How to write a cover letter

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cover letter
cover letter template

Sending your resume or cv without cover letter can cause recruiters to ignore your submission.Most recruiters usually go through them before reading your resume because it introduces you,highlights your purpose of writing,your experiences, a statement of why you qualify for the job and encourages the employer to read your resume/cv.

To be precise, a cover letter, is usually a one-paged document is attached with your resume introducing you and why you’re a good fit for the job.You may also state the values you intend adding to the company if employed.

Here is a comment from an HR manager, it might help you

Employers want to know who you are, why this job is interesting to you, and how you fit into our company culture – we can read what you’ve accomplished on your resume. And for crying out loud: unless you’re a CEO your resume should fit on one page.

 

Why it is important to write a cover letter.

  • Unless stated otherwise, it is a general rule,It should be attached to every CV you send out to employers. Many applicants are screened-out by merely reading their cover letters.So always Include a cover letter when applying for a job even if you’re not asked.
  • It gives more information about your resume, explains your skills and why you’re a strong match for the job.
  • Writing a cover letter introduces you to the employer/recruiter giving home a strong impression about you and your resume.
  • It is a sales pitch which helps you market your resume and helps you get to the interview stage.

 

What are the tones,formats and length of a cover letter?

A cover letter must not go beyond one page, it must be short,apt and straight to the point. Write in clear style an avoid long unnecessary sentences.Introductions like “With this statement, I declare my interest in the position you have advertised on your website” are clumsy and should be avoided.

 

Be logical in arranging your points , convey your confidence and enthusiasm in an enticing tone.

What are the contents of a cover letter?

  • Introduction:Start with a  brief phrase that describes you and state the name of the job you’re applying for, you should begin this by establishing the point of contact, stating how you got hold of the job information.A typical example is : As a persistent enthusiast of Zenda Group of companies,I was elated to see your posting for the position of an accounting auditor.You must respond directly to the job description written.

You may then continue by stating your skills and experience and how they match that position. You must strive to attract the recruiter to continue reading your cover letter at this stage.Get them hooked and make them read on.

  • Body: Ensure this does not go beyond 2 or 3 paragraphs to keep your cover letter as succinct as possible. Begin by arguing why you’re a good fit and strong match for the job position.Mention a few points from your resume to support your claim matching your education and experiences with the job position.If their specific qualifications,demonstrate how you meet them in your cv.You may go ahead to share one of your accomplishments to support your claim.You may also highlight a few value you wish to add to the organization if employed.Your goal at this point should be complementing your resume and matching it with the job position in concise statements.
  • Conclusion: At this point restress your skills and politely request for an interview.Indicate any attached material and thank the employer for their consideration.

The Cover Letter standard layout, sample and template format.

Header(centered at the top)

Attach your first and last name

Your address

Phone

Email

 

Salutation(Align left) You must research and know exactly whom you’re addressing the letter to. Be sure of the name position and address.

HR’s name

Position

Company address

Dear HR’s name(Mr/Mrs)

Avoid generic salutations like , To whom it may concern, dear sir or ma.

Content

Introduction

Body(2 to 3 paragraphs)

Concluding Salutation

Yours sincerely

(written signature)

John smith

(You may use other complimentary close like,yours truly,cordially yours,yours faithfully)

How to format  cover letter

Recommended fonts include,arial calibri,times new romans)

Font size 12pts

Standard margin 1-1.5inch on all sides.

Add a space after, HEADER  SALUTATION  EACH PARAGRAPH, CONCLUSION,CLOSE.

Coming questions and answers to help you further

How do I address a cover letter in response to a job advertisement which gives no company name or person in charge of hiring. For example ,jobs found on classified ad sites like craiglist.

This is a common problem and you should research more on such jobs using the internet, get more information about the company online(this is will also help you check the authenticity of such job), check for the hr department and you might even come across the job posting. If nothing is found(at this point be careful of scammers and cases of identity theft),if you still wish to go ahead, please use Dear Hiring Manager.

How best to address a woman, between Ms. Miss Mrs.

It is safe to use Ms. if you’re unsure of the marital status

I know the hr managers name, but I don’t know the address/branch of the company

Research for the main branch of the company and use it.

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