Dec 8, 2012

A cover letter for University or College

A very good friend of mine wants to go to Deakin University, Melbourne for an exchange program. The problem is that she has to write a cover letter. In our country writing a cover letter isn´t a condition in order to be accepted to the university. She asked me, if I could help her and give some kind of advice. Well I've done some research and added some of my tips, that might help you all. Hopefully she'll get accepted and you'll get some guidance as well.

Cover letter is the crucial document as well as your CV. Both letters usually determine, whether you will get the chance to study at the university of your choice, or not. The aim of the cover letter is to sell yourself and reflect your personality.

Reflect your personality
What you should definitely mention in the cover letter is:
  • the main reason, why you want to attend this particular college, 
  • why did you choose this major, 
  • what kind of experience you already have in the field of your studies, 
  • why you should be accepted to their program, 
  • your achievements,  
  • your positive qualities and strengths,  
  • your life goals in this specific field of studies,
  • your possible contribution to the college. 

Don´t forget that there are a lot of other students who want the same - to be accepted. Here is the situation very similar to the one when you have to write cover letter to get a job.

"You most likely wouldn´t start reading the book, if you didn´t read the description. The same situation is your cover letter. You need to be described in order to awake desire to know more about you."

The letter has to be unique, original, not boring and too long. It should catch the interest and to be easy to remember. I advise you to write with passion and enthusiasm about the topic of your studies. Don´t copy any information which you have already put in to your CV. And of course, don´t forget that there is mostly one A4 page allowed. Pay attention to correct grammar and style of the page which should be written in a simple - understandable form of writing. 

Don´t write the letter the day before deadline. Let it cool off overnight, and then rewrite (proofread it for sure) if necessary. Before sending this letter, ask your friends about their opinion. They will give you very valuable feedback, or at least you might get some cool ideas. But mostly, follow these steps and make sure to take it all seriously. Your whole future might depend on one piece of paper.

My tips for increasing your chances:
Letter of Recommendation
If you want to raise your chances to get accepted, then letter of recommendation can help you. Ask someone from your school, work or good friends from practice (only if they have something in common with the field of your studies) for this letter. The aim of the letter is to get credible look at you, your academics and personal life. Choose the person who will write about you in positive way. Don´t forget to remind him/her your achievements, successes stories, your activities etc. It is much better for you, when this person send this letter to your future college directly (by mail), without you knowing what's in it. That's mostly because of more trustworthy and interesting impression made at the university by someone else supporting you as a person.

Short video about you
If you want to be original take a risk and upload a personal message about yourself for selection committee. Upload it on the Internet and put link in to the cover letter. Or if you want make your won power point presentation about you. Creativity has no limits :)

Related articles:
How can you get a job
How can you get a job more easily

Jana RylichovaJane finishing her masters in Economics and management - specialised in commercial communication at the university. Now contributing for Playyourday as a former saleswoman with experience in California and no.1 Top Student competitor in mngmnt and marketing contest. Her charming sense of humanity is felt all around the place.

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1 comment:

Jana Rylichova said...

Feel free to contact us with any question which you need to answer or you would like to know our opinion :)