In most cases when you apply for a job, you may also need to send a cover letter in addition to your CV. While CV usually summarise your details, the cover letter allows you introduce yourself and your unique selling points to the prospective employer. The cover letter should be persuasive in explaining to the employer why you are the best for the job.

One obvious reason why you need a cover letter is that, it increases your chance of being invited for interview. A well written cover letter tends to attract employers attention, it gives you the opportunity to explain what you cannot explain in your CV. i.e. your availability to start work immediately.

Things to do

  • The cover should be concise, not more than a page or A4 paper.

  • Start by including your address and the employer address at the top.

  • If you know the name of the person recruiting, address them directly. For example, if their name is Olu. Address the cover letter as Dear Olu instead dear sir/ma.

  • You should start by explaining the purpose of the letter. For example;

I am writing as part of my application for the position of Shoot Edit with the BBC

  • The next paragraph should explain your skills and how they match the role you are applying for. For example;

I am a recent University graduate with majors in mass communication, during my studies I have learnt how to assimilate information, communicate with clarity and empathy, and work as part of a team. Additionally, I have learnt and mastered journalistic skills including the ability to write a news story, conduct an interview and put together a feature.

  • Explain your work experience and how it satisfies the job requirements. For example;

As part of my studies, I worked at the Sky news studio for one year student placement. I handled cameras; both still and video. I edited images and videos for news production using software. I prepared news content and on some occasion I broadcasted news. My work was appreciated when I won the best student worker. My experience makes me suitable for the job in your organisation.

  • Explain why you want to work with the company. For example;

The opportunity to join the BBC, the most creative media organisation in the world will be a privilege and an opportunity to develop and progress my career.”

  • The closing paragraph should explain additional information like your availability, ongoing training relevant to the position you’re applying for and any other things deemed necessary and relevant but keep it simple. Finish by stating that you look forward to their response.

  • Generally, you should sign off with yours faithfully. However, if you address a contact (for example Dear Olu), then you should sign off with yours sincerely.

  • Proof read and check for spelling or grammatical errors.

CV writing - Be Job Ready

Things to avoid

  • Never repeat the information in your CV, you can elaborate though.

  • Do not include irrelevant information.

  • Don’t attach cover letter if you are sending by email.

  • Don’t write more than a page.

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