Writing cover letter -5 Simple guide to writing a cover letter

Writing cover letter might be confusing if the meaning is not clear. A Cover Letter is a document that is sent alongside a CV when applying for a job. A Cover letter is written to drive home the desire of the applicant, trying to convince the employer that they are the Best Fit for the vacant position. The Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a summary of a person’s Professional, Academic and Personal life, trying to make him better placed for a Job; the Cover letter tailors this desire down to the intended Job.

In trying to get through the Basics of writing a Good Cover letter, we should first know the format.

We must understand that we are talking about a letter and every letter comes with:-

  1. Address(es)

A Cover letter comes with the address of the Applicant and the Employer. Sometimes, applicants can use letterheaded papers or fancifully design their names on the top of the Paper alongside a few important details. In that case, only the employers’ address remains. Normally though, it always comes this way, the Applicant to the right, the employer to the left.

  1. Salutation

The Cover letter is addressed to the hiring manager of the company and as such, the Salutation should be addressed to that person. You can use his first name; E.g Dear John, Dear Robert, or most politely you can address him by the generally accepted salutation to be on the safe side, something like this; Dear Sir, Dear Madam.

  1. Title

This is where there is a slight change, while the Cover letter is a formal letter, it is meant to take an informal look as the title is not written at all. There is nothing like “Cover Letter of Mr Peter John” or something like it.

  1. The Body

The body of the letter is of course where you write down details about yourself and what you will bring to the team if allowed in. A normal cover letter is 3-4 paragraphs.

  1. Closing

You just have the same closing as in formal letters; Yours Faithfully, Yours Sincerely, etc. The Applicant’s full name comes underneath.

  1. Make your Research

The first thing to do before writing your Cover Letter is to make your research. The cover letter is streamlined to the intended job, therefore, it is important to have as much information as possible about the company and everything so as to write effectively.

You have to carefully go through the Job description and then the Company’s hierarchy. In any area where you seem confused, do well to reach out to the hiring manager for clarifications. Your understanding of the role you are applying for and the company information is going to be helpful and will put you ahead of other candidates if you write your cover letter well.

  1. Draft a good Opening Speech

Applying for a Job is a Job on its own and only a few get to make it to the interview not to talk of getting the Proposed job eventually. One thing that has shut out so many applicants is their opening speeches. I have seen lots of people get stuck on this part and I understand that you have had to write and rewrite it again but cannot seem to get the perfect sentences.

The first sentence in your Cover letter is supposed to be your punchline and as such should not contain any amount of junk. Some persons make the mistake of writing that “they saw the information-seeking applicants here or there and then decided to apply”, there is certainly no time for that. An ideal cover letter should be aimed at making you look as professional as possible.

Something like this will do; “I am a Project Manager with more than 10 years of experience looking for an opportunity to apply my skills in new ways, and I’d love to bring my expertise and enthusiasm to your growing development team.”. You can then add some other relevant skills.

  1. Focus on your Relevant Skills

The major aim of the Cover letter is to help you explain further to the Employer why you are the best person for the job out of a whole lot of applicants. This cannot be done effectively if you do not base your letter on those Relevant Skills you possess that distinguish you from the rest of the applicants.

Companies are looking to hire staff who possess skills in problem-solving and can step up at important times to make things better. Your Cover letter should amongst other things, answer the Basic question, “What do you bring to the Table?“. When you have this question in the Back of your mind, it will propel you to major in those relevant skills.

  1. Don’t Leave out Your Achievements

While writing your Cover letter, it is necessary to add your Achievements in your previous roles and the experiences gathered which would be useful in your desired role. The Hiring manager will like to hear a story of how you handled a worrying issue in your former office or Successes you attained and the motivational factor behind it. Be careful though not to overhype yourself and most importantly, do not exaggerate. The achievements you state will increase your value before the Hiring Manager and give you a better chance for the job.

  1. Be Professional

Your Cover Letter is as Important as your CV and as such should be professionally written. Asides from experience which so many companies seek, they also look for professionalism. From your opening statement to the closing of your letter, let it ooze class. To that effect, try to eliminate all those funny slurs and the likes that make you sound casual – the Cover letter is not meant to be funny.

Remember that your Job hunting depends on it and no one wants to hire a clown for a serious Job so your sense of humour is not needed in your Cover letter. Be sure to put away other junk details too, nobody wants to know how many kids and properties you have, or how you live your life, stick to the theme of the letter.

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