Landing a job is a challenge for many professionals. Landing a job without any experience can be an even bigger challenge.
As a job seeker without any experience, it’s discouraging when you’ve applied for dozens (or hundreds) of jobs and received zero responses from employers. Although you might feel like giving up on your job search, it’s important to persevere and continue writing cover letters that will make you stand out to employers.
Here are some tips for writing a cover letter when you have little or no experience:
First Paragraph: Clearly introduce yourself.
The first paragraph is your opportunity to make a strong first impression on the employer. This section should explain who you are, the position you’re interested in, and how you discovered the opportunity.
[Related: Employers, learn how to get strategic to attract the right applicants by being specific about these 11 things.]
The introduction is also a great opportunity to mention and connections you have with the organization. For example, if you know a previous intern or alumni who worked for the organization, be sure to mention his or her name in your introduction.
“My name is Sarah and I’m a recent graduate from Purdue University. I graduated in December with a B.A. in communications and a minor in marketing. An alumni forwarded me a job posting about your Associate Marketer position at ABC Media Group. I’m highly interested in this opportunity because I’d make a great fit for your agency.”
Second Paragraph: Talk about your relevant skills and accomplishments.
This section is the biggest challenge for job seekers with little or no experience. It’s also the section where many job seekers make mistakes because they don’t know how to highlight their relevant skills and classroom experience.
As you explain why you’re qualified for the position, it’s important to connect the dots with the employer. For instance, if you didn’t have a marketing internship but you’ve gained a lot of marketing experience through a part-time job in student services, you could highlight the communications skills and experience you gained through that position.
“I realize you’re looking for a candidate with strong written and oral communications skills, as well as experience with event planning and strategy development. As an office assistant in Purdue’s Office of Student Life, I was responsible for planning and promoting campus movie nights for students. This project required me to promote the event on social media, send email blasts to students, and design flyers to post around campus.”
Third Paragraph: Highlight your best qualities and explain why you’re a good fit.
Most employers want to hire candidates who are creative, team players, and have strong time management skills. Although you consider yourself a great fit for the position, you need to use examples that illustrate why you’re a good fit for the job. The reality is, simply stating that you have excellent time management skills and a knack for leadership won’t land you a job.
When talking about your qualities, it’s important to talk about real-life examples. The key point to remember here is to make sure your examples are succinct and visual.
“During my final semester at Purdue, I led a group of three students to create a marketing campaign for an animal shelter in Indianapolis. I was responsible for leading brainstorming sessions, communicating with our client, and editing the final version of the campaign. Through this project, I learned how to collaborate with others and work effectively in a team in order to accomplish a common goal.”
Fourth Paragraph: Conclude with a call to action.
The final paragraph is the section that will seal the deal for a job interview. You want to leave a lasting impression on the reader, so make sure your conclusion is confident, upbeat, and encourages the hiring manager to get in touch with you.
“With the combination of my marketing experience and leadership skills, I’m confident I’d make a great fit your this position. Thank you for taking the time to review my application and consider me as a candidate. I will follow up next Wednesday to schedule a time to talk with you more about this position. I look forward to hearing from you soon!”
After you’ve proofread the cover letter and are confident it’s error-free, you’re ready to send it to the hiring manager. Make sure you’ve included a header at the top of the document including your contact information and a shortened URL for your LinkedIn account. Once the document is ready, save it as a PDF and attach to an email for the hiring manager. This will ensure the formatting of your cover letter doesn’t change once it’s downloaded by the recipient.
Just because you don’t have experience doesn’t mean you can’t write a stellar cover letter. By following these tips, you’ll write a cover letter that gets you noticed by employers and land your first entry-level job.
What are your best tips for writing a cover letter without experience?
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Your clerical cover letter is the perfect opportunity to show prospective employers how your strengths and skills match their needs for the clerical job opportunity.
Clerical work is wide-ranging and varied, focus on the different capabilities and competencies you can bring to the position and the company.
Identify and highlight the most relevant skills in a well-written and persuasive clerical assistant cover letter that sets you apart from the competition.
Sample Clerical Cover Letter
Your Contact details (phone and email)
Human Resources Manager
8 Industry Place
New York, NY 10021
Dear Ms Morgan
I am very interested in the Clerical Assistant position you advertised on XYZ and believe I have the capabilities to successfully meet your requirements. Please allow me to highlight my skills as they relate to the job opportunity.
- Proven ability to multi-task under pressure and plan and prioritize effectively to meet critical deadlines.
- Demonstrated success in producing accurate documents and reports within tight time constraints.
- Track record of developing and streamlining processes to improve efficiency.
- History of establishing and maintaining productive and positive working relationships with diverse groups of people.
- Proficient in MS Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
I am self-sufficient and able to work independently as well as part of a team. I believe my enthusiasm, my skills and my strong work ethic can make a positive contribution to your company. I would appreciate an opportunity to speak with you to schedule an appointment and provide you with more information.
Thank you for your time and consideration, I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Include a job-winning cover letter with your clerical assistant resume and quickly convince the hiring manager of your suitability for the job.
This clerical job description will assist you in identifying the relevant skills to highlight in your clerical assistant cover letter.
Powerful phrases to build your clerical cover letter
You can select appropriate phrases to create the cover letter you want.
- I read with enthusiasm your advertisement for a Clerical Support Assistant in XYZ. A brief description of the skills and strengths I would bring to this position includes the following.
- In response to your advertisement for a Clerical Assistant please consider my resume. I am confident that my abilities can make an immediate and positive contribution to your company.
- Well-developed communication skills, both written and verbal.
- Keen attention to detail and excellent data entry skills.
- Strong organizational and planning skills ensure efficient completion of multiple tasks in a fast paced work environment.
- Able to work effectively with diverse individuals.
- Track record of exercising sound judgment in identifying and solving problems to achieve task objectives.
- Able to take initiative and complete assignments independently.
- I am available to meet with you for an in-depth discussion at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.
- I look forward to hearing from you soon to set up an appointment at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration.
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These cover letter resources will help you to create a job-winning cover letter for yourself.
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