How to Write a Cover Letter With No Work Experience

In a tough job market, finding a great position can be difficult for everyone. However, if you are a new graduate, have been out of the workforce for a long time or simply have no formal on-the-job experience, landing a good gig can be even more challenging. A well-written cover letter and resume can be key to demonstrating your positive traits and to getting your foot in the door. But if you're applying to your first job, you're probably wondering how to write a cover letter with no work experience. Here are some tips to get you started.

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By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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1. Make it reader friendly

Be sure your cover letter is visually appealing and easy to scan. Short, concisely written paragraphs are advisable. If a hiring manager can quickly read your cover letter, he will be more apt to give it attention, rather than simply tossing it in the slush pile out of frustration. Look at cover letter samples online to see how other applicants have formatted their resumes.

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2. Be specific

Avoid filler or unnecessary information. Get to the point. Be specific and tell the reader what position you are applying for and why you are the person for the job. Feel free to explain why you would like to work for the company, as this will show that you’ve done your research ahead of time.

3. Focus on the positive

While it’s true you lack experience, don’t emphasize the fact. Instead, talk about what you do know and the positive traits you can bring to the job. List courses you’ve taken that translate directly to the position for which you’re applying. Include a sentence about any internship or volunteer experience that is relevant. Include transitional skills; these are traits and qualities that are useful for any type of job.

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4. Customize for each job

If you’re looking at cover letter examples online, you’ve probably noticed that there are different templates tailored to different industries and jobs. You don’t necessarily have to write a brand new cover letter every time you apply for a position, but you do want to be certain each letter speaks directly to the job at hand. Change the wording to show how you would be a good fit for this particular position. Doing so will increase your chances of making it to the interview, despite your lack of experience.

5. Show appreciation

In your final paragraph, thank the hiring professional for their consideration. Be sure to include ways in which you can be contacted, and let them know you are looking forward to speaking with them in person. This will ensure that the hiring manager knows you’re a professional and that you’ll follow up on tasks.

Follow these steps on how to write a cover letter with no work experience to improve your chances of getting an interview. Remember, your cover letter is your first impression, so it’s important to take time to make it a positive one.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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