It determines whether your resume is reviewed or ignored so having a good one is always a plus.
It normally highlights your qualifications without duplicating the C.V and also gives the reasons why you think you are applying for the job.
It should be precise.
Guidelines on how to write one:
- Make sure you address the specific job you are applying for in your letter by reading the job advert carefully and getting the details.
- Choose the format for your address, write it either as a heading or at the right hand side of the page as in formal letters. Write the date below the address. Skip three to four lines and write the address of the company you are writing to.
- Give your cover letter a strong introduction statement stating why you should get the job and where you saw the advert. This could make your first paragraph.
- Highlight your qualifications and strengths and your former position and education. Mention about your specific responsibilities you had in your previous job. In your letter you could mention what you would do for the company if the job were given. These details will make the body of your letter. You could write well in simple language that could be easily understood and try to be honest remembering you are selling yourself to the employers.
- Summarize the letter by stating where and when you will be available for an interview. Affirm them that you are the right candidate for the job this shows you believe in yourself.
- Close the letter by using “yours faithfully” if your letter is generally addressed like (dear sir / madam) or “yours sincerely” if the letter is addressed to a specific person. Skip 3 – 4 lines and type your full name, print the letter and write your signature in between the closing and your name.
- Do not handwrite your application letter unless it is requested ,
- Use the best format in your cover letter to make it an outstanding one because it is the first contact the employer has.
Below is a sample;
George Ohola Odongo,
P.o box 7125 – 00100,
May 20, 2004.
Human Resource Office,
Dear sir / madam,
RE: Application for the post of a chauffeur (CDC), – FSN – 1015-3, FP-BB.
I wish to submit my application for the above mentioned post.
I am a Kenyan male aged 46 years old and hold an `A` level certificate of education … I am qualified driver with a clean driving license class A,B,C,E .
I have more than 20 years working experience as a driver. My last job I worked for the United Nations Development Programmed (UNDP) / Global Environmental Facility (GEF) East Africa Cross Border Biodiversity. This was a five year project, which came to an end in September 2003
I believe I am the kind of person you are looking for and given an opportunity, I promise to work hard to do the best.
George Ohola Odongo