- Graduate School
Graduate School Cover Letter Examples
With writing tips and a step-by-step guide.
Looking at graduate school cover letter examples is a good idea if you plan on applying to a graduate school program, as you may be required to include a cover letter with your CV for graduate school and other application components. Even though it is not a required document for all grad school programs, a well-written graduate school cover letter can help you stand out to the admissions committee and improve your chances of being accepted into your chosen program. This is especially true if you are applying to a highly selective institution or trying to get into graduate school with a low GPA.
This blog will discuss everything you need to know about writing a cover letter for graduate school. You will learn why cover letters are important, learn tips to make your graduate school cover letter stand out, and you will get to review cover letter samples that will inspire you to write your own.
>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<
Article Contents 10 min read
What is a graduate school cover letter.
A graduate school cover letter is a brief letter that applicants attach to their graduate school application. Much like a work cover letter, such as a research assistant cover letter , for example, graduate school cover letters are meant to introduce you and your application to the reader. They give you an opportunity to make an excellent first impression, tell the admission committee that you are interested in their graduate school program and why you believe it is a good fit for you.
Graduate school cover letters have become less popular as graduate schools typically ask students to fill out their personal information and submit materials online. If you are sending specific application materials or your entire application by mail, then you will need to include a graduate school cover letter. Additionally, a few institutions, like the University of Illinois graduate college, for example, require students to submit a graduate school cover letter with their application, even when it is online.
Furthermore, even when a graduate program does not explicitly ask for a cover letter, including a well-written and informative letter can help differentiate you from the other students by leaving a lasting impression on the admission committee, thus increasing your chances of admission. That said, before you start writing a cover letter for such a program, you should verify the school's admissions website to ensure that the school accepts additional documents.
It should also be noted that many graduate students look for work and research opportunities at the school that they will be attending. If that is the case for you, then you will need a graduate school cover letter with your application for that school-related internship, job, or research opportunity. For example, if you’re interested in conducting research with a specific professor while you complete your master’s, then it would be a good idea to send them your application with a cover letter attached so that you can communicate your suitability for their research project.
Graduate school cover letters are academic letters, meaning that they need to be formatted in a way that is professional, clear, and concise. Your graduate school cover letter should be no longer than a page, written in a classic font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman or Calibri, sized 11 or 12.
The text of your letter should be organized and separated into paragraphs. Keep in mind that your letter may go through several readers, and not all of them may be experts in the field you intend to study, so do not use overly technical language or industry-specific jargon. Keep your language succinct, clear, and consistent throughout the letter.
Lastly, your letter needs to provide a quick introduction to you as a candidate and pique the reader's interest so that they want to read the rest of your application. This means that you should not use your cover letter to list all of the experiences and skills that make you perfect for this graduate program. Simply express your interest in the program, select one or two experiences, skills, or values to focus on, and relate those to your suitability for the program you're applying for.
Wondering how to get into grad school with a lower GPA?
Step 1: Brainstorm & plan
The first thing you want to do before you start working on your cover letter, or any graduate school admission essay, is make a plan. Think about what you want to say in your cover letter and write it down. Remember that you only have a few paragraphs to work with, and you do not want to repeat information from your personal statement or other application components.
Once you know what you want your cover letter to say, organize it so that it flows nicely, and it is easy to follow. Your graduate school cover letter should follow the structure of a typical letter. It should have an introductory paragraph, the main body, and a closing paragraph.
Step 2: Address your letter
As mentioned earlier, your graduate school cover letter is, in fact, a letter! Therefore, you should begin by addressing it the way you would in a formal letter. Write your full name and mailing address at the very top. We also recommend including your email address and phone number, but this is optional. On the following line, write out the date, and then write the recipient's name (typically, this is the name of the head of the department or just the name of the school you are applying to) and their address. You should verify the school's admissions webpage for this information. If it is unclear and you are unsure whom to address in the letter, contact the school and ask for this information to ensure that your documents get to the right person.
This first section of your letter should follow this template:
1234 Imaginary Lane
NameofCity, TN 34421
December 12, 20XX
Dr. John Smith
Department of Psychology
BeMo Academic University
66 University Circle
NameofCity, TN 34457
Once again, because this is a formal letter, you want to open your letter with the appropriate greeting or a personal salutation. If you have the name of a specific recipient, you can use the most common salutation for graduate school cover letters, which is "Dear [recipient's name]." Do not forget to include the recipient's title if you have it. If you do not have the name of a specific recipient, then you can simply address the letter "To Whom It May Concern".
Step 4: Introduce yourself and express your interest in the graduate program
The reader will already have your name at the top of the page, but your introductory paragraph should tell them why you're writing this graduate school cover letter. You should use it to state your interest in your chosen graduate program and briefly mention your academic background and accomplishments thus far.
Take a look at this example for context:
I am pleased to submit my application for the Master of Applied Psychology program at X university. As a recent psychology graduate of YZ university, this graduate program is the perfect next step toward achieving my goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Step 5: Talk about your suitability for this program
This is the main body of your graduate school cover letter. You should try to limit this to one paragraph, but you can use up to two of them if necessary. You should briefly touch on why you chose this particular school and program, what skills you have that have prepared you for this program, and what makes you an ideal applicant.
You can talk about what you intend to do after this degree or specific professors and faculty members you wish to work with. The information you share here will be personal, so there is no golden template. Just ensure that it is written in an organized fashion that is easy to read and understand.
Step 6: Conclude and close your letter
In your last paragraph, make sure you thank the recipient for their time and consideration. You should also encourage them to reach out to you if they need additional information, or if they have any questions. Then finally, You can close your cover letter with a warm, professional closing salutation. "Sincerely" or "Warm Regards" followed by your name are some acceptable closing salutations you can use.
Step 7: List enclosed documents
This section of your graduate school cover letter will look different depending on the school you are applying to, and the application format used. If you are applying by mail, you should list the enclosed documents in the same envelope as your cover letter. If you are applying online or by email, verify that all of the documents listed on your cover letter are attached and ready to send.
This section should be at the very bottom of the page. It should list the documents in a bullet point format, in the order in which they are enclosed. The list should look something like this:
- Program application form
- Statement of purpose
- Academic transcripts
Letters of recommendation
Graduate school cover letter examples
Graduate school cover letter example #1.
1234 Dream St.
Winnipeg, MB R3J 8T6
August 12, 20xx
Dr. Trevor Thorne
Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media
Toronto, ON M4C 2Y9
Dear Dr. Thorne,
I am excited to submit my application for consideration for the English literature master's program at BeMo Academic University. I have spent the past four years learning the basics of literature analysis through my bachelor's degree in the field, and I am eager to take this next step in my educational journey in order to further my training.
My undergraduate studies allowed me to explore and learn about different forms of literature from around the world. Still, I often found myself drawn to the impressive works of Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte, and many other great English writers. I had the opportunity to study in London for a year, where I attended a seminar on the impact of Charlotte Bronte's work on modern feminism led by none other than Prof. Jane Smith. She is one of the many brilliant professors in the English, Theatre, Film & Media department at BeMo that I hope to learn from.
You will find enclosed the required application documents, including my academic CV, which provides more information on the research I have been able to do and publish so far in my short academic career. I am especially interested in the role that authors such as William Shakespeare played in the development of modern English, and I wish to explore that further through research. I feel that the rigorous curriculum this program offers will inform my future writing and research efforts, and allow me to achieve my goals.
Thank you for your time, attention, and consideration. It is truly appreciated. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information.
Program application form
Statement of purpose
Official undergraduate transcripts
102-9876 Mainland Rd.
New Haven, CT 44567
April 8, 20XX
University of BeMo
175 Academy lane
New York, NY 34567
To whom it may concern,
It is my pleasure to submit my application for the Master's degree in Early Childhood Development in the Psychology department at The University of BeMo. I am currently completing my bachelor's degree in psychology and plan to graduate in the fall. Since my goal is to pursue a career as an educational psychologist, this particular program is the perfect next step toward achieving my goal.
My undergraduate degree includes coursework in childhood psychology, special needs education, school and family crisis intervention, and many other courses that have given me the basics required to keep up with the thorough coursework that awaits me in your rigorous program.
I have also gained valuable knowledge in the field through shadowing and internships in different schools in my community. Observing other child educators at work confirmed that this is the right career path for me, and it motivated me anew to learn how I can best help children develop a love of learning from the early stages of their educational careers. I know that there is only so much I can learn from observing, and the fact that this program provides six months of hands-on training is one of the many reasons why I am hoping to be a student at BeMo next year.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information or documents. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Research Interest Statement
Cover letters are supposed to be a brief introduction to your application, so unless otherwise specified by the school, they should not be longer than one page. We recommend sticking to three to four paragraphs, as this is long enough to share substantial information without losing your audience. Keep in mind that your reader will also be reviewing your other application components, so you do not need to address everything in this one letter. The information in your other application components, such as your statement of purpose , will complement your cover letter. So, treat your cover letter like a summary of your candidacy; keep it short but impactful.
Have you started working your graduate school CV? Check out this video for tips:
Be genuine & professional
The individual or committee that will review your application will probably be people that help run the program you're applying to. It is, therefore, best that they get a sense of who you genuinely are. Communicate honestly and let your personality shine through. This will help make your cover letter more memorable. That said, keep in mind that this is a professional document and that genuine does not mean informal or unprofessional. Your tone should still be courteous and consistent throughout the letter.
Proofread & edit carefully
We cannot stress how important this is. Remember that your graduate school cover letter will be one of, if not the first, document that the admissions committee will see from your application. You do not want their first impression of you to be negative. Your letter should be easy to read and follow, and it should be error-free.
Take the time to review your letter multiple times and edit for flow, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and typos. Better yet, reach out to a grad school essay tutor for assistance. They can review your cover letter and help you edit it to make sure it is up to par.
Grad school essay tutors can also help you with other tricky written application components, such as grad school career goals statements . So, do not hesitate to contact one if you need grad school application help. ","label":"Bonus tip","title":"Bonus tip"}]' code='tab1' template='BlogArticle'>
It is a brief letter that you attach to your graduate school application. This letter should state your interest in the program, and briefly explain why you chose it, as well as why you are a good fit for it.
Many programs do not request graduate school cover letters, but they are more common than most people think. Additionally, several programs accept grad school cover letters even when not required, so you can still submit a cover letter to help your application stand out.
That depends on the program that you are applying to. Some schools may request a cover letter for online applications, and others may not require one, but they allow students to submit them as an optional component.
Graduate school cover letters are not replacements for admission essays like a personal statement or statement of intent . So if your school requires a graduate school cover letter, do not assume that this means you will not have to write any grad school admission essays.
Unless you are given the name of a specific member of the admission committee, you should address your graduate school cover letter to the "Admissions team," "[subject] Head of Department," or "To Whom It May Concern."
You can make your graduate school cover letter stand out by making sure your personality shines through in your writing, telling a short anecdote or interesting fact about you in the body of the letter, and detailing your relevant skills and experience.
Graduate school can be pretty competitive, but the level of competition depends on the specific program you will be applying to. Some programs have acceptance rates as high as 60%, while others admit less than 10% of applicants.
Graduate school advisors are admission experts who help students plan and prepare for graduate school applications.
Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!
Like our blog? Write for us ! >>
Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions, get started now.
Talk to one of our admissions experts
FREE Training Webinar:
How to make your grad school application stand out, (and avoid the top 5 mistakes that get most rejected).
Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:
We guarantee you'll get into grad school or you don't pay.
Swipe up to see a great offer!
- Graduate Cover Letter
- Career Advice
Graduate Cover Letter Template
If an employer requests a CV to apply for a vacancy you should always include a graduate cover letter. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and explain your suitability for the role. You must take time over your cover letter and make sure they are immaculate. Spell checkers are not enough. Be sure to use the cover letter examples provided to give you the best chance of grabbing your dream job!
Writing a graduate cover letter
What is a cover letter? It's an accompanying document to your graduate CV and often they are an important method of communication. They can provide an informal and friendly view of personal events to people, or they can be formal documents offering factual information to people you have not met. This is your chance to tell them what skills you have and why you want to work specifically for that company. Unlike email, letters are tangible and layout is as important as content.
Graduate cover letters have a standard format and this is shown in the cover letter examples attached. If you are writing to a named person then it is 'Yours sincerely', if you write 'Dear Sir/Madam' the correct ending is 'Yours faithfully'.
A graduate cover letter should:
- Introduce them to your personality and your commitment to them
- Give compelling examples of your suitability to the company as well as the role
- Make references to key requirements they look for
- Suggest there is even more to learn about you over a call or in person
- Make the employer want to talk to you
- Demonstrate your written communication skills
Some golden rules
Never put anything in your cover letter that cannot be backed by your graduate CV or application form. The human resources staff will look for discrepancies and for any mistakes that show a lack of attention to detail. Also anything you write can be brought up during graduate interviews , so make sure you can back up what you write with good examples. Don’t forget it is actually a criminal offence to lie on your cover letter for a CV, so always be honest but convincing about what you know or the skills you have.
There are some conventions about letters of application. Generally letters sent with CVs or graduate job applications should:
- be addressed to a named person;
- state why you are writing, what you are applying for and what you are currently doing;
- flag up the most important/relevant thing you want the employer to know about you;
- use eye catching key words that the employer is likely to be looking for. You can work it out by thinking about the job spec and by doing your research;
- refer the reader to your CV or job application form;
- show that you know something about the company;
- make a connection between your skills and abilities, and company needs or wants;
- identify the career you are seeking;
- be reasonably brief.
Remember if the covering letter for a job application is poor, the employer may not bother to read your CV. This also applies to application forms as well so remember this keeps you in the race for the job, it is essential to not stumble at the first hurdle.
Attached are two examples of cover letters of a job application. Both are acceptable. Use these examples only as a guideline; your covering letter should show your originality and if you are serious about working for a particular company it should not be difficult to adapt these examples. Our cover letter guide is to help you start writing your own letter, so yours should be bespoke to the company. You're telling them you want to work for them specifically and anything generic will only decrease your chances. Remember, you will have to justify what you say and why you said it at a job interview.
Format of a graduate cover letter:
The personal statement can be used as a heading to a CV or as an additional statement on an application form.
The personal statement is not solely for telling the employer what a great person you are, it is about telling the employer what you hope to achieve in the future, that you will fit into their structure and you have transferable skills which will be useful for them. This is your chance to show what you have found out about the company and why you want to work for them. Even more important is to show why you would be a good asset for the team. For example:
"My career objective is to enter research in the ... industry. I have demonstrated strong research skills during university project work and much of my experience has been within a team environment. I am able to take responsibility for my own work as well as being able to demonstrate leadership when required. Meeting deadlines has been a consistent part of my academic and working life and I have learned how to communicate with people in situations which require tact. My academic skills have given me the ability to communicate effectively on paper as well as through presentations."
The personal profile reflects the type of person you are. It offers the employer a taste of your character and your goals, and many CVs use a skills profile. Show why you think this role is perfect for you. For example:
"I am an outgoing person who can talk to people at all levels and have been complimented on my ability to listen to other people. I can take responsibility for my own work and my own goals, but I also enjoy working with other people to reach a common goal. Reflection is an important part of my personality and this has led me to develop a strong feeling for detail without losing sight of the whole picture. ... holds strong fascination for me and my objective is to work in research within this field."
"My academic and work experience has taught me to work well with other people and to take responsibility for my own work. I have an outgoing personality and am keenly interested in good health through exercise and diet. One of my most important assets is my ability to listen to people."
Skills profile identifies your competence in a variety of skills and these can be shown through bullet points or by a short sentence linked to specific skills. Keep this concise, but include everything relating to the job spec. They will want to see as many directly relatable skills to the job as possible. For example:
"During my academic study and work experience I have developed skills such as:
- problem solving
- time management (etc)"
Or you might support them with a short sentence, for example:
My university project work has demanded that I undertake investigation into a specific topic and analyse the information before putting recommendations forward in a presentation."
During my time at university I have undertaken full-time study, part-time paid work and enjoyed my sport with the basketball team. I have prioritised each of these activities successfully."
The best skills to write about are the ones that have achieved something positive. Any examples you have that a skill you applied to hit a target or anything positive will stand out on a cover letter. The main thing is that it must be concise. Let them see why they should want meet you, so make it personal and tailored towards their business. Whatever style you adopt remember what you say in your profile is open for questioning at an interview.
Email cover letters
When submitting a cover letter for a job applications there are a few things that you must remember to check. Firstly check that your cover letter and CV, for that matter, is attached. Be careful and check the formatting of the email and cover letter. Ensuring the font is the same all the way through. Try to keep the font consistent throughout your CV, cover letter and email. This will just look more professional. Make sure your read the job specification when applying; they may want something specific in the email subject.
The final advice
- make your graduate cover letter tailored to the company.
- make it concise.
- make it persuasive and eye catching.
- proof read. Read it once, then read it again and then read it again. If possible get someone else to read it for you to catch every little typo or grammatical error.
- use an appropriate format; it must look professional i.e. for business purposes.
- make it generic.
- waffle! Think about what is relevant to the company and particularly the actual position/role.
- make it more than one side of A4.
- leave errors that will make it easy for the company to reject your application.
- forget to put the address of the company at the top of the cover letter and to sign it with you name. It is a formal letter so it must be in the correct format.
Opt for a creative approach
It is diffiuclt to make your application stand out from the crowd. However, in some instances you could opt for a creative approach! Take this example bellow of an applicant using a spotify playlist to apply! This may not be appropiate to use in some applications however it is some food for thought.
Latest Blog Posts
Work Hard, Play Hard: Balancing Your Time Like a Pro
Whether you are a first year faced with your first assessment period, a returning student starting to branch out to other commitments or in your final year trying to do it all before your university...
Making a U-Turn: Why Setbacks Can Be a Blessing in Disguise
A few weeks ago I stood in Greek heat peeking my nose over a hotel wall. What should have evoked happy holiday memories of six years earlier jogged something quite depressing instead.
‘The scene of...
What Are Friendship Green Flags At University?
One in every five UK students say they don’t have a ‘true friend’ at University, according to a survey of more than 12,000 second and third years nationally. So what qualities should you look for in a...
- Graduate CV
- Graduate Self Assessment
- Graduate Job Applications
- Personal Branding
- How To Make a Graduate Video CV
- Graduate Psychometric Testing
- Following Up Graduate Job Applications
- Graduate Assessment Centres
- When to Apply for UK Graduate Jobs
Login and apply now.
- Français (CA)
You control your data
Choose type of cookies to accept
These cookies give you access to a customized experience of our products. Personalization cookies are also used to deliver content, including ads, relevant to your interests on our Site and third-party sites based on how you interact with our advertisements or content as well as track the content you access (including video viewing). We may also collect password information from you when you log in, as well as computer and/or connection information. During some visits, we may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, download errors, time spent on certain pages and page interaction information.
These cookies are placed by third-party companies to deliver targeted content based on relevant topics that are of interest to you. And allow you to better interact with social media platforms such as Facebook.
These cookies are essential for the Site's performance and for you to be able to use its features. For example, essential cookies include: cookies dropped to provide the service, maintain your account, provide builder access, payment pages, create IDs for your documents and store your consents.
To see a detailed list of cookies, click here .
- Cover Letter Examples
- Cover Letter for Graduate School: Sample & How to Write It
Cover Letter for Graduate School: Sample & How to Write It
You’ve found the graduate program you’ve been searching for. Everything else is ready and in order. Last thing to do before sending it off—a perfect graduate school cover letter.
As seen in:
Maybe it’s Africana studies, molecular genetics, or environmental management.
Whatever the focus, you need a cover letter great enough to get you a meeting with the grad school admissions committee.
This grad school cover letter guide will show you:
- A graduate school cover letter sample perfect for grad school applications.
- Examples of the ideal components on a cover letter for graduate school applications.
- Tips for using the small space in a grad program cover letter most effectively.
- How to write a cover letter for grad school sure to appease the admissions committee.
Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.
Create your cover letter now
Sample cover letter for a resume— See more cover letter examples and create your cover letter here .
Do you always need a cover letter for graduate school?
Many schools don’t require it, opting for a statement of purpose instead. But—
Always check your prospective school’s webpage for the required graduate application materials. Sometimes a grad school cover letter might be compulsory — just like a graduate school resume .
Writing a different academia-related cover letter? Check out these dedicated guides:
- Academic Cover Letter Sample
- Academic Advisor Cover Letter Sample
- Education Advisor Cover Letter Sample
- Research Assistant Cover Letter Sample
- Postdoc Cover Letter Sample
- Teacher Cover Letter Sample
- Teaching Assistant Cover Letter Sample
- Biology Cover Letter Sample
- Formal Cover Letter Sample
Want to explore your options further? See our full selection of cover letter examples for every career: Best Cover Letter Examples.
To start things off, here’s Zety’s example of a grad school cover letter:
Graduate School Cover Letter Sample
Gabrielle Fernandes Costa
1505 Southern Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
June 30, 2019
Dr. Isabelle Holmes
Department of Physical Sciences
The State University of New York at Stony Brook
100 Nicolls Rd.
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Dear Dr. Holmes,
With great pleasure, I would like to submit my application for the Master of Science In Geography program at the Department of Physical Sciences at SUNY Stony Brook. After recently completing my bachelor’s studies, this graduate program is the perfect path forward for me towards my goal of joining the Arctic Research Institute.
As a graduate of Brown University’s Bachelor of Science in Geological & Earth Sciences program, I was fortunate enough to be mentored by some of the greatest minds in these fields. Under their tutelage, I’ve honed my observational and analytical skills, as well as my knowledge of report-taking and reading measurements. I also had the life-changing experience of working with the preeminent polar explorer, Dr. Gilford, on her summer quantifying the rapidly receding coastline of the Queen Elizabeth Islands.
Below my signature, you’ll find the application documents requested from me from the university website. If there is anything further from me you need, please give me a call, and I’ll get to it right away. Thank you very much for your time and consideration of my graduate school application.
- Graduate Admission Application
- Undergraduate Transcripts
- Statement of Purpose
- Standardized Test Scores
- Personal Statement / Essay
- 2x Reference Letters
That was our sample cover letter for graduate school programs.
Here’s how to write your cover letter for graduate school:
1. Address Your Grad School Cover Letter Correctly
A cover letter for grad school may not be identical to one for job applications.
They still follow a similar format, which means you begin at the top with a formal header and address.
Here’s how to address a cover letter for grad programs the right way:
Jason J. Davenport
832 Chatham Way
Washington, MD 20008
June 15, 2019
Dr. Margaret J. Waller
Department of Psychology
Golden Gate University
536 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
You list your name and address first, leave a space, then follow it by the date you’re writing or submitting this grad school cover letter.
Then, leave a space again before addressing the graduate program director or other person who will decide on your admittance.
Use their name and title, then the academic department they’re in, and finally the university name and address.
The address on a graduate school program cover letter is probably the easiest portion of the whole writing process.
If you don’t add it correctly, you might turn the admissions committee member off before they even start reading!
Pro Tip : We told you to check your school’s specific requirements to see if you need a cover letter at all. However, if you do need one, they could have a particular way to format it or ask you to include a special statement ( here’s an example from Drexel ). Always read carefully!
Looking for more strategies for formatting a cover letter? Read this guide: Cover Letter Format
2. Introduce Yourself First on a Graduate School Cover Letter
Before we get to the good stuff, segue into the cover letter intro with a simple cover letter salutation.
Here are two grad school cover letter greeting examples:
As you can guess, the wrong one is because it doesn’t address someone specifically.
One look at it, and they’ll toss your graduate school application out with window.
Always address the person directly!
Pro Tip : Scour the university’s website to find the graduate program administrator. Another option is to use LinkedIn—it doesn’t have to be only for job seekers.
We continue with your introduction paragraph.
On a cover letter for graduate school admission, the first paragraph should:
- briefly introduce you and state your interest in applying,
- list the graduate program you’re aiming to take part in, and
- give a few basic details about your academic background thus far.
Here are two cover letter examples for graduate school opening statements:
The first example does seem captivating, at first, but a graduate school application is not a place to be informal. On top of that, it doesn’t specify the program you’re applying to.
In the second example, all that changes.
It’s short, tailored, direct, and it is academically professional—
Just the kind of intro they want.
Pro Tip : Another option, if you’re stuck on content for your intro, is to explain how you found out about this graduate certificate or master’s program. Did a professor recommend you? Perhaps it was promoted at a conference? They’d be interested to find out!
Want more examples of cover letter openings? See this guide: How to Start a Cover Letter: 20+ Great Opening Lines & Paragraphs
3. Explain Your Purpose for Applying to This Particular Graduate Program
You’ve explained your interest in a particular program, and they see that you can see yourself there.
Make it clear to the supervisor or admissions board member that you belong there.
The body of a cover letter for graduate program applications should include:
- More information on your undergraduate academic studies.
- A few examples of skills you’ve acquired relevant to this grad program.
- Any experience gained which is applicable to your graduate program.
Here are two sample cover letters for graduate schools (body section):
How about that?
The first one:
- is way too short
- lists irrelevant skills (we’re applying for a geography program here), and
- doesn’t give appropriate experience.
The second example is a winner, and it shows you are, as well.
Pro Tip : Name-dropping on a grad school cover letter can be risky business. While it’s more than appropriate to name one or two professors or other academics, don’t exceed that. Too many names dropped drops your chances. Also, only mention people relevant to your program.
Need more tips for cover letter greatness? Check this post out: 35+ Successful Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines (With Examples)
4. Close the Cover Letter for Graduate School Succinctly
You’re just about there.
You’ve explained to them what makes you a great candidate for this particular grad program, and you’ve given skills and experience to support it.
Now, let’s wrap it up.
Here are two grad school cover letter examples of closing statements:
Here, though you’re excited for the opportunity, remain professional. It’s a graduate school, so lose the exclamation marks and ditch the informalty.
Pro Tip : Don’t use the last paragraph to include any more points which support your application. If they’re crucial, add them in the previous paragraph. Save this one for a simple thank you and conclusion.
Want to see more great examples of cover letter endings? Check out this article: How to End a Cover Letter [20+ Examples of Great Closing Paragraphs]
5. Sign Off With a List of Enclosed Grad Program Application Documents
To close it off, simply add a valediction (or complimentary close) and your name:
If you will hand-sign this document, add additional spacing to allow for your signature.
The list of enclosed documents:
Some grad school applicants choose to add a sentence detailing their enclosed documents in the closing paragraph. That’s fine, as well, as long as you include it.
Pro Tip : List your enclosed materials in descending order of importance, usually the way they list it on the university or graduate school’s website.
Looking for a perfect template for your reference pages? Have a look at this article: How to List References on a Resume
A cover letter without a strong graduate school resume (or CV) won’t mean a thing.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a professional resume template here for free .
When you’re done, our online resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.
So, there you have it—
Here’s what you need to include on a cover letter for graduate school:
- Your name and full mailing address.
- The date of the cover letter’s writing.
- The name of the professor you’re writing to.
- The department, school, and school’s address.
- A brief introduction paragraph proclaiming your interest.
- A quick background of your education and experience.
- Skills and other factors which support your application.
- A thank you and a short ending paragraph.
- A list of all your enclosed documents for their convenience.
Do you have a specific grad school cover letter scenario not mentioned here? Need help on your cover letter for graduate school applications? Raise your hand by shooting us over a comment in the space below. Thanks for reading!
About Zety’s Editorial Process
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines . We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.
Don't miss out on exclusive stories that will supercharge your career!
Get a weekly dose of inspiration delivered to your inbox
Best Resume Templates in 2023 (10+ Picks to Use Now)
The best resume templates aren't just about fancy looks. They have to be sleek and professional. Their layout needs to show off your value. Here's what'll help.
How to Send an Email Cover Letter (Samples & Tips)
Want to send a cover letter along with your resume? You've got two options: email your cover letter as an attachment, or write an email cover letter. We'll show you how to do both.
General Resume Examples That Aren’t Generic: 11 Templates
In this guide you’ll learn *when* and *how* to use a general, universal resume. Plus, you’ll see an easy-to-use template you can copy and tweak in no time.
Writing a Cover Letter for Master’s Degree Applications
Cover letters are an important part of any Master’s Program application. In this blog, we explore how to craft a cover letter for a Master's programs.
Jan 16, 2023
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cover letters are an important part of any Master’s Program application. They help ensure that the recipient really knows who you are and what makes you qualified for the position. That's why it's important to write a cover letter when applying for anything related to work or school.
How do I write a cover letter for a Master’s Degree Application?
Cover letters are typically used to introduce yourself and highlight your skills, particularly those relevant to the position you are applying for. When applying for a Master’s program, it is important to include some basic information in your letter.
The first part of the cover letter should include:
- Your contact details (name, address and telephone number)
- The name of the department you are applying to
- The name of the course or program that you would like to complete your studies in
The second part of this section should discuss basic information about your academic record and past accomplishments as well as any experience that might be relevant to the topic.
State your interest in the study program
The cover letter should also provide information about your thesis ideas and a description of your interest in studying in the program. This description should be short but informative enough to convince the reader that you understand what is required of you and that you are capable of doing a good job.
Furthermore, if you have gaps in your academic record, including an explanation for these can help demonstrate that you have taken steps to improve yourself since those points in time.
Make the cover letter about them
In order to do that, you'll need to know who they are and how they like to be addressed. This is where research comes in handy.
Using their name and title is always a good move—and it's an easy way to make your cover letter more personal and memorable. If you're still not sure what their name or title actually is, try searching through the website of the institution (or even just Google) to find out more information on them. You'll likely find that information included in bios or other publications online where the institution has mentioned its staff members in writing before.
If it is possible, reference the organization or some project associated with it – especially if there is something distinct about what your research will add that is not already mentioned in your CV/resume (ie: if it is something particularly noteworthy).
Include a strong greeting and identifiers
Include a strong greeting and identifiers. The first paragraph of your letter should be written in a friendly tone, and it's crucial that you include an introduction that is personal but brief.
In your introductory paragraph, state how you learned of the programme—whether it was through an alumni network or through word-of-mouth. Be specific and highlight what drew your interest toward this opportunity over others that might have also been advertised at around the same time period. You can also bring up any other details regarding why this particular programme appeals to you; perhaps there are qualities within this study that align with several interests on your resume (such as education) or perhaps there are certain aspects which differ from previous positions held throughout schooling (such as responsibilities).
Tips to writing a better cover letter for Master’s Applications
Now, we move onto certain tips that will make your cover letter stand out from the crowd. Follow these steps to add some flair into your cover letter.
Highlight Your Skills, Past Experiences and How They Can Bring Value
This is one of the most important parts of your letter, as it will tell the reader what you can bring to their institution and how you plan to excel in your studies.
Be specific about your skills and mention how they will help you excel in this particular Master’s degree by citing examples from past academic experience that demonstrate those skills. Make sure you are talking about the company and its goals, not just yourself. Show that you have done research on them by mentioning something unique or interesting about them in your cover letter.
Do your research about the institution
Investigating the school, its alumni, teachers, and their work can give you insight into how to utilize them in an advantageous way in your cover letter. To make your cover letter stand out from the multitude of others, you must include important specifics that are associated with your statement.
If they also happen to have some interview process after the applications, these details and your research will be helpful at those stages.
Include details that shows you have done your research
If you are hoping to be admitted to the Master’s program, then making sure your cover letter is detailed with the information on your prior research is important. This is because the admissions committee will be looking for qualities that match their institution, and the more detail you can provide, the easier it will be for them to see that you put actual effort into your cover letter.
Additionally, providing specific examples of your accomplishments or experiences will make your application more memorable and help you stand out from the rest. So be sure to include as many relevant details as possible in your cover letter!
How you should conclude your cover letter
You should close your cover letter with a call to action and express appreciation for their time. Thank them again for taking the time to read your application, and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them soon.
Cover Letter Examples for Master’s Degree Applications
Here are some of our selections of cover letter templates for master's program applications. Feel free to use them and make edits on them according to your needs.
[Your first name] [your last name]
[Your street address]
[City], [state] [zip code]
[First and last name of the head of admissions]
Dear [Mr. or Ms.] [last name of the head of admissions],
I am writing to apply to [University Name & Master’s program name]. I have been a student at [Your previous degree] for the past [X] years and I am very excited to continue my education at the postgraduate level.
[University name] has always been my top choice for several reasons. First and foremost, the school has an excellent academic reputation. I have always been a very good student and I know that I will be able to thrive in the challenging environment of your institution.
My education has allowed me to have first-hand experience with the field I am interested in and the challenges that come with it: [examples].
I am currently looking to begin my studies in [field] in order to complete a program that will allow me to pursue my goal of becoming a [job title]. I believe that [University Name] can provide me with the best education and opportunity to reach my objectives.
I am an ambitious individual who is always looking to learn and grow in my field of interest. I am very passionate about my work, and I believe that by continuing to expand my knowledge and skills, I can make a significant impact on [field] in a positive way.
I am grateful for the opportunity to apply to be a part of your student body and I will work diligently to uphold the standards of your school. If admitted, I pledge to be a respectful and contributing member of the community and I promise to take advantage of all that your school has to offer and make the most of my time here. I have included all of the required documentation and my application form. If you have any further questions, I would be happy to provide additional information.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, [Your first name] [your last name]
This letter is a formal request for admission to [name of the university & master’s degree].
I am a recent [Your previous University name & degree name] graduate and I am interested in studying [subject area] in [postgraduate degree program] with the hope of obtaining a [job title] after graduation.
I have always enjoyed [activity] and am confident that I would excel in [Master’s program] at [University Name]. I am passionate about [topic] and believe that I would be a valuable asset to your [University Name] community.
I am enclosing my transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about my qualifications.
I am applying to the [season] semester of the [university name] Master's program. I am very proud of the [program name] and believe that I would be a great fit for it. Thank you for considering me!
Over the past few years, I've researched many universities that offer a Master’s degree in [program name], but have ultimately chosen [institution] because of [reasons]. The opportunity to join your top-level institution and become part of its alumni is one of my greatest goals. I am confident that my education in [subject area] and [work/volunteer experience] make me a valuable asset and an ideal candidate for admission into the program. My educational experience has given me the opportunity to [insert your previous experiences] and face the challenges that come with [field name].
I am currently looking to begin my Master’s degree, with a goal of completing the [program] at [institution]. Upon graduation, I wish to become [job title] to [career goals]. I believe the [college name] can provide me with the best education and opportunity to pursue my objectives.
I have enclosed all of the necessary documentation and application form for your consideration. If you have any further questions, I will be happy to provide you with more information. Thank you for your time and consideration.
We trust that this article has given you some thoughts concerning composing a cover letter for your master's program application. Bear in mind, the most significant thing is to stay positive and sure of what you have accomplished so far, as well as what will drive you enough to keep on working on this project.
Unlock your full potential with an AI Companion
Discover what writing with AI feels like. We assure you'll save 20+ hours every week. Start creating beautiful content.
Did you like this article? Explore a few more related posts.
Best AI Chatbot for Essay Writing
Best Practices to Avoid AI Detection
How to Detect If a Text is Written by AI?
Your ai partner is ready to write content..
Save time and improve your writing using TextCortex. Create content in seconds in every text box.
How to write a graduate cover letter
If you’re a recent graduate, read this guide to discover:
- How to stand out from other candidates by writing a great cover letter
- Your cover letter layout should include a head section and a body section
- What you need to say in your cover letter
- The common cover letter mistakes which you must avoid
- Your cover letter should be no longer than one page of A4
- The best fonts to use in your cover letter
You’re in the right place if you’re wondering…
- “How to write a cover letter for a fresh graduate?”
- “How to write a cover letter for a graduate scheme?”
If you’re applying for a graduate job or graduate scheme , this page will take you through everything you need to write a cover letter that could persuade a hiring manager or graduate manager to look at your CV .
It shows you what to include in your cover letter and how to lay it out so it will compel the hiring decision maker to read on.
Main sections of this guide
Don’t hesitate to fast forward to the section you think would be most helpful to you.
- “What makes a good graduate cover letter?” ⏩
- “How long should a graduate cover letter be?” ⏩
- “What is the best font for a graduate cover letter?” ⏩
- “How to lay out a graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Cover letter layout example for graduates” ⏩
- “What to put in a graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Mistakes to avoid when you write your graduate cover letter” ⏩
- “Checklist for when basing your new cover letter on a previous cover letter or a cover letter template” ⏩
- “Graduate CV advice” ⏩
What makes a good graduate cover letter?
A good graduate cover letter is clear, concise and professional. It shows a potential employer the following:
- You can deliver value for them
- You possess the skills required for the job
- You’ll be a great addition to their culture
- That you genuinely want the job
The following points will help make you more attractive to the hiring manager and gain an interview.
Demonstrate you’ll deliver value to the employer and/or solve the problems they face
You can use your cover letter to show that you understand the sector and market, and how your studies and experience to date give you insight into the issues confronting the employer.
Spell out that you have the skills and experience to excel in the role
Focus on skills relevant to the job you’re applying for and mention transferable skills that will help you progress through the organisation.
So ‘problem solving’ and ‘time management’ can be equally as attractive as ‘coding’ or ‘marketing strategy’, for example.
Explain how you’d be an excellent addition to their culture
Use the letter to stress how your values and interests coincide with the organisation’s.
For example, the company has a thriving school work-experience programme and you have volunteered at school.
Make clear you know about, and are interested in, the employer
Show in your cover letter that you have done your research and know about the company’s structure, operations, markets, products and services.
Your cover letter is clear and concise
The easier you make your letter to read, the more likely it will be read, which is the letter’s whole point.
No-one ever complained that something was too easy to read. So, don’t waste their time with unnecessary information or ‘show off’ with overly complicated language.
Your cover letter is not an essay. It has a particular purpose – making the hiring manager read your CV and invite you for an interview.
Perhaps most importantly, take the time to check your spelling and grammar. It would be a shame to spoil a great letter with obvious typos and spelling mistakes.
The language you use in your cover letter shows that you’re polite and professional
You want to sound friendly but remember, you’re not with your mates in the pub, so avoid greetings like, “Cheers!” and “How’re things?”
On the other hand, you don’t want to sound like a robot or a Victorian school head. You need to strike a balance between formal and informal: a conversational, polite and professional style.
Put yourself in the hiring manager’s position and write it like you’d expect to read it in their situation.
How long should a graduate cover letter be?
Your graduate cover letter should be no longer than one side of A4.
Given all the information which you should include, you’ll likely fill the whole page.
What is the best font for a graduate cover letter?
Best font for a cover letter.
Use a font that’s easy to read, such as:
Avoid ‘novelty’ fonts like Comic Sans, which is almost universally reviled.
Best font size for cover letter
Your font size should be around 10 or 12 – the standard font sizes for letters using the fonts recommended above.
Don’t be tempted to reduce the size to squeeze more information onto the page; you’ll make the reader struggle to read it (and make it less likely to be read).
If you have too much information, edit it down, don’t shoehorn it in.
Best line spacing for a cover letter
To improve readability, choose line spacing at 1.5. Each row of text in your letter will have similar gaps as this web page.
How to lay out a graduate cover letter
Lay out your graduate cover letter like this:
Right at the top – your first and last name only, in bold.
Your university course and qualification
Only add this if the job description requests it or it is specific to the job you’re applying for: if it’s a specialist engineering graduate job, for example, and you have just gained a good degree in that specialism.
In this case, add, ‘Biomedical Engineering BEng, 1st class honours’ (or whatever your qualification is).
Phone number and email address
Put this at the top, underneath your name.
Doing this makes it as easy as possible for the recruiter or hiring manager to contact you if they want to offer you an interview.
Don’t add your address or location. This information will be on your CV (see our “How to write a graduate CV” guide).
If you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, put the URL underneath your email address and phone number.
Take a look at our piece “How to write a great LinkedIn profile” if you don’t yet have one.
Your portfolio URL or website URL
If you have an online portfolio or a personal website, include the URL here too, but only if it’s up-to-date and demonstrates your skills.
Underneath your contact and online information, add the date that you send the letter. It may not be the date that you write it, which could be a few days before you sort out your CV or other documents and online profiles.
If you write your letter in advance, save it and review it just before sending, adding in the date.
Ideally, you should address the hiring manager by name:
Dear [Mr/Ms] [last name of hiring manager],
If you don’t know the name for the person responsible for hiring, there are three ways you can find out. We cover them in our “How to find out the name of the hiring manager” guide.
If you can’t find their name, any of these are appropriate:
- Dear Sir/Madam,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Talent Acquisition Team,
- Dear Graduate Coordinator,
The job or programme you’re applying for
In bold or underlined text, add the job or graduate programme you’re applying for, along with any reference codes.
You can make an impression in your opening statement, inspiring the reader to look at your CV and invite you for an interview.
Your skills and experience
Show how you could meet the requirements of the job or programme.
Your cultural add
Briefly show how your personality, motivations and interests add to the employer’s mission and culture (you should be able to determine what this is from its website).
End your cover letter by thanking them for taking the time to read it and reiterating your interest in the opportunity.
Sign off with “Kind regards” followed by your first name.
Cover letter layout example for graduates
Check out our free example cover letter and cover letter template for recent graduates:
- Free cover letter template for graduates
- Customise your own cover letter based on this template in around 30 minutes
- We’ve also provided an example graduate cover letter which shows the kind of text you’ll need to add to your cover letter
- See how to layout your cover letter, and what info you need to include
What to put in a graduate cover letter
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your LinkedIn profile URL, if you have one
- The job title that you’re applying for (and job code, if applicable)
- The graduate programme name you’re applying to and its reference code, if it has one
- The date you submit your job application
- A polite and formal greeting
- An impactful opening statement explaining why you want to work for the employer
- Examples from your further education or part-time work that demonstrate you have the skills required for the job
- A description of how you would be an excellent addition to the employer’s culture
- A thank you to the hiring decision-maker for taking the time to consider your application
- A polite and formal sign-off
For further information, read our detailed guide:
- What types of information need to go into your cover letter
- Today’s cover letter writing conventions
- Your cover letter should have header and body sections
- How to start and end your cover letter with the right level of formality
- The importance of writing an impactful opening statement
Mistakes to avoid when you write your graduate cover letter
- Don’t make include any spelling or grammar mistakes
- Don’t make any typos
- Don’t repeat the contents of your CV
- Don’t make it about your wants and needs
- Don’t badmouth anyone
- Don’t speak negatively about your current situation
- Don’t write long-winded sentences
- Don’t be vague or trivialise
- If you’re basing your cover letter on one you used for another job application, don’t forget to remove any mention of the other job
- Don’t mention any other jobs you’re applying for
- Don’t lie
- Don’t ask what the salary is, declare your salary expectations, or try to negotiate salary
- Unless you’re applying for a graduate scheme or work placement
- Don’t be overly familiar
- Don’t overshare details about your personal life
- Don’t try to be funny
- Don’t put the employer’s address at the top of your letter
- Don’t put your address at the top of your letter
For information on why you shouldn’t make these mistakes, see our dedicated guide:
Read this guide to discover the most common cover letter mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Checklist for when basing your new cover letter on a previous cover letter or a cover letter template
You don’t have to write every cover letter from scratch, but neither can you recycle every part of it.
The best way to speed up the process of writing your cover letter is to either base it on our free, “Graduate cover letter example” , or on one of your previous cover letters.
Use our checklist to ensure you don’t accidentally leave any placeholder text or info from a previous job application in your new cover letter.
You’ll harm your chances of landing an interview if you accidentally leave placeholder text or content about another job in your cover letter.
Typos and spelling errors are also likely to result in your application being rejected.
Carefully follow the steps in this guide to avoid such mistakes.
Graduate CV advice
- How to stand out from other candidates by writing a great CV
- What sections you should include in your CV
- How to layout the various sections of your CV
- The best CV sections headings
- Selecting and positioning your skills and achievements so that it sounds like you’d excel in the role
- Basics of writing a personal statement that’ll catch the attention of a hiring decision maker
- How to describe your previous jobs, if you’ve had some
- How to record your university degree and school grades
- The number of A4 pages your CV should be
- What fonts to use in...
- Free CV template for graduates
- Customise your own CV based on this template in around 60 minutes
- We’ve also provided an example graduate CV that shows you how to use the template
- See how to layout your CV, and what info you need to include
- Facebook Share on Facebook
- Share on LinkedIn
- Share on WhatsApp
- Share on Messenger
- Download PDF
- Copy link to clipboard
- Skip to content
Covering letter essentials for graduate vacancies
targetjobs editorial team
Last updated: 25 Jan 2023, 13:39
When do you write a covering letter to go with your CV and what should you say? Use our tips to structure this part of your job application.
A convincing covering letter (or cover letter, as it’s more commonly known in the US) typically accompanies a CV for a graduate vacancy. It’s your opportunity to show recruiters your most relevant skills and demonstrate your motivation and enthusiasm for the job and the employer.
A covering letter shouldn’t be longer than one side of A4. Here's our four-part failsafe guide to using this limited space to sell your skills.
How to write a graduate cover letter in four steps
1. The opening
Tell the graduate recruiter which job you are applying for, where you saw the advert and why you are applying. If the job has a reference number, it is always good to include this.
Tip: always address your covering letter to a named contact. Give the organisation a call to find out to whom you should address your job application if a name isn’t given on the advert. Get the person’s title (and gender!) right: Mr, Miss, Mrs or Ms? Or would another title be appropriate: Dr, for example? People may feel quite strongly about how they are addressed, and it would be a shame to fall at the first hurdle.
2. Why you?
The first paragraph or two are about you. Tell the employer why you are well suited to the role you are applying for, referring directly to the job description and concentrating on how you have the skills, abilities and/or knowledge to excel in the job. Mix evidence of specific skills and knowledge related to the job with work experience examples and personal skills.
At graduate level remember that it’s fine to refer to work experience that isn’t directly related to the profession you are applying to. You need to show how your current experience ‘transfers’ into the job. Examples from part-time jobs, extracurricular activities and academic work will all help to demonstrate how you have used and developed skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, organisation, time management and commercial awareness.
Do you live in the area where the job is based? If not, is the recruiter likely to wonder if you’re going to have problems getting into work in the morning? You may need to explain that you would be willing to relocate.
Tip: avoid copying statements direct from your CV. Think about how you can rephrase the information or expand on particular skills and achievements you have that are right for the role.
3. Why them?
The next paragraph explains why you are interested in the job and the organisation. What is it about the employer and job role that made you apply? This is your opportunity to target your covering letter so that the recruiter knows you are interested in their graduate job and you’re not batch emailing standard CVs and covering letters to all and sundry.
Re-read the job advertisement or job description and make sure you have done some background research into the organisation. This will help you tell the recruiter what attracts you to working for them and why you are interested in the particular job.
Tip: provide specific reasons for applying, such as the work they do or the training they provide. Avoid anything that could be said about pretty much any employer, such as ‘… because you’re a prestigious and dynamic employer’.
4. The ending
The closing paragraph should be strong and clear. Reaffirm your suitability for the role and your enthusiasm about the prospect of working for the employer. State that you look forward to hearing from them and are happy to provide any further information they need.
Don’t forget to sign the letter if you are sending it through the post, or to print your name if you are sending your covering letter by e-mail.
Tip: brush up on how to write a business letter and current format practices. For letters addressed to a named contact, finish: Yours sincerely. Dear Sir/Madam letters finish: Yours faithfully – but it’s better to get a named contact.
You could turn steps two and three around and write about why you’re applying to the employer first if you'd find that more comfortable. As long as you cover both ‘why you’ and ‘why them’ in the letter, the exact order doesn’t matter.
Get the insights and skills you need to shape your career journey with Pathways. We’ll show you exactly what goes into a convincing cover letter, so you can give yourself the best chance of getting to the next stage of the application process.
When to write a covering letter
You must write a covering letter for a job when you are invited to submit a CV via an email or (more rare nowadays) through the post. There are two ways to send your covering letter via email, and both are usually acceptable, though you should check the job advert carefully to see if you have been given any specific instructions.
- Attach both the CV and the covering letter to your email. Make the email a brief message saying that your application for the vacancy (give the relevant details) is attached.
- Write the covering letter directly into the email. You could include your contact details as a signature at the end. Attach your CV.
If you are uploading a CV as part of an application form, you don’t usually have to upload a covering letter as well (unless the employer requests one).
Otherwise, you should never opt out of sending a covering letter with your CV. Don’t go for the ‘Please find attached my CV for your consideration’ one liner. It's a missed opportunity.
Tip: use sensible filenames for your attachments, eg Joe Bloggs_covering letter.doc and use a subject line that will make sense to the recipient and looks professional, for example, use the job reference: Vacancy – ED123_PT trainee accountant.
Make your covering letter memorable and to the point
You’ll stand out if you:
- Don’t waffle
- Match your skills and experience to the requirements in the job description
- Avoid generalised statements and clichés
- Express yourself clearly.
Keep sentences straightforward and fairly simple. Using action verbs will help. Keep your writing professional and err on the side of formality rather than being too chatty.
Tip: read through your covering letter out loud. This will help you identify verbose sentences that can be rewritten and will help you check the sense of your writing.
Check spelling, grammar and sense very carefully
Before you send out a covering letter check it for spelling, grammar and sense. Elegant formatting won’t make up for poor spelling and grammar. Graduate recruiters will be reviewing your attention to detail and your ability to communicate in writing, so your covering letter is your first chance to impress. Get a trusted friend or careers adviser to give it a once over before you send it out.
Tip: when proofreading your covering letter for a graduate job, read it forwards and read it backwards. No joke. You’re more likely to spot a spelling mistake if you read word by word back from the end. If not, get someone else to proofread your letter for you.
targetjobs editorial advice
This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.
People reading this also searched for roles in these areas:
- Graduate Jobs
- Graduate Schemes