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What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a letter used in applying for a job position. It tells the employer your achievement(s) and how you can replicate same achievement in his firm if considered for the job. In fact, a cover letter allows you sell yourself to an employer, making him see what he stands to gain should he employ you. The major idea behind cover letters is to enable you seduce your would-be boss to see you as the best candidate. However, we have to be careful with our choice of words so we don't brag instead of selling our skills. We have three major types of cover letters and they all play different roles:
Speculative or cold calling cover letters
Cover letters in response to job adverts
Cover letters with names dropping.
Now, we send speculative or cold calling cover letters to firms we are not sure have vacancies but we want to work there. You send such cover letters and then send a follow-up letter three weeks later. The idea is to put yourself in the eyes of the employer.
Cover letters response to job adverts have taken over application letters. It is written to woo an employer that you are the right candidate for the job. Here, you look at the skills they need the candidate to have and tell the employer you can do it. You also tell the employer problems you've solved in the past. It could be when you made your students do well in WAEC during your Youth Service year or when you made a good sales for your former/present firm. Even your social media skills can be brought in by telling your employer that you would use it to project the firm to people.
Cover letters with name dropping is used when you are recommended by someone to a company. On the letter, you will need to state who recommended you and address the letter to the particular person you were told to write. It takes the form of speculative cover letter but only has names stated on it. So in a nutshell, cover letters are to make you sell your skills, so give the employer your best shot.