The role of cover letters on job applications is increasingly becoming a twisted concern as employers ever more require applicants to submit their applications online. Even then, cover letters still maintain an integral part of applications in the job field.
There are important areas you can never fail to address when writing a cover letter for an online application. They come at the introduction part of the cover letter, its body and conclusion and if written to adhere to the following tips, they give you the plus mark ahead of other applicants.
4 Key Areas Best Cover Letters Should Always Address
1. The position you are applying for
This should be the subject of your cover letter. Unless the employer has provided you with specific information to include ob the subject line ensure that you state clearly the position you are interested in the way it is advertised.
You should make it a simple phrase and not a sentence. For instance, it is wrong to have ‘I am looking for the job of a sales person,’ as the subject line of your cover letter.
According to Christine Wanjau, Recruitment Account Manager at Corporate Staffing Services , including a lot of information on the subject puts off employers for the least.
“Some applicants go ahead to offer all manner of stuff on the subject line including where they saw the job advert. This is wrong,” Ms Wanjau says.
She goes ahead to offer the best model as ‘Application for the post of sales person’.
Go straight to the point. Ms Wanjau goes ahead to discourage the habit of including any manner of salutation in cover letters.
2. Your background
This comes in as the second paragraph of the cover letter. It includes information about your work experience, your education and important career achievements and skills.
Ensure that you provide your employment history in clear, precise sentences. It is advisable to start with your most recent employment in a precise order. If you have been at many companies, only provide those you feel will market you.
As for achievements, only point towards those with the greatest potential to make the employer want to see you. It is also advisable to offer as little information as possible concerning your education and qualifications background. Remember that this is not a CV. There will be plenty of room on your CV to indicate your educational background in much more detail.
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3. Your willingness to work with them
This comes as part of the conclusion. Express a good measure of enthusiasm towards the job advertised. In a short sentence, express your willingness to work with the employer. The following short sentences can act as a good guide
‘I will be glad if offered an opportunity to work with you’
‘Looking forward to the interview and finally working with you’
4. Guide to attachments
Provide information on attachments if you have included any in your email. Such words as enclosed, attached herewith, attached, please find attached direct the employer in opening and viewing documents that you might have attached such as CV and any of your works.
Some employers require the job applicant to attach their cover letter alongside the CV while others only allow you to send your CV. It is important to know how to go about such requirements so that you don’t miss out on the job offer.
A good model may include, ‘Attached herewith, please find my CV and copies of my certificates and other testimonials.’
As Florence Mukunya, Career Advisor at Corporate Staffing Services points out, a cover letter’s importance in the application process can never be overlooked as best cover letters introduce you well to the employer especially when you are applying for communication related jobs.
“Employers will put much emphasis on the cover letter when it comes to some jobs that may be communication or administrative related. This is because they may need to look at your grammar or your language style when it comes to short listing” she says.
Where you decide to include a cover letter on your application, always ensure you make it the best by addressing all the above areas knowing that it is what the employer sees before they even visit your CV.
Agnes is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya. If you have any career related queries, contact Agnes@careerpointkenya.co.ke