Applying for a college is a tough battle. The competition is heated, and the costs of student life can be overwhelming. Students can face a lot of stress from different directions.
For instance, scholarships can take some financial burdens off students’ backs and let them focus on their studies more comfortably. Aside from offering a monetary reward, programs like the ExpressVPN Future of Privacy Scholarship can be an excellent opportunity to build up your resume and show your proactiveness and skills.
Aside from gaining financial help, advice on writing a good cover letter can set you up for success. To help you out, we listed a few pieces of advice on writing a killer cover letter for your college application.
1. Research in depth the institution you are applying to
Researching the educational institution, you’re applying to should be the first step of your application process. Even though you’re probably applying to several educational institutions simultaneously, adjust your cover letter to fit their mission, goals, and program you’re interested in. Even if your knowledge doesn’t come across in your written application, it can always be helpful during an admission interview and put you one step ahead of your competition.
2. Tailor your cover letter to the specific institution
Cover letters are not one-size-fits-all, and you should tailor your cover letters to highlight the skills and experiences the institution in question is more likely to appreciate and take into account. Use this opportunity to show your interests, hobbies, and how they make you a great candidate. Explain your academic interests and why you think you’re a good fit for their college.
3. Be concise
Please avoid including your whole life story in the cover letter. Unfortunately, this tends to be one of the most common mistakes students make in an attempt to show off their skills. Make sure you’re keeping your letter concise and listing only those skills and experiences that are relevant to the institution you’re applying to. Try to keep your cover letter from half to one full page of text. Use bullet points and keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
4. Make your first sentence stand out
The first impression matters. Since most college admission officers can distinguish a suitable candidate from an unsuitable one just by skimming through the first paragraph of the resume, you want your first section to stand out. Remember to start strong and include the most crucial information. Start with your name, why you think you are an excellent candidate for their institution, and continue listing relevant experience and achievements.
5. Proofread, proofread and proofread
This one seems obvious, but you’ll be surprised by the number of poorly written cover letters with poor grammar and spelling. Since you want to avoid being declined due to poor grammar and spelling, It’s much more challenging to detect flaws and mistakes in our own writing since we’re focused on the content and what we want to achieve with it rather than on our execution. However, there are countless spell-checking tools and apps like Grammarly of Hemingway that can help you polish your writing to perfection. Also, a good rule of thumb is to give your cover letter to someone whose proofreading skills you trust and who can give you an honest and thorough opinion of your writing.
Writing a good cover letter requires patience and many hours of research. However, remember that hard work always pays off, and write a new cover letter for each institution you’re applying to. Use our advice, take one step at a time and enjoy the process. Good luck!