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Part-Time Job Cover Letter Example

You may only want a part-time job, but that doesn’t mean that you can get away with a part-time job search. You won’t be able to do without a cover letter.
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Part-Time Job Cover Letter Example
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Not many people will make the effort to write a targeted cover letter for a part-time job. Most candidates simply send over a generic and hastily compiled CV that is full of semi-relevant activity. People will work in varying industries in their part-time work, so there likely won’t be much in the way of relevant experience. That is why many don’t bother with a cover letter.

With so many half-hearted applications, a thoughtful part-time job cover letter is exactly what will set you apart. Sure, you might not have exactly the experience that is required, but your cover letter can explain how the experience that you do have is transferable. The free-flowing nature of a cover letter allows you to explore your motivations and say what the job means to you. This is impossible to do on a CV.

While part-time work might seem like second-class activity, you are nevertheless making a significant impact on your employer. Just not all the time. They are still compensating you on a pro-rata basis, so they will expect a suitable contribution. Depending on your industry it is well worth a look at our many other cover letter examples and writing guides for different professions as they will offer varying inspiration. In this cover letter guide we look at:

  • How to select a format that will work for a part-time job application
  • Selecting part time stories for the intro, middle part, and conclusion
  • Working out what is important to your hiring manager
  • Mistakes to avoid in the part-time job cover letter.

Best format for a part-time job cover letter

It is understandable that you might be wondering how to format your part-time job cover letter. As it should contain an entirely different angle to your career story than your CV, it is worth exploring in more depth. How do you begin those initial conversations that will continue during a later interview? To start with, here is the typical format:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

It is tempting for a part time employee to tell their future employer how good they are at the job by listing the responsibilities of the cover letter without detailing any specific experience. There is no place for phrases such as ‘I am a great communicator’ or ‘I am proficient at Excel.’ Tell them about the impact of your influencing skills or which project you supported with your Excel skills. Offer context where possible and quantify your accomplishments.

The core purpose of a part-time job cover letter is to outline your motivations for taking the role. You might not have a lot of relevant experience, so displaying a thirst for learning is vital. In addition, if the employer understands where the job fits in the big scheme of your career, they will know that you will put in that extra effort.

Our comprehensive cover letter guide shares more advice around the more functional aspects of a cover letter format – with ideas about font style and size along with other visual considerations. Check out the adaptable cover letter example below:

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr Erby,

Having seen firsthand how you run your business, I am enthusiastic to apply for your advertised position of part-time Administration Assistant. With my passion for cycling, living sustainably and working in an inclusive environment, I think I would be a great fit within your team. 

I am currently working as an admin assistant in a sports shop in the area where I have gained considerable knowledge of the cycling industry in the last three years. I understand what it means to build a small business, to make and sustain contacts and to stay sane in the daily frenzy of customer demand.

My strongest skill set lies in the ability to communicate with customers and my efficient organisational talents. Last year, I helped my current employer to cut supplier costs by 5% by switching our marketing and printing services to the same business. As a result, our customer consolidation rose during the following quarter.

Thanks to my strong organisational workflows, I thrive when working under deadlines even while dealing with a heavy workload. However, I also can adjust quickly to new environments and daily tasks. I believe this is the best balance needed for part-time work, since complex tasks sometimes need to be left for days at a time and may have progressed. Therefore my ability to digest new information quickly would best suit this environment.

I would be delighted to have the opportunity to work with the York Cyclist in an environment that I have enjoyed as a customer. I hope to be able to speak further soon to discuss this role.

Yours Sincerely,

Maria Enei

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Cover letter header

Even a part-time job cover letter should contain all the structural elements of a normal cover letter. Pick a cover letter design with a simple header and include your full name, phone number and email address. 

Employers will likely not delve too deep into your social media background for a part time role but include your social media details if your online activity adds to your application in any way. The aim of your cover letter is to intrigue the employer and get them to spend as much time considering your application as possible.

You don’t need to include your full home address as this will come later in the process. Adding the inside address of the employer will simply take up valuable space. Avoid padding out the cover letter with unnecessary details. Your job sales pitch is what matters.

Cover letter greeting

You might be going for a part-time job where you will only see your boss once a week, but no matter how informal the setting you should still start with a ‘Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Surname’ greeting. 

Make sure that you spell their name correctly. Many part-time jobs may not have a formal job description where the hiring manager’s name is given, so phone reception to check if you are not sure. This call may offer a useful opportunity to ask any other questions.

Cover letter introduction

The introduction to the cover letter needs to outline your ability to do the job. This might sound basic, but for a part-time job it is common that you may not have previous experience, so it is important to demonstrate the transferable skills that will enable your success.

If your biggest career achievements thus far are not at all relevant for the job in question, leave them until later in the cover letter. They will definitely be considered as part of your application, but the introduction of the cover letter has to contain relevant details. The hiring manager will be reading a lot of resumes (and fewer cover letters). They will get turned off at the first hint of: ‘No, that person isn’t for me.’

Read our adaptable part-time job cover letter example introduction:

Adaptable cover letter greeting and introduction example

Dear Mr Erby,

Having seen firsthand how you run your business, I am enthusiastic to apply for your advertised position of part-time Administration Assistant. With my passion for cycling, living sustainably and working in an inclusive environment, I think I would be a great fit within your team. 

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle part of a part-time job cover letter should only be as big as your relevant experience warrants. The moment that you start to fill the page with semi-relevant fluff is the moment that your chances fade. Hiring managers will appreciate brevity, so focus on a couple of key arguments and leave the peripheral detail until the interview.

You will have a little more space to outline your motivation and personality but be sure to tie them to one of your accomplishments. Stating that you are a certain way without any context will raise suspicions and will make you blend into the crowd.

Make it clear in the middle part of your part-time job cover letter that you know what you are getting yourself into. Read the job description, research the company, and try to be as specific as possible with your examples. Hiring managers will receive so many generic cover letters and resumes with zero indication that the applicant understands the role.

Have a look at our cover letter middle part example:

Adaptable cover letter body example

I am currently working as an admin assistant in a sports shop in the area where I have gained considerable knowledge of the cycling industry in the last three years. I understand what it means to build a small business, to make and sustain contacts and to stay sane in the daily frenzy of customer demand.

My strongest skill set lies in the ability to communicate with customers and my efficient organisational talents. Last year, I helped my current employer to cut supplier costs by 5% by switching our marketing and printing services to the same business. As a result, our customer consolidation rose during the following quarter.

Thanks to my strong organisational workflows, I thrive when working under deadlines even while dealing with a heavy workload. However, I also can adjust quickly to new environments and daily tasks. I believe this is the best balance needed for part-time work, since complex tasks sometimes need to be left for days at a time and may have progressed. Therefore my ability to digest new information quickly would best suit this environment.

Copied!

How to close a part-time job cover letter (conclusion)

The close of a part-time job cover letter should end on a confident note. Convey the fact that you are curious to find out more by saying that you are looking forward to a potential interview. Motivation is one of the most important factors when taking on a part-time hire, so don’t sound ambivalent about the opportunity. Tell them why you want it and let them know that you are ready to start immediately. Getting this job matters to you.

Have a look at our sample part-time job cover letter:

Adaptable cover letter conclusion example

I would be delighted to have the opportunity to work with the York Cyclist in an environment that I have enjoyed as a customer. I hope to be able to speak further soon to discuss this role.

Yours Sincerely,

Maria Enei

Copied!

Basic mistakes in a part-time job cover letter

In the rush to send off a large volume of cover letters, not every candidate will bother to check their cover letter for mistakes. This is a particular danger if you are tailoring your cover letter for each role (you should be).

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes: Attention to basic details is essential if a part-time worker hopes not to annoy their boss. Make sure that your spelling and grammar are on point, or your future boss might imagine themselves checking up on you every five minutes. Online programs such as Grammarly work wonders.
  • Don’t talk yourself down: While you might not have much experience, comments such as ‘It isn’t much, but I worked as a cashier in a supermarket’ will impress no one. Be loud and proud about even the most insignificant experience. Tell the hiring manager why it matters.
  • Too chatty: A cover letter is a formal document, so don’t adopt an overly conversational tone in an attempt to be friendly. You will hopefully get your chance to charm your future boss during an interview, so keep it formal.

Key takeaways

  1. Only write about what is directly relevant for the role in question — no padding.
  2. Find transferable skills from experience in other industry sectors.
  3. Personality and motivation are key — how much do you want it?
  4. Find out as much as possible about the role. Sell your specific case.

Check out some other early career cover letter examples here:

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