So are cover letters necessary for College jobs?
Well, the cover letter is your chance to tell a personal story to the hiring manager. It can help you prove you’re a real professional who knows what they bring to the table.
It’s also your opportunity to get into more detail about your personal qualities and success stories. But most importantly – it’s the first place to show your motivation.
So yes, having a cover letter is essential.
But what should yours look like? Let’s see…
Make your college cover letter stand out
So what does a good cover letter look like?
Well, it’s written in a tone of voice that matches the specific company’s culture, and it’s not just a long-form resume. It’s also focused on making the right impression.
We advise you to talk about your achievements, goals, and motivations, rather than just plainly listing your skills and experience. Try to tell a personal story.
And if that’s not enough, we have some additional pro tips for you.
Choose the right salutation and write a strong introduction
Choosing the right salutation for your cover letter is crucial – after all, it’s the first thing the hiring manager will read.
For this reason, we’ve gathered several classic salutations. Note that some of them could be used even if you don't know the hiring manager's name.
- Dear Mr. John,
- Dear Ms. Petersen,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Dr. Todd,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for]
The introduction is your chance of getting the reader’s attention and giving them a reason to see you as a good fit.
So make sure you highlight your excitement about the company or the industry (or even both!) and the reasons why you’d like to grow in the field.
Avoid using clichés like “I found your job posting on website X and decided to apply”.
Don't skip on your College soft and hard skills
Although you’ve probably listed all your skills on your resume, it’s worth mentioning them again, but by telling a personal story. Focusing on your soft skills and leaving most hard ones behind is also a good idea.
Maybe you want to mention the things that help you overcome setbacks? Or the things that help you reach your goals? It doesn’t really matter what you choose, as long as you link it back to the specific job requirements.
Naturally, if the job advert mentions some hard skills explicitly, you should do the same in your cover letter. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen resumes and cover letters for certain keywords.
Show that you know the company and its problems well
Proving that you are familiar with the company, its problems, and its goals is without a doubt one of the best ways to stand out.
If you want to show your passion for the company, mention how your skills and previous achievements can help the team grow.
It’s also worth mentioning how your experience can help resolve some of the most common industry issues.
Choose the right closing line
Ending your cover letter in an actionable way is one of the things that increase your chances of getting a callback.
The conclusion is also your opportunity to thank the recruiter for their time and consideration, so don’t skip that.
Just make sure to go for an ending that matches the company culture and language. If you prefer to be on the safe side, choose traditional closing lines such as “Looking forward to your reply”.