Cover Letter Samples Sorted By Major & Industry:
I’m sure you’ve heard it before:
“I need experience to get a job but I need a job to get experience.”
I understand your frustration.
You may feel like it’s impossible to land an entry-level job out of college.
As a recent graduate or job seeker, I’m sure you’re asking:
How can I stand out from all the other applicants?
As a recent college graduate, your cover letter can help you land a job. And better yet, crafting a well-written cover letter is actually pretty simple.
In this article, I’ll share four great cover letter templates you can use to get started (along with industry-specific, full-length sample cover letters). I will also explain what to write and how to tailor your cover letter to each company and position.
When you apply for a job, you should never submit a generic cover letter. But you can use these templates as a starting point. Just don’t forget to integrate your personality! Submitting a unique cover letter is the only way to stand out from a pool of equally qualified applicants.
What is the purpose of a cover letter?
When you write a cover letter, you connect seemingly separate pieces of information—just like a connect the dots picture.
You need to relate your education, qualifications, and achievements to the requirements and responsibilities outlined in the job description. Essentially, you need to connect the dots so the employer can quickly see the big picture.
You’re probably asking:
So, what’s the big picture?
The big picture is why the company should hire you.
When you write a cover letter, you need to explain what makes you qualified for a specific position with a unique company. To do this, you must read and comprehend every word of the job description. It’s important to know what qualities the employer desires in an applicant.
The content of your cover letter will also vary based on the type of position you’re applying for. Do you want a part-time position, a full-time position that aligns with your major, a position that does not align with your major, or an internship?
No matter which type of position you are applying for, a well-written cover letter is key. In this article, I will share four different cover letter templates you can use to get started:
- Cover Letter for a Part-Time Position
- Cover Letter for an Entry-Level Position (Job Related to Major)
- Cover Letter for an Entry-Level Position with Limited Relevant Experience (Job Unrelated to Major)
- Cover Letter for an Internship
I’ll show you exactly how to write a cover letter tailored to a part-time position, an entry-level position that aligns with your college major, an entry-level position unrelated to your major, and an internship. If you’re applying for a job that does not align with your college major—no worries. Many people pursue career paths that do not exactly match what they studied in college.
Regardless of type, every cover letter addresses the following questions:
- Who are you?
- Why are you writing?
- Why are you interested in the specific position?
- Why do you want to work for the specific company?
- What makes you qualified for the position?
- What specific experiences (i.e. college courses, degree, internships) prepared you for this entry-level role?
Every great cover letter includes company and position-specific information. This means every cover letter must be unique. If you normally submit the same exact cover letter to multiple positions:
That’s a common way to fail.
Recruiters can quickly spot a generic cover letter. Instead, focus on what is most relevant to each organization.
The cover letter samples below indicate places where your cover letter content should be tailored to each position. Brackets [ ] and CAPITAL letters, signify where you should insert information specific to you and the position or company you’re applying to.
There are several reasons you may obtain a part-time position after graduating college:
- You have family obligations that make a full-time job unrealistic.
- You haven’t found a full-time position in your desired industry, but there’s a part-time role open.
- You want to continue job searching for your dream position, but you need the financial income now.
- You want to work for a specific company, but the only openings the company has right now are part-time.
Whatever your situation, a part-time job may fit your present needs. Just because the position is part-time (or it’s your backup plan) doesn’t mean you should spend less time writing your cover letter. You need to put the same time and effort into your cover letter as you would when applying for a full-time position.
Part-time positions are incredibly helpful. They can help you get your foot in the door, gain valuable experience, and acquire positive references.
Here’s a cover letter sample of what you could write:
PART-TIME POSITION COVER LETTER TEMPLATE
Dear [HIRING MANAGER’S FULL NAME],
I am interested in the part-time [TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. After reviewing the posting on your website, I am confident my experience would be valuable to your company.
In [YEAR], I graduated from [UNIVERSITY] with a [DEGREE]. My coursework involved [RELEVANT COURSE TOPICS]. My [RELEVANT SKILL 1], [RELEVANT SKILL 2], and [RELEVANT SKILL 3] are assets I have utilized in previous roles.
After reviewing the job description, it is clear you seek a [TITLE] who can [RESPONSIBILITY 1 FROM JOB DESCRIPTION] and [RESPONSIBILITY 2 FROM JOB DESCRIPTION]. In my last position, I excelled at [ACCOMPLISHMENT 1] and was recognized for my contribution of [ACCOMPLISHMENT 2]. I am confident in my ability to achieve similar results with your company.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you regarding this position. I am primarily available [AVAILABILITY]. I appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to discussing the opportunity to join your organization.
You’re a recent graduate—maybe you graduated this year, or you’re a couple years out. When you apply for a full-time, entry-level position, you need to place a large emphasis on your education, any experience you have acquired since graduating, and what makes you a well-qualified applicant.
In addition, you need to explain how you will be an asset to the company. It’s a two-way street and the employer needs to know how you will contribute to their team. Entry-level positions are undoubtedly competitive. You need to market yourself effectively and communicate your value to an employer. In short, convince them to hire you!
Here is a great cover letter sample detailing what to write:
ENTRY-LEVEL COVER LETTER TEMPLATE (Related to Major)
Dear [HIRING MANAGER’S FULL NAME] and Search Committee,
When I discovered the [TITLE] position with [COMPANY], I was excited by the chance to further my [INDUSTRY] career. I am drawn to the position because it combines my passion for [RELEVANT PASSION] with my education and [INDUSTRY] knowledge. I am motivated by the opportunity to assist [COMPANY] in [RELEVANT RESPONSIBILITY]. I am qualified for this position based on my academic background in [MAJOR] and experience [RESPONSIBILITY 1] and [RESPONSIBILITY 2].
In [YEAR], I graduated with a [DEGREE] from [UNIVERSITY]. I have experience [RELEVANT SKILL 1] and [RELEVANT SKILL 2]. In my current position as a [TITLE], I [RESPONSIBILITY 1]. As a result of my work, the company achieved [RESULT].
In addition to [RESPONSIBILITY 1], I also have extensive experience [RESPONSIBILITY 2]. Most recently, I [ACCOMPLISHMENT RELATED TO RESPONSIBILITY 2]. Given the results of my [RESPONSIBILITY 2], I [QUANTITATIVE RESULT] for the company.
Lastly, [RESPONSIBILITY 3] is vital because it results in [END GOAL]. In my current position, I collaborate with a team of [INDUSTRY] professionals. Much of my work involves [ROLE 1] and [ROLE 2]. As a result of these efforts, the company [ACCOMPLISHMENT RELATED TO RESPONSIBILITY 3]. I am confident in my ability to achieve similar results with your organization.
My experience [RESPONSIBILITY 1], [RESPONSIBILITY 2], and [RESPONSIBILITY 3] have prepared me well for the [TITLE] position with [COMPANY]. I am very interested in this opportunity and look forward to speaking with you soon. Thank you for your consideration.
(Job Unrelated to Major)
Many graduates find themselves in positions unrelated to their degrees or major. This doesn’t mean that what you learned in college is useless. But it does require a different approach when it comes to writing a cover letter.
For example, you may need to communicate how your history major will help you succeed in sales. Or how your elementary education major equipped you with the skills to work in digital marketing. It may sound challenging, but it’s all about connecting the dots. Even if you don’t think you have relevant experience, you’re still qualified. After all, you do have a college degree! This is where transferable skills come in.
What’s a transferable skill?
Transferable skills are applicable from job to job. They are relevant regardless of the position you’re applying for. Common transferable skills include delegation, research and analytics, collaboration, communication, and organization.
If you’re applying for a position, but you lack relevant experience, this example will set you up for success. Here’s a solid cover letter sample illustrating what you could write:
NO RELEVANT EXPERIENCE COVER LETTER TEMPLATE (Unrelated to Major)
Dear [HIRING MANAGER’S FULL NAME] and Search Committee,
When I discovered the [TITLE] position with [COMPANY], I was excited by the chance to align my skills with a rewarding opportunity. I am drawn to the position because it combines my passion for [RELEVANT PASSION] with my knowledge of [TRANSFERABLE SKILL]. I am motivated by the opportunity to assist [COMPANY] with [RELEVANT RESPONSIBILITY]. I am qualified for this position based on my experience [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 1], [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 2], and [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 3].
- [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 1]. [ONE SENTENCE PROVING SKILLS].
- [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 2]. [ONE SENTENCE PROVING SKILLS].
- [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 3]. [ONE SENTENCE PROVING SKILLS].
In [YEAR], I graduated with a [DEGREE]. My coursework in [MAJOR] taught me how to [RELEVANT ABILITY 1] and [RELEVANT ABILITY 2], two skills that are integral to this position. My nontraditional academic major affords me a unique perspective when it comes to [INDUSTRY]. My ability to [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 1, 2, or 3] will prove advantageous when [RESPONSIBILITY FROM JOB DESCRIPTION].
In addition, as a [CURRENT POSITION] at [COMPANY], I work with a team to ensure [GOAL 1] and [GOAL 2]. I enjoy [RELEVANT SKILL] and would appreciate the opportunity to contribute to your team. My [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 1], [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 2], and [TRANSFERABLE SKILL 3] will help me contribute in the [TITLE] position with [COMPANY]. I am very interested in this opportunity and look forward to speaking with you soon. Thank you for your consideration.
If you haven’t graduated college yet, you may be looking for an internship or cooperative education experience (co-op). An internship is a position in an organization where a student can gain hands-on work experience. A co-op is very similar. A co-op provides hands-on experience to complement your coursework in exchange for academic credit.
When you apply for an internship, don’t be worried about possessing years of experience. Companies don’t expect interns to come in with years of experience, but they do want to hire interns who are eager to learn. This means that your cover letter must explain what you want to learn and why you want to learn it.
You also need to explain how you will contribute to the company. When you write a cover letter for an internship, you need to tell the employer how you will contribute to the team and how the internship or co-op will prepare you for your future career.
Let’s look at a helpful cover letter sample:
INTERNSHIP COVER LETTER TEMPLATE
Dear [HIRING MANAGER’S FULL NAME],
When I discovered the [POSITION TITLE] internship with [COMPANY] on [WEBSITE], I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to join an innovative organization. I am excited by the chance to gain [INDUSTRY] experience by [RESPONSIBILITY 1 FROM JOB DESCRIPTION] and [RESPONSIBILITY 2 FROM JOB DESCRIPTION]. As a [YEAR IN SCHOOL] majoring in [MAJOR] at [UNIVERSITY], I am passionate about [RELEVANT PASSION]. My [QUALIFICATION 1], [QUALIFICATION 2], and [QUALIFICATION 3] make me a well-qualified applicant for this position.
- [QUALIFICATION 1]. [ONE SENTENCE PROOF OF SKILLS].
- [QUALIFICATION 2]. [ONE SENTENCE PROOF OF SKILLS].
- [QUALIFICATION 3]. [ONE SENTENCE PROOF OF SKILLS].
I am excited by the chance to contribute to your organization and am prepared to engage in continuous learning. As described by the internship description, I would enjoy [LIST 2-3 RESPONSIBILITIES] with [COMPANY].
My enclosed resume expands on my coursework and [RELEVANT SKILLS]. As I prepare for an exciting [INDUSTRY] career, I am eager to gain a more detailed understanding of the field by collaborating with your experienced team. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
[APPLICANT’S FULL NAME]
The goal of every single cover letter is to connect the dots.
Whether you are applying for a part- or full-time position, and whether the position is related to your college major or not—your cover letter plays a huge role. A well-written cover letter can be the difference between a quick rejection and an interview.
Every cover letter must explain who you are, why you’re writing, why you’re interested in the position and company, how you’re qualified, and what specific experiences have prepared you.
The cover letter samples in this article provide a solid place to start, along with the industry-specific cover letter samples below. Be sure to integrate your personality and read our cover letter format guide, which will guide you through every step of the cover letter writing process: formatting through editing.
You have the education and qualifications to succeed.
Connect the dots and prove how you will bring value to an employer.
You may be their next best employee. You just have to lock down that interview.
Get after it.