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Four Frequently Asked Questions about Cover Letters

Updated on Dec 08, 2020 12376 views
Four Frequently Asked Questions about Cover Letters

A cover letter is a motivation letter that explains why you are sending the CV or Resume. It expands the information you have given in your CV. A well-written cover letter goes beyond your CV to take the reader on a journey through your personality, career goal, and achievements. Achieving a good cover letter could be challenging for many job seekers because of the loads of information about the cover letter they get exposed to.

The first step towards your job search could be very confusing, tiring and intimidating.  There are many information about what to do and what not to do, different sources of advice. Most times many job seekers don’t even know where to start from, and how to go about writing a cover letter, because of the numerous content on cover letter guide they get to see.

Considering the cover letter challenge faced by many job seekers, Myjobmag have decided to give answers to four most frequently asked cover letter questions.


Why Do I Need a Cover Letter?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Many job seekers just hear a lot about the cover letter, but do not know why it is important or why it is even needed in the first place. The truth is that a cover letter is as important as a CV.

You should always be conscious of the fact that the cover letter like the CV is a branding and marketing tool. Just like it is always awkward to go somewhere you have never been before unannounced, it is also inappropriate and necessary to always send a cover letter alongside your CV.

The cover letter expands the information that may not be in your CV to your prospective employer. Your cover letter presents your intentions, qualification, achievements, and availability to your prospective employer in a pleasing manner. Your cover letter is your first opportunity to express yourself, show what you are capable of doing and make a good impression on your prospective employer.

The reason why writing a CV is not just enough when searching for a job, is that apart from the core information that your CV gives about you like; education, places of employment, qualification etc., the cover letter goes ahead to impress the reader about your personality, achievements, and goals that may even put you ahead of other job seekers applying for the same job position.


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What Are The Common Cover Letter Mistakes?

When people write cover letters, they often make mistakes that might at the end cancel the essence of writing the cover letter in the first place. Most job seekers always ask questions about common cover letter mistakes, so they can avoid making such mistakes. When you are writing your cover letter, you should avoid following mistakes;

  • Inappropriate Introduction

The question here is “how do you start writing a cover letter”? Starting or introducing a cover letter is not something hard to do, but you should make sure your introduction is appropriate because that is what you are serving the prospective employer with first. It is wrong for you to start this way “My name is Peter” because your name is not the most important piece of information you should give, unless you are popular, starting this way can put the employer off.


Start with a relevant qualification, interest, and achievement as a means to introduce yourself. If you are a fresh graduate passionate about improving the health care system, you can introduce yourself as that. You can start like this “ I believe my current role would make me the perfect candidate because of my interest in healthcare, experience in consultation, and the enthusiasm for the work your team has done to make the healthcare industry more relevant”. 


  • Restating/Rephrasing your CV
    Making your cover letter a duplicate of your CV is one mistake you should avoid. The recruiter will definitely see your CV before or after your cover letter, so making another version of the same document would not pass any message to the employer.


    Focus on one or two of your works that shows what you can bring to the position. Try to build your cover letter around your interests and achievement,  that will help your employer already picture you in the position.
  • Wordiness

Generally, for Cover letters and resumes, it should not exceed a page, except you are applying for executive and managerial positions. Most recruiters won’t be interested in looking at any content beyond your first page.


You should always keep it concise and relevant to the job you are applying for.  You should always remember that you are not just trying to get as many words as possible on one page, but you are trying to get the attention of the employer.


  • Focus on Training

It is fine for you to mention or talk about your qualification, or training, but if the most relevant qualification you have is related to your education or training, you should not focus all your writings on it. What matters most to recruiters is your experience, your skill, what can you do on your first day at work? And not necessarily the courses or training you did.


You should focus the bulk of your cover letter on experiences. Even if the bulk of your experience focuses on your education, you should present it more as a task or project you worked on and job-related skills you gained.


  • Research

Writing a cover letter without conducting the necessary research about the company and even the position you are applying for is one sure mistake to be avoided. Having no idea about the position, the employer, and the company when writing your cover letter is having the “a-not-well-written” cover letter


You should always take out time to research the job advert and the company placing the advert before you write your cover letter. It helps you build your cover letter around what the employer looks forward to seeing in the prospective employee. It also shows that you are serious and interested.


What Should I Include in My Cover Letter?

This is a very good question because when employers pick up a cover letter, there are certain information they expect to see at a glance. So when you are writing your cover letter, be conscious of particular information that the employer looks out for.

At a glance, the first thing the employer wants to know is how you got to hear about the job posting. You should always include where you saw the job advert to your cover letter.

The next information to add to your cover letter is your qualification. You should be able to explain to the employer in your cover letter why you think you are qualified to do the job. Employers want to know what makes you stand out among other job seekers.

You should also mention why you are interested in the job. Employers look forward to having candidates who are not just qualified, but candidates that are willing and interested to succeed in that particular job.

Keep an affirmative tone, but also friendly and optimistic, it gives a strong impression of your personality. It portrays you bold, confident, passionate and friendly.


How Can I Make My Cover Letter Stand Out?

Making your cover letter stand out is a very important thing to do when searching for a job. The cover letter will make an employer want to read the resume. So if your cover letter is not good enough it will not even attract the employer to read your resume, and then you would have lost the chances of being invited for an interview.

Below are the tips to make your cover letter stand out;

  • Always keep it short

It is important to always keep your cover letter short. The essence of sending a cover letter alongside your CV is that the cover letter gives the specific reason why you should have the job. Then if you go ahead writing something very lengthy, you might end up repeating your CV.


  • Be clear about the job you are applying for

Most times companies place adverts for jobs with different positions, and all the applications will need to be sorted. If you do not indicate the position you are applying for, your application most likely might be discarded because nobody has the time to guess.


  • Research

It is very important to research the company you are applying to and find a way to illustrate this in your cover letter that you are a good candidate for the job. When referring to the company, don’t refer to the company as “your company”, you should refer to the name of the company, it makes the employer feel that you are already a part of the company.


  • Address it to the right person

Just like we said earlier, it is always important for you to research. Research about the recruiter's name and address the letter to the person directly instead of using general terms like "Dear Ma/Sir" it is better to direct the letter to the right person. If you cannot find relevant information about the recruiter, then it is better you use the position.

A well-written cover letter can put you ahead of other candidates in the job search competition. Take advantage of exclusive cover letter writing service to help you communicate your unique values and potentials to prospective employers. Since a well-written cover letter helps you move a step further in landing your dream job, then having a good one is important as a job seeker.

The secret to getting an interview invite is having a good cover letter and an amazing CV. Learn how to write an amazing and winning CV with our Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Winning CV.


Further Readings:



Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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