6 secrets to writing a great cover letter for a graduate

Posted February 10, 2015 by
Pen was holding in hand ready to writing in note book.

Pen was holding in hand ready to writing in note book. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

At best, your cover letter can help you stand out from the crowd of job seekers, at worst it can present you as an anti-creative copy-paster. Unfortunately, the majority of cover letters read retreads of resumes with obvious repeats. Ask yourself a question: would you read one of these cover letters? Probably not, just as a vast majority of hiring managers.

Cover letters are very important for graduates as it is obvious that we don’t have much experience that’s why a cover letter is a chance to show our strong suits. Although, the Internet is bursting with cover letter ideas, the majority of ideas are either useless or too obvious like “use good grammar”. In this article we will go through the top 6 secrets to writing a great cover letter that will hopefully help you find a great job or an internship after graduating from university.

  • Don’t repeat the resume. Surprisingly, people think of a cover letter as a short summary of their resume, this is where they are wrong. Cover letter is aimed to show your personality, add charisma and interesting or even funny facts about yourself, which will help you stand out from the crowd. If you are applying for a job in tech, sprinkle some amusing facts about the industry, for example say how fascinating it was to learn about Bell’s Law at your computer classes or if you are applying for a job in marketing tell about your diploma paper and new interesting ideas you implemented.
  • Keep your cover letter short. Make it is three paragraphs top. Skip the long and unneeded introduction and jump into the interesting part to attract attention of the hiring managers.
  • Don’t address it to anyone. If you don’t know the exact name of your hiring manager it is better to address to no one than writing something like “Dear hiring manager”. In order to avoid this awkward moment move to the body of the letter.
  • Use PDF form. It is possible that your cover letter and resume will be left out because of the format. Docx, pages files might not be the best option to format your cover letter but PDF is said to be a universal format every office can read.
  • Avoid using cliché phrases. If you are applying for a position as a fashion blogger or a web designer, chances are your hiring manager knows about it. There is no need to write the worst cliché phrase “ Hello, my name is… I am applying for … position”. This will make you sound inexperienced and immature.
  • Make a strong ending. Finish by explaining how your experience or in the case of graduates’ worldview will help you at the job. It shouldn’t take you longer than 2 minutes.

Hope these secrets will help you write an effective and interesting cover letter to find the best internship or a job. If you have additional suggestions, please share in the comments below.

Paula G. is an author of “6 secrets to writing a great cover letter for a graduate”. She has recently graduated; right now she works as a contributor to professional essay writers

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