As a recent graduate, you need to effectively showcase your degree and relevant skills on your CV and cover letter.
But when you’re just starting out in your career, it can be tough to know where to begin.
In the guide below, we’ll teach you how to create a clear, concise and professional application using our graduate cover letter examples and handy top tips.
Graduate cover letter example 1
Graduate cover letter example 2
Graduate cover letter example 3
To further understand exactly how you can write a cover letter that will get you noticed, check out our further guidance.
How to write a Graduate cover letter
Here’s how to write your own winning Graduate cover letter
Write your cover letter in the body of an email/message
When writing your Graduate cover letter, it’s best to type the content into the body of your email (or the job site messaging system) and not to attach the cover letter as a separate document.
This ensures that your cover letter gets seen as soon as a recruiter or employer opens your message.
If you attach the cover letter as a document, you’re making the reader go through an unnecessary step of opening the document before reading it.
If it’s in the body of the message itself, it will be seen instantly, which hugely increases the chances of it being read.
Start with a friendly greeting
To kick your cover letter off, start with a friendly greeting to build rapport with the recruiter instantly.
Your greeting should be personable but professional. Not too casual, but not too formal either
Go with something like…
- Hi [insert recruiter name]
- Hi [insert department/team name]
Avoid old-fashioned greetings like “Dear sir/madam” unless applying to very formal companies.
How to find the contact’s name?
Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship. If it is not listed in the job advert, try these methods to find it.
- Check out the company website and look at their About page. If you see a hiring manager, HR person or internal recruiter, use their name. You could also try to figure out who would be your manager in the role and use their name.
- Head to LinkedIn, search for the company and scan through the list of employees. Most professionals are on LinkedIn these days, so this is a good bet.
Identify the role you are applying for
Once you’ve opened up the cover letter with a warm greeting to start building a relationship, it is time to identify which role you want to apply for.
Recruiters are often managing multiple vacancies, so you need to ensure you apply to the correct one.
Be very specific and use a reference number if you can find one.
- I am interested in applying for the position of *Graduate position* with your company.
- I would like to apply for the role of Sales assistant (Ref: 406f57393)
- I would like to express my interest in the customer service vacancy within your retail department
- I saw your advert for a junior project manager on Reed and would like to apply for the role.
Highlight your suitability
The sole objective of your cover letter is to motivate recruiters into to opening your CV. And you achieve this by quickly explaining your suitability to the roles you are applying for.
Take a look at the job descriptions you are applying to, and make note of the most important skills and qualifications being asked for.
Then, when crafting your cover letter, make your suitability the central focus.
Explain why you are the best qualified candidate, and why you are so well suited to carry out the job.
This will give recruiters all the encouragement they need to open your CV and consider you for the job.
Keep it short and sharp
A good cover letter is short and sharp, getting to the point quickly with just enough information to grab the attention of recruiters.
Ideally your cover letter should be around 4-8 sentences long – anything longer will risk losing the attention of time-strapped recruiters and hiring managers.
Essentially you need to include just enough information to persuade the reader to open up your CV, where the in-depth details will sit.
Sign off professionally
To round of your CV, you should sign off with a professional signature.
This will give your cover letter a slick appearance and also give the recruiter all of the necessary contact information they need to get in touch with you.
The information to add should include:
- A friendly sign off – e.g. “Kindest regards”
- Your full name
- Phone number (one you can answer quickly)
- Email address
- Profession title
- Professional social network – e.g. LinkedIn
Here is an example signature;
IT Project Manager
Quick tip: To save yourself from having to write your signature every time you send a job application, you can save it within your email drafts, or on a separate documents that you could copy in.
What to include in your Graduate cover letter
Here’s what kind of content you should include in your Graduate cover letter…
The exact info will obviously depend on your industry and experience level, but these are the essentials.
- Your relevant experience – Where have you worked and what type of jobs have you held?
- Your qualifications – Let recruiters know about your highest level of qualification to show them you have the credentials for the job.
- The impact you have made – Show how your actions have made a positive impact on previous employers; perhaps you’ve saved them money or helped them to acquire new customers?
- Your reasons for moving – Hiring managers will want to know why you are leaving your current or previous role, so give them a brief explanation.
- Your availability – When can you start a new job? Recruiters will want to know how soon they can get you on board.
Don’t forget to tailor these points to the requirements of the job advert for best results.
Graduate cover letter templates
Copy and paste these Graduate cover letter templates to get a head start on your own.
I hope you’re well.
I am excited to apply for the Graduate Structural Engineer position at Stainton Energy and I believe my strong academic background and onsite experience makes me a suitable candidate for this role.
Throughout my master’s degree at the University of Glasgow, I have engaged in large-scale installation projects, feasibility studies, and audits for civil and renewable energy construction companies. Notably, I contributed to a site audit that identified a significant submerged rock area, leading to critical modifications in project plans. Additionally, my Certified AutoCAD Professional status has enabled me to implement cost-effective materials and conduct comprehensive end-to-end component design. Throughout my academic journey, I excelled in modules encompassing Feasibility Study, Geotechnical Design, Renewable Energy Systems, and more. My final project, “A digital model of soil mechanics in an urban environment,” showcased my prowess in complex data analysis and computer modelling.
I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience and eager to discuss how my skills can contribute to the company’s success. Thank you for considering my application.
Leila Marker ¦ 07777777777 ¦ Leila.firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you’re well.
I am excited to apply for the Graduate Research Chemist position at Helmer Laboratories as it perfectly aligns with my passion for analytical chemistry and expertise in organic synthesis.
As a detail-oriented Chemistry graduate currently pursuing my master’s in Analytical Chemistry, I possess technical proficiency in HPLC and GC-MS, enabling precise quality checks and chemical identification. My problem-solving skills and meticulous approach have streamlined workflows in a professional research laboratory and, during my internship at Lab Solutions Ltd, I contributed to significant cost savings through process optimisation and validation of an in-house HPLC method.
Throughout my academic journey, I excelled in modules covering Analytical Techniques, Advanced Organic Synthesis, and Chemical Analysis and Quality Control. My forthcoming thesis, ‘Analysis of Drug Metabolites in Urine using GC-MS,’ demonstrates my commitment to cutting-edge research.
I am confident that these collective skills make me and asses for your team and I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience to discuss them further.
Giles Stevens ¦ 07777777777 ¦ email@example.com
I hope you’re well.
I am writing to apply for the Graduate Software Developer position at your esteemed organisation, as it presents an exciting opportunity to leverage my passion for programming and problem-solving.
As a Computer Science graduate, I possess a strong background in object-oriented design principles and technical solution development. My proficiency in Java, C++, and Python has allowed me to develop and deploy software updates for enterprise-level applications, ensuring seamless user experiences. During my undergraduate studies I excelled in modules covering Software Development, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence. During my summer internship at Sky Blue Solutions, I collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to deliver high-quality software products. I also successfully implemented a new update deployment process, improving efficiency by 14%, and contributing to the development of an e-commerce application, increasing user engagement by 23%.
I am excited about the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications and how my skills can contribute to your organisation’s success. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience.
Mason Harley ¦ 07777777777 ¦ firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing an impressive cover letter is a crucial step in landing a Graduate job, so taking the time to perfect it is well worth while.
By following the tips and examples above you will be able to create an eye-catching cover letter that will wow recruiters and ensure your CV gets read – leading to more job interviews for you.
Good luck with your job search!