We’re already in the second week of November, and now more than ever, it feels like the year is coming to an end. If you just joined the job market this year or you’ve recently lost a job because of COVID, then things are probably not going as well as you would like. Searching for a job can be tough, and at times it can get you down. But you can’t quit. You need to keep trying until you finally land that dream position.
So, we’re back at this. Let’s Get You Hired has got some more tips to get you get through your job search this week. Today’s tips come from a name that we all know and have laughed to; Kwaku Sintim-Misa. KSM takes us through some tips to make sure that you stand out from other candidates when you apply for a job. In order to do stand out, there are three things that you need according to him.
Those three things are an Effective Application Letter, a Dynamic CV, and Interview Skills. We are going to focus on the first of the three which is an effective application letter. The application letter is a document that isn’t always asked for when you apply for a job, however, it is still a very essential document that can decide whether you end up getting the job or not.
So how do you go about creating an effective application letter, which should be one that forces a hiring manager to take a look at your CV.
You Need To Keep It Short – It Shouldn’t Be More Than One Page
When you’re writing an application letter, you have to consider that you’re not the only person who is writing one. The hiring manager going to read your letter will have to go through dozens of other applications. One thing you don’t want to do is create more work for that person. You want to keep your application short and concise. The key to a readable application letter is brevity. That means you should put as much value into as little content as possible.
KSM recommends that any application letter you write be kept to a maximum of one page. Anything more that might not even get read no matter how good the actual content of the letter is.
Your Letter Should Have The Right Details
Another key thing that an effective application letter should have is specificity. Whenever a job advert is posted, there are several descriptives (skills and qualifications) that are posted alongside the name of the position that is being filled. Those details are meant to tell candidates the exact qualities and skills that an employer is looking for.
When you’re writing your application letter, the job advert itself should give you hints as to what to put in your letter. Take keywords from those job descriptions and use them in your own application letter. That shows your compatibility for the role, and also that you have what an employer is looking for.
Your Application Letter Should Be Relevant
Finally, the last thing that you want your application letter to touch on when you’re applying for a role is the fact that your experience, skills and education are relevant to the position that you’re applying for. You need to convince a hiring manager that the things you have worked on previously are relevant to the role that you’re applying for.
KSM’s rule for writing application letters is sticking to a letter under one page. Ideally, you should have about four paragraphs (or as KSM himself likes to call them; power paragraphs). Your first paragraph should be an introduction: you just mention who you are, and state the position that you’re applying for.
The second paragraph should go directly to why you are applying for the position. That means that you state your relevant education, and your skills and experiences that make you the right candidate for the job.
Your third paragraph indicates that you have an understanding of the position that you’re applying for. It also covers how relevant your background is for that position. The final paragraph of your application letter should just be a paragraph with thanks and expectations. You tell the hiring manager that you’re hoping to hear back, and also refer to your CV which should be attached in the same email.
Let’s Get You Hired is a weekly manual for job seekers. The series contains guides and tips on CVs, Interviews and other resources to get you hired.
Source: Kwaku Sintim-Misa