By Lilian Wamaitha
You have probably applied for countless jobs but you are yet to get an interview.
According to Ms. Rebecca Karimi, a Professional CV writer, too many job seekers in Kenya stick to generic cover letters that hiring manager don’t care to read.
The cover letter as Ms. Karimi states, is your first contact with a hiring manager and so you need to make it stand out from the pile.
If you do it right, the recruiter will be inclined to go through your CV and you are in a better position of getting an interview invite.
That said, here are ways on how to write a cover letter that gets you interviews.
Tips On How To Write A Cover Letter
1. Avoid using a template
Nowadays you can easily just type in on Google, “Cover letter template” and get several ideas on how to write one. As much as this is an easy route, you should avoid it if you want to write a cover letter that is well tailored to the job market.
“Think of the person reading your cover letter. What do you want them to learn about you? Rather, how do you want to capture their attention?” says Ms. Karimi.
Think of a cover letter as a way of showing your skills and personality. You must make your case in such a way that the other applicants don’t have what you already have.
Using a template will limit your ability to be unique and you will find that you have what other candidates already have which is a real turn off.
2. Don’t duplicate your CV
When writing a cover letter, says Ms. Karimi, think about the job you are applying for and the company you are applying to. If you nail it in your cover letter, the hiring manager will be inclined to read your CV.
Therefore, don’t waste all your time duplicating what you have on your CV to your cover letter.
“A good cover letter lists projects you have already done explaining the lessons you picked from them and how it can apply to the job you are applying to,” explains Ms. Karimi.
3. Don’t just state the obvious
The reasons why so many cover letters in Kenya don’t work is because they are full of clichés and don’t communicate anything meaningful that hiring managers would find unique.
From a hard worker, energetic, able to work with minimal supervision to attention to details are clichés that you should drop here and now.
Everybody uses them and as a hiring manager I need to see something else that you are bringing to the table.
These meaningless platitudes just end up taking up space that you could have otherwise used to communicate something that could actually set you apart from the other candidates.
4. Do your research
Researching how to write a cover letter goes beyond the first page of Google results. Get a professional who knows more about writing cover letters and seek their counsel.
Get to know what you are supposed to include in your cover letter and what you should ditch.
The truth is, if you cannot be trusted with something as simple as researching how to write a cover letter, why would a hiring manger trust you with the running of a company?
5. Keep you focus on what you can offer
“When it comes to writing a cover letter, a lot of job seekers spend most of their time talking about why they would love to work for that particular company they are applying to,” says Ms. Karimi.
How many cover letters do you think Safaricom gets saying that “it has always been my dream working for Safaricom?” I bet countless.
You want to make it clear that you are looking forward to working with them but at the same time you want them to know that you are bringing something valuable.
At the end of the day, it’s not about your passion for working with Safaricom, PwC or Kenya Airways but about the value you will be adding to the team.
At the end of it all, when a company advertises a job, they are not doing it for charity. They are looking to fill a vacant position they consider very essential. You need to convince them in your cover letter that you are the right candidate for the job.
The Writer Is A Communications & Digital Marketing Officer at Career Point Kenya. Got any cover letter writing queries? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.