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It can be especially overwhelming to write a cover letter for an entry-level job application when you have little job experience to talk about.
How can you ensure your job application still gets the attention it deserves? Follow these steps on how to write an entry-level cover letter with no experience and you’ll be well on your way to scoring an interview for your dream job.
Even if you don’t have a great deal of formal work experience, you can still put together a great cover letter that gets your foot in the door. Here’s an example of an entry-level cover letter you can use.
Dear Mr. Smith,
I discovered my passion for human resources in college. While getting my sociology degree, I realized how much I enjoyed connecting with people and helping them communicate with others. That passion naturally led into human resources and now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking forward to bringing it to the entry-level HR assistant position at [Company Name].
My communication skills are what I really pride myself on. I find that I’m able to talk to people who are having a difficult time with someone else and get to the core of what they’re concerned about. Plus, I pick up on subtleties in conversation, often helping other people understand what they’re really upset about even when they don’t know. I also have experience from my internship at Glory Medical Group in handling administrative tasks and record-keeping, and am familiar with all aspects of Microsoft Office.
I would be happy to assist your current human resources expert and help make your workplace even more comfortable for everyone involved. Let me know when I can come in and talk about how I can help your company through this job opening.
At the beginning of every cover letter is always a header. This includes contact information like your phone number, often your address and social media links, including your LinkedIn profile. Include a salutation that uses the hiring manager’s name. A greeting like, “To Whom It May Concern” sounds stuffy and old-fashioned and “Dear Hiring Manager” often comes off as overly generic. Make the best first impression with a great introduction.
First paragraph: Introduce yourself with a hook and list your best achievements.
The first thing to make sure of in any cover letter is that you’re writing to the correct contact person, at the right company and for the specific position you desire.You should also start your cover letter with some kind of hook that draws a recruiter in, and makes them want to keep reading. In this letter, the applicant mentions his college experience and how he came to find his love of human resources.
Be sure your career objective matches the job for which you’re applying, and mention the position you’re interested in up front. While this may seem like common sense, it’s easy to forget about them, especially for those new to the job search.
Second paragraph: Provide more information about why you’re perfect for the job.
Next, you need to explain what makes you different from all the other job seekers who are applying to this job. Typically, in an entry-level cover letter, you’re going to be drawing on the skills you already have to show that you’re the ideal candidate. However, you can also include details about your education, training and any extracurricular activities or internships you’ve had in the past.
For instance, on the example on this page, the job seeker mentions his knowledge in Microsoft Office thanks to his summer internships. Share experience you have gained through related coursework, internship or volunteer experiences. Talk about any leadership positions you’ve had in college or awards you have won. Discuss your transitional skills or traits that are valued in any position.
Be sure you can relate the information you include on your cover letter to the job for which you are applying. While your cooking club prize in high school is helpful for a cook position, it is so much for bookkeeping. If you want to include accomplishments in bullet point form, do so underneath this second paragraph.
Third paragraph: Call to action
The closing paragraph is your call to action where you can request a job interview. Note how the applicant states, “Let me know when I can come in.” This puts the ball back in the recruiter’s court to reach out to you. Remember to be succinct and concise and present the facts of your letter in a direct manner. Write in short paragraphs and make sure your wording flows easily. You want your cover letter to be easy to read and scan.
Remember that hiring professionals don’t have much time to spend on each letter received. Hiring managers want to get to the point quickly or else they toss the letter aside and move on.
Top tip: Focus on revising and double-checking your own work.
Check all your details and verify that you have everything right. Don’t just send your letter to the head of human resources, if you can help it. Review the job posting or go online to find the name of the correct person who should receive your correspondence.
Writing an entry-level cover letter is rooted in job research and enthusiasm. If you keep those things in mind, you can create an engaging document:
Proofread and check the length: Make sure your letter is error free and in business letter format:
Yes. Unless the job description specifically says that you shouldn’t include one, typical career advice is to include a cover letter for every job. If you’re not comfortable writing your own cover letter from scratch, consider using the ResumeHelp Cover Letter Builder. It can help you build the perfect cover letter without having to do it on your own.
Absolutely. This is considered past relevant experience and can be a major stepping stone to getting your first job. If you have a skill set that you built from activities like volunteering and internships, you should include them as you write your cover letter.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a tool that many hiring managers use to screen potential candidates automatically before the hiring manager actually looks at them. A cover letter can significantly help people without experience because it allows you to pack resume keywords into your application. By relying on your skill set and addressing skills that the hiring manager wants to see, you’re more likely to make it through an ATS scan.
There are many places to find cover letter examples but the most important factor you should keep in mind is to make sure the cover letter samples you’re using match the standards of the industry you’re showing an interest in. ResumeHelp has a great collection of cover letter examples for the most popular job industries, as well as a wide range of cover letter templates, so whether you need a document with a more traditional look or a cover letter with more pops of color and a bold header, we’ve got you covered.
You can say that you don’t have direct work experience with the position you’re applying to or that this would be your first job, unless the job posting is specifically directed at people with no experience or first-time applicants, in which case you don’t need to mention it.
Either way, use the majority of your cover letter to focus on the skills you do have that make you qualified for the role, whether those came from school, volunteering or an activities program.
If the role requires a cover letter, even for an internal promotion, you should write one. While you can follow the structure of the cover letter example on this page to create your own, the body of your cover letter should show an organization that you have the leadership skills required for the role. This can include important experiences from other aspects of your life, like coordinating a club fundraiser, building a successful personal website or running a donation booth.
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