It's the time of year again; you have made a list of your selected colleges and are going to apply to them. You are about to apply, but there is one hurdle remaining in your path; the dreaded cover letter. Many students still are unsure of how to write a good cover letter for a university. In this blog, we are going to tell you how to write a great cover letter for a university. We will discuss the basic template, tips, and things to keep in mind while writing a cover letter. So let us not waste any time and dive straight into it.
What is a cover letter, and why is it important?
Many of us thought of this question when we first encountered the need for a cover letter when applying for universities. A cover letter for a university is basically a one-page application that you submit alongside your CV or resume when applying to a university or college. Many universities ask for a cover letter nowadays since it provides the admissions officer with further detail on how your skill set aligns with the university, what you can bring to the institution and why you want a seat. It also shows the admissions officer your passion and suitability for the course. In addition, a cover letter is more personal than a resume and builds a relationship with the officer.
How to write a cover letter for a university?
Since we have discussed why a cover letter is important, let us now see how to write one. The structure and text volume of a cover letter for a university is determined by its five major features. In most circumstances, a cover letter should be no more than one page long and no more than 300 words long. However, those words must be carefully picked and stick to a well-defined structure. The five major features are
5) Conclusion and signing off
The header will be seen first by the officer, which is precisely where you can wow them. The header is the only place where you can have some design choices instead of the entire letter being in black text boxes. It will help your letter look as good as it reads. The header will usually include your name, occupation, address, phone number and email.
The greeting line of a cover letter, also known as a salutation, is where you say your greetings. In a letter of admission, don't go too inventive. A simple "Hey" is obviously ineffective. Try to learn the name of the individual to whom you should address your admission cover letter. People enjoy reading their own names, which demonstrates your attention to detail and interest in this officer if you've gone to the work of determining who is processing applications for the entry you seek.
The first paragraph of your cover letter for the university introduction should include your prestigious alma mater. Another possibility is that you have experience in your field. Lead with your abilities, and aim to produce a paragraph that makes the admissions officer want to keep reading.
The heart of your pitch should be in the body of your cover letter for the university. Given the one-page limit, you have a lot of work to perform in a limited amount of time. In this section, you must mention your top qualifications for the course you wish to apply for. Also, attempt to include the name of the university to which you're applying and explain why you want to study there. Remind the admissions officer that you aren't merely sending out study applications to random colleges but want to study at this one in particular.
A call to action (CTA) should be included at the end of your cover letter for a university, in which you urge that the admissions officers take some action as a result of your letter. You can state you're looking forward to hearing back, that you'd be happy to follow up with a phone call, or that you'd be honoured to be invited to an interview, either in person or remotely. Your desire to receive a response should indicate to the officer that you are serious about attending this university. You don't want to come across as desperate or overconfident, but you do want to express your genuine desire.
As you know, you have to submit your CV or resume alongside your cover letter. Many students still face problems while creating a good resume, don’t worry; we will show you how to create your first resume!
Tips on writing your cover letter for a university
There are a few tips that can help you make a great cover letter for a university that can wow the admissions officer:
1) Try to sound more human in your letter.
2) Beware of the cliches that almost everyone uses, so you would need to think “outside the box” for this one.
3) Keep an eye on your tone and make sure it's friendly, professional, and confident, but never arrogant or condescending.
4) Keep your cover letter brief; keep it point to point so that the reader doesn’t get bored reading it.
5) It's a good idea to divide your personal introduction into the past, present, and future portions to stay organised while talking about yourself.
Cover letter format
Your letter must not only say the appropriate things, but it must also look the right way. Choose the appropriate layout and design for your cover letter, and don't waste your golden prose on a poorly designed letter that sounds wonderful but looks horrible. You must use a legible font – nothing grand or unusual. You should use a font size of 10 to 12 points, which is large enough to read but not so large that it looks like you're creating a kid's story. Use 1-inch margins on your letter's top, bottom, right, and left sides. You must include a space between paragraphs that are not indented and keep all paragraphs to a decent length.
Things to keep in mind when writing a cover letter for a university
There are a few things to keep in when writing your cover letter; these include the likes of spelling mistakes, grammar, poorly designed cover letters and much more. Here are a few things to remember:
1) Words are wasted. Irrelevant information, clichés, and fluff will clutter your page with unnecessary language. Use the limited space you have to write in your own words what makes you a good candidate.
2) One of the most typical mistakes students make is wasting their cover letter by transforming their resume into paragraph form. This repetition does not help the admissions officer assess your qualifications or persuade them that you are enthusiastic about the chance.
3) A solid cover letter might be improved by including facts about the university that you've learnt about. Learn about the university's culture and goals, and tailor your cover letter to reflect how you would be a good fit.
4) A cover letter is not the place to give bad information about your qualifications. An interview allows the admissions officer to learn about your weaknesses. Concentrate on your strengths!
These were the ways to create a good cover letter for a university. It will take you a bit of time and practice to perfect your cover letter. Once you submit your application, you might get called upon for a university interview. If the interview is going to scare you, then don’t worry our blog about university interview questions will help you run that scare away. If you are going to apply to universities in the Uk, we can help you out do exactly that. Our blog on how to apply to universities in the UK will do exactly that.