that you would make a great addition to their team. This article tells you everything you need to know to do that and join the workforce.
What Is a Recent Graduate Cover Letter?
A recent graduate cover letter is a professional document prepared by people who have recently graduated from college and are looking for employment. It is an extension of the writer’s resume and highlights their previous professional experiences, college activities, and skills. Generally, it is intended to convince an employer to hire you despite your lack of work experience.
A recent graduate cover letter – like any other document – comprises the introduction, body, and closing. Here is a breakdown of what elements these segments should contain:
1. Introductory Paragraph
The introductory paragraph should contain:
- A statement expressing your interest in the company and job position
- Your sources, i.e., from where you learned about the job listing
- A connection to the company, e.g., a current employee that can support your application.
2. Body Paragraphs
- The body should focus on how you will benefit the team
- It should entail:A brief description of your college major
- A description of how your experiences, internships, and college studies make you a qualified applicant
- An explanation of how you will benefit the company
3. Closing Paragraph
Lastly, the closing should reiterate your interest in the job and thank the reader. It should also politely request a follow-up interview.
Sample Recent Graduate Cover Letter
2 August 2031
200 Adams Street
San Diego, CA 54500
Dear Mr. David Wolfowitz,
I, Jenna King, am writing to apply for the paralegal position at your law firm Wolfowitz, Wolfowitz, and Reese. I am a recent graduate (January 2031) in BSc. in Law from California School of Law. Having read your job posting, I am confident that I am the right person for the job.
I developed an interest in the US legal system at an early age and have been visiting my father’s law firm since I was 12 years old. During off periods from school, I worked at the Law Offices of Joel King as a case assistant, filing papers and writing up legal documents. My passion for the field has never wavered, and I believe this experience puts me in a great position to add value to your team.
I am a fast learner and very studious in my work, and I look forward to learning from you. My attention to detail and timeliness will go a long way in ensuring the timely and accurate completion of projects. Please consider me for this position.
Thank you for your time.
Recent Graduate Cover Letter (Word Template)
How to Write
Writing a good Recent Graduate Cover Letter doesn’t have to be difficult just because you don’t have formal work experience. Here is a guide to help you convince an employer to hire you:
Step 1: Identify the Recipient
Start by indicating the current date and sender and recipient addresses at the top of the document. When writing the salutation, use the correct title and address the hiring manager by name.
Step 2: State the Job Position
Identify the job position for which you are applying and tell the reader how you learned about it. For example, ‘I am writing to apply for the position of IT Assistant at ABC Company, which I learned about through a newspaper listing.’
Step 3: Express Your Interest
In a brief statement, tell the reader that you are enthusiastic about the position and explain why. Express genuine interest and show that you know more about the company.
Step 4: Highlight Your Skills
Next, emphasize your internships and seasonal work experiences that demonstrate your employability. Avoid focusing on your college coursework and merits.
Step 5: Relate Your Skills to the Job Position
Help the employer see how your qualifications and experiences make you a suitable candidate for the job position and emphasize what you will offer the company.
Step 6: Request an Interview
In the last paragraph, express your interest in having a one-on-one interview with the employer in one statement. Some phrases you can use include:
- I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience.
- I am eager to discuss the job position with you further
Step 7: Close Your Letter
Lastly, reiterate your interest, thank the employer, and sign under your typed name.
Tips for Writing a Recent Graduate Cover Letter
- Study the job description and include the skills and experiences mentioned there in your cover letter. This will help the employer see that you meet their requirements.
- Focus on the employer and how your presence in the company will help them.
- Highlight the experiences and skills that set you apart as a great candidate for the job and don’t over-rely on your college merits.
- Research the company offering the job in advance and talk about specific things you know about it in the letter. You can even express interest in a given department or research team.
- Read your cover letter thoroughly and edit it for any grammatical or spelling errors. Consider asking someone else, e.g., your career coach, to read it too.
- Keep your cover letter short and precise and use easy-to-understand language.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, it will depend on your career, but the standard length is three years after graduation. After this duration, you can now use your prior professional experience to contend for the next job.
The average college graduate will take three to six months to get a job after graduation. However, this duration varies greatly from field to field and depending on your job-seeking strategies.
A recent graduate cover letter should do more than express your interest in a job position. It should also market you as a great asset to the company that will hire you by highlighting your unique skills and qualifications. To do this, the letters should be tailored to the job position. It should answer the needs of the employer and tell them what you will add to their team.