A Cover Letter for Someone Who Doesn't Have a Lot of Experience in the Field

by Cynthia Gomez; Updated September 26, 2017
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When you can’t be there in person to make a good first impression with a potential employer, a well-written cover letter can do the job for you. However, if you don’t have much experience in the field in which you’re hoping to find a job, you might find yourself at a loss when trying to create a cover letter. Used correctly though, the cover letter can help you highlight what you bring to the table, so potential employers can see why it would be in their best interest to hire you despite lack of experience.

The Basics

Like any other cover letter, yours should start by stating what position you’re interested in and where you heard of the position. If not applying for a specific position, explain what kind of position you’d like to find and what attracted you to this particular company. Conveying enthusiasm for a company's mission can go a long way toward making up a lack of experience.

Education and Training

When you’re lacking professional experience in the field you’re trying to secure work in, it often helps to start by highlighting your educational background if that background is relevant to the field. Explain what qualifications you hold, including degrees and certification. You may also list specific courses you took as part of your educational training that are particularly applicable to the job. Internships and on-the-job trainings can also be listed, if they are relevant to the job for which you’re applying.

Job Skills

You might not have much experience a particular job, but you may have job skills that would translate into the position you’re hoping to land. For instance, if you’re applying for a public relations job, you might want to highlight written and verbal communication skills, plus the ability to work under stressful conditions. After all, public relations folks are often the face of a company during major crises and scandals. Think about past jobs and the skills that helped you in those positions. For example, if you held jobs as a customer service representative in the past, you likely gained valuable skills appeasing unhappy customers. This is a skill that might be translatable into a public relations job, where you could find yourself dealing with inquiring news reporters and angry members of the public.

Character Traits

Some character traits are universally valued in the world of work, such as a strong work ethic, punctuality and a team-player mentality. Highlight the traits that you think make you unique and that would help in the specific field for which you’re applying. For instance, using the previous example of a public relations job, traits like an outgoing personality and willingness to roll up your sleeves and pitch in where and when needed are likely to be viewed favorably.

About the Author

Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.

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