Once you’ve identified the skills that you have and how you can demonstrate them and you’ve written your CV, now comes the time to write your cover letter. But how do you write a cover letter with no work experience? Like writing your CV with no work experience, your main focus is going to be on your skills and your enthusiasm for the job that you are applying for.
Your cover letter should be approximately 1 page long and supports your CV. It is your chance to show an employer how your skills match the job description and why you would be the perfect person for the role.
Writing a cover letter with no work experience is not impossible, but it is important to make sure that you take the time to do your research, read the job description carefully and tailor your cover letter to each job.
Show that you have all the skills that the job description ask for
Read the job description carefully and make a note of all of the key skills that the employer is looking for. Use these keywords as you are writing your cover letter to make it easy for the employer to see that you are a good candidate. Use them to structure the main part of the letter to clearly signpost that you have the skills that they are looking for and how your experiences would bring value to the job role.
Include why you want to work for the company
Do your research on the company that you are applying to. Visit their website, check their social media channels and Google them to find out any important news that could help show why you would be a valuable addition to the company. Perhaps they are linked with a charity that you’ve fundraised for or they have an inspiring environmental policy. Whatever you find, you can mention it in your cover letter and explain how it aligns with your own goals and values.
Structure your letter in a formal manner
If you are sending your cover letter as a separate file, then you can list your name, phone number and email address in the top left corner. If you are sending your cover letter as an email, you can include this information at the end of the email under your name.
You can then add the date, as well as the employer’s name and address, if you have that information.
It is up to you to choose whether you include links to your social media profiles or personal website, if you have one. Only include these if you believe that they will support your application. For example, if you’ve mentioned that you manage an Instagram account for your photography or that you have designed previous websites, then you can include these links.
However, do consider whether the content of your social media channels is appropriate to share with a potential employer. If in doubt, don’t include them.
Greet the reader and introduce yourself
Make sure that you start the cover letter with a formal greeting such as, “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern”. If you already know the name of the hiring manager, you can use, “Dear Mr/ Ms xxx”.
Calling a company to ask for the name of the person managing the recruitment process for the job that you are applying for is a great way to make a good first impression. You will get the chance to talk to someone at the company and perhaps discover some insider information. Plus, greeting the hiring manager by name will make your cover letter stand out from the competition, as it shows that you’ve taken your time to research the job and company properly.
Remember to explain why you’re best person for the job
In the main two paragraphs of your cover letter, make sure that everything you write demonstrates why you’re the best fit for the role and the company. Along with the skills required by the job, this is also a good place to mention any goals or values that you share with the company. Mention that you’ve read their website and are inspired by or also believe in specific values or missions. Employers are looking for someone that is going to be a good fit for the company and whose personality would align well with those of their current employees.
Show that your passionate about the job
The main body of the cover letter is also a great place to mention your passion for the role and why you are excited about the job. Choose a few of the skills or responsibilities mentioned in the job description and explain your enthusiasm to learn more and take on those responsibilities.
Employers are often looking for employees passionate about the role and who will put their best effort toward delivering valuable work. Some employers may value this more than experience, which can help put you ahead of other candidates with experience.
Don’t forget to ask for an interview
The last paragraph should express your interest in the position once again. You can also mention your enthusiasm for the role and how you would like the opportunity to interview for the position.
Thank the reader for their time. To formally end your letter, you can write, “Sincerely,” followed by your full name at the bottom of the document.
Cover letter with no experience template
Use the template below to structure your first cover letter in the correct format:
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Your online portfolio link and/or social media pages links]
[Name of employer]
[Mailing address of employer]
Dear [hiring manager’s name],
[Greet the hiring manager and introduce yourself. Include the position you’re applying for. These second and third sentences can mention how you found the position and express enthusiasm for the job. You can also detail who you heard about the position from if a friend or colleague referred you.]
[This first sentence in your second paragraph can introduce the skills you’ve gained from educational courses, volunteer experience or extracurricular activities. You can feature examples of these specific skills and tie together how you can apply them to this job position. Mention any other related achievements or awards and how they may benefit the company as well.]
[Your next paragraph can explain why you’re the best candidate for the role. Mention any details you noticed on their website that you believe reflects your passion or motivations. You can also explain your dedication to learning more about the role and your willingness to develop new skills in the position.]
[In your closing paragraph, explain your excitement for the role one last time. Thank the employer for their time and request an interview. Mention that you look forward to hearing from them soon.]
Did you know that there are many exciting job roles currently available as part of the government’s Kickstart scheme? Applicants for these jobs MUST be 16 – 24 and currently on Universal Credit. The scheme is designed to help young people get into work and employers across a wide variety of industries have created new job roles specifically for Kickstarters. Find out more about the Kickstart Scheme and learn if you are eligible for Universal Credit.
Check out How to write a CV with no work experience and How to Nail Your First Job Interview