A list of common job interview questions and answers—right and wrong—with expert tips. Behavioral interview questions, phone interview questions, and more.
In just a moment, you’ll have a top-notch entry-level cover letter. But first—
So, you’ve finished writing your resume and are ready to send it off.
Since it’s a job application for an entry-level position, or just a minor first resume with no experience, you can skip that cover letter, right?
Wrong. A cover letter is crucial if you want that interview.
This is true whether you’re after an entry-level job in engineering, accounting, or in other fields.
But how do you write a cover letter with no experience, especially when most employers want candidates with a work history?
Keep your chin up as you scroll on down, and we’ll walk through this together, step by step. You’ll soon have a perfect cover letter for entry-level jobs that will soon get you your first paycheck.
This entry-level cover letter guide will show you:
- Great entry-level cover letter examples better than 9 out of 10 other cover letters.
- How to write a cover letter for a job with no experience that will land you more interviews.
- Tips and examples of how to grab the recruiter’s attention on an entry-level cover letter.
- How to sell your candidacy on a cover letter with no experience to get any job you want.
Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.
Sample entry-level cover letter made with our builder—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.
We’ve got dedicated cover letter guides for several positions. Follow our advice here, and move on to:
- Customer Service Cover Letter
- Software Engineer Cover Letter
- Information Technology Cover Letter
- Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
- Engineering Cover Letter
- Teacher Cover Letter Example
- Computer Science Cover Letter
If an internship is what you’re after, read: How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship [+20 Examples]
Just graduated college? See: Recent Graduate Cover Letter Examples
And if you want to make sure nothing slips your mind when writing a cover letter, get our handy free checklist: 37 Things You Need to Do Before You Send Your Cover Letter.
What’s the Best Structure for Entry-Level Cover Letters?
Cover letters allow you to write with flexibility, creativity and style. This can be quite refreshing, especially if you’re coming straight from writing a robotic-sounding resume with no experience.
However, your cover letter for entry-level positions is still a formal letter, so there is a layout we recommend you follow.
But what’s that structure look like, and what should you include on a first-time cover letter?
Here’s what you should include on a no-experience cover letter:
- your contact details,
- the company’s details,
- a greeting/salutation (e.g., Dear Mr. Steinhoff,),
- an opening statement that grabs their attention,
- short paragraph on why you’re perfect for the company,
- short paragraph on why the entry-level position is perfect for you,
- closing statement that seals the deal,
- complimentary close (e.g., Regards,) and your name,
- a postscript (P.S.).
Here, we’re following our recommended structure on the elements of the perfect entry-level jobs cover letter. To understand the reasoning behind this particular structural endorsement, see this article: What to Include in a Cover Letter
Pro Tip: Though you should follow our formal cover letter structure, you’ll have some leeway in your writing style. On the resume, you’d use fragmented sentences and clipped phrases, but here you can flex a bit.
Didn’t get an opportunity to use our guide for making a resume without work experience to ensure that’s done right? Now’s your chance: Resume with No Work Experience
How to Address Your Cover Letter for First Jobs
When putting together a cover letter for entry-level jobs, you’ll first put your personal information and theirs in the header area. Its look and design varies depending on the template you use.
Your Contact Details
First, add your contact info at the top of the cover letter. Must-haves include your name, email address, and phone number. Optionally, you may choose to include your mailing address and a LinkedIn URL.
Your address can be aligned to the left, center, or right. However, stick to the same layout as you chose for your resume, and you’ll be fine.
Pro Tip: Don’t add other social media links, website URLs, and portfolio information here as you did on your resume, unless the entry-level cover letter template you choose includes an area for them.
Any formal letter such as a cover letter should include a date of writing.
The Company’s Details
Next, add the addressee, which is the company or agency you’re applying at. Try to find the specific name of the HR director to insert at the top of the company address. This will make it feel more personalized and will be much more compelling.
Put the specific person’s name (if you found it) then the organization’s name and address.
Here’s what the finished cover letter address area could look like:
Not addressing your cover letter with no work experience correctly is just as bad as not including one at all! Make sure you get it right: How to Address a Cover Letter
Pro Tip: Just how important is a cover letter? Super important! Over 45% of HR managers say they’ll reject your application if you don’t include one!
Starting Off on the Right Foot
It’s crucial to get the opening area of a cover letter for any entry-level position just right. The top location gets the most eye time, after all!
Succeed, and you’ll get actual eye time at the interview.
Greeting / Salutation
Finding the name of the hiring manager or recruiter is important. It makes the difference between your first cover letter feeling personalized and it seeming like it was spammed out to everyone.
Something like “Dear Mr. Steinhoff,” works perfectly. You can also skip the formal tone by calling them by their first name: “Dear Marcel,”.
Now, about that “Dear” part—Dear is one of the best salutations, but if you can’t find a name or want to change it up, we’ve got other options: How to Start a Cover Letter
You know that elusive, perfect pickup line you’d want to use when you see The One across the bar? Well, the opening paragraph should grab the employer’s attention the same way. Make them want to talk to you.
Let’s look at an example of a great entry-level cover letter opening:
As a longtime user and fan of SmogTech’s peerless cloud services, I was thrilled to see the opening for an entry-level IT researcher. With my IT university background as well as a dedicated consumer of your cloud offerings, I know I can use my skill set and knowledge to quickly become a valuable member of the SmogTech team.
How ‘bout that? This intro is written specifically about the company, and it gives them an enticing taste of how you would be a perfect addition to their team. This makes a great cover letter opening paragraph, and it will make them want to read on.
Pro Tip: As we did above, mention the firm’s name in the beginning paragraph, as well. It feels more personalized, and it assures the hiring manager that they’re reading a dedicated cover letter.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
You + Company = A Picture-Perfect Partnership
Now we get down to the fundamentals—it’s time to sell them on why you’re the best candidate out of that stack of 200+ others.
The odds seem against you—
—unless you get this core section right.
Though opposites, these next two cover letter of interest sections have a symbiotic relationship. We suggest a paragraph for each, which will allot you plenty of room to make your case.
Why You’re Perfect for Them
You’ve hooked them with that great introduction statement—way to go!
Now, start reeling them in by showing how you’re the perfect fit for their company.
Here’s what a fresh graduate or first-time applicant might say on a sample entry-level cover letter for a job application:
In my former role in my university’s IT laboratory, I had numerous responsibilities and achievements which would serve me well in this entry-level role at SmogTech. I’m proud to have been on a team which pioneered some innovative new IT best practices. On top of that, my diverse set of projects there have often maintained an enviable position as public-sector winners, and I’m sure that I could garner similar results at SmogTech, such as:
- New method for documenting bugs which reduced operational downtime by 52%
- Initiated system for merging data streams into single output which led to a 26% increase in productivity.
See that? With that paragraph, you show that your acquired skills and experience would make you the ideal new hire for the job offered. You also add specific numbers so they get a taste as to what you could bring to their table, rather than just vague words.
Even though you have no on-the-job experience, you look supremely competent, nonetheless.
Why They’re Perfect for You
A healthy relationship should be a two-way street, and that holds true for entry-level positions, as well.
You’ve told them why you’re the best possible future employee. Now, show them that this company and the entry-level position on offer is the finest choice for you:
Obtaining the IT research position at SmogTech would be a digital dream come true. You see, SmogTech’s user-friendly cloud development platform is what inspired my fondness for tech. As such, there is no other firm that would make me as happy to work for. I know that, should I be granted the researcher position, I’d be the envy of my circle of friends!
How about that? You praised the company and explained how no other company could make you as happy to work for. Who can resist that?
Pro Tip: Remember using keywords on your resume to ensure that it’s tailored? Add them on your no-experience letter of interest, as well. Oh, and make sure you use the best cover letter fonts so they can read it!
We’ve got a wealth of tips on writing a cover letter that will let you stand out above the rest: 35+ Successful Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines
A Compelling & Strong Finish
You started off strong, and you’ve kept that momentum going this far.
Now, don’t give up just yet!
Use a powerful closing statement, a concluding sentence or paragraph, to briefly sum up:
I would welcome the chance to discuss your current tech and research objectives and show you how my successes at university can translate into growth for SmogTech.
See that? You bring it to a satisfying end by summarizing your entry-level cover letter and then leaving the decision in their hands.
Add a closing sentiment and your name, and then you can let out a sigh of relief at your impressive application letter accomplishment.
Here’s how painless that is:
That closing sentiment is called a complimentary close (or complimentary closing). That’s followed by your name to end the cover letter.
Pro Tip: Just as with the formal header area where you addressed the company, keep the complimentary close formal, as well.
Having a solid closing on a cover letter is just as critical as an attention-grabbing beginning. Read this for more examples: How to End a Cover Letter
A Postscript to Seal the Deal
Before you berate me for saying you’re done and then giving you one more, hear me out just a sec, if you will.
Adding a P.S. (postscript) is a great cover letter writing hack. All the best cover letters include one.
Let me show you what I mean:
P.S. - I’d love the opportunity to sit down with you and go over how I can bring similar results (26% productivity increase) to your office, as well.
What do you think? A P.S. at the bottom of your cover letter with no working experience always draws the attention of the reader, even if they didn’t care to read the rest of it. It’s a clever way to get one final word in before they finish reading.
As you can see, writing your first-time or no-experience cover letter is certainly not as complicated as you thought—and definitely nowhere near as tough as the wizardry you’ll perform once you get that job.
Remember to follow these key points to write a successful cover letter for entry-level jobs:
- Start with a bang. Your opening statement on your cover letter is important because it’ll determine if the hiring manager reads on.
- Show you belong together. Use the majority of the entry-level cover letter’s body area to show that you’re a perfect fit for the company and they’re the ideal workplace for you.
- Finish strong. You held their attention till the end, now use a powerful ending so they’ll be sure to move on to your enclosed resume and an interview.
Do you have any questions on how to write an entry-level cover letter? Not sure how to show you’re the right candidate in your cover letter without experience in the field? Get at us in the comments below, and we’ll answer your questions. Thanks for reading!