Job Application Advice

There are 3 important steps needed to develop a wining formula for finding jobs in Ghana.

1. Writing Effective Application Letters,

2. Developing Dynamic CVs, and

3. Mastering Strong Interview Skills

Normally, when companies have you fill out an application or send a resume, they will want you to also include a job application letter (also known as a cover letter).  The job application letter is one of the most important parts of your application, because it will give your potential employer a glimpse into why the company should hire you.  Here are some tips to help you write an effective job application letter.

Tip #1:  Research the Company - Before you even start typing that cover letter, you should research the company to which you are applying.  Why?  You need to be able to gear your letter toward showing the employer how you will fit in and make the company even better.  Your research will show that you understand the company, and you will be able to highlight the right qualifications on your job application letter.

Tip #2:  Type Your Letter - This should be a given, but many people still do not realize that the job application letter should be typewritten so it is easy to read.  The only handwritten part of the page should be your signature at the bottom.

Tip #3:  Avoid Exaggeration - When you land an interview, you will be asked to backup the statements you have made in your application letter and your CV. Don’t put yourself in an embarrassing situation where you can’t substantiate a claim.

Tip #4:  Use the Tools on Your Computer - Before you submit your job application letter, you need to do a spelling and grammar check.  Use the tools in your word processing program to create a job application letter that is error free.  Also, give it a once over without the computer check, as misspelled words are not always caught by your computer.

Tip #5:  Make it Personal - Your job application letter should be written in the first person, which means you should use the word throughout.  This is different from the resume.

Tip #6:  Keep It To the Point - Your job application letter should not be more than one page.  It should not be a dissertation of everything you have ever done. The job application letter is to highlight the important knowledge, accomplishments, and other things that will enhance the company.  Also, avoid stories or jokes.  They do not come across as professional, which is the image you want to put forth from your job application letter.

Tip #7: Don’t Play The Sympathy Card - These include statements like: ( As a young boy I lost my father. My schooling was delayed due to financial difficulties). Such personal and emotional statements should be avoided. No employer is interested in your personal problems. Playing the sympathy card will cost you a job.

Tip #8: Use the Right Format - Your job application letter should look like a letter, but it should only be three or four paragraphs long.  The first paragraph of your job application letter should contain the position you desire and where you found out about the job.  You should also include why you think the company needs your services.  The second paragraph of your job application letter should highlight your skills and accomplishments.  Only use knowledge and accomplishments that apply to the specific job.  You can do this by using the advertisement for the job and making connections between the qualifications and why you fit that need.  You can divide this section of your job application into two sections if you need to.  Finally, the third paragraph of your job application letter needs to ask for the interview.  Let the hiring manager know how he or she can reach you.  Be confident that the reader wants to interview you, but avoid arrogance.

When you take time to think about your job application letter, you will end up at the top of the list for the job.  A well written job application letter gives you a leg up on the competition and your foot in the door.

Source: Charles Fuchs.

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