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How to write a cover letter

Many recruiters request cover letters from job applicants as they believe that they are the key to assessing the attributes and potential of every applicant. In this article, we will be discussing what cover letters are and how to write an effective one.

A cover letter, also known as a job application letter, is a formal letter written to accompany your resume to convince recruiters that you are perfect for the role you are applying for.

Before writing your cover letter, you need to do proper research about the company and role you are applying for. Check the company’s website, LinkedIn profile, and employees’ LinkedIn and social media profiles. This will enable you to have the necessary information you need to write the perfect cover letter.

Features of a good cover letter

Every well-written cover letter has 5 important features

1. Contact Information: Begin by placing your contact information at the top of your cover letter. This should include your current means of contact such as the date, your name, email address, phone number, LinkedIn, etc.

Example

2. Salutation: Greet the hiring manager. Before writing your cover letter, do your research by finding out the name of the hiring manager. You can find this out through LinkedIn

Pro Tip: Do not write your salutation as “Dear Sir or Madam”. It is generic and feels lazy. Address with Dear [First + last name] or Dear [Position title] in case you can’t figure out the name of the hiring manager

Examples of appropriate salutations

3. Opening Paragraph: Begin the body of your letter with an attention-grabbing introduction. In this paragraph, you need to introduce yourself, how you heard about the role, why you think you are perfect for the job, and mention a relevant career highlight.

Example:

4. Middle Paragraph: This paragraph is where you give a full summary of your background, your past achievements, and the critical skills you possess that make you qualified for the role. This is an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the recruiter.

You can also include a second middle paragraph where you highlight your soft skills and relate them to the position you are applying for.

Example:

5. Closing Paragraph: Close your cover letter by highlighting your availability for the job and requesting to meet with the employer to further discuss your role. Finally, end your letter by thanking the hiring manager for their time and consideration.

Sign off with a closing salutation and your name.

Example:

Now that you are familiar with how to write a good cover letter, here are a few principles you need to take note of when writing one

· Always research the company you are applying to

· Your cover letter should be short and precise

· Personalize your cover letter to the company and role you are applying to

· Always proofread

· Make use of a standard font type such as Arial, Times new roman, or Calibri.

· Be professional and avoid using buzzwords

· Get feedback from friends or colleagues

To learn how to write an equally effective resume, you can get a copy of our e-book “How to write a killer resume” on flutterwave or amazon

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