Graduate School Cover Letter: Most Frequent Mistakes to Avoid in Your Writing

graduate school cover letter
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Each year, many graduate programs receive numerous applications for their limited positions. The reason why first impressions count. Whether you come off as flat or give off a negative vibe; this could result in a rejection. When you need to submit a graduate school cover letter, you need to ensure that you impress the reader. Since it only takes a few seconds to decide on an applicant.

While there are many articles on what you need to do when crafting your graduate school admission essay, below are things you should watch out for:

Mistakes to Avoid in your Admission Essay

Inadequate Information

A personal statement is like a cover letter for a job application. It introduces you to a prospective employer. However, in this instance, it’s to the admissions board.

Therefore, it’s paramount to make the best impression. Include every relevant information about you. It could be about your employment or academic achievements. Emphasis is on “relevance.”

Lack of attention to details

It includes any formatting guidelines that may have been provided. If you are asked to create a 500 words length essay, then stick to it. Following instructions shows that you read and understood them.

Check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar, too. Use online tools if necessary. Get a fresh set of eyes to go through the content.

Improper use of language

Demonstrate that you can communicate professionally. Others think using advanced vocabulary reflects on your intellectual ability. However, if you make a mistake, it takes away from your intention to impress.

It’s better to use plain language, as long as it’s professional and conveys the correct meaning.

Rehashing your resume

The admissions officers are seeking more information about you than what you provide in your resume. Use the admission essay to give them a sneak peek into who you are. Demonstrate your critical thinking ability and self-reflection.

Therefore, you need to brainstorm the central theme of your cover letter. Give the reader more depth into your experience and qualifications.

Things that negatively affect your cover letter


Yes, the cover letter is about making lasting impressions. So, it’s okay to blow your own horn. However, you should ensure that you don’t come off as boastful.

Highlight your relevant experiences and achievements. Remember to provide evidence that supports your statements. Also, demonstrate confidence in your abilities.

Generic phrases

While adjectives are a good way to sell ourselves. They are only useful when backed with evidence. So, rather than advocate for yourself as “responsible” or “hardworking,” highlight the instances when you demonstrated these qualities.

Otherwise, they are just words that hold little or no meaning.

Not customizing

Having different options is good. However, you should ensure to tailor your cover letter to each school or program that you are eyeing. It requires research into the program to get a better insight into it.

Including this information in your essay and matching them to who you are, betters your chances.

Why a Graduate school cover letter?

This essay goes deeper than just your past academic achievements. The admissions board want to determine whether you have the aptitude for graduate level research. Therefore you should avoid describing yourself too narrowly.

Introduce yourself. Demonstrate and share your reason for choosing that particular graduate program. State your background briefly.

It includes your academic and perhaps work experience. Keep it concise and demonstrate that you are ready to undertake a graduate-level education.

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