How to Write a Cover Letter if You Lack Work Experience
Cover letters can be helpful to showcase your skillsets and qualifications to potential employers.
However, writing a cover letter can feel overwhelming especially for those that may lack work experience. Depending on the job description and skillsets you want to highlight, we have organized several different approaches you can consider when crafting your next cover letter. Check out the tips and advice below offered by Linh Nguyen, Associate Director of Career Services.
1. Highlight personal attributes that match organizational goals-Look at the job description and consider what personal attributes the employer is looking for. For instance, you could showcase your project management skills with a project you did in class. Use examples of how you demonstrated leadership or communication skills, or any other soft skills you want to showcase.
2. Express your motivation and desire for learning- Many employers would prefer a candidate that shows potential and capacity to learn over someone who is rooted in their own ways, particularly for entry-level positions. Having the flexibility to adapt and think critically to meet the needs of the business is crucial.
3. Illustrate how your goals align with the organization's goals and mission- Many employers are seeking candidates who are "a fit" for the company's culture. Your vision needs to match the company vision and mission. Research the organization's mission, vision, culture, and explain how you are the right fit for their culture and ways you can help them achieve their objectives.
4. Transferable Skills-just because you lack experience does not mean you lack hirable skills. What personal attributes do you possess and have demonstrated in other settings? Draw from the experiences highlighted on your resume. How was that experience relevant to the jobs you are applying to? What did you learn from your experiences that you can apply to future jobs? Or if you have a class project you want to elaborate on, you can focus on how the project is relevant to the industry.