A step-by-step guide and tips on how to write a cover letter and resume

how to write a cover letter and resume

Here is a simple step-by-step guide and tips on how to write a cover letter.

A cover letter should be a single-page letter that you include with your job application. The thing is, you can always include one unless the job advertisement clearly says you shouldn't. Always remember to keep it short because it should be a summary and not your autobiography.

1. Follow The Rules of Formal Business Letters. 

Your cover letter should include: 

 i. Your name - Your phone number

ii. Your email address

iii. The date of the letter

iv. The name of the hiring manager and their title

v. The name of the company you are applying to.

2. Introduce yourself and the purpose of your letter.

It can be as simple as: 
Dear. Ms. Amaka, 
I am writing to apply for the position of Twitter Manager for XYZ as advertised on your LinkedIn page. I have X years of experience and believe my skills & experience are a good fit.

3. Review the Job Responsibilities & Qualification:

The truth is, the most important requirements for a job opening are usually listed in the job description, or highlighted more than once. What you do here is align your skills, competencies & qualifications with the responsibilities.

Simple example, As a data analyst with 3+ years of experience, I am excited by the idea of working at XYZ as a Senior Data Analyst. In my previous roles, I have displayed exceptional computing & mathematics skills as I am fluent in several data management systems and software. 

Ensure you list as many skills and references about the job as possible. A short bullet list is fine if you do not know how to structure it into a sentence. But make sure what you have listed corresponds to 90% of the job responsibilities.

4. Sell yourself:

You have to let them know why you are right for the job. Don't make the mistake of mentioning your skills and competencies without indicating why you are the best fit for the job.

Simple Examples: - My ability to get along as well as my profound experience in solving complex problems will make me ideally suited for this job. - I am passionate about XYZ mission and would love to bring my XYZ skills (list the skills) to this role.

In addition to this, you can list your achievements as they relate to the job. Simple examples: - Increased company sales by 120% which amounts to $900M in Q2 - Trained 25 employees in my role on new company models Ensure they align with the job opening and let it be short.

5. Conclude your letter and ask them to contact you:

The conclusion can be as simple as:

If you are searching for a competent project manager who has the drive to meet company goals effectively, we should speak. You may contact me at +1 (222) 555-9987 or xyz@gmail.com.

Here's a Recap: 

- Heading (Address and Who you are addressing to)

- Salutation

- Opening Paragraph (Who you are)

- 2nd Paragraph (Your skills and Qualifications)

- 3rd Paragraph (Sell yourself and why you are fit)

- Closing Paragraph (Ask them to contact you) - Indicate any attachment. 

What you shouldn't have on a cover letter:

1. Spelling/Grammar Errors

2. Information Not Related to the Job

3. Negative Comments about your past/current employer

4. Very long paragraphs

5. Wrong Name of the Contact Person

6. Qualifications You Don’t Have

7. Personal information.

In many cases, your cover letter can make the difference between getting selected for an interview or not. Hence, it is a good opportunity and avenue to sell your skills, competencies, and qualifications to the hiring manager. All the best.       

Sites for Resume:
- Smart Cover Letter 
- Resumizer
- Kickresume
- Zety 
- HumanSquad
- Live Career

Top 10 Things to leave out of your resume:

- Long paragraphs without bullets: 
 You know a resume isn't a cover letter. Make it precise and brief. No one is interested in your stories.

- Starting phrases with I:
  Start with skill, action, and accomplishment words and not with 'I'.

- Why you left your previous employers: This is a total no-no. 

- Misspellings or grammatical errors 

- Irrelevant experiences 

- Photographs (if your location doesn’t need it) 

- Weak assertions about academic achievements 

- Inappropriate Email Address - Personal Belief

Bonus Tips:

Top 10 Hard Skills Companies Need Most In no particular order: 

- UX Design
- Artificial Intelligence 
- Translation 
- Audio Production 
- Cloud Computing 
- Mobile Application Development 
- Analytical Reasoning 
- Cyber Security 
- Sales Leadership 
- Game Development 


Bonus tips 2:

As a result of their: 

Here are some great FONTS to use on your Resume:

- Cambria 
- Calibri 
- Didot 
- Georgia 
- Garamond 
- Helvetica 
- Arial 
- Book Antiqua 
- Candara 
- Serif 
- Tahoma 

***Please stay away from 'cartoonish' fonts.

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