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Written by Emily StokerEmily Stoker

Student cover letter example

When you’re a student you may not have a wealth of work experience under your belt. However, as a budding professional you have more to offer than you may think. A well-written cover letter is the ideal way to express that. Here’s how
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Student cover letter example
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As a student, you are still forming the skills that will make you the best professional you can be. That being said, you can still be a valuable asset to the workforce. The best way to make any hiring manager agree is to present them with a well-crafted student cover letter.

Unlike a CV, writing a top student cover letter lets you elaborate further on the experiences that make you the right candidate for the job. It’s all about framing your skills in the right way. No previous employment? No problem. After all, everyone has to start somewhere!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of selling your skills in a cover letter, this step by step guide should set you on the right path. In this student cover letter example we’ll cover the following topics:

  • How to choose the best cover letter format and what paragraphs the cover letter should include
  • How to maximise the effect of each cover letter paragraph (header, greeting, intro, body and conclusion)
  • What approach to take when writing your cover letter
  • What mistakes to avoid when writing your student cover letter.

Don’t forget that you can look at our range of cover letter examples for more ideas on the skills and experience that might be interesting to your prospective employer.

Best format for a student cover letter

Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Mrs. Branwick,

I am a native German speaker and translation student working towards my modern foreign languages BA at Bristol University. I would like to apply for one of the part-time junior translators at Lingo Global.

I am in my third year of my French and Spanish studies. My grades reflect my expertise in this skillset; I have received a first in all my translation modules to date. I have acquired the following skills during my studies:

  • Expertise in modern translation methodologies and tools, with a special focus on industry-leading software.
  • Consistently achieved top grades in all translation assignments.
  • Undertook a six-month translation internship in Paris.
  • Translating legal documents in English, French, Spanish, and German.

I have worked in diverse teams during university projects, simulating real-world translation agencies, to produce multi-lingual documents and ensure all translations met the desired quality and consistency.

I plan to pursue a career as a professional translator in the tourism industry after my graduation. Therefore, I would be delighted to continue my professional development at Lingo Global and believe my experience so far would be an excellent match.

I would love to learn more about the role in an interview. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Martina Buesing

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A clearly structured student cover letter is important. Everything about your student cover letter should scream that you’ve got it together and are capable of becoming a top employee. A great cover letter format will organise your ideas more efficiently and also make it easier for the hiring manager to follow.

The format of a student cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

Think of the format of your cover letter as the foundations around which you will build the story of who you are as a budding professional. While these elements will give a strong base, there is lots of room to make your letter personalised for you and your potential employer.

The following sections will cover how to approach your specific situation as a student writing a cover letter. The student cover letter example below is also a good place to start looking for inspiration for your own writing. You can already start thinking about how you will frame your profile for a job or internship application.

Cover letter header

The cover letter header is one of the first things the hiring manager will notice. It’s the section that includes your personal contact information full name, email and mobile number. While it may seem like a small detail, it’s worth taking the time to make sure you write it carefully. 

This is one section where you really don’t want to make mistakes, as it could lead to confusion. In the worst case scenario, it could even cost you moving onto the next recruitment stage! If a hiring manager feels motivated to call you, the last thing you want is for them to get distracted or even frustrated while hunting for your contact information. 

There is no need to include a full home address in the cover letter header - this can come at the offer stage. Also, the inside address of the employer is now an outdated convention that simply takes up space.

In addition to its practical function, the header of your student cover letter is a great way to keep your name fresh in the mind of the hiring manager. The key to executing this properly also relies on clear presentation. 

Cover letter greeting

As a student you already know how intimidating it can feel to look at a blank page you’re expected to fill with insightful writing. Just like a well-considered report or essay, the first words of your student cover letter are important. Luckily, there is a hard and fast rule to get you started. 

The standard way to start a letter will be with a simple “Dear” followed by the title and last name of the hiring manager. This level of formality is important to get right, as it sets the first impression you make. You don’t want to come off as too casual, which could come across as carelessness. On the other hand, too much formality or impersonal language — such as the infamous “To whom it may concern” — could mean you’re written off as being impersonal.

If you haven’t been given the name of the hiring manager, it’s worth dedicating a few minutes to finding it out. Not only will you seem more friendly, but it will likely earn you some brownie points for using your initiative. LinkedIn or the company website are great places to start your research.

Cover letter introduction

The cover letter introduction is the section that should hook the reader’s attention. Hopefully you’ve spent some time researching the role you’re applying to and know why you want to work there. This will give you the best chance to tailor your student cover letter to this opportunity in particular.

Like in any academic paper you’ve ever written, the introduction will set up the argument of why you’re the best fit for the position. This opening paragraph should tease into the most important aspects of the story you will tell. The story, of course, being a researched case on why your expertise matches the needs of the employer. 

By the end of the introduction to your student cover letter, the hiring manager may already have formed an idea in their mind as to whether or not they want to read on. Look at the cover letter sample content below for an example of how you can set up your student cover letter introduction for success.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mrs. Branwick,

I am a native German speaker and translation student working towards my modern foreign languages BA at Bristol University. I would like to apply for one of the part-time junior translators at Lingo Global.

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Expert tip

Leave the introduction until last

Don’t be afraid to write your introduction last. Once you have written the core of your cover letter it will be easier to concisely define the key points that will be covered.

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle paragraphs of cover letters are where you can do a deeper dive into the points you’ve teased in your introduction. This is your opportunity to build a picture of why your experience — regardless of how limited it might be as a student — lines up with what the potential employer is looking for. 

Try to brainstorm several points that illustrate why you are the best fit for the position you’re applying to. The examples that you choose could be from previous professional experience, or something else. Think about student projects, or even extra-curricular activities at university or high school. You will likely have room to mention only a couple of them in your cover letter, so be sure to pick the best ones.

Now it’s time to commit them to paper. Separate them clearly into a couple of paragraphs that flow naturally and clearly respond to what the opportunity you’re applying to calls for. If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas you can write about, look at the student cover letter sample content below for inspiration. Or keep reading for more tips on writing a cover letter when you have limited experience. 

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

I am in my third year of my French and Spanish studies. My grades reflect my expertise in this skillset; I have received a first in all my translation modules to date. I have acquired the following skills during my studies:

  • Expertise in modern translation methodologies and tools, with a special focus on industry-leading software.
  • Consistently achieved top grades in all translation assignments.
  • Undertook a six-month translation internship in Paris.
  • Translating legal documents in English, French, Spanish, and German.

I have worked in diverse teams during university projects, simulating real-world translation agencies, to produce multi-lingual documents and ensure all translations met the desired quality and consistency.

I plan to pursue a career as a professional translator in the tourism industry after my graduation. Therefore, I would be delighted to continue my professional development at Lingo Global and believe my experience so far would be an excellent match.

Copied!
Expert tip

A winning proposition

It’s not enough to list your motivations for looking for a student job. The employer knows you are looking for work. After all, that’s why you’ve applied. What they really want to know is what you can do for them.

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

The sign-off paragraph brings your student cover letter to a neat close. While it should be short, take the time to make sure this paragraph addresses anything that was left open-ended. It should feel concise and coherent with the rest of your writing.

A great way to keep this to a few sentences is to briefly remind the hiring manager why you’re the person for the job. You could tease them with the idea that there’s more to your profile you’d be ready to discuss in an interview. In fact, a call to action, such as asking to learn more about the role and or tell them more about your profile can be a great way to close and show off your enthusiasm. Look at the cover letter sample paragraph below to see how it can be done without seeming overly pushy.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I would love to learn more about the role in an interview. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Martina Buesing

Copied!

Student cover letter with no experience

As a student, it’s likely that you have limited professional experience or none at all. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, you still have plenty of ways to communicate your compatibility with the role you’ve set your sights on.

Consider if you have taken part in any of the following activities. While they may not count as paid work, they could help you to draw examples of your hard and soft skills:

  • Babysitting jobs
  • Volunteering
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Awards or certifications
  • Personal projects
  • Tutoring
  • Event planning
  • Taking part in student committees
  • Other ways you’ve helped or participated in your local community

A cover letter is a great place to paint a full picture of who you are in ways that might be difficult to do in your CV. Many workplaces would rather invest in someone who has the right attitude for their professional environment, regardless of their professional experience or if they’re a student. Leaning on your soft skills can help you to do this. 

Key takeaways

Like any skill you need to practise, gradually writing your way to professional success will get easier. Before you know it you’ll land that job and have more material for your next cover letter! Here are some takeaways to keep in mind.

  1. Spend some time finding the right addressee to make a great first impression.
  2. Write your introduction last when the cover letter structure is clear.
  3. Brainstorm the best examples of why you match the profile the hiring manager wants.
  4. Don’t be afraid to find inspiration of why you’re a great candidate outside of professional and/or academic experience.

Now that you know how to approach writing your student cover letter, don’t forget to take the time to make sure it looks the part, too. If you’re nervous about presenting a cover letter with visuals that match the quality of your writing, Resume.io has developed a range of carefully market-researched cover letter templates.

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