A well-written entry-level cover letter will complement your resume by expanding on your skills and experience that are relevant and making a sales pitch for why you are the best candidate for the position. Rather than using one generic letter, you should spend some time customizing your cover letter for each particular open job. This article explains how to write an entry-level cover letter so you can stand out from the other applicants.
What is an entry-level cover letter?
An entry-level cover letter is a document that you prepare when applying for your first job or an internship program. A cover letter is usually submitted alongside a resume for a job application, and it explains your credentials and your interest in the open position. Given that a cover letter can serve as your introduction to a hiring manager, it can impact whether you will be invited for an interview.
How to write an entry-level cover letter
To create an entry-level cover letter that will grab the attention of the reader, be sure to follow these steps:
1. First, include your contact information and a pleasant custom greeting
Although your contact information may already be included in your resume, you should be sure to add it to your cover letter. Also, your cover letter should include the name of the individual who is hiring for the position you are applying for. This could be the HR or department manager. Be sure to have prior information on who the hiring manager is by either calling in or checking the website of the company. This way, you will be able to open the letter with a proper salutation.
2. Next, write a winning opening paragraph
It will help if you use the first paragraph of your cover letter to mention what sets you apart from the crowd. You can mention a reference whom you think your reader knows personally at this point.
3. Then, include a second paragraph that outlines your value
Use the second paragraph to give details that highlight your strengths as a candidate. Specify what your employer needs, and you feel you will be able to offer. Also, prove that your qualifications and the employer’s hiring requirements are a match.
4. Next, write subsequent paragraphs that outline your relevant experience
In these paragraphs, you should explain how your experience makes you a strong candidate. If you have experience working in a family business, a background in volunteer work, or good grades, you should describe it here. Also, you can flaunt your soft skills in one of the paragraphs. You should display your personality as well as the character traits that make you a preferred candidate.
It might be challenging to demonstrate these soft skills on your resume. You should, therefore, take advantage of the cover letter to highlight them. For instance, your communication skills and your writing ability can both shine through in your cover letter.
5. Finally, include a closing paragraph
As you end your letter, express your hope for the next step. This may include moving on to an interview or reading your attached resume. Express your enthusiasm and conclude by thanking the reader for their time.
Entry-level cover letter template
Use this templatewhen drafting your own entry-level cover letter:
[Hiring manager’s name] [Hiring manager’s title] [Name of the company] [Address]
Dear [Hiring manager’s name].
[Cover letter opening statements]
[The body of the letter]
Entry-level cover letter example
Here is an example of an entry-level cover letter:
Michael Sanford 12345 Gallagher St. Lansing, MI 12345 555-555-5555 email@example.com
October 30, 2019
Anthony Klein Branch Manager Midwestern Credit Union 123 Grand River Blvd. Lansing, MI 12345
Dear Mr. Klein,
My name is Michael Sanford, and I recently graduated from Great Lakes University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in Finance. I am highly interested in the teller position with Midwestern Credit Union because I would be an excellent fit for your branch.
I realize that you are looking for a candidate with proficiency in accounting packages as well as excellent interpersonal skills and strong work ethics. As a student leader at Great Lakes University, I was in charge of controlling the budget and helping to develop strategic plans for various activities to be sponsored by the Student Activities Board on campus. This position required me to use financial planning skills, excellent customer service skills, good work ethics and strong interpersonal skills.
During my internship program at Tailgate Bank, where I served in the position of a teller, I was tasked with reconciling discrepancies and maintaining and balancing cash drawers, informing clients about the services and products of the bank, handling confidential information responsibly and using accounting software to generate reports and track bank information. I’m sure the experience I gained in performing these tasks is equally relevant to your institution.
With the combination of accounting software competency and excellent work skills, I am confident I would make an excellent fit for a teller in your credit union.
Thank you for taking the time to read my application and consider me as a candidate. Please see my attached resume. Should you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.