How to Write a Charity Cover Letter with No Experience

3 minute read

Are you looking for your first role in the charity sector? Wondering how to write a cover letter with no experience and worried this is holding you back? We understand that finding a job when you’ve got no industry experience can be challenging.

However, it doesn’t matter if you’ve recently joined the workforce or if you’re switching careers, a persuasive and engaging CV and cover letter can boost your chances of landing an interview.

Now, you might be wondering how exactly to write a charity cover letter with no experience to discuss. Well, between your education, transferable skills and interests, you still have plenty to offer potential employers.

But if you’re not sure where to start with your application, this guide is for you. Let’s take a look at how to write a charity cover letter with no experience.

Address your letter to the hiring manager

Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to try to find out the name of the hiring manager or individual who will be reviewing your application. This way, you can address your letter directly to them, showing that you’ve made the effort to tailor it to their organisation.

Some resources for finding out the name of the recipient include the charity’s website, LinkedIn and possibly even the job description. Notice the email address you’re sending your application to and see if it includes their name.
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Research the charity’s work

It’s not just the hiring manager’s name you need to look out for. Every charity has its own mission and will take a different approach to fundraising and supporting their cause. Therefore, you need to prove that you’ve done your research and that you understand their mission, vision, and values as an organisation.

You need to demonstrate that you’re passionate about the cause and familiar with their work. So even when you’re writing a cover letter with no experience, it’s a good idea to express interest in a specific project or fundraising mission that the charity has undertaken in the past.

You can use the job description, charity website, social media and any other relevant online platforms to conduct your research. This will help you to tailor every cover letter you submit and avoid sending a generic application that recruiters are likely to ignore.

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Prove you’re a good fit for the role

OK, so you don’t have any experience working in the charity sector, but you can still prove that you’re a good fit for the role. In the main body of your cover letter, you can begin to build your case.

Firstly, be sure to reference any relevant transferable skills that you have. Wherever possible, include skills they have listed in the job description to help prove that you’ve got what it takes to do the job. If you can give relevant examples of how you’ve put these skills to good use to obtain results in the past, even better.

Plus, if you’ve got any existing qualifications or you’re currently taking any online courses that you think are relevant to the role, you might also wish to mention these at this stage.

What’s more, when you lack experience, hobbies and interests can be a great way to show your passions and prove you’d be good at the job. If you’ve ever done any fundraising or volunteer work, now’s the time to mention this. You can even tie this in with other hobbies. For example, if you love running, you could mention how you ran (or plan to run) a marathon to raise money for a particular cause.

Similarly, you may have other skills that are valuable to the charity, depending on the role you’re applying for. Let’s say, for example, you want to work on their social media team. In this instance, blogging and photography could be very useful and relevant hobbies to mention in your cover letter.

how to write a cover letter with no experience

Show you’re passionate

As well as referencing specific projects you enjoyed, you need to show you’re deeply passionate about the cause and the work they do. In the final paragraph, explain your motivation for applying to their organisation specifically. Make sure to always be authentic and let them know why you love their mission and that you’re also invested in their cause.

Include a call to action

Finally, you need to end your letter with a strong call to action. This should be a sentence or two that thanks the recruiter for taking the time to read your letter and advises them on any follow-up steps. This might be providing them with your contact information and asking them to get in touch to discuss your application further. You can also advise them on the best times to contact you.

So, if you’re hoping to land your first role in the charity sector, follow our advice above and don’t let your lack of experience hold you back!

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Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and the Independent.

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