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First Time Job Seeker Cover Letter

Cover Letter Examples for Students and Recent Graduates

The following cover letters and cover letter templates are designed especially for high school students, as well as for college students and recent graduates seeking employment.

If you're a student or a new grad, you may not have much experience in the workforce. This can make building a resume and writing a cover letter challenging. After all, if you haven't worked previously, what information can you include in these two documents?

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

Fortunately, on-the-job experience is not the only thing that shows your abilities. You can also mention volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in clubs or activities, and internships. Your academic background is also an asset. Include details that are relevant to the position you want (use the job description as your guide to the qualities and training the employer seeks).

If you are an honors student with a GPA higher than 3.5, it is a good idea to mention this on a cover letter as well, along with any honors societies you have been inducted into.

Another things you can mention are soft skills – interpersonal “people” skills like creative thinking, communication, team work, or time management that will help you to adapt easily to the people and clients or customers you will be working with.

Your goal in this cover letter is to show how you would be an asset to the company, describing the skills you bring that would allow you to perform well in the position.

Below, you'll find a list of student cover letters, listed by position and level of experience, to help you develop your own cover letter. 

Sample Student / Recent Graduate Cover Letters

Cover Letter Templates
Before you can begin writing your cover letter, it's important to know the guidelines governing these letters.

Unlike a casual email to a friend, there are set standards for how to greet recipients, organize the letter's content, and much more.

That's where templates can help: they allow you to know what information to put where, and they help you format your letter correctly. Review the templates below: 

Student and Recent Graduate Cover Letter Samples

This list of cover letters includes both general examples that will help you format your letter, as well as sample cover letters used to apply for specific positions, such as roles as a nanny or a marketing assistant.

Do not copy these sample letters — instead, use them as a guide to help you know what kind of information to include, and how to format your letter. 

Cover Letter Writing Tips

Cover Letter Writing Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to write a cover letter, including what to include in the letter, how to write it, and the proper cover letter format.

Plus, find out about how to write a targeted cover letter and browse through additional cover letter samples and examples.

Cover Letter Tips
Here are cover letter tips and techniques for writing top notch cover letters to send with your resume, including cover letter format and presentation, choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, and cover letter examples and templates.

You know cover letters are important. But as a first time job seeker, you may be scratching your head as to what to write about. With undeniable inexperience in the workplace, you may feel you’re at a disadvantage. However, consider yourself lucky when it comes to writing your cover letter. You’re free from the burden of trying to wrestle with your past achievements, professional goals and somehow offer a value proposition to the firm. What you have on your side is excitement, enthusiasm and openness!

Here are a few key things to remember about cover letters and how to personalize them as a first time job seeker:

1. Tell a story.

You want to convey something personal about why you want to work at the company or enter a particular profession. Did you first fall in love with advertising when you finally understood that commercials play into our basic desires as humans driving you to create your own with your friends? Is there one particular commercial you’ll never forget? Whatever it is, you have a story to tell that is uniquely yours. Share this with the reader to grab their attention and offer something memorable.

2. Play Up Your Strengths.

While you may not have had a chance to let them shine in a professional setting, your strengths have certainly become evident in other ways. Are you a great public speaker? Do you think quickly on your feet? Maybe you learned you had these skills during the 8th grade play when the lead froze and you shocked yourself and your class by improvising to save the show. Maybe this moment was a defining one for you – one that made it clear you wanted to further develop your public speaking skills.

3. Be authentic.

Recruiters are used to reading cover letters of more experienced candidates. Usually, they all sound relatively the same. “I’m writing to submit my resume for your Account Director role. I have been a sales leader at every organization I’ve worked for, and I’m sure to bring the same success to your firm.” Blah, Blah, Blah. Don’t feel compelled to sound too formal. While you want to remain professional, that doesn’t mean your cover letters should lack personality.

4. Never use the same cover letter twice.

Of course there are a few exceptions, but remember, the jobs may be the same but the companies are different. They have their own mission and culture. Think of it like sending a message to someone’s dating profile. Do you think you’d have more success by sending the same blanket email to all your potential dates, or by personalizing each note showing you’ve taken the time to really understand what they’re about? Show them you’ve done your research! Why do you want to work for advertising agency X as opposed to agency Y? They’re both ad agencies, but they have different clients, put out different commercials and have different creative styles. Being able to articulate why you’re specifically interested in their company will make all the difference.