• Landing your dream job requires that you stand out amidst all the numerous job applicants.
  • To do this, you need to have a great and compelling cover letter. This is where Business Insider sub-Saharan Africa comes in. 
  • Below is a step-to-step guide to help you craft an eye-catching cover letter.

Resumes and CVs are great but cover letters are even better at increasing your chances of getting hired.

While the former simply states important facts concerning your work experience, skills and credentials, cover letters help give convey more personality.

CVs and resumes are great but cover letters are better at increasing your chances of getting hired.
CVs and resumes are great but cover letters are better at increasing your chances of getting hired.

As the first introduction to your potential employer, a cover letter gives you the opportunity to show why you are the ideal candidate for the job.

Having said that, here are the three important things you need to craft a memorable, unique cover letter for any job you apply to:

Address it to a specific person

Starting with “To whom it may concern” is boring and unoriginal. It also shows that you could not be bothered to take time to personalise your letter. Who wants to hire someone who is not detail-oriented?

Instead, address your letter to either the hiring manager or department head. Make it as specific as possible. This lets them know you did your homework and shows that you are really interested in the job.

Avoid 'Dear Ma/Sir and the likes. Always address your cover letter to a potential employer
Avoid 'Dear Ma/Sir and the likes. Always address your cover letter to a potential employer
BusinessInsider

ALSO READ: These are the 3 important soft skills you need to remain relevant in the workplace

Go straight to the point

According to Linda Spencer, associate director and coordinator of career advising at Harvard Extension School, It takes the average employer about seven seconds to review these documents.

"They’re not reading, they’re skimming. So you need to make it clear right off the bat how you can add value.”

After stating the position you’re applying for, draw your potential employer by letting them your skills and how they match the job requirements.

Avoid simply stating your years of experience and use a story or an interesting tidbit that relates to the specific role you are applying for.

Go straight to the point when you are writing your cover letter
Go straight to the point when you are writing your cover letter

The point is for you to tell the reader why you qualify for the job and how you intend to add value to the organization. It is not enough to say you are a ‘problem-solver.’

Stand out from the rest of the problem solvers by using certain examples to show you have solved specific problems.

Highlight your reasons for wanting to be hired

To state your reasons for wanting to join a company, you need to carry out some research on the company and its mission.

Once you have done your homework, you can align your specific core values with the company and its mission.

Tell your potential employer why you want to work for them (The Conversation)
Tell your potential employer why you want to work for them (The Conversation)

After following these three steps, bring it all together by with a great closing line that reiterates your interest in the role, appreciates the reader for his or her consideration and lets them know you look forward to hearing back from them.