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Cover Letter

What is Cover Letter.
According to Yale, Martin John(2004) on his book "Cover letter that Knock 'em dead". He defined cover letter as a letter of introduction attached to or accompanying another document such as a resume or a curriculum vitae.

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Job seekers frequently send a cover letter along with their curriculum vitae or resume for applications of employment as a way of introducing themselves to potential employers and explaining their suitability for the desired positions.

Employers may look for individualized and thoughtfully written cover letters as one method of screening out applicants who are not sufficiently interested in their positions and/or lack the necessary basic skills.

If you are struggling to write a cover letter that will catch an employer's attention? We've got tips to help you show your best self—and a sample you can use to get started.

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The cover letter is one of the strongest tools in your job application, it can strengthen a weak cirriculum vitae, distinguish you from boring job applicants, and help you make a connection with the hiring boss that would otherwise be impossible.

It is your chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect candidate for the particular job vacancy and how your skills, experience and expertise can add value and make changes to the company or institution.

The letter should be professional but personable, and serve as a sort of introduction. So here we provide you with the guide that will teach you how to write an effective cover letter

What to Include in Your Cover Letter?

To begin with, make sure that your cover letter isn't boring.
  • Take some time to write a unique, engaging cover letter that shows not only your qualifications but also your personality.
  • Go beyond some of the clich├ęd, formulaic language found in many letters. If you make your personality stand out in your letter, the hiring manager will more likely give your application a second look.
  • But make sure you remain professional, and focus on what makes you an ideal candidate. Find the right balance between showing your personality and being professional in your cover letter, and you will be on your way to a job interview.

Basic Elements of a Cover Letter.

The perfect cover letter is composed of the following elements:

1. Your Address.

Your personal address should be the first thing you write on your letter, write your full name, address, date and mobile phone number on the top right hand side of the page.

The date is usually located below the address. The most common way to write the date includes the month, day and year, Example:

15 July 2010
July 15, 2010
15/07/2010.

Julius Benjamin Joel,
P.O BOX ****,
Dar es salaam,
Tanzania,
15 JULY 2010.

+25* 7** *** ***.

2. Employer's Address.

The employer's address should be written on the left, starting below your address. Start with recipient's position/title (ie. HR Officer).

Below the position, write the company name and the address.

If you do not know the recipient’s title, do some background research or call the company to find out.

Human Resources Officer,
President's Office - PSRS
Government City Mtumba,
Utumishi street,
P.O. BOX 670,
Dodoma,
Tanzania.

3. Personalized greeting / salutation and Heading.

Start with:

[Prof/Dr./Mr./Ms. Last Name.]

If you are unsure if your contact is male or female, you can write out their full name.

If you do not know the employer's name, simply write, 

Dear [Sir/Madam], (never say “To Whom it May Concern”).

Always use a woman’s preference

(Mrs. Ms., Miss or Dr.)

If you do not know a woman’s preference, use

Ms.

which is for married and single women.

Dear Sir/Madam,
Re: Application For ******* Position at ********.

4. Killer opening.

Open your letter with a self-introduction, by stating what job you are applying for, explain where you heard about the job. 

Briefly mention that you think your skills and experience match the company and/or position; this will give the employer a preview of the rest of your letter.

Your goal in the introduction is to get the reader's attention.


I am writing to express my interest in securing a ***** position at ******. In response to the advertisement posted on Ajiramax website on July 15, 2010. The position appears to fit very well with my education and career interests
OR
I'm writing to apply for the position of ***** for [company name], as advertised on Ajiramax website. I have three years of experience as ****** for [company name], and I believe I am ready to move up to the manager position.

5. Powerful body content.

In this paragraph you should respond to the job description shown in the advertisement.

Explain how your previous job experiences, skills and abilities will allow you to meet the company's needs.

Do not simply restate your cirriculum vitae, but provide specific examples that demonstrate your abilities.

During my time as ****** at [company name], I have been afforded the unique opportunity to work with ********. These projects have allowed me to drastically expand my ***** capabilities as well as my personal skills.

6. Strong call to action.

The call to action portion of your cover letter. Inform the hiring manager you would  love to get interviewed.

Give them your contact information " Email and Phone number". Thank them for spending the time to read your cover letter.

I would appreciate the opportunity to get interviewed with the ****** for ***** position. Please find the attached copy of my curriculum vitae for your review. I can be reached via my email at [email protected] or through my mobile phone at +25* 7** *****. I enthusiastically look forward to hear from you soon.

7. Closing & Signature.

And lastly,  close with your siginature. Choose a complimentary closing that is friendly yet formal Example: 

Sincerely, Regards, Thank You, Best, Thank You for Your Consideration, etc 

followed by sign and then your first and last name.

Sincerely,

"    signature   "

Julius Mwinyi

Example of Cover letters

Here is an example of cover letter, Sample will give you an idea of what information to include in your cover letter and how to format it.

Never copy and paste a sample cover letter, modify it to fit your specific skills and experiences to target the specific job that you are appliying.

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