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Graduate Cover Letter Example

Congratulations on your diploma! You’re ready to enter the job market and you know an excellent graduate cover letter can make all the difference. Below, you will find all the tips you need to develop a letter that has hiring managers eager to know more. Let us help you get in position to land the first job on your career ladder in 2022.
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Graduate Cover Letter Example
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With little to no work experience, it can be challenging to write a graduate cover letter. How can you show a hiring manager that you have the right skills and experience when you’ve only just finished your education?

We’ve got answers! This cover letter guide, together with our graduate cover letter example, will cover these topics, designed to ensure you write the best possible cover letter:

  • The most appropriate cover letter format to use, and the sections of the cover letter
  • Ensuring your cover letter content makes an impact
  • How to set yourself apart from other candidates.

This guide is designed for a general graduate cover letter, but you can also find more job-specific advice for your industry or desired job title in our library of  cover letter examples.

Best format for a graduate cover letter

The best way to approach your graduate cover letter is to work out what format and structure you intend to use before you get started with the content.

Your graduate cover letter should include these:

  • Cover letter header – including your key contact details
  • Greeting/salutation
  • Introduction
  • Main body of the letter
  • Conclusion and call to action

You can use this comprehensive cover letter guide to gain a better insight into how to compile your application letter and ensure the content is as appealing as possible to the hiring manager.

This graduate cover letter example will give you a base to start writing your own.

Dear Ms. Long,

Having achieved a 2:1 Distinction BA Hons Accounting and Finance, with practical experience of working in a small accounts department, I am now seeking an opportunity to put my skills and passion for finance into practice.

I believe that financial reporting is an excellent way to begin my career because it will give me the opportunity to learn the business and to hone my presentation and forecasting skills. 

The benefit of working in a small accounts department is that I got to do a little of everything, giving me practical experience to go along with my academic coursework. For my final project, I worked with a team to develop a five-year plan for an IT consultancy similar to yours. This experience taught me not only how to forecast, but how to problem solve and listen carefully to others' ideas.

In addition, I have worked in customer services roles for 3 years and in this time, I have developed my skills in working with a range of people. I have strong communication skills, as well as the ability to work well in a team. Although accounting and finance are not often thought of as people-based, it is my belief that interpersonal skills are important in any position in the work world.

I am extremely interested in IT IQ in part because I love the challenge of forecasting sales models and predicting how many worker hours will be necessary. Coupled with my strong academic achievements and excellent interpersonal skills, I feel I would be a great asset to your organisation. I would welcome the chance to discuss this role in more detail.

Sincerely,

Simon Trenton

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Cover letter header

The cover letter will always have a header, which is situated at the top. This is where you put your key contact details, including your name, email address, and phone number. You may also want to add your LinkedIn profile. It should also create an attractive design for the page so make sure to choose a header that stands out (professionally, of course.) Check out the header on our graduate cover letter example for a free design you can customize.

The aim of the cover letter header: Ensuring the hiring manager can contact you, by stating your key contact information on your header.

Cover letter greeting

Your cover letter greeting is the way you initially speak to the recipient of the cover letter, so you should keep this formal. If you know the name of the recipient, you should write “Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms {Surname.} If the name of the recipient is not on the job advert, you can just write {Dear Hiring Manager} or similar. See the excerpt from our graduate cover letter sample below.

The aim of cover letter greeting/salutation: Start the conversation on a formal footing, as this shows you respect the recipient

Cover letter introduction

As you don’t have any or little experience as a graduate, it is key that you can set yourself apart from other candidates with a great introduction. Why should the hiring manager take notice of your application? The focus will be on your qualifications and any relevant projects you have undertaken if you do not have relevant work experience. Find more inspiration in our cover letter example below.

The purpose of the cover letter intro: What is the most important message you want to get across about your expertise/skills?

Adaptable cover letter example for a greeting and introduction

Dear Ms. Long,

Having achieved a 2:1 Distinction BA Hons Accounting and Finance, with practical experience of working in a small accounts department, I am now seeking an opportunity to put my skills and passion for finance into practice.

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Cover letter middle part (body)

In most cases, a graduate won’t have experience, but if you have any that might be relevant to the role (even practical experience at university), you can include it in the body of the cover letter. Give the hiring manager a clear vision of what you can achieve for them and what they should expect from you. Here’s the body from our adaptable graduate cover letter sample.

Play up your interest in the role by doing some research on the company and explaining why this position is attractive to you. Hiring managers understand that junior-level positions will be filled by fresh graduates, but they want to know that you have the desire and the basic skills to add value to the organisation.

Adaptable cover letter example for a middle paragraph

I believe that financial reporting is an excellent way to begin my career because it will give me the opportunity to learn the business and to hone my presentation and forecasting skills. 

The benefit of working in a small accounts department is that I got to do a little of everything, giving me practical experience to go along with my academic coursework. For my final project, I worked with a team to develop a five-year plan for an IT consultancy similar to yours. This experience taught me not only how to forecast, but how to problem solve and listen carefully to others' ideas.

In addition, I have worked in customer services roles for 3 years and in this time, I have developed my skills in working with a range of people. I have strong communication skills, as well as the ability to work well in a team. Although accounting and finance are not often thought of as people-based, it is my belief that interpersonal skills are important in any position in the work world.

Copied!

How to close a graduate cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

You’ve made your point, and now you need to remind the hiring manager why you should be offered an interview. Since you don’t have a lot of direct work experience, you should consider adding a personal sentence that either tells why you chose your field or why you are excited about the opportunity itself.

Then you can wrap up your graduate cover letter by reinforcing your interest and leaving the reader with a taste for who you are and why they should take you forward to an interview, as seen in the cover letter sample below.

Make sure you clearly request an interview without sounding presumptuous.

The aim of the conclusion: Let the reader know you are interested in the role and encourage them to progress you to the interview stage.

Adaptable cover letter example for a conclusion and sign-off

I am extremely interested in IT IQ in part because I love the challenge of forecasting sales models and predicting how many worker hours will be necessary. Coupled with my strong academic achievements and excellent interpersonal skills, I feel I would be a great asset to your organisation. I would welcome the chance to discuss this role in more detail.

Sincerely,

Simon Trenton

Copied!

Writing psychology: how to convey your work ethic in your cover letter

The reader of your cover letter should be left with no doubt that you have a strong work ethic. You can accomplish this by describing a project you completed during your coursework if you do not have transferable work experience. Don’t discount group work because it illustrates how you behave in a team, however, make sure you give credit where it is due.

Here are a few more hints to aid your writing process:

  • If you don’t have direct experience, then focus on the transferable skills you can offer.
  • Reflect on what you aim to bring to the role.
  • Talk about your academic achievements and why these are relevant.

Key takeaways 

  1. The cover letter is an essential component of a graduate’s application since it can help them stand out from other candidates with similar educational backgrounds.
  2. Make sure to include the key sections including an attractive header and catchy introduction.
  3. Keep your tone professional and invite the reader to contact you for an interview without coming across as pushy or arrogant.
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Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
Create Cover Letter

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