In Nigeria, A cover letter is typically submitted with a resume to an employer and concisely explains why you’re the best fit for the vacant job position/opening. It’s a vital component to the job search process in Nigeria; most job employers may consider cover letters the critical element in their interview decision.
Cvclue helps you perfect your document with in-depth cover letter writing tips. Find this and additional cover letter resources to create a meaningful connection and improve your chances of landing an interview for your desired job.
Why a cover letter is vital for job search in Nigeria
In this era of high unemployment rate, a cover letter is the best way for you to show the job employers how your skills and experience are a unique fit to an vacant job role and it differentiates you from the other job applications piled on their desk. A professional cover letter also provides an opportunity to highlight your personality and further highlight the skills listed in your resume/CV.
The cover letter may be an optional document in a job application, but it never hurts your chances to submit your letter with every resume.
MAJOR COMPONENTS OF A COVER LETTER
Your cover letter heading lets you provide your name (starting with your surname), your location and greet the employer with a professional greeting. Research have shown that a hiring bias exist against job applicants with a longer opening. In drafting a professional cover letter, unprofessional email addresses (e.g bigdog1@) should be avoided. Nicknames and clever email address scream out unprofessionalism in your cover letter. A professional email address and accurate contact information sets the tone for a future interview. Ignore this and you’re unlikely to get that call for an interview
Below is an example
If possible, it’s best to personalize the greeting of your cover letter. Sometimes you can find the name of the employer in the job posting, or a quick Google search of the company you are applying to can sometimes reveal the hiring or human resource manager’s name.
DO NOT use "To Whom It May Concern,” opening if you cannot find a name, which is often seen as employers as being a generic greeting and demonstrates a lack of effort for job seekers. The following headings can be used instead:
Dear Hiring Manager
Dear Recruiting Manager
Dear Hiring Committee
Dear Human Resources Representative
- STARTING YOUR COVER LETTER
The first paragraph of a job getting cover letter should be all about introducing yourself briefly. The first paragraph of a standard cover letter allows you to provide your name again and express your interest in the vacant job position advertised. This can be done by taking traditional or professional approach of explaining how your work experience aligns with or suits the vacant job needs or why this opportunity stands out to you over other jobs OR the more creative approach by writing a memorable opening line. Tread carefully when using the creative route, though, because you don’t want it to sound forced or fake. If you don’t feel comfortable, there’s nothing wrong with writing a traditional approach in writing your introduction.
Below is an example of a traditional opening introduction
Dear Ms. XYZ,
I would like to express my interest in the teaching job recently posted on ABC School Career Service’s website.
OR A MORE CREATIVE LINE APPROACH
Dear Hiring Manager,
As an experienced Accountant with over four years of working experience, I am eager to apply my strong accounting background, expertise, and organizational skills to the position of Accountant at Company XYZ
The second paragraph entails aligning the job needs to your working experience. This section of the cover letter allows you highlight one or two career accomplishments that help demonstrate your qualifications for the job and how they fit into the job responsibilities you’re applying to. It’s important to write separate cover letters for each position you apply to, this is because every job is unique, and each cover letter is expected to highlight aspects from your work experience that align with this particular role so as to brighten your chances.
The information in the job posting can be of immense benefit in writing this section. Usually, employers lists the characteristics they’re looking for, and you can take that language and apply it to your professional experience.
Below is an example of a traditional second paragraph of a professional cover letter
“In my most recent teaching position at ABC School, I developed highly effective lesson plans/module, motivational exercises, and performance assessments for students which has improved their academic performance. I've also helped improve students reading habits, and have received positive feedback from parents and fellow teachers alike for my unique abilities in the classroom. My teaching style demonstrates dedication to fostering a positive learning environment to all students and maximizing individual student performance. Of all my accomplishments in teaching, the accomplishment I'm most proud of in my teaching career is increasing the number of students taking Chemistry.”
The third paragraph is basically about making the cultural connection. If you can, look up the company’s mission statement and explain how your experience matches up with it and how you might fit into the company’s culture and core objectives. You can also talk about your interests and how they’re essential for this job opening.
Use this golden opportunity to make a personal connection with the company recruiter/ hiring manager by explaining how their mission statement aligns with your core values.
Below is an example of a traditional Third paragraph of a professional cover letter
“In addition to my professional experience in teaching, I hold a Bachelor's Degree from University of AAA.I am also honest, goal driven and hungry for success in the discharge of my duties. I am confident that my combination of talent and ambition would be a valuable asset to ABC school.”
The final paragraph is all about keeping the lines of communication open for future communication. Two things should be your target in this paragraph: Thank the hiring manager/employer for taking the time to review your cover letter and resume and let them know your availability in the event they decide to contact you in the future.
Below is an example of a traditional Final paragraph of a professional cover letter
"I'd be thrilled for the opportunity to speak with you further. Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.”