How To Write a Cover Letter With No Experience (Plus Example)
Applying for a position when you have no work experience can be challenging, especially when you need to write a cover letter. Fortunately, there are ways to highlight your relevant skills or achievements that will capture the attention of the hiring manager. Explaining how your skills can benefit the employer can make your cover letter stand out from other applicants.
In this article, we explain how to write a cover letter when you have no job experience and we offer a template and example to help you build a strong cover letter.
Related: 8 Jobs With No Experience Required
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a document approximately one page long that supports your resume and highlights any skills, qualifications, experience or other information related to the position you're applying for. Your cover letter should clearly outline the reasons why you would be a perfect fit for the position by tying your qualities together with the responsibilities of the specific position.
Related: Writing a Resume With No Experience
Can you write a cover letter with no experience?
Though it may be challenging, it is possible to write a cover letter even if you have no related work experience. While a cover letter can often be used to highlight your previous work experience, you can instead use it to focus on any soft skills you've gained from other experiences like extracurricular activities, educational courses or volunteering.
It's important to highlight any of your soft skills as many employers will value them since they can be more difficult to teach. This is because soft skills are naturally developed and hard skills can often be taught through training.
In addition to featuring your soft skills in a cover letter, you should also include your passion for learning more skills during the position. This tells the employer that even though you may not have experience, you have a willingness to learn more and to dedicate yourself to the position.
How to write a cover letter with no experience
When crafting your cover letter, you should include important information relevant to the position that will make the hiring manager believe you're a good fit for their position and company. The steps below explain how to write a cover letter with no experience.
1. Carefully review the job posting and research the company's website
Before you begin your cover letter, you'll want to ensure you're relating your information to the preferred and required skills listed on the job posting. You can carefully read through the job posting and note any listed skills that you may already have. These skills can be used as keywords in your cover letter and can be mentioned throughout the document. You should explain how you'll apply these skills to the position.
You should also dedicate time to learning more about the company to highlight why you may be a valuable addition. Review their website, social media pages and any additional material that features their company's information. This helps you learn about their values, culture and goals. You can mention any information you found and explain how it aligns with your own goals or values.
2. List your contact information at the top of the document
As you begin your cover letter, you can list your name, phone number and email address in the top left corner. You can then add the date as well as the employer's name and address, if you have that information. This makes your document look more formal and professional. Also, add a link to your online portfolio and social media channels (if you have them) to help them learn more about yourself and your online presence.
3. Greet the reader and introduce yourself
Start with a formal greeting by saying, "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern." If you already know the name of the hiring manager, list their name in the salutation. Next, introduce yourself to the reader by saying your name and your excitement for the job opportunity. Mention the exact job title you're applying for along with where you saw the position or how you learned about the job.
If a friend or colleague who previously or currently works for the company referred you to the position, you can mention their name in this section once you've received permission from them to do so. Your introduction should be around two to three sentences long.
4. Explain your skills and achievements relevant to the position
This is the section of your cover letter where you can mention your skills and how they align with the position. Since you have no previous work experience, you can talk about your educational experience and how the courses you've taken have helped prepare you for the position. You can also mention awards and achievements you've received that may benefit the company.
For example, if you were president of an academic club at your university, highlight this in your cover letter. Explain that being elected president helped you develop and enhance your leadership skills, which you can apply toward the position you're applying for.
5. Remind them why you're best for the position
Throughout your two body paragraphs, you should detail why you're the best fit for the role and the company. This can be a great time to mention the values or goals you share with the company by mentioning that you read their website and agree with their specific values. Employers are often pleased to learn your dedication and interest in learning more about the company and that your personality may align well with their employees' personalities.
This is also a great time to mention your passion for the role and that you're excited to learn more. You can even outline a few of the responsibilities mentioned in the job posting and explain your enthusiasm to gain those skills and experience. Employers are often looking for employees passionate about the role and who will put their best effort toward delivering valuable work. Some employers may value this more than experience, which can help put you ahead of other candidates with experience.
6. Ask them for an interview
The last paragraph should express your interest in the position once again. You can also mention your enthusiasm for the role and how you want to speak with them again. Your chances of getting an interview after requesting one in your cover letter may increase, so try to ask for one in your final paragraph. Thank the reader for their time. To formally end your letter, you can write, "Sincerely," followed by your full name at the bottom of the document.
7. Proofread for spelling, grammar and clarity issues
Once the cover letter is fully written, you should read through the document to catch any issues with spelling and grammar. You should also carefully review it to ensure it's clear and makes sense. You can read the cover letter out loud to yourself or you can send it to friends or colleagues. They may catch an error in your document that you may have missed.
8. Save the document as a PDF and send to the hiring manager
When you've carefully reviewed your document and applied any edits, review it once more for formatting. If it looks ready to send, you can save it as a PDF. Check the job posting to see if they mention how they would like to receive your cover letter. Most employers prefer cover letters as a PDF and but some require it as a word document.
The job posting should also explain how to submit the cover letter. You may be required to attach it to an application file or you may email it directly to the hiring manager.
Cover letter with no experience template
Review the template below to learn how to properly format your cover letter as an entry-level candidate:
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Your online portfolio link and/or social media pages links]
[Name of employer]
[Mailing address of employer]
Dear [Hiring manager's name],
[Greet the hiring manager and state your name as well as the position you're applying for. These second and third sentences can mention how you found the position and express enthusiasm for the job. You can also mention if you heard about the position from a friend or if a colleague referred you.]
[This first sentence in your second paragraph can introduce the skills you've gained from educational courses, volunteer experience or extracurricular activities. You can feature examples of these specific skills and tie together how you can apply them to this job position during these next few sentences. Mention any other related achievements or awards and how they may benefit the company.]
[Your next paragraph can explain why you're the best candidate for the role. Mention any details you noticed on their website that you believe reflect your passion or motivations. You can also explain your dedication to learning more about the role and you're willingness to develop new skills in the position.]
[In your closing paragraph, explain your excitement for the role one last time. Thank the employer for their time and request an interview. Mention that you look forward to hearing from them soon.]
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Cover letter with no experience example
The example below can be used as a guide to help you build your cover letter if you have no experience:
Lewis Marketing Agency
123 Horris Lane
Dear Mia Lewis,
My name is Chris Adams, and I am thrilled to express my interest in the Marketing Coordinator position at Lewis Marketing Agency. I was excited to learn about this position from my friend and former classmate, Taylor Daniels. I believe my strong communication and time-management skills will help me excel as an employee at your company.
As a recent graduate from the University of Kansas, I gained strong hands-on writing and researching experience as a journalism major. As a lead writer for our college newspaper, I wrote compelling stories that captured the significance of our school and provided informative material to readers. I can apply these same skills to create thoughtful and engaging marketing material for your clients.
My dedication to research and finishing projects within tight deadlines make me the perfect candidate for you and your company. If I were to work as a Marketing Coordinator, I would enjoy expanding my skills as I create informative material that captures the attention of your clients' target audiences. Your website mentions your passion for helping promote your clients. I share this passion with you, as I felt very motivated to promote my university and their newspaper during my time at the University of Kansas.
I'm very excited to learn more about your company and to develop my skills further. Thank you very much for your time and attention. Please reach out to me when you are available to arrange an interview. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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