Ah, summer. No school, long, warm days, and… empty pockets? That’s no fun! If being short on cash is cramping your summer style, it might be time to get a job. We’ll explain how to write a summer job cover letter to help you land a position and earn money for concert tickets, a car, college, or whatever else you’ve set your sights on.
What is a summer job letter?
A cover letter is a type of letter that’s sent when you’re applying for jobs and other professional opportunities, like internships. Before the days of the internet when people applied for jobs with paper applications, a cover letter would be the top page in the stack of documents submitted to an employer. Hence, a cover letter.
A cover letter explains to the person reading it–which is usually an HR rep, a recruiter, or the hiring manager for the job–why you think you’re a good fit. It summarizes your pertinent skills and gives examples in your own words of times where you’ve succeeded using those skills in the past.
Why is it important to send a cover letter for a summer job
Many managers are willing to hire young people without much (or any) prior job experience. Still, they want to feel confident they’re hiring someone who will take the job seriously. A cover letter is a professional norm, so using one even when applying for a temporary or part-time job is a good way to give the right impression right from the start.
Using a cover letter is also important because it sets you apart from other candidates. For most jobs, you’re not going to be the only candidate in the running. There will be other applicants, so you must convince the hiring manager why they should choose you over the rest of the pile. A cover letter helps you do this.
When should you send a summer job cover letter
When responding to a posted job opening
Whether you found the position on a job site, social media, or a community bulletin board, writing a strong cover letter is a solid first step in applying. Be sure to read the posting carefully for specific instructions, like if hiring managers prefer a certain file format for cover letters and resumes.
When reaching out about new opportunities
Not every job comes from an advertised posting. In fact, many of the best opportunities in your career will come from networking. You can use this strategy to land a summer job by using a cover letter to reach out to people you know who might be hiring, like family friends, and owners of businesses in your neighborhood.
What to include in a summer job cover letter
Try to address the person you’re writing to by name. Usually, this person will have the title of hiring manager. You can sometimes find their name in the job listing or by calling the company and asking. When all else fails, use a general salutation like ‘Dear hiring manager’ or ‘Hiring team.’
Begin by saying who you are and the reason for your letter. If you’re looking specifically for a job that will last the summer, this is a good place to say that.
The reasoning for wanting the position
Since you probably don’t have a huge resume of experience for the hiring manager to go on, you want to help them see why you, as a person, are a safe bet to hire. Help them get to know you better by sharing a personal anecdote explaining why you were attracted to this particular job.
Skills that are relevant to the job
What makes you think you can do the job? Cite your pertinent skills and give examples of related experience wherever possible. If you’re also submitting a resume, you should expand on or diversify from what’s already listed in it.
Encourage the reader to take the next step by closing with your phone number.
What you should omit
Your lack of experience
If this is, say, your first job ever, don’t call attention to it. Instead, find other ways to demonstrate your experience, like volunteer work, extracurricular involvement, or jobs you’ve done for neighbors and relatives.
Sample summer job cover letter
Your letter should leave the hiring manager feeling excited to talk to you and confident about you as a candidate, with or without prior experience. Use the tips outlined here and you’ll be on your way to your first day of work and your first hard-earned paycheck shortly after that.