Landing a job can be daunting, especially when a job seeker has little to no experience. And while it can be overwhelming, it can be even more discouraging when a job seeker sends out hundreds of job applications and there is no response from any company. Although it might be tempting to just throw your hands up and give up on the job search, it is important to understand what it takes to present yourself well in a cover letter and show case the experience you do have.
Use these tips to create an attention grabbing entry level cover letter.
Clearly introduce yourself in the first paragraph. Take this opportunity to make a strong first impression and explain who you are, where you found the position and what position you are interested in. This is also a great place to throughout any connections you might have with the company.
“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.”
Highlight relevant skills and experience in the second paragraph. This paragraph is usually a difficult challenge when a job seeker doesn’t have a lot of experience but there are some ways to get around it. Spell it out for the employer so they understand that even with limited experience, you have the proper skills for the position. Take this opportunity to highlight any skills related to the position that you have gained at jobs, organizations, or internships.
“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.”
In the third paragraph, brag a little. Highlight your best qualities and give examples of why you are such a great fit for the job. Use real life experiences to back yourself up and create a visual understanding of the qualities you have.
“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.”
The last and final paragraph should leave a call to action while sealing the deal on a job interview. Here is where you want to leave them thinking about you, using an upbeat, confident tone that encourages the hiring manager to reach out to 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!”
Once it’s all said and done, proofread. Make sure you have a good header with your information included, like contact info and a shortened LinkedIn URL. If you are sending it via email, save it as a PDF so the document doesn’t lose the formatting once downloaded. Once you feel confident about your cover letter, it’s time to send it on it’s way.
Just because you don’t have a lot of experience doesn’t mean you won’t land a job. Use these tips to create an effective entry level cover letter that will leave hiring managers curious about you.
**Examples are from the Glassdoor Blog.