Are you struggling to write a cover letter with no experience, but you’re willing to learn at your new company?
You’re not alone. Many people aren’t an exact match for a job description, but if nobody ever gains the skills, the company has nobody for the job.
Luckily, it’s not as hard to write a cover letter about this as you may expect.
- Should You Mention You Have No Experience in a Cover Letter?
- Why Mention You Have No Experience in a Cover Letter
- What is Another Way to Say Willingness to Learn?
- How Do You Say You Have No Experience But Are Willing to Learn in a Cover Letter?
- What to Say When Applying for a Job With No Experience
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
- Wrapping Up
Should You Mention You Have No Experience in a Cover Letter?
Yes, recruiters will discover this at one point or another during your application, so there’s no point in trying to hide it.
The trick here isn’t whether to mention it or not, but how to discuss it in a way that makes you seem like a better candidate. With the correct wording, even weaknesses can sound like strengths.
Why Mention You Have No Experience in a Cover Letter
The main reason to mention that you have no experience in a cover letter is to help persuade the recruiter that you’re fit for the position.
Address What They’ll See in Your Resume
Everyone starts somewhere. Whether you’re fresh out of school or changing careers, resumes can be simple when you start looking for specific jobs.
Mentioning your lack of experience shows you understand your flaws and are actively looking for ways to overcome that.
Give Yourself a Chance to Prove You’re a Good Learner
Companies have their own ways of doing things, and what worked in one business might not work for another.
Showing your willingness to learn how to do things your employer’s way shows that you’re a good fit for their processes, and that can easily make up for not knowing every technical detail about something ahead of time.
Show You’re a Fit for an Entry-Level Job
Mentioning your lack of experience can help you demonstrate fitness for an entry-level role.
Specifically, you can discuss elements like what you want to learn at the job and how you plan to apply that to future positions at the company.
What is Another Way to Say Willingness to Learn?
Here are some descriptions you can use to say you’re willing to learn.
Which one makes the most sense depends on the company and its values.
- Curious: Curiosity tends to be a popular trait in innovative companies and those who like disrupting the market or finding solutions to problems.
- Eager: Eagerness is an ideal trait to have in startup employees and companies with active and forward-moving plans. A willingness to learn and figure out how to resolve problems is quite valuable and often worth the minimal training it takes to onboard the most capable employees on their software or techniques.
- Inquisitive: Saying you’re inquisitive is a balance between curious and eager. It’s not as action-focused as being eager but implies more deduction and serious consideration than saying you’re curious. Inquisitive is a good starting term if you’re unsure which of the three to use.
How Do You Say You Have No Experience But Are Willing to Learn in a Cover Letter?
The best way to describe your lack of experience but willingness to learn is to focus on the positive sides of the job and how you expect both you and the company will benefit from it.
You can mention many specific things that we’ll get into in a few moments, but the trick is to be forward-thinking while displaying your willingness to learn.
What to Say When Applying for a Job With No Experience
Here are some specific things you can work into a cover letter when you have no experience but you’re willing to learn how to do things.
Transferable skills help you get around a lack of specific experience and may convince a recruiter that you can pick things up faster than others.
You can also mention your positive qualities, especially as they relate to learning how to do your job. For example, you can talk about gaining certifications and how you actively seek to master things that are relevant now or may be pertinent in the future.
Consider highlighting any accomplishments you have.
This is another way to get around having no experience in a topic, but the truth is that experience doesn’t always matter for a role.
Companies like success, and if you can demonstrate past successes, that looks a lot better than other applicants who have nothing similar to show them. What counts as an accomplishment depends on the job.
For new college graduates, it can be things like projects or extracurricular efforts.
For people changing fields, it can be relevant successes demonstrating leadership or other qualities.
Depending on the role, talking about your enthusiasm for the job is good, although not usually a clincher in a recruiter’s mind.
Having someone who loves their job is always nicer than not, though, and it rarely hurts to toss it in somewhere.
The exception is for companies that specifically focus on enthusiastic employees, in which case go all-in with this.
The best thing to do is discuss how the job fits into your long-term career goals. This quality is what recruiters call motivation.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in an IT department, you can talk about how you want to gain the skills to work in a crucial systems administration role in the future.
This strategy works so effectively because it makes recruiters believe you have an outstanding long-term reason to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can, in the role you’re applying for.
If you fail, that interrupts your personal goals, so you have a reason beyond the business to do a good job.
In some cases, you can tie this to existing company plans. For example, let’s say that Generic Business International has recently announced plans to expand into data center hosting.
In this case, you could describe how you want to gain skills and eventually move into a position to support that effort.
Things like this tell a recruiter that you’ve researched the company, know what they’re doing, and have specific plans to help them.
That shows initiative, foresight, and other valuable qualities that can make up for a lack of experience in the field.
Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
Start by checking out our generic cover letter to get an idea of what they look like.
Remember, the details aren’t important here.
Writing a cover letter isn’t about tweaking a format you see and replacing a few words, but understanding each section and what they mean to a recruiter.
Next, look at the comparison for any job considered entry-level.
Pay attention to the differences in writing and how an entry-level letter changes things.
Writing a cover letter for a career change follows somewhat different rules.
- My Perfect Resume is a popular online site for creating and tweaking resumes. They have a selection of options for different fields, and blending that with entry-level styling can help you create the ideal cover letter for any company you’re applying to.
- Resume Now has a range of premium and free templates you can use as inspiration, and they’re another good place to start. Although not quite as varied as My Perfect Resume, it doesn’t hurt to get ideas from several sources when you’re applying for a specific position.
- Indeed is one of the largest job sites on the planet, and they see an awful lot of letters. They have letters for a range of specific fields, and even if you’re not applying for an exact match, you can find something reasonably close and tweak it for your needs.
- Hubspot doesn’t focus on cover letters or jobs, but they do a lot of work with companies and have some solid guidelines available. Their in-depth guide discusses more than a dozen examples section-by-section, describing the exact formatting for each and what to pay attention to when writing them.
Finally, remember to write your cover letters in your own words.
It’s easy to want to just fill in the blanks, but recruiters who read cover letters will see an awful lot of them.
If you sound too similar to the samples, they may suspect you’re not serious about things.
Make your cover letter original enough to represent you.
As you can see, writing a cover letter when you have no experience but you’re willing to learn isn’t as hard as it can look at first.
Just tie it into who you are and how you want to progress your career, indicating value for the company, and you’re on the right track.
If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them.
Otherwise, just look at samples and examples, then make them original to you and start applying for that perfect role.