Career Planning Finding a Job Cover Letters College Senior Cover Letter Sample and Writing Tips By Alison Doyle Alison Doyle Facebook Twitter Website Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts and has counseled both students and corporations on hiring practices. She has given hundreds of interviews on the topic for outlets including The New York Times, BBC News, and LinkedIn. Alison founded CareerToolBelt.com and has been an expert in the field for more than 20 years. learn about our editorial policies Updated on September 13, 2022 Fact checked by Taylor Tompkins Fact checked by Taylor Tompkins Twitter Website Taylor Tompkins has worked for more than a decade as a journalist covering business, finance, and the economy. She has logged thousands of hours interviewing experts, analyzing data, and writing articles to help readers understand economic forces. She joined The Balance in 2022 as its Economics Editor. learn about our editorial policies Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article Cover Letter Challenges for College Seniors Example Job Description Analyze and Respond to the Job Description How to Structure Your Cover Letter Sample Cover Letter for a College Senior FAQs Photo: Marko Geber / Getty Images A cover letter for your first professional position after graduation should highlight both your academic experiences and your past work experience if you have it. Include your academic concentration, especially if it's relevant to the position you're applying for, along with your personal experience. If you have held leadership roles in college, volunteer, or community organizations, these should also be mentioned since they will help to demonstrate your self-motivation, work ethic, team-building talents, and organizational skills. Key Takeaways Even if you have little to no experience as a college student, you can still write a cover letter for entry-level positions.Include how your personal traits and experiences meet the specific job requirements and make connections with the company in your cover letter.Use the examples below to help format your letter. Cover Letter Challenges for College Seniors How do you build a convincing cover letter when you have little or no work experience? The trick is to first list the qualifications and/or requirements that are defined in the description of the job you’re applying for. Take, for example, a job description like this example for an entry-level position in an art gallery. As you read a job description, bold-face the most essential skills it lists. You’ll want to respond directly to these in your cover letter. Example Job Description “We are seeking an entry-level Gallery / Marketing Assistant to provide world-class customer service to our patrons at our gallery shop in Saratoga Springs’ dynamic Beekman Street Art District. You must also be willing to perform basic administrative tasks as warranted. RESPONSIBILITIES: This full time (40 hour a week) role, M–F 9 AM–5:00 PM, will include the following duties and responsibilities: Coordinate and lead engaging client tours and art showsProcessing customer orders and arranging for purchase shipmentResearch and post SEO-enhanced blog posts and artwork descriptions on our websitePerform general clerical duties, including phone reception, filing, and copyingProviding general assistance to rest of staff QUALIFICATIONS: A B.A. or B.F.A. in Fine Arts or Museum Studies preferred.Demonstrated ability to multitask and remain flexible with changing prioritiesMust be able to work well under pressure and be a team player within a fast-paced environmentExcellent organization, communication, and customer service skillsExcellent computer skills in Microsoft Office Suite and WordPress Analyze and Respond to the Job Description After analyzing the description, it’s time to list examples of how you meet these qualifications and requirements. From the text of this description, it’s clear that this will be a customer-facing position, so you’ll have to demonstrate in your cover letter that you’re a “people person” and “team player” who has experience communicating one-on-one with strangers. You’ll also need to describe any web content/blogging and clerical/administrative experience you have. If you have no professional work experience, then think of examples where you have used these skills as a community volunteer, a club member, or during your academic training. How to Structure Your Cover Letter 1. Opening paragraph: Introduce yourself, specify the job you're applying for, state how you learned about it, and mention whether a personal connection referred you. 2. Second paragraph: Establish an immediate connection between yourself and the employer by proving that you’ve taken the time to research their organization in depth. Read the company's blog posts; research their social media presence and news releases. Then use this information in a statement or two that shows you’ve done your homework and expresses your enthusiasm for the organization. 3. Third paragraph: State how your personal traits and experiences meet the specific job requirements, using short anecdotes and examples to illustrate the special expertise that will distinguish you from your competition. Note Quantifying achievements or previous work examples with numbers or percentages can make your cover letter stand out. 4. Fourth paragraph: Thank the hiring manager for their consideration, reiterate your enthusiasm for the job, and ask that they respond to your application. Sample Cover Letter for a College Senior This is an example of a cover letter for a college senior. Download the college senior cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples. ©TheBalance 2018 Download the Word Template Sample Cover Letter for a College Senior (Text Version) Harper Applicant123 Main StreetAnytown, CA email@example.comSeptember 1, 2018Paul LeeDirector, Human ResourcesNew Age Gallery123 Business Rd.Business City, NY 54321Dear Mr. Lee,As a graduating senior from ABC University’s Museum Studies Department (with a minor in Marketing), I was excited to discover your May 25th posting on jobs.com for a Gallery / Marketing Assistant at New Age Gallery.Saratoga Springs’ Beekman Street art scene is one of the most exciting venues in New York – several our artists in residence at ABC University have shown there, and Amy Renoir in particular speaks highly of her experience coordinating her well-received “Memories in Black” exhibition at New Age Gallery in 20xx. My goal in gaining my degree in Museum Studies has always been to promote the contemporary art scene, and I can think of no place better to launch my career than at New Age Gallery.Academically, my extensive coursework as an honors student in Museum Studies has enabled me to gain an understanding of how exhibits are coordinated and marketed. As part of my capstone Arts Management course, I worked as an intern for the ABC University Museum. My responsibilities in this role included conducting gallery tours, manning the reception desk and answering phones, creating effective promotions (within a tight deadline) for an upcoming exhibition, and changing out art descriptions on their website. I also coordinated a “meet and greet” happy hour with local artists Mike Angelo, R. M. Brandt, and Hal Bein that raised more than $8000 for our “Friends of the Museum” fund.Eager to learn more about your gallery operations, I would welcome the opportunity for a personal interview. Please let me know if there is any other information I can offer to support my candidacy for the Gallery / Marketing Assistant position; I hope to hear from you soon.Sincerely,Harper Applicant Resume Example and Tips: Resume Sample for a College Senior More Sample Cover LettersHere you will find cover letter samples for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including an internship cover letter sample and entry-level, targeted, and email cover letters. FAQs How long should it take to write a college cover letter? Writing a cover letter from scratch should take about 20 to 30 minutes, according to career coaches. If you're applying for similar jobs, you may be able to repurpose a previously used cover letter to save time, but each should be distinguishable. How do you end a college cover letter? The last paragraph of your cover letter should thank the company for considering you for the position and reiterate your excitement about the position. Any business closings are appropriate to sign off. Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning! Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. North Central College. "Writing a Recent Graduate Cover Letter." Harvard. "CVs and Cover Letters," Page 22. Ask A Manager. "How Long Should You Spend Writing a Cover Letter?"