The ultimate cover letter guide for international students

If you’re an international student studying in Australia, it is highly likely that you will be looking for casual or part-time employment at some point. While employment does depend on your visa type, it is a great way to supplement your studies and meet new people while living Down Under.

Joining the job hunt means you will have to create a resumé and cover letter at some stage. This can be a nerve-wracking task, especially if you want your application to stand out from the crowd and boost your chances of getting that job. You may already have a resumé based on your work experience back home but how about a cover letter? To assist in the process, we’ve created a cover letter writing guide for international students!

Include your name and contact details

It is important that employers know where and how to contact you, especially if they want to follow up and invite you to the next stage of the recruitment process! Write your first and last name, email address and phone number in the top right-hand corner of your letter so potential employers can keep in touch.

Add the employer’s details

Make sure you include the name of both the company and the contact person in the top left hand corner of your cover letter – it is an industry standard, so make your letter look professional by including it too.

Include a reference to the position you are applying for

Employers receive plenty of unsolicited paperwork every day, and they generally don’t have time to read through each document in depth. To avoid your cover letter going straight to the recycling bin, ensure that you include a reference line that clearly states the position you are applying for. You could even underline or bolden it to improve the chances of your letter being read rather than skimmed over.

Address the letter to someone

If you have the name of a recruiter or contact person from the company you are applying to, ensure that you address your cover letter to them. If you do not have a contact name, you can instead address it ‘To whom it may concern’.

Introduce yourself

Start your cover letter with a brief introductory statement so the employer gets a feel for who you are and what you do. Depending on the reputation and branding of the company you are applying to, you can make this opening statement as creative and unique as you desire.

Talk about yourself

This is the part where you show off why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Being an international student means that you have a unique perspective that could be a useful asset to the position, so make sure you convey your personality and experiences during the body of your cover letter. Address why you want to work for the company by highlighting your motivations, notable past achievements, your skills and what you are curious to learn about. Make sure that each of these points relates back to the requirements of the role.


Your closing paragraph is the perfect place for you to tie everything together. You can use it to summarise why you are the best person for job, before taking the opportunity to encourage further contact with the employer. You can also express your intention to be kept in the loop when other employment opportunities arise with the company.

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