Basic Cover Letter Example for College Students

If you’re a recent graduate (college student), new nurse or teacher, sometimes you need a simple cover letter to include with your resume. Something that isn’t complicated but meets the requirements for your job application.

Here’s everything that you need to know about writing an impactful, yet simple cover letter to put alongside your resume.

Table Of Contents

How To Write A Basic Cover Letter

Inside your cover letter should be a few basic points. It should include some basic information at the top of the letter, which is called the “heading”. That information is:

  • Your current address
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • Your name
  • Your title or recent accomplishment (like Bachelor’s degree title)

Beneath that should begin your actual cover letter. This would include your salutation, something like “To Whom It May Concern”, though we recommend you use “Dear Hiring Manager” instead as it’s slightly more personal.

After your salutation, is the body of your cover letter, which we’ll cover what goes inside of that in a moment. Afterward, include your closing greeting, something like “Thank you so much” along with your name and signature if you can provide it.

What Should Go In Your Cover Letter Body

Whenever writing your cover letter content, always try to think about your prior accomplishments and how that best positions you for the job you’re applying for. If they aren’t targeted to the job, that’s okay, you should still list those accomplishments.

If you have a particular story that you can tell which shows your passion for their business, that’s even better. For example, something related to when you first learned about what the business offers and how it impacted your life or how it resonated with values that you have.

A Basic Cover Letter Format

A basic cover letter format is as follows:

  • Heading: Your name
  • Heading: Your address
  • Heading: Your email
  • Heading: Your phone number
  • Heading: Your previous title or recently graduating master
  • Body: Greeting
  • Body: Your cover letter body
  • Body: Your thank you or salutation
  • Body: Your name and signature

Related: How To End A Letter: Examples Of Salutations, Closings, Sign Offs

Highlight Skills, Accomplishments, Reasons They Should Hire You

Whenever possible, it’s important to highlight accomplishments. Reasons that the HR manager might want to proceed to read your resume. On average, an HR manager reads a resume for no more than 7.4 seconds. This means that you might need to catch your HR managers attention with this letter in advance.

Here’s an example of what an accomplishment might look like:

  • Lifted production more than 19% in Q4 of 2014, by doing that we reduced production costs by more than 14% and increased overall revenue generation by about 3% annually.

And here are some skills that you might like to mention:

  • Listening skills
  • Learning skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Comprehension skills
  • Reading skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Analysis skills
  • Collaboration skills

Plain And Simple Cover Letter Example/Template For A College Student

John Smith
123 Road Lane, New York NY 11211
[email protected]
Masters in Computer Science 2018 3.6 GPA

Dear Hiring Manager —

I’m very interested in the position of Software Engineer at Apple, Inc. I first learned about Apple when I was 8. My older sibling had an iPhone and it was something special to me. Access to all the world's information and knowledge. I would love to be part of the company that provides that to others.

Here are a few accomplishments I think are relative to the role:

  • Was able to start a computer science program at our university as an extracurricular activity. This became a club that other students could join and educate themselves for free.
I look forward to interviewing with you. If you have any questions for me, I’d love to help answer them.
Thank you so much,
John Smith

Plain And Simple Cover Letter Example/Template For Anyone

Ryan Smith
123 Road Lane, New York NY 11211
[email protected]
Prior Role: VP of Product at Apple, Inc.

Dear Hiring Manager —

I’m interested in applying for the position of Sales Engineer at House, Inc. The company holds something dear to my heart as the passion for children and education is something I wish existed when I was younger. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend school until much later in life due to coming from a poor family. This is something I’m particularly passionate about changing for our future generations and I’d love to join your mission.

I look forward to interviewing with you. If you have any questions for me, I’d love to help answer them.

Thank you so much,
Ryan Smith

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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