When you have just graduated college, the world can get…well, pretty overwhelming, to say the least. Something that plays a big role in that is trying to land your first real job. You’re probably tempted to just attach your resume and one-click apply without even considering a cover letter, but trust us, it’s worth taking the time to write one.
A cover letter is your only real place to describe who you are, and why you’re perfect for the role. It’s what makes the recruiter instantly call you up and invite you in for an interview. It’s what, eventually, is going to land you the job that will set you up for the rest of your life.
We know that recent college graduate cover letters may be difficult to write, especially if you have no work experience. However, with the right guide, it’s possible to create a convincing new grad cover letter that will make you stand out, regardless of how much experience you have.
To help out, we have constructed a paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown of what to include in cover letters for recent college graduates, along with some tips on how to write recent college grad cover letters.
Let’s take the first step in wowing employers, and landing you your very first role.
What to Include in Your New Grad Cover Letter
This is your opportunity to express your interest in both the role, and the employer. In your first paragraph, you can mention the organization by name, advise how you came across the job post, and mention any referrals that may support your application.
Stay away from using a generic new grad cover letter for all of your job applications. Ensure you reword each one to identify with the needs of the employer.
Sell Yourself With Body Paragraphs
Recent college graduate cover letters usually include around two or three short paragraphs within the body to sell your skills. In this section, you can briefly mention the name of your major and place of education, however, try to avoid the aura of a simple biography. Instead, use this time to try and persuasively demonstrate how your previous experiences have given you the primary qualifications required by the organization.
Say Thank You and Close
Never forget to close out with a thank you, and just how excited you are for the job opportunity. If you’re feeling brave, you can even go ahead and request a personal interview, and explain how you’re going to follow up on your application. Don’t forget, you want to sound confident, but not pushy.
Tips for Writing a Recent College Graduate Cover Letter
Make Use of Keywords
Review the job description carefully, and make a note of any skills or experiences required in your application. Once you’ve done that, you can subtly include the keywords within your cover letter. When you do this, it links up the connection between your previous experiences and the job, and the recruiter will notice this.
Emphasize Your Skills
Stay away from focusing on your GPA or grades in your new grad cover letter, that’s what your CV is for. Instead, focus on your activities and the responsibilities that came with them. If you were a leader, explain how you lead and write proven examples. This will go far beyond just showing that you’re book smart.
While you can mention how much you want the job, try to limit it. Instead, focus on what you’re going to bring to the company. Emphasize just how much value you’re able to bring to the table, and why you think you will be a perfect fit for them.
Show You Took the Time to Learn
Take some time out and research the company before you start writing. Then, take what you’ve learned and make it come to life. Explain what you know about the organization, and even take it one step further and read articles about the company along with their mission statement. Solid knowledge of the business is sure to set you apart from your competition.
Karen invented writing, the airplane, and the internet. She was also the first person to reach the North Pole. She has flown to Mars and back in one day, and was enthusiastically greeted by Aliens. She has also worked as a copywriter and journalist for many years and has helped hundreds of people writing the perfect job application.