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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 get very far without a compelling part-time job 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 information. With so many half-hearted applications, a thoughtful part-time job cover letter is exactly what will set you apart.

People will work in varying industries in their part-time work, and so they likely won’t have much in the way of relevant experience. That is why many don’t bother with a cover letter, and why your cover letter can give you a tremendous advantage.

While part-time work might seem like second-class activity, your efforts are nevertheless going to make a significant impact on the organization you work for. Just not all the time. Employers are still compensating you on a pro-rata basis, so they will expect a suitable contribution. A compelling cover letter can demonstrate your understanding of that expectation. This writing guide is supported by an adaptable part-time job cover letter example. We look at:

  • The universal cover letter format that will work for a part-time job application
  • Optimizing the impact of your cover letter’s six essential elements: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
  • Being mindful of what’s most important to the hiring manager
  • Common mistakes to avoid in your part-time job cover letter.
Expert tip

The free-flowing nature of a cover letter allows you to express your motivations and what the job means to you. This is impossible to do on a CV. 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. 

Depending on your industry it is well worth a look at our many other occupation-specific cover letter examples and writing guides for inspiration.

Best format for a part-time job cover letter

Your first step in writing an impressive part-time job cover letter is to understand the structure and how the angle of your career story is entirely different from what a CV can tell. How do you begin those initial conversations that will continue during a later interview? To start with, here is the framework of essential sections, which should add up to no more than 400 words on a single page:

  • 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 in the cover letter without detailing any specific experience. But this is no place for unhelpful 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 helped succeed using 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 detailed advice on how to write and format a cover letter, including ideas about font style and size along with other visual considerations. 

As we take you through each cover letter section one at a time, we’ll be referring to the adaptable part-time job cover letter example below.

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr Erby,

Having seen first-hand 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 administrative assistant in a sports shop, 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. 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.

Being highly efficient and following effective organisational workflows enable me to 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 circumstances can change in between shifts. 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 atmosphere = that I have enjoyed as a customer. I hope to be able to meet with you 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 any occupation-specific 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 do include profile links if your online activity enhances your job application in any way. The aim of your cover letter is to intrigue prospective employers 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.

Goal of the cover letter header: Distinguish yourself from all the other part-time job candidates with an eye-pleasing header that prominently displays your name and contact information.

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 the recipient's name correctly! Some part-time job ads may not include application instructions indicating he hiring manager’s name, so search online or phone the employer's receptionist to check if you are not sure. This call may offer a useful opportunity to ask any other questions.

Goal of the cover letter greeting: Establish a professional connection with the hiring manager in a manner that’s friendly but still courteous.

Cover letter introduction

The cover letter introduction needs to outline your ability to do the job. This might sound basic, but for a part-time job it is common for applicants to lack previous experience, so it's 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 the most 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.’

Goal of the cover letter introduction: Intrigue the reader enough to learn more about your best-matched qualifications for the part-time position, while leaving less relevant details to be revealed later in the letter and in your CV.

Here's our part-time job cover letter greeting and introduction example:

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mr Erby,

Having seen first-hand 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 (body) 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 accomplishments 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 body 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.

Goal of the cover letter body: Elaborate on how this employer would benefit from your contributions as an outstanding part-time staffer.

Have a look at the middle section of our part-time job cover letter example:

Adaptable cover letter body example

I am currently working as an administrative assistant in a sports shop, 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. 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.

Being highly efficient and following effective organisational workflows enable me to 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 circumstances can change in between shifts. 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 in a "call to action" that you are curious to find out more and looking forward to an 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.

Goal of the cover letter closing: End on an optimistic note with a call to action that puts some onus on the employer to follow up.

Have a look at our sample conclusion for a 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 atmosphere = that I have enjoyed as a customer. I hope to be able to meet with you 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 job applications, some applicants won't bother to check their cover letter for mistakes. This is a particular danger if you are tailoring your cover letter for each role — which you should be. Here are some common preventable cover letter errors.

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes: Attention to basic details is essential if part-time workers hope not to annoy their boss. Make sure that your spelling and grammar are on point, or your future boss might imagine having to check up on you every five minutes. Online programs such as Grammarly work wonders, but shouldn't be solely counted on for error-proofing. Always enlist at least one other person to review your cover letter — someone qualified to catch mistakes..
  • 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 seemingly 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 for a part-time job cover letter

  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 this job?
  4. Find out as much as possible about the role and build your unique case for getting hired around that knowledge.
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