Sometimes an employer will want a one-page cover letter without a resume. When this happens it's important to use your cover letter to link your experience and skills to the requirements of the job, even when you don't have paid work experience.
Our Sample Cover Letters pages have information on cover letters needed for other situations.
Cover letter: Cover letter only + no paid work experience
Use this sample cover letter if:
- you're applying for a job that's been advertised
- you have no formal (paid) work experience
- you've been asked to apply with a cover letter only without submitting your resume.
Download this sample cover letter:
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.
Cover letter only and no paid work experience
When writing a letter like this you should include:
- your name, email address and phone number at the top of the page on the right
- the name of the business and the contact person's full name on the left
- the date you wrote the letter on the right
- a reference line (e.g., "Re: Application for Administrative Assistant position")
- an address to the reviewer 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 paragraph that summarises your experience and skills
- a list that clearly outlines how you meet each job requirement (use one bullet point per requirement and make sure each point is no longer than two lines)
- a closing paragraph asking to arrange an interview.
Things to include on your cover letter when you don’t have paid work experience
When you don't have any paid work experience, things you can mention in your cover letter include:
- teamwork skills that show you can work with other people
- qualities 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
- doesn't include too many “I” statements, which can run the risk of disengaging the reader
The focus of this kind of cover letter is to prove that your personal qualities and characteristics are a good fit with the requirements of the job. You also need to show how you will make a positive contribution to the organisation or business.
Our other pages have more information about resumes and cover letters:
A sample cover letter with no paid work experience
Mobile: XXXX XXX XXX
Mr Allan Moyle
Pride Family Jewellers
Phone: XXX XXX XXXX
7 December 2018
RE: Application for Retail Assistant position
Dear Mr. Moyle,
As a young, motivated individual I am extremely interested in submitting an application for the Retail Assistant role currently advertised at Pride Family Jewellers.
In responding to the specific requirements of this position I would like to highlight how my experience can demonstrate my ability to meet each of these.
- previous experience in retail – I volunteer at the annual school sausage sizzle fundraiser; helping to take orders, handle money and respond to customer enquiries
- exceptional communication skills – I am a confident communicator who understands the different communication styles required when working with fellow volunteers and customers
- great attention to detail – my teachers have complimented me on the attention to detail I demonstrate in my school assignments and presentations.
In November 2018 I completed my VCE studies and also obtained a Certificate II in Business Administration.
Above and beyond my experience and capabilities I have been commended for my high level of interpersonal skills and my naturally engaging personality. My motivations include learning new things, the challenge of meeting the needs of an organisation, and ensuring high-quality outcomes.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my application and this position in more detail at an interview. I can be contacted at all times on the details provided above.
Thanking you in advance for your time,