Although mostly brushed off, a cover letter is a vital document that should always accompany the resume during a job application. In fact, the only time you do not need to send the cover letter is when the job application explicitly instructs you not to. The most important thing is putting your ideas in order and expressing yourself to win the sympathy and attention of your potential employers. This calls for the crafting of a good cover letter that stands out above your competitors. So, how do you jot down an eye-catching cover letter?
Now, your introduction does not mean writing down something like “My name is Peter.” It means writing your address details. Clearly write your official names and your mobile number. Ensure the phone number you give is convenient for you. No need to give a home phone number, yet the potential employer might call when you are away. You can also indicate your email address, but there is no need for your postal details. Below your contact information, indicate the employer’s name, their position in the company, the company name, and the contact information.
Mention your job of interest
Don’t assume that the reader knows the job you are applying. Clearly indicate your position of interest and quote any reference number the employer might have instructed on the job advert. You can do this in the Reference area e.g. Re: “Application for an English teaching post” or as a part of the opening paragraph that should go like, “I am writing to apply for the English teaching position…
Explain how your skills match those of the job advertised
It is the trickiest part of your cover letter. The employer wants to see what your strength is and how it will help in the growth of the organization. Read the job description over and over again to understand the specific skills and work experience the employer desires. You can go a step ahead and have a deep research of the company to understand their mode of operation as well as what they look for in new employees. After this, craft the cover letter in a way to show how the skills you possess, match those of the vacant job.
Encourage the reader to go through your resume
Employers take approximately 30 seconds to go through each cover letter sent to them. Make your letter interesting so that the reader can read up to the end. Before closing your letter, request them to have a look at your attached resume. You can write something like, “I have attached a copy of my resume. Kindly have a look at it.” Remember, the quality of your cover letter will determine whether the reader finds it necessary to check on your resume.
Closing the letter
Finish the letter in a professional way. Sign it off with an ending like, ‘Yours sincerely’ accompanied with your name and signature.
Tips to make your cover letter presentable
i. Make it legible
No employer will struggle to read a poorly written cover letter. If you consider hand writing it, ensure every alphabet is readable. To those who have poor handwriting, a friend can assist in writing it down. In case the cover letter is typed, a neat font type is needed. Avoid fancy fonts.
ii. Address the employer by the name
The person addressed to feels valued when addressed by their real names as opposed to a general dear sir/madam. Furthermore, it shows your deep interest in the post as you went ahead to research the employer’s actual names.
iii. Proofread it severally before submission
Nothing puts off a potential employer than typos and factual errors. It gives an impression to the employer of how lazy you are to correct the mistakes. Proofread your letter several rounds before submitting it. You can also have a friend proofread it for you to be sure that all the details are correct
Finally, remember an employer takes a cover letter as your first introduction to the company, and as you know, the first impression determines whether you get the job or not. Make the cover letter as attractive as you can. If you are not confident enough, let a professional writing center craft it for you.