A cover letter is a necessary part of any job application and/or resume. The majority of employers necessitate applicants to send a resume along with a cover letter in order to apply for a specific position. Similarly, when applying for an entry level job, your application/resume should be accompanied by a cover letter even it is not required.
For fresh graduates or career changers, a cover letter is a helpful tool to introduce themselves to a company and to give additional details regarding their personality, relevant traits, qualifications and credentials. In the absence of hands-on experience, you may still be an excellent candidate for a job opening based on your transferable skills, qualities and characteristics. Therefore, it is imperative that you work hard to make an attractive and targeted cover letter.
Review the Job Requirements in Detail
First of all, you should spend adequate time to read the job description in order to ensure that you know the required qualifications and skills. As you have no prior work experience in hand, you need to make it clear that your relevant qualities, education and real life experiences are a good match and sufficient to make you a perfect candidate. Companies not only rely on a candidate’s work experience but they also consider a person’s abilities, characteristics and spark to perform job duties efficiently.
Format Your Cover Letter Properly
Your cover letter as an entry level applicant should contain 3 to 4 brief but comprehensive paragraphs:
➜ First Paragraph
In the first paragraph, you should mention the source you learned for the job opportunity, such as a newspaper or a website, and let the employer know the reason you are writing the letter. Ensure writing the exact job title you are applying for. Mention in one sentence why you feel you are a just right candidate for this job by emphasizing on your 3 relevant skills. You may also write some words to praise company or business and your interest in the company.
➜ Middle Paragraph(s)
The second and/or third paragraph(s) makes the main body of your cover letter. Even supposing you have no work experience, you might still have ample information to write in this section. For instance, you may talk about your relevant education, transferable skills, educational accomplishments, awards, summer work, extracurricular activities, hobbies and general interests.
Because you have no prior work experience, you need to draw attention towards certain skills you might be using in your personal life on a regular basis, for example; managing your family’s budget, using the MS Word, Excel, computer and internet, organizing activities at your church and participating in fundraising activities.
Split your key attributes and skills using short and concise bullet statements. Ensure to only talk about information that is related to the job requirements given in the advertisement.
➜ Last / Concluding Paragraph
Start your last paragraph by reaffirming your enthusiasm to contribute to prospective company. For instance, you may write “As a fresh and enthusiastic candidate, I would like to meet with you to discuss this position in detail ….”. Request an interview and give your contact information. Confidently state that you will follow-up after some days. Lastly, thank the recipient for his/her time and consideration.