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Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship: Sample & Guide

Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship: Sample & Guide

You’re J.A.R.V.I.S. to the tenured pros, doing every dirty job that comes your way to pay your dues. Prove it with this professional cover letter for graduate assistantships.

This cover letter for graduate assistantships sample stands out like Jane Goodall. Assistantships are few and far between. Masters students often go unfunded.

 

Best bet?

 

Pick a mentor and/or program you love, then show why you love it in a bombproof letter. Sounds hard? It’s not—if you follow a battle-tested plan.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A sample cover letter for graduate assistantships better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • Ten cover letter examples for graduate assistantships that work.
  • How to write a graduate assistantship cover letter that gets you hired.
  • Why the right high points from your education can tip the scales.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

sample resume and cover letter set

 

Sample Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

 

Send your graduate assistantships cover letter with an Alan-Aspect-level resume. See our guides: 

 

Need to see other related cover letters for the education sector? Check out these guides tailored to your career path:

 

Want to explore your options further? See our full selection of cover letter examples for every career: Best Cover Letter Examples

 

This cover letter for graduate assistantships template is Stanford-worthy:

 

Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship Sample

 

Your Name

Graduate Assistant

Mailing Address

Phone Number

Email Address

 

Date

 

Professor or Administrator Name

Title

School Name

Mailing Address

 

Dear [Professor or Administrator Name],

 

There's a reason Professor Fisher at Ohio State called me a life saver, but it isn't that I'm brilliant. Certainly a 3.8 GPA and a passion for my studies helped. But the main reason he relied on me again and again is that I worked hard to do every job he needed done, however menial it might have seemed, with 100% attention to detail and deadline.

 

I know a graduate assistantship is a form of paying my dues. I also know from your ad that you need an assistant skilled in research, grading papers, and data entry. I think I'll fit in nicely thanks to these accomplishments:

  • Research. Deeply researched 15 topics, including reviews of literature, studies, and journal articles, with 3 commendations for detail.
  • Grading papers. Graded over 800 papers, achieving 99.9% accuracy in occasional spot checks.
  • Data entry. Performed regular data entry on student homework assignments, papers, and projects per professor guidelines.

 

I'd love to speak with you about how my skills in mentoring, research, and creating teaching plans can help take some of the burden off you and enrich your students' experiences.

 

Best regards,

 

[Your Name], Graduate Assistant

 

[Phone Number]

 

[Email]

 

PS—I'm also happy to discuss how I provided guidance to 100+ students that cut Professor Fisher's office hours by 5 hours per week.

 

ABD.

 

A cover letter for graduate assistantships like that can secure your candidacy.

 

Now, here’s how to write a cover letter for a graduate assistantship that gets noticed:

 

1. Use the Best Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship Template

 

Hard truth:

 

Laying out your cover letter the right way counts.

 

Do it wrong, and your graduate assistantship cover letter will get tossed.

 

So—

 

Use a solid cover letter for graduate assistantships template.

 

Sample Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship—Checklist

 

  • your contact info
  • the professor’s contact info
  • Dear (professor or administrator name)
  • Paragraph 1: your finest work or school achievement that fits the role
  • Paragraph 2: passion and key skills
  • Paragraph 3: an offer
  • best regards + your name & title
  • a loaded PS

Pro Tip: An email cover letter doesn’t need a street address. All you need is an email address and phone number at the end.

How to format a cover letter for a graduate assistantships? For tips on margins and other details, see our guide: Cover Letter Format: A Complete How-To Guide

 

2. Start Your Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantships Right

 

Afraid?

 

You will be.

 

There aren’t many paid assistantships out there. And there are crowds of applicants. You need to give the prof a reason to read your graduate assistantship cover letter. Get attention like Mildred Dresselhaus right off the bat. These cover letter for graduate assistantship examples show how:

 

Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship Examples [First Paragraph]

 

Pretend the job posting calls for an efficient hard worker who pays attention to detail.

 

Right Example

Anne Urban

Graduate Assistant, Education

1322 Hiddenview Drive

Cleveland, OH 44114

440-821-4143

annequrban@gmail.com

 

1/13/20

 

David Sipes

Clarence Johnson

Cleveland State University

2121 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, OH 44115

 

Dear Mr. Sipes,

 

There's a reason Professor Fisher at Ohio State called me a life saver, but it isn't that I'm brilliant. Certainly a 3.8 GPA and a passion for my studies helped. But the main reason he relied on me again and again is that I worked hard to do every job he needed done, however menial it might have seemed, with 100% attention to detail and deadline.

 

Gripping.

 

Why does that sample cover letter for graduate assistantships work?

 

Because it starts with an MIT-worthy fact about your graduate assistantship skills. But it also speaks to the professor’s wishes.

 

But the next of our cover letter examples for graduate assistantships flunks out:

 

Wrong Example

Dear hiring manager, I’m writing to apply for the graduate assistant position as advertised on ZipRecruiter. I am a skilled researcher and teacher’s assistant who can work hard in an academic environment to support the education department’s needs.

 

D-minus.

 

That’s not specific enough to prove you care about what the professor wants.

 

But—what if you were never called “a life saver?”

 

You can start with—

  • A job accomplishment
  • A school achievement
  • A project you completed
  • Something you did that proves your passion for the subject
  • A thing you love about the school or department
  • A connection you have or feel with the professor or her work
  • The name of someone you know inside the school

 

Here are a few more beginnings:

 

  • I know you’re looking for someone with a strong work ethic to fill your graduate assistantship position at Cleveland State University. I was commended 4x for my work ethic as a server at The Ruffled Alpaca restaurant in Cleveland. My academic research skills are...
  • Consolidating 100+ social psychology research papers for professor Linda Gilbert at Rutgers was a big accomplishment. However...
  • I’ve been interested in biochemistry since I was nine years old, when I sourced and completed my first experiment to extract DNA from a strawberry. From then on, my thirst for research and experimentation grew...
  • NYU Law School sets the standard for legal education excellence. Working within that environment would give me a unique chance to grow my skills in...
  • Your book on Agile software development teams was inspiring. I really liked...
  • Professor Boylan at NHU suggested I apply to your graduate assistantship position because of my skills in...

 

Expert.

 

All those first sentences beat, “I’m writing to apply...”

Pro Tip: Can’t find a graduate assistantship? Consider working as a TA. Either way, send lots of personalized letters to professors doing research in areas you like.

Want more advice to write a working cover letter for graduate assistantships? See our guide: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide

 

3. Target Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantships

 

Bad news.

 

Your cover letter for graduate assistantships just flopped.

 

The professor loved your opening line. But—

 

You lost her in the middle paragraph.

 

Instead, hold her interest with fine-tuning.

 

Use:

 

  1. Why you like the professor or job
  2. Proof you “get” the graduate assistant duties
  3. Times you used the necessary skills

 

See these cover letter examples for graduate assistantships:

 

Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship Examples [Middle]

 

The first of these examples works:

 

 

Right Example

I’m a huge fan of your work in X-ray crystallography.I know a graduate assistantship is a way to pay my dues. I also know from your ad that you need an assistant skilled in research, grading papers, and data entry.I think I'll fit in nicely thanks to these accomplishments:

  • Research. Deeply researched 15 topics, including reviews of literature, studies, and journal articles, with 3 commendations for detail.
  • Grading papers. Graded over 800 papers, achieving 99.9% accuracy in occasional spot checks.
  • Data entry. Performed regular data entry on student homework assignments, papers, and projects per professor guidelines.

 

Comprehensive.

 

That sample cover letter for graduate assistantships will engage the professor like a tenure offer.

 

But—

 

The next of our cover letter examples for graduate assistantship is lazy:

 

Wrong Example

I’m a dedicated student looking to make a difference in groundbreaking research. I want to work hard and dig into real work that has an effect on the state of education. I am passionate about my work and studies and I have great research skills.

 

Unsatifactory.

 

You failed to mention the duties of the role. Plus, some numbers and achievements would have helped your case.

Pro Tip: How much do you know about the graduate assistantship you’re applying for? Do some informational interviews to help you customize your cover letter.

Should your cover letter for graduate assistantships be 3 paragraphs or 4? See our guide: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be? Sample & Guide

 

4. End Your Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship with an Offer

 

Here’s the worst part about the job search—

 

Begging.

 

You always feel like you’ve got your hand out, trying to prove you’re worthy.

 

But here’s the thing.

 

A successful graduate assistantship cover letter doesn’t beg.

 

It promises something instead.

 

See these cover letter for graduate assistantship examples:

 

Cover Letter Examples for Graduate Assistantships [Ending]

 

Right Example

I'd love to speak with you about how my skills in mentoring, research, and creating teaching plans can help take some of the burden off you and enrich your students' experiences.

 

Best regards,

 

Anne Urban, Graduate Assistant, Education

440-821-4143

annequrban@gmail.com

 

PS—I'm also happy to discuss how I provided guidance to 100+ students that cut Professor Fisher's office hours by 5 hours per week.

 

That’s doctoral.

 

It promises:

 

  1. More skills the professor wants
  2. Time-savings—every professor’s dream

But the next of our cover letter examples for graduate assistantship drops out:

 

Wrong Example

Looking forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your time.

 

That might as well say, “This is the end of the letter.”

Pro Tip: Want your cover letter for graduate assistantships to land the role? Use a PS. Even if the professor is too swamped to read your cover letter, he’ll read your PS.

Want to end your graduate assistantships cover letter strong? See our guide: How to End a Cover Letter [+Examples]

 

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s how to write a cover letter for graduate assistantships:

  • Use a respected cover letter for graduate assistantships template. Add your best qualifying moments.
  • Begin your graduate assistantships cover letter with a hooding-ready fact.
  • Show you understand the role. Then use your past high points to show you fit it like a custom mortarboard.
  • Promise something they want in your last paragraph.

 

Not sure how to start your cover letter for graduate assistantships? Want to write a graduate assistantships cover letter that gets interviews? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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