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Write a Resume & Cover Letter | Career Center | USC

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From there, you can align your own set of skills with the role and mention any skills you wish to develop. The whole point of the cover letter is to talk about yourself and why the position is for you. Your education and work experience. Extra-curricular activities you have done. Volunteer work.


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Any stand-out attributes. For example, do you have excellent customer service skills? Hobbies and interests. Highlighting your personal qualities gives an insight to the recruiter on how well you would fit with the company's dynamics, which employers highly value. No work experience?

Cover Letters

Sounds like a damaging thought. Luckily enough you have a truckload of valuable educational experience to sell yourself. Follow these simple steps to make sure your cover letter is not placed on the no pile. Work experience is lacking, but not your education.

College student cover letter sample

Did you achieve any accomplishments during school? Win any awards? Or did you simply reach your predicted grades?

What may seem mediocre to you, can be of value to the employer. Across any application, you should display enthusiasm towards the role. No one wants a deadpan candidate! In this case, you should demonstrate your positive attitude to start a first-time position. Do you also have career aspirations? Share this in your cover letter too! Employers love soft skills.

Sample Cover Letter for a Recent College Graduate

It shows off your qualities and your ability to work with other people. And luckily enough, you don't need work experience to get you started with that. Those dreaded group projects you did back at school helps harness in those teamwork skills. Whereas science subjects can help develop analytical skills! You can still match your skillset to a job description without work experience, all you have to do is think back to school.

Much more than documents.

Take a look at our cover letter examples to gain some ideas. Try and not copy all of it, though. James is writing his cover letter for an HR placement opportunity at a data-security company. In this example, you can see he has listed extra-curricular activities, any relevant work experiences and reasons why he feels the role is suited to him.

There has been plenty of research into the company too - showing determination and an inquisitive nature to learn more about the position. In response to your vacancy at [Name of Company] I wish to apply and express my interest. I would like to work for [Name of Company], due to many reasons. Firstly, they are continuously raising awareness of data privacy, which I have a great interest in and wish to develop my understanding of cyber-security as I communicate mostly using emails.

Secondly, I admire the values [Name of Company] incorporate into their business, for example, I undertook a module in Counselling Skills, which heavily focused on the importance of integrity. Thirdly, [Name of Company] continuous growth in providing international and award-winning services matches my determination to grow into a role that offers many opportunities in the HR industry. The role at [Name of Company] appeals to me greatly - in previous work experience I was responsible for training newly recruited employees and offered them support throughout their employment, therefore I wish to develop these skills further and apply them to a specific HR role.

Responsibilities such as overseeing retention initiatives, organising development projects and managing employee relations are all areas of interest and therefore would apply my highly enthusiastic attitude to develop new and existing skills. Additionally, I would utilise excellent customer service and interpersonal skills and apply them to a fast-paced HR environment.

I am suitable for the role at [Name of Company] and would apply many skills. Firstly, I have demonstrated my excellent interpersonal skills by working in a customer-facing environment and would use communication, motivation and team playing skills to ensure targets were met. I enjoy problem-solving and this has been developed by dealing with challenging customer complaints, I would neutralise the situation by applying negotiating and listening skills, which led to customers being satisfied. I will apply initiative to the role and this has been evident in my approach to University, which I successfully balance academic and extracurricular activities such as being Course Representative and Student Ambassador to continuously develop my professional profile.

I would like to thank you for considering my application, enclosed is my C. V with my contact details. To write a cover letter with no experience may seem like a waste of time, but there are many ways to write one! The first paragraph is a short introduction. Followed with skills and accomplishments. The third paragraph highlights why you are fit for the role and lastly a nice little conclusion.

I wish to express my interest in your advertised vacancy for a Shop Assistant at [Name of Company]. The role appealed to me greatly for many reasons. Firstly, I undertook two-weeks work experience in a school, this required me to engage with students to ensure the lessons were run smoothly. This highly energetic role is what inspired me to help people and I wish to apply it in a retail setting. I have previously shopped in your store and understand the business it can reach; therefore I would use my energy to handle busy peak periods, but my initiative when the store is quiet.

During school, I was part of a group to help design a new lunch menu. The project involved brainstorming sessions, designing the menu and presenting it to a group of senior staff. I learned valuable skills from this experience including collaboration, presentation and time management too.

What is it about your skill set and previous experiences that make you a good fit for us? Break the mold. Telling a company that they'd be a great place for you to "start" your career. Don't forget to tell the employer something that proves you did some research. Understand the difference between this company and the numerous other ones similar to it.

What sets it apart?