When you are applying for anentry-level position, composing a cover letter can be a challenge because you may not have a lot of work experience. However, it's fine to highlight your non-employment related experience in your cover letter if it's relevant to the job. After all, interviewers for entry-level positions are aware that this may be your first position.
Why a Cover Letter is Important
Here's a secret:Writing cover letters is hard for nearly all candidates—not just entry-level applicants. So, don't be disheartened if you're feeling overwhelmed by the process.
To get the hiring manager excited enough to call you in for an interview, you need to convey not only your skills and qualifications, but also your passion for the organization and your aptitude for the specific role.
This means writing a cover letter that complements your resume, and not one that merely duplicates that information.
A good cover letter also shows off yourcommunicationand writing skills and proves that you know how totell a compelling story—a bonus in almost every job, even if the job description doesn’t include writing as a requirement.
Finally, taking the time to craft a cover letter proves that you know how things are done in a professional environment and that you’re willing to play by the rules. That might sound obvious, but when you’re applying for an entry-level position, it’s important to show the hiring manager that you’re aware of what’s expected and that you won’t need to be trained in the basics of office life.
New to cover letters? Usethis guideto familiarize yourself with the format and best practices for writing a cover letter that helps you get the job interview. It includes the different types of cover letters, the information that needs to be included in your letter, and the proper way to format your final draft and send it to the hiring manager.
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
The good news is that it's basically a level playing field when it comes to applying for entry-level jobs. Your competitors likely won’t have a great deal of work experience, either.
Feel free to mention volunteer experiences, internships, related classes, projects, leadership experience, extracurricular activities, and your skills that pertain to the position. Providing these details about related experience helps differentiate your application from the crowd:
Look for ways to draw connections between your non-work experience and the job and industry at hand. For instance, if you are applying for an entry-level position in publishing, you might point out your strong grades in literature classes, volunteer work at the library or in literacy programs, an internship at a publishing house, your involvement with the school newspaper, etc.
Look at the specific skills mentioned in the job description, too, and think about ways todemonstrate that you possess these abilities. For example, if a job posting calls for someone detail-oriented and organized, your experience managing a fundraiser for your academic club is good evidence that you have those abilities.
How to Write an Entry-Level Cover Letter
Match your qualifications to the job.Research thejob requirementsthoroughly before beginning to compose your letter. Make a list of the key qualities, areas of knowledge, skills, or experience that the employer is seeking.Review descriptions for similar titles onIndeed.comor another job site if the employer hasn’t provided a good list of requirements with the ad. Then take the time to match your credentials to the job description.
Get inside information.Contact the career office at your school, if time permits, and request a list of alumni volunteers in your field of interest. Ask them what they would be looking for if they were hiring for the type of entry-level job which you are targeting.
Make a list of your qualifications.Compile a list of your assets that will enable you to meet the job requirements and excel in the job.
Write a perfect opening sentence.Compose anopening sentencethat conveys enthusiasm for the job and summarizes why it is a good fit. Name the precise position if one is mentioned in the job announcement. For example, you might say “I am highly interested in consideration for your sales assistant vacancy since it would tap my strong customer service, organizational, and verbal communication skills.”
Describe your skills.Draft a sentence for each one of the assets on your list that will qualify you for the job. Briefly include a reference point in your background such as course project, leadership role, internship, or personal experience that proves that you possess that strength.You can merge more than one asset into each statement. For example, “I utilized strong persuasive skills and leadership ability to recruit and attract new members to our sorority.”
Remember that for many entry-level jobs you will be trained on the job, so eagerness to learn and the ability to learn quickly and well are often assets to emphasize.
Quantify your accomplishments.Whenever possible, frame your statements as accomplishments andquantify results. For example, “Attentiveness to detail and editing skills enabled me to reduce publication errors in the yearbook by 15% over the previous year.”
When to mention following up.If you have identified a contact person and the employer has not conveyed how interviews will be arranged, then you might suggest that you will follow up to determine if they need further information and to discuss the possibility of arranging an interview.
End with a professional closing. Inclosing your cover letter, reaffirm your keen interest in the job and that you are hopeful that you can meet with them to discuss the exciting opportunity further.
Proofread your letter.Carefullyreview your letter for spelling and grammatical errors.Read it out loud and place your finger on each word.Have a counselor, teacher, writing tutor, or other trusted person critique your draft.
Entry-Level Cover Letter Examples
Review these sample cover letters for entry-level candidates for employment to get ideas for your own letter. You'll find both general examples, as well as sample cover letters for specific fields and positions. Don't copy the text exactly, but rather, use the samples for inspiration when writing your own personalized cover letter.
Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
7903 Harbor Street
Portland, OR 97035
August 13, 2020
Human Resources Manager
Portland Bay Books
801 Powell Street, Suite #200
Portland, OR 97035
Dear Mr. Jeffries:
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Portland Bay Books’ recruiter, Sarah Smith, at the job fair held on the campus of Portland State University. As a graduating senior with a major in English and a minor in Communications, I was interested to learn about your publishing operations. Please accept the attached resume as a sign of my deep interest in becoming your next Editorial Assistant.
During my studies in the English Honors Program at Portland State University, I have honed strong analytical, writing, and grammatical skills that will serve me well in this position. For the past four years I have been a book reviewer for our department’s literary journal, Chiaroscuro, and am now serving as its Senior Editor. I thus understand how to collaborate with a team of writers, how to brainstorm engaging content, how to proofread manuscripts and perform line edits, and how to design page formats.
I am also currently completing a three-month internship as a Marketing Assistant with ABC Marketing, a role which has provided me with “real world” experience in conducting competitive market research, creating social media posts for client companies, and designing unique corporate newsletters.
My technical skills include Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, and PowerPoint) and the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of publication tools. You can view samples of my writing and design work in my online portfolio at http://JaneGordon.weebly.com.
Eager to learn more about your expectations for your next Editorial Assistant, I would welcome the opportunity for a personal interview. Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response.
Cover Letter Template to Download
Download an entry-level cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Basic Entry-Level Cover Letter Examples
College Senior Cover Letter
It can be challenging to write a cover letter when you haven’t graduated yet. Include both your academic accomplishments and work experience, if you have it. Here’s advice on how to structure your letter, what to include to get it to stand out from the crowd of entry-level applicants, as well as a sample to review.
Recent College Graduate Cover Letter
The best way to show an employer you’re well qualified for a job, tips for writing a cover letter when you’re a recent graduate, and a sample letter to review.
Career Office Referral Cover Letter
When you apply for a job that has been listed through your university career center, mention that in the first paragraph of your letter. Review what to write, and examples.
Email Cover Letter
What to include in an email cover letter, an example of an email message sent to a hiring manager, and how to format and send an email applying for a job.
Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
This letter describes the educational, extracurricular, and volunteer experience that show that the candidate has both the skills and the potential to succeed in the job.
An inquiry letter is sent to an employer who may be hiring, but hasn’t advertised job openings. Review an example, and tips for writing inquiry letters.
Entry-Level Cover Letters Listed by Job
Business Analyst Cover Letter
When you’re applying for an analyst position, focus on the technical business skills you have acquired in college, during internships, or in prior positions.
Cover Letters for Teachers
If you’re looking for an entry-level teaching position, review this guide on how to write a cover letter for a teaching job, with advice on how to prepare your application, and letter examples. Also review the information required to apply for a teaching job, including documents, certifications, and transcripts the employer will request.
Education Cover Letter
For education-related jobs, learn as much as you can about the school or organization you’ll be working for. Then take the time to match your qualifications to the job description.
Information Technology (IT) Cover Letters
IT jobs are competitive and so you need to be detailed and specific when writing a cover letter for one. It's important to show the employer you have the skills, technologies, and certifications listed in the job posting.
The closer a match you are to the ideal candidate, the better your chances of getting selected to interview.
Marketing Cover Letter
In your cover letter, share examples of your related internship or job experience and describe the marketing skills you have acquired through academics or experience. Use examples to highlight the skills and attributes you have that qualify you for the job.
Scientific Research Technician Cover Letter
When applying for a research job, focus on your analytical, research, and writing skills. Also share examples of any laboratory experience you’ve gained, research you've been a part of, and technical research tools you have used.
Summer Assistant Cover Letter
Showcase your related academic experiences along with work experience, if you have it, when writing a cover letter for a summer position.
Writing/Marketing Cover Letter
This cover letter example focuses on the applicant’s academic achievements, as well as the candidate’s skills that are a strong match for the job requirements.
Cover Letter Templates
A cover letter template is a helpful way to format and organize your letter. In general, applying for a job is a ritualized process. Some of the cover letter requirements may seem old-fashioned, but it's important to adhere to the expected cover letter style, from the greeting all the way through to your closing sign-off.
Use these templates to help you establish a framework for your cover letter so that you know what information to include and where, but be sure to personalize your letter so it reflects your qualifications and attributes.
- Cover Letter Format
- Cover Letter Template
- Email Cover Letter Template
Online Template Resources: Google Docs has a variety of templates you can use to write a cover letter or a resume. When you use a template, be sure to change the file name to your name (janedoecoverletter.doc, for example).
Double-check to be sure you’ve written over the standard information and changed the date.
If you are Microsoft Office user, you can download Word cover letter templates to use as a starting point for writing your own cover letter.
Using your own words, try something along the lines of: "I am interested in an entry-level position. I know I have much to learn, and I'm looking for an opportunity that will let me build a solid professional foundation.
A convincing entry-level cover letter (also known as a letter of application) is critical if you're trying to separate yourself from other applicants. Specifically, it shows a hiring manager you're passionate about the position, supplements your resume education section, and proves you have what it takes to succeed.
- Carefully review the job posting and research the company's website. ...
- List your contact information at the top of the document. ...
- Greet the reader and introduce yourself. ...
- Explain your skills and achievements relevant to the position. ...
- Remind them why you're best for the position.
“Honestly, I possess all the skills and experience that you're looking for. I'm pretty confident that I am the best candidate for this job role. It's not just my background in the past projects, but also my people skills, which will be applicable in this position.
Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.
A good cover letter contains 3 to 4 concise paragraphs and no more than 400 words in total. For entry-level candidates, 200 words is the sweet spot.
- Research the company and job opening. ...
- Use a professional format. ...
- State the position you're applying for. ...
- Explain why you're the best fit for the job. ...
- Summarize your qualifications. ...
- Mention why you want the job. ...
- Include a professional closing.
A good response would be, “I don't have managerial experience, but I was allowed to take the lead on various projects where I delegated tasks to other co-workers and received specified results.
Short answer: yes, you should submit a cover letter alongside your resume. Here's why: Most job openings require you to submit a cover letter. Recruiters might not have the time to read ALL the cover letters they receive, but they will definitely read cover letters if they're on the fence for a candidate.
There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you're the perfect candidate for the job & why you're passionate about working in the company you're applying to. Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual, without any fluff or generalizations.
If you're asked a question about prior experience regarding something you've never done, the best way to answer isn't to say “No, I've never done that.” Or, “No, I don't have experience in that area.” The best way to handle the question is to say something along these lines: While I have not had any direct experience ...
- Sell Your Skills, Not Your Experience. ...
- Showcase Your Volunteer Work or Academic Projects. ...
- Write a Killer Cover Letter. ...
- Include a Clear Career Goal. ...
- Don't Wait for Your References to Be Called.
- Understand the role. ...
- Target your resume. ...
- Explain why you'd be a good fit. ...
- Highlight what's unique about you. ...
- Ask thorough questions in interviews.
- Provide examples of how you are self-teaching. ...
- Highlight your dedication to growth. ...
- Embrace emerging technology. ...
- Explain how your ideas have helped the bottom line. ...
- Ask questions in the interview. ...
- In the job interview, show rather than tell.
What is willingness to learn? Willingness to learn is a key behaviour that helps us get on in life, whether personally or professionally. Simply put, it's being open to – or seeking out – new experiences, skills and information that improve our abilities and enjoyment. We demonstrate learning from an early age.
Receptive, open-minded, eager to learn, keen.
Inquisitive. An inquisitive person is intellectually curious, eager for knowledge, and likes to inquire, research and ask questions.