Use this sample cover letter if:
- you're applying for a job that has been advertised
- you don't have any formal (paid) work experience
For sample cover letters designed for other situations, see our sample cover letters page.
Download this sample cover letter:
- Sample Cover Letter: No Work Experience - Word (86.36 KB)
- Sample Cover Letter: No Work Experience - PDF (67.98 KB)
NOTE: DON'T SUBMIT YOUR COVER LETTER AS A .PDF. Always submit your cover letter as a .doc, .docx or .rtf. If you have trouble with this sample cover letter, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When to use this sample cover letter
This sample cover letter shows what you can write if you apply for an advertised job, but you don't have any paid work experience.
You can use this cover letter whatever your level of education.
What to include in your cover letter
A good cover letter should include:
- your name, email address and phone number at the top of the page on the right
- the name of the employer and the contact person's full name on the left
- a reference line – ‘Re: Application for Casual Retail Sales Assistant position’
- an address to the reader directly (e.g., ‘Dear Mr Moyle’ - try to avoid using ‘To whom it may concern’ if you can)
- an opening statement that briefly introduces you to the reader
- a main body that highlights qualities and characteristics you have that are relevant to the job
- a closing paragraph asking to arrange an interview.
Additional things to include in your cover letter
Other things you can mention in your cover letter include:
- teamwork skills that show you can work with other people
- skills that show you can learn on the job
- your strengths and contributions that show you are a stand-out applicant
- school work experience or volunteer work that demonstrates your strengths and contributions
- involvement in sporting or community clubs
- hobbies or interests that are relevant to the job, or that show you are mature and professional.
Key points of this cover letter are that it:
- introduces you to the reader
- responds to the requirements of the job
- attracts the reader's interest and refers them to your resume
- doesn't include too many ‘I’ statements – remember, it’s not about you, it’s about what you can offer to the employer.
The aim of this kind of cover letter is to show that your personal qualities and characteristics are a good fit with the requirements of the job. You also need to show that you know how to make a positive contribution to the employer.
More resumes and cover letters
For more about resumes and cover letters, visit these pages:
Below is the sample cover letter when you don't have any paid work experience.
Mobile: XXXX XXX XXX
7 December 2018
Mr Allan Moyle
Moyle Retail Solutions
Phone: XXXX XXX XXX
RE: Application for Casual Retail Sales Assistant position
Dear Mr. Moyle,
As a highly motivated and dedicated student with strong communication and interpersonal skills, I would like to apply for the position of Casual Retail Sales Assistant.
As a student I have been extensively involved in my school community, which has allowed me to develop strong interpersonal skills. My involvement in various events, including drama eisteddfods and sports carnivals, has allowed me to work closely with my peers while supporting the school community as a whole.
These experiences have allowed me to develop strong time management and organisational skills, which I see as being very important when seeking to work in casual employment while continuing to study.
Personal attributes that I believe make me suitable for this position include:
- Motivation: Volunteer participation and school results demonstrate high motivation.
- Customer Service: Assisting with the sale of products at community events has allowed the development of customer service skills.
- Communication: Acting in drama performances and working as an MC for school events has allowed the development of communication skills.
My teachers and educators have commended me for my willingness to participate and my dedication to helping out where possible. I enjoy working with others and believe that my strong communication skills will ensure that I can meet the expectations of this role.
I am aware that you will receive a large number of applications for this job, but I would very much appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities to you in person.
I believe that I have a lot to offer your organisation. I am keen to develop my professional skills and look forward to discussing my application with you at an interview. I have enclosed a copy of my resume for your consideration. I can be contacted at all times on the details provided above.
Thanking you in advance for your time,