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Explain It in a Cover Letter: No Experience But Willing To Learn

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Overview

How To Explain in a Cover Letter: No Experience But Willing To Learn?

 

At the start of your career, it may seem that most hiring companies are looking for a unicorn of sorts—a young professional fresh out of college, with 20 years of experience, an extensive list of professional contacts, a Pultizer, and a Nobel Prize. Suffice it to say that you might feel discouraged when you first start applying for jobs.

 

So how do you write a convincing cover letter with no experience but being willing to learn? 

 

You might consider not bothering with the cover letter at all and applying without one—but you’d be making a big mistake. Not addressing the elephant in the room won’t make it invisible. A carefully composed and well-structured cover letter is the best chance you have to get invited for an interview. It is your opportunity to show that your lack of experience is a non-issue—and a way to demonstrate your strengths, motivation, and value. In this article, you will learn:

 

 

How To Write a Cover Letter With No Experience 

A hiring manager taking notes in his office

Source: StockSnap

 

The purpose of writing a cover letter is to present yourself as a good fit for a particular role. If you lack previous experience or are applying for an internship, worry not—just focus on the qualities you do possess. Soft skills, such as time management and flexibility, are a good starting point. Instead of merely listing all the skills you have, try to illustrate how you used them by giving an example:

 

Skill Example
Teamwork I had worked on a group project with a team of six people at university, developing a marketing strategy for a product whose sales increased by 15% by the time the project ended
Leadership I led a 10-person team that organized an international student conference
Presentation  I presented the project we worked on to a group of 20 people, mainly company representatives and university professors
Communication I was a member of a debate club, which helped me develop superb communication skills and effective argument presentation techniques

Every good cover letter connects skills, qualifications, and experience to a specific role. That’s exactly what you should do when you write about your soft skills. Try to make a strong connection between a skill you have and the role you are applying for—how can it help you succeed in that position Presenting your qualities in this manner will show the employer that you could be valuable to the company. It will also make them more willing to invest their time and resources into training you. 

 

How To Address the Lack of Experience in a Cover Letter

 

So what do you do about the elephant in the room? Don’t ignore it. But don’t draw attention to it either. It will be obvious from your resume that you lack experience. There’s no need to explain yourself—show what you bring to the table and emphasize the experience and skills you do have instead.

 

There are some elements you can include in your cover letter that would impress a hiring manager, even if you lack work-related experience:

 

  1. A part-time job during your studies—shows accountability
  2. A leadership position in a school project—demonstrates responsibility
  3. An active role in sports or student organizations—shows you are a team player
  4. An example of successful interaction with people—illustrates effective communication abilities

 

If you have done any internships, present them as real jobs because that’s what they are (even if the company was so great and paid you nothing). Include the name of the role—Sales Intern, Marketing Intern, etc. If you used any software or tool during the internship, make sure to mention that as well. If you have done any job shadowing, you can also include it in your cover letter. It shows your determination to succeed in the industry.

 

How To Pass the ATS Screening if You Have No Experience

 

HR team in a meeting

Source: wocintechchat

 

An applicant tracking system (ATS) targets specific keywords. They relate to skills, experience, and qualifications mentioned in the job description. Candidates who want to write a cover letter for an internship with no experience, a cover letter for a management position without management experience, or any other position should:

 

  1. Think of accomplishments or experience that are related to the required skills
  2. Mention skills that are similar to the ones mentioned in the job ad
  3. Show willingness to learn those particular skills

 

When you mention your past accomplishments, make sure to connect them to the role. Explain how they will help you develop the required skills. 

 

These are the ways to include specific keywords in your cover letter so that software recognizes it as relevant. 

 

How To Format Your Entry-Level Cover Letter

 

The outline of a cover letter should be the same regardless of your experience. Cover letters typically consist of six parts, and each contains specific information:

 

Cover Letter Part What To Include
Header Your name
Cell phone number
Email address
Date
Hiring manager’s name and title (if you know it)
Company name
Company address
Greeting Dear Hiring Manager,
To Whom It May Concern,
Dear Sales Director,
Dear Mr./Ms. Jacobson,
Opening paragraph Reasons for writing
A brief statement about why you are suitable for the role
A company name and the role you are applying for
Main paragraphs Skills, qualifications, accomplishments, and experience relevant to the role
A more detailed explanation of why you are a perfect candidate
Closing paragraph Summary of why you would be an excellent fit for the role
An expression of gratitude to the hiring manager for their time and consideration
A call to action
Sign-off Sincerely,
Respectfully,
Best regards,

 

Browse More Job Ads and Find Suitable Options Faster

 

A recruiter in a conference room working on her laptop

Source: StartupStockPhotos

 

Being at the start of your career is as exciting as it is intimidating. You start your job hunt full of enthusiasm but soon realize that looking for work is not all rainbows and roses.

 

Although the situation seems to be less grim with the unemployment rate dropping to 6% compared to the previous year, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, looking for a job is still a challenge. In 2021, over four million people were unemployed for over 27 weeks, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic remain worrisome. On average, job applicants send six applications before they get invited to an interview. This number doesn’t seem that high, but finding those six positions to apply for is not a walk in the park and may take weeks.

 

Thankfully, Lensa can make the whole ordeal much more manageable—our AI-powered platform can help you find a job that matches your desired salary range, location, and personality. Once you sign up for our app, you will enjoy numerous benefits. Here are some of them:

 

  • Access to job ads from multiple hiring platforms
  • A chance to play the Workstyle Game and learn more about your job preferences and professional strengths
  • Customized job suggestions
  • SMS and email notifications when a suitable position opens
  • Possibility to choose jobs based on your personality and cultural background
  • An option to test how ATS-friendly your resume is

 

How To Register for Lensa

 

Make your job search a lot more pleasant. Visit the Lensa website and:

 

  1. Specify the job title and location
  2. Click on Search
  3. Provide your email address
  4. Click on Submit

 

From this moment, you can start looking for a perfect job opening. Before you do, you may want to play the Workstyle Game first and learn more about what role would suit you best. You can also personalize your account by:

 

  • Adding your first name and last name
  • Providing your phone number
  • Specifying the desired compensation 
  • Adding your education level and previous experience
  • Uploading your resume

 

Every extra bit of information you provide helps Lensa find the best job recommendations for you. 

 

Featured image source: JESHOOTS-com

Team Lensa
Team Lensa
Team Lensa is a group of HR specialists, career counselors, and tech enthusiasts dedicated to helping job seekers navigate the employment landscape through actionable tips and insights.

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