The first thing you realize once you get kicked into the labor market is how badly you need a Curriculum Vitae and a Cover letter.
The Curriculum Vitae, is the one most people are conversant with but I have heard not less than five Nigerian graduates ask the very embarrassing ‘What do they mean by Cover letter?’ question.
Simply put, a cover letter is a letter to the organization you are applying to where you sell yourself in as little words as possible. A good cover letter should; make you stand out and eventually get you that job.
This article is going to give you an idea of what your cover letter should look like but since you would still be essentially writing the letter yourself, I would advise that you;
- Avoid typographical errors and tense mistakes. Sometimes, two eyes or more are better than one, give your letter to friends or family to look through it, just to be sure.
- Check that your skills and experiences match the job requirement. You don’t want to be talking about how much you love cooking while applying for a position as a sales manager or a marketing officer in an electronic store for instance.
- Remember that this is a summary of your CV, a page long Cover letter or less is ideal, do NOT copy your CV and call it a cover letter. Each Paragraph should have three or four sentences. A font size of 14 on Times New Roman is recommended for legibility and to be on the safe side, send as a pdf file unless stated otherwise.
- If you do not have a specific skill needed for the job, do not point it out, you will only hurt yourself.
- Do NOT in an attempt to sound sophisticated and professional, lose your voice. You want to come off as a person not a robot. So be clear about what you want in simple English, nobody wants to have to consult the dictionary while reading a cover letter. Be original, Remember, you want to stand out not sound like everyone else.
Below is a template of what your ideal cover letter should look like and good luck. Expecting your testimonies soon.
Date (Use the M-D-Y format)
Dear (Employer’s Name),
Tell them how you came about the job. Highlight your skills, make it catchy, you want them to read till the end
Talk about other positions relating to the job that you have held and how efficiently you handled it. Tell them why they need you on their team, sell yourself but do not overdo it. You want them to know you can deliver but not better than them
Tell them why a person of your qualification would work with them and how personal (if it is) the job will become for you.
Close by saying if you are available for an interview or ready to provide samples of similar work done in the past
Yours Sincerely (You can also use, ‘Regards’),
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