A cover letter is a single page letter that should be part of any job application or be sent along when applying for job opening.
Cover letter should be included in job application except when a job advert clearly mentioned that it should not be included.
I will be teaching how to write a cover letter under different headings.
Purpose of a cover letter
You might be applying for a specific job advertised, or you contacting any employer to see if they have any vacancies in their companies. Either way, your cover letter will need to:
- Mention the the specific job you are applying of maybe looking forward to applying
- Will need to Match your skills and experiences with skill and experiences required by the job
- Encourage the employer to read your Resume
- Sometimes Requesting an interview or asking to meet to discuss your qualification further.
Length of a Good Cover Letter
Ideally it shouldn’t be more than one page because it is only meant to be a summary of the information you put in your resume, so remember to keep things short.
Don’t know how to construct a Resume Read How to write a Good Resume Here and learn the Do’s and Don’ts.
Customizing your Cover Letter
Its strongly advise not to use the same cover letter when applying for different job.
Your Letter needs to be specific and show that you know what the job involves and what the organisation requires.
To be able to achieve that, you need to be as direct as you can about your skills and qualities and how they match the job or organisation needs.
There are three easy ways to make your cover letter direct as possible:
Who to address the Cover Letter to-
Addressing your letter “To Whom It May Concern” is very wrong as it speak volume that you don’t know anything about the company.
Finding out who to address your application to takes a little bit of effort, but trust me it is worth every single second spent..
If for example you found the job in an advert, the advert will probably name a person to send the application to. If not, call the employer or recruitment agency (avoid emailing them) and ask who to send the application to.
Get More Information about the Job.
When finding out who to address your application to, you should also try to speak to that person so you can ask questions that will help you customize your cover letter (and resume).
These are few Questions you might consider asking:
- What can you tell me about the job
- What can you tell me about the right candidate for the job?
- Is there a position description I can look at? (only ask this if the job advert did not mention a position description)
The answers to these questions will give you a lot of idea idea of what you should mention in your cover letter and in your resume.
Get More information about the Company
After finding out about the job it is advisable to also ask more question about the company.
Here are few lines of things to research about the Company:
- If you already know the name of the company, look for information online.
- Check out their their own website, especially their About Us page if they do have a Website.
- If the company name is not in the advert call the recruitment agency and ask who the employer is.
What Information should a Cover Letter Contain?
Here is a list of things that you should include when you write a cover letter. For examples check out our detailed Information on Cover Letter.
Your Name and Contact Details
Write your name and contact details at the top of your cover letter. You don’t have to add your address address, but you do need to include your email and phone number.
Make sure you will be able to answer the number you give. It makes no sense giving your home phone if you are not going to be home to answer it.
Be sure your email address is a professional sounding one. An email address like SexyShadylady@gmail.com doesn’t create the right impression.
Use professional email that start with your surname and name, example – SadeChima@gmail.com or AhmedOtuya@yahoo.com, looks okay.
Their name and contact details
Under your own name and contact details you should include:
- The name of the person you’re writing to
- Their position or the name of their company
The Company Name and Contact Details
As i mentioned earlier, If you are having a hard time finding this information you can call the company to ask who you should address your application to.
You can also use “To Whom It May Concern” – but try to only when all option to get their contact fail.
Name of the Job you are Applying for.
At the start of your cover letter explain which job you are applying for. You can either do this on a line by itself (e.g., “Re: Application for an Account Officer”) or in the opening paragraph (e.g., “I am writing to apply for the recently advertised Account Officer Position”).
List your Relevant Skills and Experience
Your coverletter should Include a brief summary of your skills and experiences that match the job description you are applying.
If you are answering a job advert, either the advert or the position description may provide a list of skills and experiences that are essential for doing the job.
It may also provide a list of “desirable” skills and experience.
Your cover letter needs to respond to all of the items on the list and as many items as possible on the list in as short a way as possible.
Remember that if you say you have a skill or experience, you need to show how you have used it or how you want to use it for the job you applying.
Summarize the Reason why you are right for the job
After listing your skills and experience you should explain why this means you are the best person for the job.
Talk and Act like them
Acting like them and using the same language as people who do a particular job is a good way to convince people you are fit for the job.
Getting familiar with what a company does and how it talks about itself can give you ideas about things to mention in your cover letter, and how to talk about them.
Remind them to check out your Resume and Contact you
Your cover letter should finish by asking the employer to look at your resume. It should also ask them to contact you about an interview.
Try something doing it simple like, “I have attached a copy of my resume for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you about this application.” Full Stop!
When you apply all these principles then we have master the the way of writing a good cover letter.
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