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How to write a Cover letter

by Evalyne Ndanu
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The cover letter expresses professional personal interest for a given vacancy or open position. Additionally, it adds more personality to an individual’s application, providing more details about personal background and interest in the position. Usually, it is submitted together with the Curriculum Vitae – CV. It highlights one’s achievements and skills and helps to gain the attention of the hiring or interviewing manager. This letter if well-written, can cause increased chances of being shortlisted for an interview. Here are some tips on how to write a cover letter.

Clearly emphasize on skills.

There is need to clearly emphasize your skills and abilities. You skills and abilities will help to “market” you to the potential employer.

It makes a difference if you include precise examples of situations in which you have applied the experience, abilities and skills to benefit a specific organisation or colleagues. A practical example demonstrates your ability to use the experience and skills you have.

Keep it short and clear

Aim at being as concise as possible.Keep in mind that the organization is probably receiving thousands upon thousands of applications. Making it too long will reduce the chances of capturing the attention of the reader.

The cover letter needs to be appealingly informative and manageable to read in terms of time.

Setting goals

Proof-read the letter

Check out for grammar or spelling errors to escape bad first impression. Usually, grammar and spelling errors communicate lack of keenness and/or interest in the role being applied for.

Therefore, take time to read the letter again. If it helps, you can share the letter with someone else before applying for them to proofread. They may notice something you may have overlooked.

Include the job Description Keywords

Another tip on how to write a cover letter is to include the job description Keywords.

Review the job listing keywords since most job postings include certain skills and abilities that applicants need to possess. In your application letter, if you write using such keywords, not only does it show that you read and understood the job listings, but also exhibits that you may be a good person fit for that specific role.

Express gratitude

Express appreciation before you sign the letter.  Gratitude means that you appreciate the time the recruiter has taken to read your Cover letter. Therefore, when you show gratitude for that time spent, it is a pleasant, polite and professional way to close the document.

For example: “I warmly appreciate you for taking time to review my application letter.”

Professional Sign off

Then, close the letter with a professional sign-off. Most commonly, people use “Yours sincerely” to close the letter. As you sign off, be sure to include your full name.

Be careful not to use the same letter for every organisation

Send the right letter for every position to the right organisation. It may be tempting to forward one cover letter for every application. However, different roles and different companies may require various skill sets. Moreover, there are some organisations that specifically state not to send an application letter.

Therefore, Be keen to send the correct documents.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius

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