First time on the job market? You need an excellent resume with an outstanding cover letter. Especially for first jobs like internships effective resumes and cover letters are essential partners in your job search.
To help students like you, we have compiled the best cover letter examples for top career departments from universities.
Before you get inspired by these cover letters examples, please consider these points.
- Introduces you to the prospective employer
- Highlights your enthusiasm for the position
- Describes your specific skills and qualifications for the job or internship, and clearly explains why you are a good fit
- Confirms your availability to start a new position
Whether you finished school early or you’re a tertiary grad, and whether you’ve had heaps of experience or none, one of these samples will suit your needs. Download this sample cover letter:
What are ‘Cover Letters’ and ‘Letters of Inquiry’:
- Cover letters: When mailing your resume to prospective employers, it should always be accompanied by a cover letter. Your letter should capture the interest of the employer and communicate a personalized message about what you can contribute to that particular organization. Make sure to tailor your letters to each employer, because letters that are mass-produced and generic are unappealing.
- Letters of Inquiry: A letter of inquiry is similar to a cover letter, but it asks about possible job opportunities rather than responding to a specific job announcement.
What to Include:
- Begin by addressing your letter to a specific person. This may involve some research on your part, such as a call to the organization to find out the correct name and title of the person to whom you should write.
- “Dear Sir/Madam” is very impersonal and indicates a lack of real interest in the organization and the person to whom you should write.
- In the body of the letter, make it short and to the point. Throughout the letter, avoid the use of flowery language and cliches.
- Identify who you are, why you are writing, and where you learned of the opening. Relate your qualifications and skills to the position or organization to which you are applying. This demonstrates your knowledge of the organization and illustrates how you can be an asset to them.
- Refer to your resume without restating it word for word. Your cover letter is supposed to highlight your resume.
- The goal is to emphasize a few strong, specific examples that highlight your experience, skills, passion, and qualifications. This is your time to communicate your passion, interest, and enthusiasm – utilize the time!
- To conclude the letter, indicate what you want to happen next. If you want an interview, ask for it.
Format and Style:
- Any business-style letter format is appropriate (e.g. full-block format, modified-block format). Always indicate whether there are enclosures included (e.g. resume, writing sample, transcript).
- When writing your letter, keep in mind the reader’s perspective. The most effective cover letters are clear, concise, and convey messages in three to five paragraphs. Your letter should not exceed one page in length.
- Use paper that matches the paper of your printed resume. You may use matching envelopes or plain manila envelopes. Like the resume, your letter must be neat and typed with no spelling or grammar errors.
Read through our three paragraph model for writing cover letters, or select the images below for sample cover letters:
Career & Academic Planning staff can review and provide feedback on your cover letter or other job search correspondence during a 30-minute individual meeting.
At the minimum, you need to have a first draft written to schedule an appointment. You can schedule an appointment online, or schedule an appointment by calling at 540-568-6555.
Telling your story is an essential component in working toward a fulfilling career path. Your story will be conveyed in many ways, both written and verbal, and is a great way to form a positive first impression to potential recruiters, graduate schools, and other connections.
Cover letters are another essential piece in telling your story through professional, written communication. Since your resume will describe your experience in detail, your cover letter will tell the reader exactly why you want the position and provide in-depth examples to back up your experiences.
Sample Cover Letters by College
- College of Engineering – Undergraduate
- College of Engineering – Graduate
- College of Fine Arts
- Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences
- Mellon College of Science
- School of Computer Science
- Tepper School of Business
Want to learn how to write a strong cover letter? Check out this recording from WU virtual cover letter workshop for tips on strategy, structure, and where to go for additional support.
A compelling cover letter should always accompany your resume. While a resume highlights your academic and professional experience, a cover letter allows you to tell the story beyond your resume.
For cover letter samples and guidelines, see pages 22-25 of the Career Guide. Additionally, our advisors will help you hone your cover letter for maximum impact. Simply email your résumé and/or cover letter drafts to a Career Advisor requesting feedback.
To make an appointment with a career advisor, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 314-935-5950, stop by the WCC in Knight Hall 210, or schedule online.
Cover letters are an important component of your job-search materials to convey your value to employers.
You’ll use them to:
- Introduce yourself to prospective employers and motivate them to read your resume.
- State your career interests and highlight your strengths in relation to job responsibilities and/or organizations.
- Demonstrate your writing skills, professionalism, and courtesy.
- Reveal your personality and enthusiasm for the position, organization, and field.
- Cover Letter – Sample 1
- Cover Letter – Sample 2
- Cover Letter – Sample 3
High School Sample Cover Letter
Students, after finishing their high school, find it quite a daunting task to apply for their first job. One might wonder: I have no experience, my high school diploma is incomplete, so what do I write in my resume?
The answer is ‘skills.’ As a high school student, your resume must feature your transferable skills and if you have any volunteer work experience even if it was unpaid make it count.
Are you a high school student applying for your first job? Use the sample cover letter to help you write an impressive job application. Cover letter templates can guide you through the process of writing a cover letter for your job applications.