By Shingirayi Kondongwe CONTRIBUTOR (Opinions expressed by YOH contributors are their own.)
You have just discovered a job opportunity that is appealing to you, but you are wondering about how you can construct an excellent cover letter?
You are probably aware of the competitive job market out there were thousands of other young people who are vying for the same opportunity you are interested in.
All you want is to be noticed by the recruiter. How do you do that? The secret is an effective cover letter. Once your cover letter is strong and effective, your chances of being noticed are high.
How do you make your cover letter effective? What is it that will make your cover letter strong and effective?
The first step is to make sure that your cover letter is one page only. You have to remember that recruiters reviewing thousands of cover letters does not have the time to read anything beyond one page. Therefore, it is important to maintain a one-page application letter.
It is also important for your cover letter to be “specific”. What do I mean by being specific? Let us just say, you have seen a job application in the newspaper or any source; the job advert will contain specific information about what is being required right? For instance, they might be specifically looking for a journalist or an environment officer and now that you want to apply for that specific job position. It is simple! Focus on that and show it in your cover letter the reason why you are applying is that you discovered the “specific” job advert (placement) in a newspaper or any other source.
The most important aspect is to convince the recruiter that your education, your experience, and any other information is relevant to the job position. You see! It is straightforward like that. You do not need to impress recruiters by writing a cover letter that looks like a dictionary, stick to one-page only.
Do not exceed four paragraphs in your cover letter. In other words, only include four paragraphs. The first paragraph should simply introduce who you are. “My name is ABCD… I am writing to express my interest in the job position you advertised”. Is not that great? Therefore, that is what the first paragraph should focus on.
The second paragraph addresses why you are applying for that job position.
The third paragraph focuses on your relevance to the job position you are applying for. This is where you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the job. Also, show how relevant your background is to that job position.
In the fourth paragraph, you simply give thanks and expectations. Do not forget to mention that you have attached your CV or Resume with more information so that they can invite you for an interview.
That is it. Good luck with your job application.
SHINGIRAYI KONDONGWE is an African Union Scholar, United Nations Graduate Programme Fellow, and A Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur. He writes in his capacity and does not represent the views of any organization. He can be contacted at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shingirayi hail from Harare, Zimbabwe
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