An MBA cover letter can serve as the front page of your MBA application to top programs like the Wharton School of Business. An MBA cover letter is not always required, but it can be a good optional addition to your application, especially for programs which value professional experience such as Stanford business school. MBA cover letters have similar format, tone and content to cover letters written for job applications, but they are focused on you and your candidacy for an academic MBA program. A good MBA cover letter is a way to “pitch yourself” to an MBA admissions committee. In this blog, we’ll look at whether or not you need to write an MBA cover letter, how it can help your application and how to write one. We’ve also included some MBA cover letter samples as a guide.


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Do you need an MBA cover letter?

An MBA cover letter is a part of your MBA application package. An MBA cover letter, much like a cover letter for a job application, is a way to introduce yourself and your qualifications to the MBA admissions committee.

Depending on the school or program you’ve applied to, it may be a requirement, or it may be an optional addition to your application. Some programs will ask you for an MBA cover letter as a sort of introduction to your application, and it is the first document the admissions committee will read about you. For other schools, the MBA cover letter is asked for in lieu of an MBA statement of purpose or MBA personal statement essay.

If your school requires an MBA cover letter for the application, you will need to submit one at the front of your application. The admissions package will include instructions on formatting and word count, so be sure to follow these to the letter. It’s also important to check for any other requirements an write a different cover letter for each school you are applying to. If your chosen program does not stipulate that it requires an MBA cover letter, you can still submit one if you feel it will enhance your application or you can discuss it with an MBA admissions consulting service, which can help you put together a complete MBA application. For example, if you want to know how to get into Harvard Business School, a cover letter is not a requirement, but it can be a nice addition to your app and an example of your professional writing ability.

What is an MBA cover letter?

Simply put, an MBA cover letter is a formal introduction of who you are, what skills and strengths you will contribute to an MBA program, a demonstration of your knowledge of the chosen MBA program, and a way to grab the admissions committee’s interest. It’s a formal way of introducing your overall application and acts as a “cover page” of sorts so the admissions committee will know what to expect. It’s a summary of your experience and qualifications, only it focuses on a particular MBA program rather than a job position.

Some things an MBA cover letter can include are:

Keep in mind that the MBA cover letter is a summary of your candidacy and a particular tool to help you. Just as a job application cover letter helps you land the chance to interview, an MBA cover letter grabs the interest of the admissions committee to convince them to give you a shot.

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How an MBA cover letter helps your application

MBA cover letters, when used properly, are an excellent tool for MBA applicants to use. A cover letter is your formal introduction to the admission committee, but it also helps you to “pitch yourself” as a candidate, to speak in business terms. A cover letter helps to introduce and cement your position, or help set yourself apart, like an MBA diversity essay.

How to write an MBA cover letter

An MBA cover letter is typically no longer than one page, or between 200 and 400 words. Any longer and you risk losing the interest of your reader. Any shorter and you run the risk of saying too little about yourself. With an MBA cover letter, your aim is to be concise and precise.

Your cover letter also needs to be formal, professional and contain only relevant information and details. It’s a highly focused document, but you shouldn’t just repeat information from other parts of your application, such as the MBA resume. The MBA cover letter should expand on the cut and dry details of your resume and highlight the most important experiences you have. An MBA cover letter also has a more rigid structure than perhaps some other written sections of your application. It needs to include your information, the date, your contact’s information as well as a few paragraphs for the introduction, body and closing. It should also end with a formal thank you and salutation.

A typical cover letter template looks like this:

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Your Contact Information]

[Date]

 

[Contact Name]

[Contact Title]

[School Address]

 

[Formal Greeting]

[Introduction Paragraph]

[Body Paragraph 1]

[Body Paragraph 2]

[Body Paragraph 3]

[Closing Paragraph]

 

[Sign off and thank you]

[Your Name]

 It’s important to address your letter to a specific person, if possible, and not just the admissions committee as a whole. The school may be able to provide you with the name of the head of the admissions committee or the person who will first read your application, so address your letter to this individual. Keep the tone formal and professional, but don’t be afraid to show your passion and enthusiasm. Schools want to see that you can craft a highly formal and professional document, but that you know how to write concisely and effectively. An MBA cover letter is a great example of business writing, and if you can demonstrate excellence, it will get the admissions committee’s attention right off the bat.

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MBA cover letter samples

Below we’ve included a few samples of MBA cover letters to give you an idea of how to write your own. For the purposes of these samples, we’ve left out the date and contact information, leaving only the main body and closing of the cover letter. For more help with cover letters, you can also read BeMo’s physician cover letter examples.

Sample #1

Dear Director Watson,

I am very interested in enrolling in [Business School] in the current admissions cycle. Your program is my top choice for my MBA, as I believe I have sufficient drive and the right qualifications to make me an ideal candidate for admission. I am a graduate of [University] where I studied Business Administration. My intention has always been to enter the world of business, and I chose to attend this program so I could gain foundational knowledge of how business works.

In my professional life, I followed suit. I began working while still in high school as a cashier for a grocery store. I found working very rewarding, even more so when I requested and was granted a transfer to the backend warehouse. After many years of working for this store, I was eventually promoted to assistant warehouse manager and I continued to work there during my undergraduate years. I gained firsthand experience in employee management and managerial accounting under the tutelage of my manager as well as my professors, and I soon became one of the top students in my class. I feel these experiences have prepared me for the next challenge and have piqued my interest in taking the next step and earning my MBA.

As a top business school, your program has a reputation for educational excellence in business administration, and I want to expand the knowledge I have and learn from the very best. I have taken it upon myself to enthusiastically read the works of Professor Kinsky and Professor Cranston for their understandings of employee management and management styles. I found their insights helped me to deeply reflect on my own managerial goals and management style. It would be a great pleasure to attend their courses.

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to consider me as a candidate for your program. I look to meeting you in person during admission interviews.

Sincerely,

Kevin Ackerman

Sample #2

Dear Dr. Smith,

I’m writing today to express my interest in enrolling in the MBA program at [Business School]. Last year, I graduated from [University] with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences, and my intention is to continue my work in the non-profit sector. I believe a master’s in business administration from your program will allow me to increase my professional skills and the value I can create for non-profit organizations.

For the past five years, I have worked for [Non-profit organization], which works to keep natural park areas clean and well cared for. I started as a volunteer, offering my free time to help with event set up, clean up and informing our supporters about opportunities to pitch in. From a volunteer I gained a paid position as the assistant event coordinator and have now become to lead event coordinator and organization’s treasurer.

During my undergraduate degree, I especially enjoyed my courses in project management and financial management, as I learned valuable skills I could apply in my new position to help the organization grow. It is my intention to pursue an MBA so I can deepen my financial and management knowledge so I can continue to develop professionally in my current position and eventually seek employment with a larger non-profit organization. Your program’s emphasis on sculpting community-minded leaders is one of the primary reasons why I chose to apply. Your program’s values of honesty and integrity also resonate deeply with me.

My full CV is included with my application and includes a detailed list of my responsibilities in my current position. I would like to extend my thanks for reading this letter and my application. I look forward to enrolling at [Business School] soon.

Kind regards,

Alma Estevan

FAQs

1. What is an MBA cover letter?

An MBA cover letter is a sort of “cover page” for your MBA application and is usually placed at the front of your application package. An academic cover letter serves the same purpose as a cover letter for a job application.

2. Do I need to write an MBA cover letter?

Some business schools will require the MBA cover letter and others won’t. It’s best to check out the admission requirements and application components for your school and make sure you follow the cover letter format and word count requested.

3. How long is an MBA cover letter?

A typical MBA cover letter is between 200 and 400 words. It’s best to keep it concise, no longer than one page long.

4. What do I include in an MBA cover letter?

An MBA cover letter usually includes an introduction of your candidacy, your professional experience, your strengths and skills, and your knowledge of the MBA program.

5. What format is used for an MBA cover letter?

An MBA cover letter is a formal letter, and uses the same format as a cover letter you might write for a job application. It needs to include an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. It should also have your name and contact details, the date, a formal thank you and salutation. 

6. Is an MBA cover letter different from a statement of purpose?

Yes; a cover letter is usually shorter and more formal than a statement of purpose. They serve similar functions, but a cover letter is more focused on your professional experience whereas a statement of purpose might look at your personal motivations, career goals and the “bigger picture”.

7. What do schools look for in an MBA cover letter?

MBA admissions committees want to see professionalism in your cover letter, as well as convincing arguments. They want to know that you can follow instructions, that you’ve done your research and you know how to make your point.

8. How do you write a convincing MBA cover letter?

A good MBA cover letter shows that you can pitch yourself. As a business professional, you’ll need to pitch your ideas, so think of the cover letter as a way of pitching your MBA candidacy and proving to the admissions committee that you have high potential as a business professional.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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