Writing a cover letter for the first time can be an intimidating process. In a way, a cover letter is a sales letter in which the product you’re selling is yourself and your skills. Selling yourself is hard. It can be especially overwhelming for those who are writing a cover letter for entry-level positions and feel they have little job experience to talk about.

Don’t despair. 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. Follow these steps on how to write an entry-level cover letter, and you’ll be well on your way to scoring an interview for that dream job.

1. It’s All in the Details

One thing you won’t find in cover letter samples online is an emphasis on revising and double-checking your own work. The first thing to make sure of in any cover letter is that you’re applying to the correct contact person, at the right company and for the specific position you desire. 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. Double check to be sure you’re sending the cover letter to the correct employer and haven’t accidentally forgotten to change a name or placed the letter in the wrong envelope. Be sure your objective matches the job for which you’re applying. While these may all seem like common sense things, they are easy mistakes to make, especially by those new to the job search.

2. Keep It Simple

When considering how to write a cover letter for entry-level roles, don’t go overboard on your writing in an attempt to make up for your lack of experience with filler and unrelated information. Be succinct and concise, getting to the point and presenting the facts 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 through. Hiring professionals don’t have much time to spend on each letter received; they want to get to the point quickly or else they toss the letter aside and move on.

3. Show Your Strengths

Sure, you may be new to the industry or to the workforce in general, but now is not the time to be modest. Focus on your strengths. Share experience you have gained through related coursework, internship or volunteer experience. 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. Just be sure you can relate the information you include to the job for which you are applying.

Each cover letter should be customized to the position. These tips on how to write a cover letter for entry-level positions should help you to create a sales pitch that will get you the interview you so desire. A strong cover letter is the key to getting the job you want.

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