Applying for a foreign University? Here is the checklist for the best cover letter

Thursday - March 25, 2021

The dreaded cover letter is an optional way to fill all the gaps that your resume fails to describe certain details about the employee.

It sometimes might be taken as an antiquated formality but still, 87% of professional employers take a rough look at cover letters.

However, writing a cover letter demonstrates your concise introduction, eligibility, qualification, and skills for a job requirement.

It is not just confined to employment purposes, but also an easy way to tailor your application form for academic purposes for any particular degree for a study abroad.

Most of the foreign universities consider complete academic records before granting admission to overseas students.

But some universities ask to attach a cover letter with their admission form that must explain key achievements, special abilities, and skills to impress immediately.

Here we have discussed a complete checklist to follow to write the best cover letter for students.

Table of content

Checklist for writing a cover letter

  • Accurate personal information
  • Write in paragraph form
  • Use professional tone without using cliché
  • Check the length and layout
  • Choose the suitable file format
  • Check for any grammatical or punctuation errors
  • Check plagiarism

Checklist for writing a cover letter

1.     Accurate personal information

First thing first, the cover letter must have all that accurate personal information that you write on your admission application including name, email address, and contact number.

It must have a persistent look and it must be clear that your admission form details match your cover letter entirely.

2.     Write in paragraph form

Its layout must be in paragraph form e.g.

  • Salutation
  • Opening paragraph
  • Main body (2 or 3 paragraphs)
  • Closing paragraph
  • Salutation

Salutation means your greetings to whom the letter is addressed to and it must contain your complete name rather than mentioning ” to whom it may concern”.

  • Opening paragraph

Next comes the opening paragraph that is considered as the most attention-grabbing because an employer will give a cover letter in not more than 10 seconds.

In this paragraph, mention three things together; a brief introduction about yourself, why you’re applying for this university, and how you seem to fit yourself in this particular position.

  • The main body

The main body includes a little detail about previous academic records, how and why you are best to admit to a foreign university. Here, you must mention all those key achievements that you have accomplished in your recent studies. You must be well aware of the university requirements and what it requires.

  • Closing paragraph

In the closing paragraph, you must summarize all those things you bring to the table in the main body section. After that thanks to the university board professionally and courteously.

3.     Use professional tone without using cliché

There is no need to overemphasize your cover letter with greetings. The best way is to use a professional, polite, and lively tone with no unnecessary words or cliché.

If you find yourself struggling to write a professional tone, the best way is to read out loud and notice if it feels like speaking to a normal person or not.

If the answer is no, then you might be using too many cliché words that are completely unnecessary here such as ‘ of course.

Moreover, using deadwood sentences are redundant here such as ‘I’m an extraordinary student’ or ‘I’m hard working’ etc.

4.     Check the length and layout

A complete cover letter must be of one full page including the salutation and ending, never be longer than a page.

It must be roughly having 400 words with three to four concise paragraphs with maintaining the font size of 12.

Check that you have mentioned why you’re applying for the specific position that must be including all previous academic qualifications and achievements.

5.     Choose the suitable file format

It is better to stick with the right file format such as doc or PDF that can be opened on any system.

After writing a complete cover letter, you need to select the file format by clicking on File then Save As, and then look for the format field and choose a suitable format from the dropdown menu.

6.     Check for any grammatical or punctuation errors

In cover letters, grammatical and spelling mistakes can never be undone after submitting them. Poor grammar and punctuation indicate the flaws of the candidate rather than excellences so ensure your spellings and punctuation before submitting.

Keep this thing in the back of your head that the approving managers are always looking for something to expel your application and small grammatical mistakes can sink your chance easily.

So, the best approach to avoid all that blunders, in proofreading and editing.

7.     Proofreading and editing

After everything listed above has been done, it is important to reread and double-check your cover letter thoroughly so that you do not neglect any mistake, spelling error, or cliché.

8.     Check plagiarism

Last but not the least, you might get a huge assistance in writing a cover letter for you by using cover letter templates that you can find on the internet in enormous amounts.

But it does not mean you can copy-paste everything, it can lead to sounding like a robot and overly formal writing, so you ought to take an idea from online templates.

If you do not do so, plagiarism can occur that can ruin your reputation as a student applicant.

So, the best way to avoid plagiarism is to write your cover letter like a real person and then check plagiarism by using a good online plagiarism checker.

In summary

Regardless of the fact that writing a cover letter is optional, it must not drive you away from applying to a study abroad.

With everything listed above, you can compose a decent cover letter that can prove how you are the best fit for the position.

So, get a space and sit to write your cover letter, as well as watch available Online Open Days, and apply for your dream university: you can never know where it can take you to!