• you’re applying for a job that has been advertised
  • you don’t have any formal (paid) work experience


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 youthcentral@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

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.