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Examples Of Cover Letters For College Grads

Sample Cover Letter for a Recent College Graduate

For recent graduates newly on the job market, writing an effective cover letter is just as important as crafting a strong resume. In a cover letter, you'll build a case for why your candidacy. A cover letter is a success when it leads to follow-up from a recruiter, human resources person, or a hiring manager. 

As a recent grad, it can sometimes be hard to know how to prove you will be an excellent candidate, since you probably do not have a ton of on-the-job experience.

However, between summer jobs, campus jobs, internships, campus involvement, and volunteer work, you likely have more experience than you think. 

Tips for Writing a Strong Cover Letter

There are two things to consider when writing a cover letter. The first consideration is the contents of the letter: What will you write to show that you are a strong candidate for the job? Do not copy the information in your resume precisely; instead, cherry-pick your most relevant experience and skills. Read the job ad carefully to get a sense of what the employer is looking for in candidates. It's always best if you can personalize your cover letter — explain to the hiring manager why you would like to work at this company specifically. 

The second factor in a cover letter is the format: Whether you send a hard copy cover letter or an email one, it's important to format your letter correctly. Review the essential elements of the cover letter, and follow these formatting tips to help your letter stand out.

The following is an example of a cover letter sent by a recent college graduate. Use this for inspiration while writing your own cover letters. Also see below for more cover letter samples, and tips for emailing a cover letter and resume.

Sample Cover Letter for a Recent College Graduate

Dear Mr. Lambert,

I would like to express my interest in a position as editorial assistant for your publishing company. As a recent graduate with writing, editing, and administrative experience, I believe I am a strong candidate for a position at the 123 Publishing Company.

You specify that you are looking for someone with strong writing skills. As an English major, a writing tutor, and an editorial intern for both a government magazine and a college marketing office, I have become a skilled writer with a variety of experience.

Working as an office assistant at the Career Services Office at XYZ College has given me the skills necessary to perform various administrative tasks required of an editorial assistant. My job has helped me gain experience in making phone calls, performing ordinary office duties, and executing numerous tasks that involve computer programs such as Microsoft Access and Excel. For three years I have carried out these responsibilities and others with organization, speed, and accuracy, and I know I will be able to apply these abilities to a position with your company.

Although I am a recent college graduate, my maturity, practical experience, and eagerness to enter the publishing business will make me an excellent editorial assistant.

I would love to begin my career with your company, and am confident that I would be a beneficial addition to the 123 Publishing Company.

I have enclosed my resume, and will call within the next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak together. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.


Susan Sharp
123 Main Street
XYZ Town, NY 11111
Email: susan.sharp@mail.com
Cell: 555-555-5555

How to Send an Email Cover Letter

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. 

A large collection of real, high-quality new college grad resume and cover letter samples for improving your job, internship, grad-school search. Provided at no cost.

Note: These resume samples are just a small part of vast collection of the Professional Resume Samples we offer at Quintessential Careers. We encourage you to take advantage of all the resources we offer you!

You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download available here, to view these resume samples.

Get ideas for how to develop your own resume and cover letter by looking at these samples of fictionalized real new-grad resumes and cover letters*:

  • Sample Chrono-Functional New Graduate Resume: Copperplate Design: a design variation on the chrono-functional resume for college students and new grads. Note that while college students should strive for 1-page resumes, those with exceptional experience can have a second page.
  • Sample Chronological New Grad IT Resume: Classic Design: this design for new grads in the information-technology field contains our reader-friendly keyword section showcasing computer skills. Note that while college students should strive for 1-page resumes, those with exceptional experience can have a second page.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Resume with Graphic: this chrono-functional new-grad resume uses a small, tasteful graphic to instantly convey the the grad’s desire to help coach softball at her alma mater.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Marketing Resume: this grad’s chrono-functional resume is sharply targeted toward a job in marketing.
  • Sample Chronological IT Resume: this grad lists a number of relevant projects in his Education section. Note that he lists only his GPA in his major as it is higher than his overall GPA.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Biotech/Sales Resume: applying her academic scientific background to a job in the business sector is the goal of this new grad’s resume.
  • Sample Chronological Investments Resume: a new grad with unusually strong experience while in school makes the most of his finance background in his resume. See accompany cover letter below.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Medical-Equipment Sales Resume: with a degree in psychology, this grad includes a Medical/Health Care section in her chrono-functional resume to target it to pharmaceutical sales. See accompany cover letter below.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Pharmaceutical Sales Resume: this grad makes the most of her sports experience, suggesting that her competitive drive will help her succeed in pharmaceutical sales.
  • Sample Chronological Public-Relations Resume: this grad includes hands-on projects in her Eduction section and also includes a Teamwork/Leadership section. See accompany cover letter below.
    • Public-Relations Cover Letter Sample: the grad whose resume is above uses her cover letter to convey her enthusiasm for public relations. Note that she makes a smart connection between her Spanish-language skills and the employer’s location.
  • Sample Chronological Resume Targeting Health-and-Wellness Industry: this resume and the one below show how a new grad can make minor tweaks to a resume to target different types of jobs.
  • Sample Chronological Resume Targeting Management Position in Healthcare or Hospitality: here, the grad has included a slightly different chronology of jobs to show those most relevant to the type of jobs he’s targeting with this version of his resume. See accompany cover letter below.
  • Sample Chronological Management Resume: this new grad lists her many honors, distinctions, and volunteer/extracurricular activities in a two-column format at the end of her resume.
  • Sample Chronological Finance Resume: this resume makes the most of a distinctive program at the grad’s college. See accompany cover letter below.
  • Sample Finance Resume: another grad of the same distinctive program as the previous grad takes a slightly different approach with her resume particularly expanding on her Education section.
  • Sample Law School Resume: graduate and professional programs often require a resume for admission; this one targets law school.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Internship Resume: this student has strong unpaid experience but little paid work experience. He therefore plays up his transferable skills in his resume. See accompany cover letter below.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Travel Consultant Resume: this grad uses a very specific objective statement and makes the most of international experience. See accompany cover letter below.
    • Travel Consultant Cover Letter Sample: the new grad whose resume is listed above uses an attention-grabbing cover-letter opener and a reader-friendly bulleted style. The wording in the bullet points reflects wording in the ad to which the letter responds.
  • Sample Chronological Artist Resume: this resume features a "headline" approach and an attractive design. See accompany cover letter below.
    • Artist Cover Letter Sample: a solid understanding of what is needed in the targeted job distinguishes the cover letter of the grad w hose resume is above.
  • Sample Chronological Management Resume: this new grad uses a skills-based objective statement.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Sales Resume: a chrono-functional approach enables this grad to feature applicable skills clusters. His professional history is presented in two columns.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional IT Programming Resume: a keyword section detailing technical skills is a major feature of this resume. See accompany cover letter below.
  • Sample Chrono-Functional Customer-Service Resume: this grad uses skills clusters that relate to his targeted job. See accompany cover letter below.

And take advantage of all of our free resume resources and cover letter resources, including articles, tutorials, quizzes, and much more!

The Quintessential Guide to Surefire Resumes for New Graduates and Other Entry-Level Candidates

*Many of these fictionalized resumes and cover letters are just a small part of a free Quintessential Careers Press e-book, The Quintessential Guide to Surefire Resumes for New Graduates and Other Entry-Level Candidates, by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., and Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. The book provides seven chapters that will help you pack punch into your resume and cover letter and then gives you two chapters of tools — worksheets and samples to guide you to applying what you’ve learned from the book to creating surefire career-marketing documents.


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Go to Sample Professional Resumes for All Job-Seekers.

Go to Job-Hunting Samples and Examples for Job-Seekers, where you’ll find free samples of just about every job-search tool you’ll need to be successful.

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