Letter writing is an invaluable skill every graduate, job seeker and everyone for that matter should have. Little wonder the act of letter writing is taught right from primary school because of its importance. Moreover, a job cover letter is a requirement in most application process in Nigeria.
In addition, it is your first platform to showcase your competence, creativity and qualification to your potential employer. Recruiters or human resource managers examine cover letters alongside curriculum vitae to determine who they progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. In fact, most applicants don’t make it beyond this stage.
What Then is a cover Letter?
A cover letter is a formal letter you write when applying for a job to express your interest for the advertised vacant position in an organization or company. It is slightly different from an application letter only in its content.
Here you talk more about yourself, the skills and experience you have that qualify you for job but it’s not a repetition of your resume. Like a formal letter, a job cover letter must have the following:
Your cover letter must have two addresses; your address (top right) and the address of the organization you are applying to (on the left side after date). Don’t forget to include date next line after your address.
Check the job advert or the company website for their address and who in particular the letter should be addressed to. However, in most cases you address the letter to the human resource manager of the organization.
In addition, you will be at an advantage when your address is within the location or state where the organization is situated.
As simple as “Sir” is perfect for a job application letter. It is a formal letter therefore casual expression like “Dear” or “Hello” should be avoided.
After the salutation is the title, stating categorically the purpose of the letter. For instance, if the vacancy is for the position of a graduate mechanical engineer, then your title will appear like this; APPLICATION FOR THE POSITION OF GRADUATE MECHANICAL ENGINEER. Writing your title in uppercase is most preferable than small letters with underline.
Body of the Letter
The body of a job application letter must have an introduction, main body and conclusion.
Introduction: Write a brief introduction of yourself, the position you are applying for, where you heard about the vacancy and why you choose to apply for the job. First impression makes a lot, do well to captivate and sustain the interest of the recruiter.
Main Body: Write a brief detail of your best qualities, skills and experience that are relevant for the particular job you’re applying for. This is your opportunity to sale yourself to the recruiter. Be yourself best marketer but be honest.
Conclusion: Express your confidence as be the best candidate for the job and how you look forward to hearing from them soon.
End the letter with “Yours Faithfully” and your full name. If you’re sending it as a softcopy, you don’t need to sign it. Ensure you proofread your cover letter before you submit it or have a professional (someone higher than you) look at it for correction.
Important Things to Avoid
1. Wrong spelling
3. Ambiguous Sentence
4. Omission of punctuation marks
5. Informal expressions