You just graduated recently; How can you write your graduate cover letter?
There are many definitions of cover letters on the internet, but it is just what it is, a cover letter! When you signed up for the JFT graduate mentorship programme, you chose an opportunity to learn from the best. Well, as your lead mentor, I will work with you to ensure you have the best recent graduate cover letter that presents your achievements and captures your personality at best.
The only thing I know is I have written the best cover letters that have contributed to where I am today, a post-doctoral fellow at age 33! Of course, you may know of someone else who has achieved much more and is probably younger than me. However, the difference is I am here to support recent graduates and early career researchers to become the best dependable leaders and scientists.
Why you must write a cover letter
It goes without saying that major transitions in life involve a cover letter! You write to get hired, offered to be promoted and also given in to you in case you are being fired.
For now, we shall focus on positive cover letters. The one letter that you will write to impress your potential employer or an organisation to hire you.
The main role of the recent graduate cover letter is to provide a preview of your ability to complete a task and demonstrate the capacity to learn.
What Are the Key Parts of the Cover Letter?
A good cover letter for a recent graduate comprises just three to four succinct paragraphs. Firstly, I would like to cover some basics:
1. Company/organisation address
Do your homework very well. Always address your letter the right way and to the correct recruiting department. For example, be careful not to address it to the Company Manager when the advertisement had actually provided details of where you should address your letter.
In addition, times have changed, and you need to sound more up-to-date and precise. Currently, the word “To Human Resource Manager” is used instead of “Dear Sir/Madam”.
JFT Graduate Mentorship Programme
Using the above example, it is clear from the address that you have done your homework about the company, and you demonstrate that you are keen on details.
2. Reference/ RE:
This is the one line that indicates your intention for the letter. You need to ensure that the post you are applying for is clearly captured and the name of the company is indicated. This detail informs your employer that your letter is natural and was written by you. Look at the two examples:
Example1: RE: Application for The Position of It Specialist
Example 2: RE: Application for the Position of IT Specialist at JFT Consulting – JD0027
From the above, you will obviously like the candidate who has used the example 2 format. It is important to indicate the Job ID if it was included in the advertisement.
Now we look at the content of the various paragraphs.
3. Paragraph 1: About yourself
Talk about yourself clearly and accurately.
Use words like:
“I hereby write to apply for the position of IT specialist in your company.”
“I am here writing to respond to your recruitment drive seeking an IT specialist as advertised on LinkedIn.”
Both the above opening sentences above are current. However, the send sentence informs the recruiter that their advert was working and it is important for them to know.
You may have come across online application agencies requesting you to tell them how you found the job.
You may follow to write briefly about yourself, your academic achievement and what drew your attention to the job.
My Full Name if Naomi Kinyua, and I am a recent computer science graduate from Chuka University. After closely reviewing the requirements for this position, I believe that my qualification and expertise makes me an ideal candidate for the job. I graduated in 2021 with second class (upper division). I have been actively looking for relevant positions to explore my career and to use my knowledge to grow organisations like (company name).
Note that I have used the word “expertise” instead of “experience” since you are a recent graduate.
4. Paragraph 2: Duties and Responsibilities
In this paragraph, you need to blow your trumpet. Remember, if you do not praise yourself, no one will. Most recent graduates fear to talk about anything since they believe their resumes (CVs) are plain due to lack of experience.
Well, we were all there before. It is just your time, and employers are also looking for fresh minds. You will not write this paragraph well if you have not looked at the “Duties and Responsibilities” section of the job advertisement. If you are applying for a position without being advertised, you will need to do your homework to identify key responsibilities for IT specialists.
Well, I am a geologist, but I will use the IT specialist example to demonstrate this section. Well, I have done a brief and found the following duties and responsibilities for this position:
- Install and configure the network
- Manage databases
- Provide user support
- Management information security
- Troubleshoot systems and hardware
Now we want to continue writing the send paragraph as follows:
During my industrial attachment, I was privileged to work with the JFT Graduate Mentorship Programme, a platform for developing young professional leaders. I have attached the university assessment sheet filled out by the company supervisor for your perusal. The platforms operate with unique software, computers and tools that require installation and network configuration, and I was tasked with performing setup, enhancement, and maintenance tasks. Due to the unique requirements of the clients and company employees, I utilised my expertise in setting up data storage and retrieval procedures, managing permissions, ensuring data security and integrity during migrations and establishing daily backups. Although the attachment period was short, I was recognised for providing direct user support across the organisation, successful troubleshooting, and maintaining information security throughout the organisation.
Usually, recent graduates forget to mention their industrial attachment or internship opportunities.
If the company you worked for as an attaché has a website, please provide the link in the above format (not the HTTPS://………). Do not forget to mention all the relevant engagements that have enhanced your career.
From the above paragraph, you notice that all the job requirements have been naturally described in the text while demonstrating your prowess.
You may also mention somewhere that working with computers has been your dream career.
5. Paragraph 3: Skills and Qualifications
The key skills and qualifications that you must mention include problem-solving, time management and communication skills.
About the qualification, you need to make reference to the second paragraph (2) and acknowledge any other skill that you had left it out. Mostly the one that you are very efficient.
In addition to the above qualifications, I acknowledge that I have been keenly following recent developments in hardware and software configurations, software development and information security systems. I operate with a lot of flexibility, and I can easily move between assigned duties to benefit the organisation. Furthermore, I have never had a problem communicating with company employees and clients and have demonstrated essential time management and problem-solving abilities.
I hope that you have noticed how I have avoided saying, “I am a quick learner”. This sentence has lost meaning over the years, and you need to sound relevant and realistic. What exactly are you learning? Demonstrate that you are keen to learn something specific that will ultimately benefit the organisation.
6. Paragraph 4: Make your employer reply to your letter
This is the closing paragraph of your graduate cover letter.
You need to remind reinforce that you are confident in the position in your closing remarks. In fact, employers need to know your availability for an interview and to take up the position. Therefore, it is ideal to indicate in advance.
In case the job is not in your current location, it is also a great idea to state that you will be able to relocate to the required city or town to deliver your duties.
We can then conclude the letter as follows:
I believe that your “organisation” (replace with company name) is looking for someone with diverse abilities and skills like myself. In case of further consideration, I am available for either an in-person or an online interview at your convenience. In addition, I confirm my immediate availability to take up the position upon a successful interview.
I truly appreciate your consideration of my application, and I look forward to speaking to you soon.
Things to avoid on your graduate cover letter
Here are a few tips to keep you in check.
- I would like to warn you that most candidates paste information from online templates into their cover letters. Be exceptional.
- Do not lie about what you do not know, like regarding yourself as a software developer when you have no idea of software development techniques and coding processes.
- Good communication skills include grammar. For example, never submit a poorly written cover letter with mistakes and errors. It will invalidate your expertise.
- Never write your cover letter when you have a terrible mood.
You need to have a ready cover letter and resume. We will share a different article about resume writing by recent graduates. Through the JFT graduate mentorship programme, we will teach you to take action. The first action is to build your recent graduate cover letter as soon as you read this article.
We understand that you may not have the best words, but try as much as possible, and we shall help you. We provide a free review of the cover letter as long as you are part of your mentees.
However, send us an email if you need help developing your cover letter from scratch.