Entry-level job hunters want every chance they can get to improve their odds with recruiters. So, when you’re looking for a job, armed with a resume and glimmers of hope, you can take advantage of one more document to leave a lasting good impression on hiring managers—a cover letter! But how do you write a cover letter with no experience?
Picture this: you’re a fresh graduate or a career switcher, and you’ve just spent hours getting the most out of your resume. With little to no professional experience, that, on its own, can be a challenge. And that’s even without having to write a whole new document about your skills and competence.
So, how do you bridge that gap between “eager learner” and “experienced professional?” Stick around as we explore the art of storytelling, the science of cover letter writing, and the importance of a call to action. Let’s jump right in!
A cover letter with no experience should have 3–5 paragraphs and the layout of a business letter.
Make sure to greet the hiring manager by their name.
Include your strongest skills and achievements in the first paragraph to hook the hiring manager.
Increase your chances of getting invited to an interview by adding a call to action in the last paragraph of your cover letter.
Ensure your cover letter is tailored to the job advertisement and matches your resume.
How to Format a Cover Letter With No Experience
One great thing about cover letters is that their formatting stays consistent regardless of the amount of experience you have or the industry you’re in.
Whether you’re writing a cold-calling cover letter with no experience or a cover letter for a CEO with decades of work history, the format is as follows:
Cover letter Structure
Include your and the recipient’s contact details in the header of your cover letter.
Open your letter with a cordial greeting.
Write an enticing first paragraph that grabs attention.
Include 1–3 paragraphs for the body of the letter with your most impressive skills and competencies, as well as relevant achievements (if you have any).
Finish the body of your cover letter by adding a call to action in the final paragraph.
Close the letter in the same manner as you opened it.
Include your full name and signature.
Optionally, you can add a postscript and include a particularly interesting bit of information about your skills, knowledge, or achievements.
You no longer need to wonder what to include in a cover letter. Simply follow this bullet list, and you’ll end up with a strong, information-packed document.
Layout for a Cover Letter with No Experience
In essence, a cover letter is a business letter and should be treated as such. That means you shouldn’t go overboard with graphs, colors, and other design elements. Instead, keep it clean and simple, as the focus should be on the writing.
Here are a couple of guidelines that will help you make a professional layout for your cover letter with no experience:
Cover Letter Layout Guidelines
Hiring managers often have to go through large numbers of cover letters, which is why you should keep yours one page long.
Keep the body of your cover letter to 3–5 paragraphs or 250–400 words.
Choose a suitable cover letter font that is easy to read (e.g., Arial or Times New Roman) and avoid stylized and script typefaces.
Set font size to 10–12 pt.
Set margins to 1 inch.
Use 1.0 line spacing with twice as much between paragraphs.
How to Write a Cover Letter With No Experience
Now that we've set the stage with the general rules and guidelines regarding the format and layout of your cover letter, it’s time to go into details. You’re about to learn how to write each section of your cover letter, after which we’ll give you a complete example.
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know how to write everything—from a content moderator cover letter with no experience to a field officer cover letter with no experience.
Here’s a visual template to help you follow along:
#1. Add Contact Information in the Header
The contact information section is simple and purely functional. It goes in the header of your cover letter and should feature your details, the recipient's information, and the date of writing.
When it comes to your information, you should include the following:
(Optional) Mailing address
Regarding the recipient’s information, there’s one thing to pay attention to, and that’s adding their name. When you include the hiring manager’s name both in the contact information section and while greeting them, you create a strong personal connection right off the bat.
Moreover, by going the extra mile to do research, you show that you care about the job and the company. All that can give you extra points with hiring managers and set you apart from the competition.
Let’s put all that into practice and check out an example of a contact information section:
Christopher Hayden Office Administrator 2932 Howard Street Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-504-9689 firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, 21/06/2023
Jerome Magallanes Hiring Manager Ludwig Marketing Company 4334 Rosewood Lane New York, NY 10018
#2. Greet the Hiring Manager
Before you start writing your cover letter with no experience, you should formally greet the hiring manager. There’s no need to overthink this part, as it’s enough to be brief, polite, and professional. Here’s an example:
Dear Mr. Magallanes
If you don’t manage to find the hiring manager’s name, you can use their title instead, which looks like this:
Dear Hiring Manager
The only thing to avoid when writing a cordial greeting is a generic and detached “To whom it may concern.”
#3. Emphasize Your Key Strengths in the Introduction
The main purpose of the first paragraph of your cover letter with no experience is to be a hook. It should feature some of the most impressive information about you to grab the attention of hiring managers and convince them to keep reading.
Candidates with a work history should start with one or two of their notable achievements. However, since you don’t have experience yet, you’ll want to focus on your skills. Choose a couple of highly valuable skills that will help you do the job you’re applying for. On top of that, you can mention your degree or a prominent academic accomplishment.
Lastly, if your cover letter has no experience but shows you’re willing to learn, you’ll get bonus points with hiring managers.
Let’s see that in an example:
I am writing to express my keen interest in the position of Office Administrator at Ludwig Marketing Company. As a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, I possess a comprehensive understanding of business principles and office management techniques. That, combined with my strong organizational skills and eagerness to learn, makes me the right candidate for the job.
If you’ve switched careers, you can leverage achievements from your past jobs in the introductory paragraph. Still, you should ensure that those achievements are relevant to the position that you’re after.
#4. Elaborate on Why You’re the Right Fit
A great cover letter doesn’t only portray you as a competent candidate; it also presents you as the best person for the job.
Regardless of the field you’re in or the position you’re after, chances are that there will be many other qualified applicants submitting cover letters. With so many skilled candidates to choose from, hiring managers will likely favor those who highlight the specific abilities they are looking for.
An easy way to figure out what exactly hiring managers and potential employers want to see in candidates is to simply read the job ad. Furthermore, by researching the company, you’ll be able to tailor your cover letter with no experience to their requirements.
Now let’s check out an example:
During my studies, I developed a solid foundation in various aspects of office administration, including records management and customer service. Furthermore, I have developed strong verbal and written communication skills through my coursework, which allow me to interact effectively with clients and colleagues.
Moreover, if you obtained any relevant experience during internships, volunteer work, personal projects, or similar activities, you can mention that as well. Here’s an example:
Although I am a recent graduate, I completed a challenging internship at Modern Advertising, where I had the opportunity to apply and refine my skills. One of my key achievements was streamlining office operations by implementing an electronic filing system, which resulted in a 21% reduction in time spent searching for documents.
#5. Add a Call to Action
Marketers use a call to action all the time to persuade audiences to perform specific acts. In the case of cover letters, you can use a call to action to increase your chances of getting called for an interview.
In the final paragraph, you should thank the hiring manager for their time and express your desire to further talk to them about your qualifications.
Here’s an example of how you can end your cover letter:
Thank you for considering my application. I would welcome the chance to further discuss how my skills and qualifications align with your company’s needs during an interview.
#6. Write a Formal Closing
A formal closing combined with a formal greeting envelopes the body of your cover letter, creating a courteous and professional document. There are several ways to close a letter in the same manner as opening it, including:
Let’s see that in an example:
#7. Proofread the Cover Letter
Proofreading your cover letter with no experience is important for a number of reasons. First off, it helps you spot any mistakes or typographical errors. After all, a spotless cover letter is a strong indication of your accuracy and attentiveness.
Moreover, by taking the time to read your letter once you’ve finished it, you’ll see whether you can improve the flow of your writing. You might also spot areas that need to be trimmed down or expanded upon.
Lastly, proofreading helps you check whether you’ve properly tailored your cover letter with no experience to the job ad.
Example of a Cover Letter With No Experience
Here’s a complete example of an office administrator cover letter with no experience:
Cover Letter With No Experience Writing Tips
Here are a few final tips to help you get ahead of the competition:
Cover Letter Writing Tips
People instinctively read postscripts. You can add a particularly impressive skill or accomplishment to your cover letter’s postscript to grab the attention of a hiring manager. In case they skimmed through your writing, this can get them to circle back and read it more carefully.
In addition to presenting yourself as a good fit for the company, you can also emphasize that they are a good fit for you. You can do that by highlighting something about their organization that resonates with you. In turn, that will make you seem even more interested, boosting your chances with the hiring managers.
Avoid writing generic cover letters and then submitting them to multiple different companies. Even a cover letter with no experience should be personalized and tailored to the job ad, and it should match your no-experience resume.
You can send a PDF sample of your cover letter with no experience in the field to a friend or family member to help you proofread it. They might notice mistakes you could’ve overlooked or point out areas where you could improve.
As we reach the end of this journey, remember that experience is not a destination but a road you travel with all the skills and knowledge you pick up along the way. Even the most seasoned professionals were once fresh-faced rookies like yourself. So don’t let a lack of work history discourage you from writing a compelling cover letter.
Remember to hold your head high and venture forth with vigor. It’s often enough to show potential, and you’ll already have the attention of recruiters and employers. Don’t look at your lack of experience as a limitation but as a challenge to prove your worth and create a fulfilling career.
Best of luck, and may your cover letter be the spark that ignites a fulfilling career!