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By Lilian Wamaitha
You have probably applied for countless jobs but you are yet to get an interview invite.
According to Rebecca Karimi, a professional CV writer at Corporate Staffing Services too many job seekers in Kenya stick to generic cover letters that hiring managers don’t care to read.
Just like a CV, a cover letter is an elimination document. It determines if at all the employer gets to even go through your CV.
In real sense the cover letter holds more weight than even your CV.
I mean you may have the most professionally written CV but as an employer if I don’t get a sense of why I should give you a job in that cover letter, best believe you are not getting it.
That said, here are three very important things that should never miss in your cover letter.
1. A proof that you have done your homework
Whenever an employer opens your cover letter, all they are looking for is to see that you understand very well what you are getting yourself into.
They want to see that you understand the job as well as the company. It’s not all about you but them.
Don’t be afraid to massage their ego. At the end of the day, we all want to be appreciated, we want someone who believes in our visions and that’s the attitude you should have when crafting your cover letter.
At this stage impress your potential employer by acknowledging major successes they have achieved as a company and explaining how that success relates to the team you are looking to join.
For instance, a great statement would look something like this;
I am impressed by the strides you have made in the banking industry by being the only bank that offers automatic loan transfers (as featured in XYZ magazine) and I would love the opportunity to be a part of that marvelous work you are doing.
2. Show how your skills and experience relate to the job
Like I always say, a cover letter is not a duplicate of your CV.
Most job seekers make the mistake of taking everything from the CV and pasting it on the cover letter. I mean if it were that simple, employers would not bother asking for a cover letter.
They are looking to get to know you more. You can only fit so much in a CV and that’s the gap that the cover letter comes to fill.
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 Rebecca.
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 on board.
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.
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3. Your excitement for the position
Think about that job you are applying for. Imagine that you’ve already gotten the position. How would you feel? Excited, pumped, out of this world, right?
Now harness that same energy and put it in writing.
For instance, if you are looking for a digital marketing position you can say something like “Ever since I enrolled for my communication degree, I’ve always been interested in all the complexities of the digital world and becoming a brand story teller. Digital marketing is not only my career, but my passion in the long run which is why I hope that you will consider me for this amazing role in your company.”
As you can see this appeals to the emotions of the employer They already have an idea of the kind of person who will be joining the team. They will be confident to take you up since you don’t just want the job because of the money but are excited to be pursuing your passion.
Remember, the recruiter has limited time to go through all the application, so don’t bore them with the obvious. Give them something to make them curious to want to meet you.
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. And so you need to convince them in your cover letter that you are the right candidate for the job.
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The writer is a Communication Officer at Corporate Staffing Services. For enquiries and advice, send an email to lilian@corporatestaffing.co.ke.