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?
TagsCover LetterCover Letter TipsEntry-level
Student Assistant Cover Letter
Student Assistants are employed by educational institutions to support the administrative functions of an office. Examples of Student Assistant duties include doing bookkeeping, writing newsletters, organizing fundraising events, doing research for scientific articles, helping with special projects, maintaining accurate records, greeting guests, and doing translations. Some of these Student Assistants are also required to perform orientation and training of student employees.
Based on our collection of sample cover letters for Student Assistant, the most sought-after skills for the job are:
- Organizational skills
- Knowledge of basic accountancy principles
- Being able to interact with people from various backgrounds
- Good writing skills
- Multitasking and deadline orientation
- Attention to details and accuracy
- Computer competences
Those interested in a Student Assistant position can check relevant qualifications and experience in the example cover letter provided below.
For help with your resume, check out our extensive Student Assistant Resume Samples.
Dear Mr. Gates:
Upon learning of your search for a new Student Assistant to join your team at Merriweather College, I felt compelled to submit my resume for your review. As an enthusiastic and motivated individual with a recent degree from Merriweather—coupled with experience in various academic support roles, excellent communication talents, and a commitment to achieving organizational goals—I would be a valuable asset to your school in this role.
My background includes assisting students with various academic matters including financial aid, admissions, and their overall academic performance through multiple work-study positions while liaising with cross-functional departments and ensuring full compliance with confidentiality and privacy laws such as FERPA. With strong inner motivation, an outgoing and friendly demeanor, and superior organization talents, I am prepared to excel in this position.
Highlights of my qualifications include…
- Providing key administrative support in various offices with Merriweather College throughout my academic tenure—including the Office of the Registrar’s, Admissions, Financial Aid, Academic Advisement—interacting effectively with diverse domestic and international students and staff.
- Supporting new incoming students during the summers for three consecutive years, assisting them with dormitory and roommate assignments, class selection and enrollment, financial aid applications, and responding to general inquiries.
- Balancing and efficiently attending to a high volume of student messages and calls with varying complexities, sensitivities, and competing priorities, maintaining confidentiality and professionalism.
- Earning a reputation for my welcoming and courteous personality, interacting respectfully with students and colleagues and holding an exceptional level of personal accountability; possessing outstanding customer service skills.
- Obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Studies from Merriweather College in 2015.
With my strong background in academic office support and service, as well as my demonstrated commitment to assisting students across multiple areas, I am well prepared to extend my record of service to Merriweather in this role. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this position and my qualifications with you further. Thank you for your consideration.
Lauren J. Ridder