You're a student or new graduate who's looking for a job. In addition to putting together a resume, you'll need to write a good cover letter to help convince a recruiter or hiring manager to open and read your resume. To give you some ideas for what to say and how to say it, here are some cover letter examples by other students and new grads.
You might also like:
Cover Letter Examples for Students and Recent Grads
Cover Letter to High School Counselor Internship
Here's a cover letter sample written by Anne, a college student who is applying for a school counselor internship to fulfill one of the requirements for her Master's degree program. It is her hope that this internship will lead to a full-time position somewhere in the school district after she graduates.
Cover Letter for a Dental Student
Linda is a first-year dental student who is looking for a job as a dental hygienist at a dental clinic. Her cover letter is brief and to the point since the basics of her dental schooling are well known to the Human Resources Director who will be reading her resume and cover letter.
Cover Letter for After-School Computer Consultant
Here's a cover letter written by a high school student named Scott. He's a computer whiz looking for part-time work. His mother's friend, Cynthia, told him about a woman who needs ongoing help with her home office computer. So Scott put together a short resume and wrote this friendly cover letter to introduce himself.
Cover Letter for Junior Sales Associate
Here's a very short cover letter that wins your heart. Why? Because this student has a child-like approach to getting a job: He loves skating and he wants a job selling skates. Andrew's resume does all the heavy lifting, with details about his after-school jobs and his skating achievements.
Cover Letter for an Entry-Level Job
I'm always pushing job seekers to use a relaxed tone in their cover letters. But sometimes a formal cover letter is the right way to go. This is one of those times.
Cover Letter Example for a Human Resources Job
There are many things I like about this cover letter example for a Human Resources job. I also have some thoughts about how to make it better. Take a look at the letter that Liz wrote, then see my version, which has a few changes.
Cover Letter for a Summer Job in Packaging
This cover letter example is for a college student, Sandra. She's looking for a summer job in the packaging department of the well known Morton Salt company. Because she doesn't have a contact at Morton Salt, she sent her resume and cover letter to the Director of Human Resources Department.
Cover Letter for Summer Job
Yes, this cover letter is short, but it contains a lot of information — all the info an employer requires to want to interview this college student for a summer job.
(click on image to enlarge letter)
Too often, dental hygiene job seekers forget to create and submit a cover letter for openings. It’s kind of understandable. Many job announcements simply forget to request it.
But cover letters are great tools for standing out since not everyone includes one with their resume. They also give you an opportunity to communicate that you understand what it is the employer wants in a new employee.
In clinical dental hygiene, the duties are often very similar from one job to another, so it’s helpful for you to play close attention to the extra things you can spot in job announcements. Then, take that information and incorporate it into a customized cover letter for each job you apply for.
Other articles by Doug and Tracie Perry
Along with that, you want to create a cover letter that is simple, concise, and readable. Here’s five tips for creating a cover letter that helps position you as the right person for the job, plus the anatomy of how it all goes together.
Along with that, here’s a link to where you can download a free cover letter template that will help get you going in the right direction.
1. Customize it—Each job you apply for should receive a unique cover letter. There are basic elements that will be the same or similar, but spend a little bit of time with each one, customizing it to the position you are seeking.
To do this, carefully review the job announcement and pick out the qualifiers—things an employer is looking for in an employee. Then address each and every one of them in your cover letter. If the announcement says they want someone with Dentrix experience, then you need to include that you have that in the cover letter.
For those who like going the extra mile, visit the office’s social media pages and website to get a flavor for their style and approach so that you can further tailor the language in your cover letter. That will also give you useful information at the interview stage.
2. Keep it short—Cover letters are only one page, and usually about five to six paragraphs of one to three sentences each. You are one of many applicants, and there just isn’t enough time for an employer to read a “wordy” cover letter.
3. No errors—Mistakes make you look bad. They call into question your thoroughness and attention to detail (both skills employers want in new employees). Review it several times before you submit it. If possible, have a friend read it or try reading it backward (end to beginning) as that helps you focus on the words individually.
4. Use bullet points—No one enjoys reading large blocks of text. Keep your sentences short and tight, using bullets somewhere in the document. Bullets are especially pleasing to the eyes as they indicate a simplified area of text that can be absorbed more easily (especially if the bullets are short themselves and don’t wrap to two lines).
Sometimes the eyes will dart straight to the bullets. So it’s especially important that you fill them with words that have impact and leave the reader with a good idea of who you are in a nutshell.
5. Consistent look and feel—Create a cover letter that matches your resume. Use the same paper, font, color, and design scheme. Consistency is also an indication that you have organizational skills and an eye for detail. In general, a matching or consistent cover letter and resume communicate that you are a serious professional who took the time to get things right.
Anatomy of a cover letter
Again, cover letters are unique for each job you apply for, and so don’t think you need to do it exactly like this every time. However, here’s a detailed anatomy of one great way you can organize it.
- Date/Inside Address/Salutation: A cover letter is a formal letter. As with any such document, you begin with the date at the top left. Drop down two lines and include the name of the office and their mailing address (also called Inside Address). Drop down three lines and add your salutation, “Dear All Smiles Dental,” would be one good example. If the office is anonymous, the best you can do is post a date and generic salutation.
- Paragraph 1: From the salutation line, drop down two lines and start the first paragraph with an acknowledgement of the job opening. Let the employer know where you heard about the job and that you are formally applying for it.
- Paragraph 2: This is where I recommend you acknowledge any technical qualifications, such as number of years of experience, or experience working with Dentrix as an example. Employers tend to look at those as easy ways to eliminate some from consideration so you want to make sure it’s very clear that you meet those.
- Paragraph 3: Next, I would suggest that you acknowledge any soft qualifications. These are things related to your personality or personal attributes, such as a “patient” or “attention to detail.”
I like using the third paragraph as a great way to transition into some bullets that further describe who you are (your personal brand). After confirming the soft qualifications in a sentence, I will often lead that into a list of three to five additional things about you that you think will provide value to that office.
For example, if they seem like a “fun” office from your research about them, but don’t mention it in the job description, and you have a “fun” personality, then you may want to mention that in the bullets. It could be experience-related, too. Maybe you have experience as a nutritionist and are able to provide added value to your role as a hygienist in terms of your ability to counsel patients about nutrition.
- Paragraph 4: Always finish your cover letter with a call-to-action, as it’s termed in marketing. Write a short, yet clear, statement that you would appreciate an opportunity for an interview.
Here’s how I might word it: “I would be pleased to discuss how I am a great fit for your office at a time that is convenient for you. Please call me at 555-444-3333.”
- Complimentary Close: This is what you call the short closing with comma you see just before the signature line: “Sincerely,” is the most common example.
- Signature Line: Your name, plus your hard-earned credentials such as BSRDH or RDH.
- Final tip: Either use pre-printed letterhead (with your name, phone and e-mail address) or create that effect in the header/footer settings of your document so your cover letter looks that much more impressive.
Doug and Tracie Perry are authors of the book, “Landing a Great Dental Hygiene Job” and provide dental hygiene job coaching tips and services to thousands of dental hygienists. You can get a free copy of their book and free weekly tips at their website at www.GetHiredRDH.com.detusbffwfceccaraed