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Sample Cover Letter for a Recent College Graduate

cover letter for graduate template

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

  • Tips for Writing a Cover Letter
  • Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example

How to Send an Email Cover Letter

Emilie Dunphy © The Balance 

Writing a cover letter as a recent college graduate can seem complicated because you have limited work experience. However, there are ways to show the employer that you are an ideal candidate for the job.

Read below for advice on writing a cover letter for an entry-level position as a college graduate, as well as an example letter.

Introductory Paragraph: In the first paragraph of your cover letter, express your interest in both the job and the employer, mentioning the company by name. Cite the source where you discovered the job announcement. If you have a connection at the company who you know would support your candidacy, mention their name here .

Do not use a generic cover letter for all of your job applications. Each one should be reworked to speak directly to the identity and needs of the employer to whom it is sent.

Body Paragraphs:  Use two or three short paragraphs in the body of your cover letter to “sell” your candidacy to the employer. While you should definitely mention the name of your college and your major (especially if this is directly related to the job), your cover letter shouldn’t be a simple biography of your academic history.

Instead, try to persuasively demonstrate how your college studies, internships, temporary / seasonal work experiences, and / or extracurricular experiences have given you the primary qualifications listed on the employer’s job posting.

Closing Paragraph: In your closing paragraph, reiterate your enthusiasm for the job opportunity and thank the employer for their consideration. This is the best place to request a personal interview and to explain how you intend to follow up on your application .

Tips for Writing a Recent College Graduate Cover Letter

Use keywords.  Take a careful look at the job description, noting any skills or experiences that the description indicates. Try to include some of those  keywords  in your cover letter. This will show the employer a connection between your experiences and the job.

Focus on activities and responsibilities.  In the body of your cover letter, emphasize the skills and experiences that make you a good candidate. Avoid focusing on your GPA or grades, or other metrics related to college. Instead, focus on activities you did, and the responsibilities you held. Maybe you had an internship or were a leader in a school organization. These examples go beyond showing that you were a good student. They show you have what it takes to be a good employee.

Sell yourself.  Avoid talking about how much you want the job; instead, focus on how you will help out the company. Emphasize ways that you can add value at the company, and why you are a good fit for them.

Show your knowledge of the company.   Research the company  before writing the cover letter. If possible, explain what you know about the company (or the department the job is in). Perhaps you’ve read an article about the company’s recent successes, or you’ve read and believed in the company’s mission statement.

Knowledge of the company will put you a step above the competition.

Edit, edit, edit.  Make sure you thoroughly read through your letter, editing any typos or grammar errors. Keep your message short and to-the-point, using language that is easy to understand. Ask a friend or career coach to read it for you as well.

Recent College Graduate Cover Letter Example

You can use this cover letter sample as a model. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

Recent College Graduate Cover Letter Example (Text Version)

Your Name Address City, State Zip Code Phone Number Email

Name Title Company Address City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,

I am writing to apply for the position of Media Relations Assistant Manager, which I saw advertised on MediaJobs.com. ABCD is a fast-moving global institution and an outstanding communications pioneer, now poised to guide the direction of print journalism. I believe that my extensive experience in media makes me an ideal candidate for this position at your company.

As a recent graduate of the State University, I have a significant background in media. As a media major, I held multiple internships, including Media Relations Coordinator Intern at XYZ Company. I also served as president of the Media and Marketing Club at school. We successfully developed and pitched an advertisement campaign for a local nonprofit, which helped increase donations to the nonprofit by 22 percent.

You state in your job listing that you are looking for someone with strong writing skills and an attention to detail. Throughout all four years of college, I worked part-time as a copy editor for an online journal. This job required great attention to detail in writing and editing. I would love to bring my editing skills to a position with your company.

These strengths, combined with deep and varied academic, internship, and employment experience, have prepared me to make a strong and immediate impact at ABCD.

I am excited about the opportunity to join the ABCD team as it moves to the center of the print media conversation. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Your Signature  (hard copy letter)

Your Typed Name

If you're sending your cover  letter via email , list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.

Key Takeaways

YOUR COVER LETTER IS YOUR “SALES PITCH”: Your cover letter is far more than an expression of your interest in a job opening. Ideally, it should be a powerful marketing document that summarizes the unique qualifications that you could bring to the employer.

FOCUS ON THE EMPLOYER: Every statement you make in your cover letter should serve to respond to the needs of the employer (as these are expressed in their job announcement). Don’t write extensive biography here. Instead, highlight the skills you offer.

MAKE YOUR COVER LETTER LETTER-PERFECT: Most hiring managers view carelessly written, generic cover letters as a red flag. Carefully edit your letter to eliminate all grammatical, spelling, and formatting errors. Ask a grammar-savvy friend to proofread it for you as well.

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Career Services

  • Career Communities
  • Career Resources for Graduate Students

Curriculum Vitae (CV), Resume, and Cover Letter Resources for Graduate Students

Curriculum vitae (cv) and resumes.

Boise State University Resources:

  • Curriculum Vitae Overview : Use this to get started and learn about the differences between a CV and resume!
  • Resume and Cover Letter Resources

United States Federal Government Resumes: Federal Government Resumes are similar to resumes and CVs because they are targeted documents to a specific position. Although there is overlap, federal resumes contain very detailed information about past experiences including (hours worked per week, salary, supervisor’s name/phone number/address, occupational series numbers and the starting and ending grades of the federal government positions held, etc). Visit USAJobs.gov and What should I include in my federal resume? for more information and resources.

Application materials outside the United States: Visit GoinGlobal for country specific guides that include resume/CV resources, job search resources, employment opportunities and trends, business resources and networking groups, work permits and visa regulations, cost of living and compensation information and much more.​​

Additional Resources:

  • Creating an Undergraduate CV – Columbia University Center for Career Education
  • Graduate CV Checklist – The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Graduate CV Guide and Template – The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Resumes/CVs and Cover Letter Resources – University of Georgia
  • Resume Examples – University of Georgia
  • Building Your CV Guide for Graduate Students – Princeton University
  • CV vs Resume Guide – Princeton University
  • Transforming your CV to Resume Guide – Princeton University

Cover Letters

Cover Letter for a Postdoc or Research Position: A cover letter for a post-doctoral or research position is tailored to showcase the applicant’s expertise and research accomplishments. The focus here is on the specific research project or lab the applicant is interested in and how their research aligns with the ongoing work of the organization or principal investigator. Important elements to include are:

  • Research Experience: Detail your Ph.D. research, methodologies, findings, and any relevant publications. Emphasize how your expertise can contribute to the research goals of the prospective position.
  • Research Goals: Explain your short-term and long-term research goals, indicating how the postdoc or research position will further your academic and career aspirations.
  • Alignment with the Lab/Organization: Demonstrate your familiarity with the work of the lab or organization and how your research interests align with their ongoing projects or research areas.

Cover Letter for an Academic Job: An academic job cover letter is typically written by a graduate student or a Ph.D. holder seeking a faculty position at a university or college. In this type of cover letter, the emphasis is on the applicant’s research and academic achievements, teaching experience, and their potential to contribute to the academic community. The following aspects are important to include:

  • Research Focus: Describe your research interests, ongoing projects, and any published work. Emphasize how your research aligns with the department’s focus and how you can contribute to the institution’s academic reputation.
  • Teaching Experience: Highlight your teaching experience, including courses you have taught or assisted with. Demonstrate your passion for teaching and your ability to engage and educate students effectively.
  • Future Goals: Express your long-term academic career goals and how the specific position fits into your overall trajectory as a researcher and educator.

Cover Letter for a Non-Academic Job: A cover letter for a non-academic job is targeted towards positions in industries outside of academia, such as corporate, government, nonprofit, or private sector jobs. The focus in this type of cover letter is on transferable skills and experiences that make the applicant a strong candidate for the specific role. Key points to address are:

  • Transferable Skills: Highlight skills acquired during your academic journey, such as analytical abilities, problem-solving, project management, communication, and teamwork skills. Connect these skills to the requirements of the non-academic job.
  • Relevant Experience and Accomplishments: Emphasize any internships, clinical, practicum, jobs, or research experiences that align with the industry or job you are applying for.
  • Alignment and Fit: Express your enthusiasm for the company or organization and how your background makes you an ideal fit for the position.
  • Cover Letters Virtual Workshop – Boise State University
  • Graduate School Application Cover Letters – Roanoke University
  • Cover Letters for PhD Students – Harvard University
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Cover Letter for Graduate School: Sample & How to Write It

  • 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.

Christian Eilers, CPRW

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.

No problem.

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 resume and cover letter set

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

Simple, right?

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.

And, finally— 

The list of enclosed documents:

That’s it!

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

But remember—

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 .

A view from the Zety resume creator revealing the procedure of populating the job history section and an assortment of pre-scripted resume descriptions suggested for the particular job.

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.

Key Takeaway

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.

  • https://drexel.edu/grad/apply/checklist/
  • https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2006/01/applicati

Christian Eilers, CPRW

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Graduate Recruitment Bureau

  • 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

cover letter for graduate template

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:

Personal statement.

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."  

Personal profile

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

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:

"Problem solving

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."

"Time management

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.

cover letter for graduate template

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Cover Letter For Graduate School Application—Examples & Tips

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your cover letter.” Patrick I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work! Dylan  My previous cover letter was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful! George

1. Graduate School Cover Letter Sample

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StandOut CV

Graduate Scheme cover letter examples

Andrew Fennell photo

Graduate schemes allow you to continue developing your skills on the job, which is why these positions are so competitive.

As a result, you need to do all you can to stand out from the crowd of recent graduates.

To help give you a competitive edge, check out all our top tips below, along with our graduate scheme cover letter examples to guide you.

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Graduate Scheme cover letter example 1

Graduate Scheme cover letter 1

Graduate Scheme cover letter example 2

Graduate Scheme cover letter 2

Graduate Scheme cover letter example 3

Graduate Scheme cover letter 3

These Graduate Scheme cover letter examples provide you with some guidance and inspiration for writing a cover letter that gets noticed and ensures your CV will get opened.

But if you really want to master the art of writing a winning cover letter , then follow our step-by-step cove letter writing guide below.

How to write a Graduate Scheme cover letter

Here’s a simple process to write your own interview-winning cover letter.

How to write a cover letter

Write your cover letter in the body of an email/message

You should write your cover letter in the body of the email (or messaging system if sending via a job board) and never attach it as a document.

The reason for this?

You want your cover letter to start connecting with the recruiter from the moment they open your application.

If they have to open a document to read it, it will slow things down and they may not even bother to open it.

Write cover letter in body of email

Start with a friendly greeting

Cover letter address

Start you cover letter with a greeting that is professional but friendly.

This will build rapport with the recruiter whilst showing your professionalism.

  • Hi, hope you’re well
  • Hi [insert recruiter name]
  • Hi [insert department/team name]

Avoid overly formal greetings like “Dear sir/madam ” unless applying to very traditional companies.

How to find the contact’s name?

Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship. If it is not listed in the job advert, try these methods to find it.

  • Check out the company website and look at their  About page. If you see a hiring manager, HR person or internal recruiter, use their name. You could also try to figure out who would be your manager in the role and use their name.
  • Head to LinkedIn , search for the company and scan through the list of employees. Most professionals are on LinkedIn these days, so this is a good bet.

Identify the role you are applying for

Now that you have warmed the recruiter up with a friendly greeting, firstly you need to let them know which role you are applying for.

Sometimes a recruitment consultant will be juggling 10 or 10 vacancies, so it’s important to specify which one you are applying to.

Give us much detail as possible (team/department, role title etc.) and paste in the reference number if you have one.

Here are some examples you can use.

  • I am interested in applying for the Graduate Scheme with your company.
  • I would like to apply for the role of Sales assistant (Ref: 40f57393)
  • I would like to express my interest in the customer service vacancy within your retail department
  • I saw your advert for an IT project manager on Reed and would like to apply for the role.

See also: CV examples – how to write a CV – CV profiles

Highlight your suitability

The bulk of your cover letter should be focused around highlighting your suitability for the job you are applying to.

Doing this will show the recruiter that you are suitable candidate and encourage them to open your CV.

The best way to do this, is by studying the job advert you are applying to, and find out what the most important skills and knowledge are.

Once you know the most important requirements, you then need to highlight your matching skills to the recruiter. In a few sentences, tell them exactly why you are a good fit for the job and what you can offer the company.

Cover letter tips

Keep it short and sharp

A good cover letter is short and sharp, getting to the point quickly with just enough information to grab the attention of recruiters.

Ideally your cover letter should be around 4-8 sentences long – anything longer will risk losing the attention of time-strapped recruiters and hiring managers .

Essentially you need to include just enough information to persuade the reader to open up your CV, where the in-depth details will sit.

Sign off professionally

To finish off your cover note, add a professional signature to the bottom, stating your important contact details and information.

This not only provides recruiters with multiple means of contacting you, but it also adds a nice professional appearance to the cover letter, which shows that you know how to conduct yourself in the workplace.

Include the following points;

  • A friendly sign off – e.g. “Warm regards”
  • Your full name
  • Phone number (one you can answer quickly)
  • Email address
  • Profession title
  • Professional social network – e.g. LinkedIn

Here is an example signature;

Warm regards,

Aaron Smith Customer service professional 075557437373 [email protected] LinkedIn

Quick tip : To save yourself from having to write your signature every time you send a job application, you can save it within your email drafts, or on a separate document that you could copy in.

Email signatures

What to include in your Graduate Scheme cover letter

Your Graduate Scheme cover letter will be unique to your situation, but there are certain content guidelines you should stick to for best results.

To attract and entice recruiters, stick with the following key subjects in your cover letter – adapting them to fit your profession and target jobs.

  • Your professional experience – Employers will be keen to know if your experience is suitable for the job you are applying to, so provide a good summary of it in your cover letter.
  • Your qualifications and education – Highlight your most relevant and high-level of qualification, especially if they are essential to the job.
  • The positive impact you have made – Employers love to hear about the benefits you can bring to them, so shout about anything impressive you have done, such as saving money or improving processes.
  • Your reasons for leaving – Use a few words of your cover letter to explain why you are leaving your current job and ensure you avoid any negative reasons.
  • Your availability – Let recruiters know when you can start a new job . Are you immediately available, or do you have a month notice period?

Graduate Scheme cover letter templates

Copy and paste these Graduate Scheme cover letter templates to get a head start on your own.

I hope you are well. I am writing to submit my application for the Digital Marketing Graduate Scheme at View Agency, as I am eager to leverage my marketing acumen and social media expertise to drive impactful digital strategies for commercial clients.

During my digital marketing internship at Lyne Ltd, I successfully orchestrated captivating social media campaigns that led to a substantial 40% increase in Instagram followers and a remarkable 25% boost in website traffic. Furthermore, my personal social media following of 35K individuals attests to my prowess in engaging audiences and creating compelling content. I achieved a 1st Class Honours in my BA Marketing and my dissertation on “Exploring the Impact of Digital Marketing Strategies on Consumer Behaviour” demonstrated my commitment to understanding and harnessing the power of digital channels. As a Student Engagement Officer at the Coventry University Student Union, I managed multi-channel advertising campaigns, achieving improved event attendance and heightened community engagement.

I am excited about the possibility of contributing my skills to your team and I am available for an interview at your convenience.

Kind regards,

James Napton ¦ 07777777777 ¦ [email protected]

I am writing to apply for the Graduate Scheme at CM Consultancy, as I am excited by the prospect of utilising my management expertise and commitment to ethical business to drive innovation and deliver transformative solutions to diverse challenges.

As a resourceful and high-achieving Business Management graduate, my first-class degree from the University of Leeds reflects my academic excellence, and my internship at NPC, a charity sector specialist think tank, showcases my ability to devise and implement impactful strategies. During my internship at NPC, I successfully conducted primary research and crafted budget proposals for a £500k consultancy contract, which resulted in a remarkable 21% revenue increase in the first quarter after implementation. Moreover, my adoption of contemporary business strategist Katy Turner’s management approach significantly improved patron relations and revenue for our client. Additionally, I thrived in my internship at Bright Futures, contributing to their financial growth and securing a contract with a local recruitment agency as their exclusive provider of employment and CV workshops.

I am keen to discuss my potential contributions further in an interview and am available at your convenience. Thank you for considering my application.

Best wishes,

Amy Ford ¦ 07777777777 ¦ [email protected]

Dear Dr Wells,

I hope you and the team are well. I am writing to apply for the Chemistry Graduate Scheme at Stanton Laboratories, where my passion for Organic Synthesis can make a measurable impact.

As recent Chemistry graduate proficient in HPLC and GC-MS analysis, I bring a track record of outstanding achievements that perfectly align with the requirements of this graduate scheme. During my MSc in Analytical Chemistry at Manchester University, I excelled in chemical analysis and quality control, culminating in my research on “Analysis of Drug Metabolites in Urine using GC-MS,” which garnered the esteemed Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence. Moreover, during a 3-month internship at Lab Solutions Ltd, I conducted rigorous quality control tests using advanced analytical techniques. My introduction of automated HPLC analysis led to a remarkable 12% reduction in turnaround time, significantly enhancing productivity. Additionally, my contribution to validating an in-house HPLC method resulted in substantial annual savings of £10K by eliminating outsourcing expenses.

I am eager to discuss how my proven abilities can add value to the Chemistry Graduate Scheme at Stanton Laboratories. I am available for an interview at your convenience, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect with you and your colleagues.

Hayden Porter ¦ 07777777777 ¦ [email protected]

Writing a strong attention-grabbing cover letter is a vital step in landing a good Graduate Scheme.

Use the tips, strategies and examples above to get more responses from you job applications and start lining job interview up.

Good luck with your job search!

  • Graduate School

Graduate School Cover Letter Examples

With writing tips and a step-by-step guide.

Graduate School Cover Letter Examples

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: 


Jane Doe 

  • Program application form 
  • Statement of purpose
  • Academic transcripts

Letters of recommendation

Graduate school cover letter examples 

Graduate school cover letter example #1.

Candice Williams

1234 Dream St. 

Winnipeg, MB R3J 8T6

[email protected]


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 

Graduate CV

Official undergraduate transcripts

Angela Wong

102-9876 Mainland Rd.

New Haven, CT 44567

[email protected]  

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.

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cover letter for graduate template


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    Introduction Body paragraph Closing paragraph Letter ending and signature The following cover letter samples and examples will show you how to write a cover letter for many employment circumstances. Browse cover letters by job title for inspiration. ( Get more cover letter tips and advice ).

  20. Free Cover Letter Template for Your Resume (Copy & Paste)

    Free Cover Letter Template for Your Resume (Copy & Paste) Home Cover Letter Templates Cover Letter Templates Need a cover letter template? Download any of our 200+ free cover letter templates for Word, then fill out a copy-paste cover letter template to pair with your resume and complete your job application. Build My Cover Letter

  21. Cover Letter for Graduate School: How To Write One

    1. Begin by addressing your cover letter The first step to writing any cover letter is addressing it properly. You should begin by writing your full name and address. You may also include your phone number or email address on an additional line, but this is optional. On the next line, write out the date.

  22. Recent Graduate Cover Letter: Examples & Templates to Fill

    A recent graduate cover letter example that gets the interviews. A guide on the business cover letter format. A quick new grad cover letter template with blanks that you can have ready inside 15 minutes. Save hours of work and get a cover letter like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy.

  23. Steps and Tips for an Impressive Graduate School Cover Letter

    Consider the following steps when composing your graduate school cover letter. 1. Address the cover letter. Write your full name and mailing address at the top left of the document. Leave a space, then include the date you will send out the letter and accompanying documents. Leave another space and provide a content block for the recipient's ...

  24. Cover Letter For Graduate School Application—Examples & Tips

    A fill-in-the-blanks template that will produce your grad school cover letter within 15 minutes. Save hours of work and get a cover letter like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 18+ cover letter templates and download your cover letter now. Create your cover letter now What users say about ResumeLab:

  25. Graduate Scheme cover letter examples

    Graduate Scheme cover letter example 1 Graduate Scheme cover letter example 2 Graduate Scheme cover letter example 3 These Graduate Scheme cover letter examples provide you with some guidance and inspiration for writing a cover letter that gets noticed and ensures your CV will get opened.

  26. Top graduate school cover letter examples

    Updated: Nov 19, 2023 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.