Writing a Cover Letter With No Experience
Most of the job seekers have heard of the vicious cycle where in order to get a job you need work experience and in order to get experience, you need to get a job. This is one of the main reasons why the search of the first job is a terrifying and a challenging process. A perfect cover letter is something that makes a huge difference when you are applying for a job in a field where you don’t have any experience. We have selected the best advice on how to write a cover letter when you are new to the job market.
Who needs this type of cover letter?
If you are applying for your first job or internship and you have absolutely no experience, then you do need this type of cover letter. You will present your strengths, skills, education and ambitions in a way that will make it absolutely clear why you are the perfect fit for the job. Even if you assume that the job in question is for total beginners, a first job cover letter is something to be taken very seriously. It can make a crucial difference to your application.
It also concerns those who are in the middle of a career change. When you are switching industries and you don’t have any relevant experience in the new field, you will treat your cover letter as a newbie. This is where you will learn how to read the job offer, understand it and respond to it with your uniqueness.
The basic elements of your cover letter
The structure of a cover letter with no experience is pretty standard. It will be shorter than a cover letter for a managerial position but there are certain elements you can’t omit.
- 1.Contact information. Include your contact details in the top right corner of the page. Make it easy for the employer to reach you and learn more about you. Don’t hesitate to add the link to your personal website or LinkedIn profile.
- 2.Company information. The name of the company and the name of the contact person go on the left.
- 3.The job in question – the subject of your letter. Example: “Application for Personal Assistant Position”.
Now that you are done with the formal part, you move on to the body of the cover letter. A cover letter with no experience should take no more than 2/3 of a page and consist of maximum three main paragraphs.
- 4.Paragraph 1 – your opening. This is where you introduce yourself to the company.
- 5.Paragraph 2 – it’s about you and the company. Refer to the job posting and highlight what skills and experience of yours make you the perfect fit.
- 6.Paragraph 3 – seal the deal. You will detail on how you are the ideal candidate for the job.
- 7.Paragraph 4 – closing. Express your interest in the position in the closing paragraph and thank the reader for their time. Let them know you will be following up soon – this will show you as a proactive candidate.
Make sure you that in Paragraph 3 you elaborate on how starting your career path in this company will be a huge opportunity for your future. Base your information on facts about the company, how it helps young graduates, how they actively encourage growth, etc.
What skills should a good cover letter include?
When you write a cover letter with no experience in the field, your skills are what will make the main impression on the employer.
First and foremost, make sure you understand the job description and what type of employee the company is looking for. You will then highlight the relevant skill sets and personal attributes that can be applied to the job. Reinforce this information with real-life examples.
EXAMPLE: If you are targeting the journalism industry, mention the relevant activities you took part in, such as school/university newspapers, blogging, etc.
During my university career, I published my articles in the trimestral campus newspaper about the positive changes on campus. My articles brought attention to more efficient recycling, usage of paper bags in the cafeteria and organized cleanups.
If you have experience in charity and volunteering, it absolutely has to go on your cover letter. Companies love dedication. Explain what type of work you did and how it transfers to your skills that will help you grow within the company.
EXAMPLE: If you organized fundraisers and/or other charity events, give more details. Say what your position was and what it resulted in.
I’m not afraid of initiative. During my high school career, I personally organized a fundraiser for a local library, which resulted in exceeding the target fund goal by 30%. As a result, we renovated the library hall and purchased XXX amount of books.
If you are changing industries, look for transferable skills that could bring added value to your future company. Even if your desired position is a polar opposite of what you used to do, there is a way to present your skills. For example, if you used to be in bookkeeping and you would like to switch to being a pharmaceutical representative, you can stress upon such qualities as organization skills, confidence and trustworthiness — you were dealing with people’s finances every day after all!
EXAMPLE: You would like to show how your skills acquired in the sales industry will be a great asset to your desired job as a communications assistant.
Thanks to my experience as a salesperson, I have excellent communication and conversation skills – I have no trouble relating to other and understanding what they really need.
Key points to include in the cover letter with no experience
Here is a list of all the possible key points that should go on a cover letter when you are new to the job market.
- Spoken languages. If you speak an extra language compared to the other candidates, it can play a tremendous role. Don’t hesitate to research the markets where the country is present – sometimes even your high school level of German can be just the extra skill the employer needs.
- Extra-curricular activities – sports, clubs, theatre, musical instruments, etc. Elaborate on all the ways you used to shine during your education and show how those skills will transfer into your new position.
- Small jobs. For example, jobs like babysitting and dog walking show that you are a trustworthy person who knew the value of money from an early age.
- Volunteering and charity.
- Grades and GPA – if you have high grades, the employer will see that you really dedicated your time to studying. Don’t hesitate to precise the subject where you were exceptionally good if this subject corresponds with the work field.
- Won competitions. If you participated in language, science, writing or any other competitions, make sure your future employer knows about your go-getter spirit!
Tips for writing a cover letter with no experience?
When writing a cover letter, pretty much many rules apply to everybody, whether it’s an entry position or a managerial one. Here are some main tips to take into account when you don’t have any experience in the field.
- Research the company. Understand the company and its needs. The more you know about your potential employer, the easier you will be able to give them what they want.
- Understand the position. Read into the job description in order to analyze what kind of skills and qualities the employer needs. The better grasp you have of the company’s needs, the better you will answer their questions.
- Spend enough time on your cover letter. Analysis and reading into take time. Don’t rush it. You need to make your skills your strong sides and this type of analysis takes time.
- Keep it short and straight to the point. Having long cover letters with no experience is considered bad manners in job hunting. The sooner you get to the point why you are the perfect candidate and the stronger this point will be, the better.
- Be proactive. Follow up on your job application and show initiative. It can be an extra quality you’ll show your future employer.
Writing a cover letter with no experience can seem like a real challenge and feel like a very discouraging process. Show your uniqueness through your skills. Every job seeker has been in this position at the beginning of their careers and by choosing the right words and ways to highlight your qualities, they were able to attract the employer’s attention and hopefully get that interview!