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How to write a good application letter so that you will get noticedHow to write a good application letter is not only about the words you choose. It is also about the number of words and how you present these words. That is why Afritrada.com is giving you some simple guidelines in order to present a successful application for the jobs in Africa you always wanted.
Before writing the letter please ensure that:• You are qualified for the job; it is no use applying for a job as an accountant if you have no diploma, certificates and / or experience in that field.
• You match (most of the requirements); if for instance the vacancy indicates that they are searching for someone with at least 10 years of experience, don’t apply when you are fresh out of school.
• Your resume (also known as CV) is up to date and can be send with your application letter. Tips on how to make your resume can be found in the next chapter.
• If other documents are required to submit with your application, make sure you have them available.
• Let someone else read your letter before you send it off, there might be a silly mistake in it that if spotted by your potential future employer will mean you won’t stand a chance.
What should your application letter look like?To maximize your changes for an interview or to get the job you're applying for, it's a smart thing to follow the protocols to make a good application letter. Your letter to find jobs in Africa should start with:
Day, Month, Year
Mr/ Mrs/Ms FirstName LastName (if provided in the vacancy announcement, otherwise leave out)
Name of Organization
Street or P. O. Box Address
Dear Sirs, (in case there is to name provided who to apply to)
Dear Mr etc ( if the name is provided in the vacancy announcement)
Opening paragraph:State what position you are applying to; how you learned of the organization or position (newspaper, somebody told you, website), and basic information or qualifications about yourself. (this should be short, as all the details are in your resume)
2nd paragraph:Tell why you are interested in the employer or type of work the employer does (By just saying I am interested in the job, you will not get noticed). Show that you know the company and by using your own background establish a relationship between the company and yourself. (for instance, I am having my account at your bank and I am always satisfied with the service I get from your staff when making transactions). Mention specific qualifications which make you a good fit for the employer's needs. This is an opportunity to explain in more detail relevant items in your resume. (for instance, during my years in college I was elected head-girl after showing leadership in school activities). Refer to the fact that your resume is enclosed. Mention other enclosures if such are required to apply for a position.
3rd paragraph:Say that you would like to have the opportunity to present yourself during an interview and to learn about the opportunities they offer. In one good sentence state again why you want to have this job. Also mention that you are available at any time to provide additional information. Should you have a LinkedIn profile you can refer them to your LinkedIn profile for further information.
Thank the employer for their considerationSincerely, (Your handwritten signature) Your name typed
How to make a resume that is clear and really shows who you are?There are many templates for resumes. It is difficult to state which template is the best, but find below one that we think will impress many employers.
A few general guidelines:• Ensure that only the relevant information for the job you are applying for is included in the resume (or is highlighted). For instance for a job in a hotel put more attention to your work experience in a restaurant or in the service industry and for a job in an office put more attention to your experience working at a bank.
• The best resumes are no longer than 2 pages, so if you had a lot of jobs that were you were only employed for a short period then either summarise them or only list those relevant for the job you are applying to. Same applies for education. It is good to know that you did a class in graphic designing but when apply for a job as a waiter that is not relevant.
• Ensure the information in your resume matches the information in your application letter and (if you have) your LinkedIn account.
Your nameAddress, telephone number, email Date of birth, gender, marital status You may want to add a passport picture of yourself
Career Objective:Here you write what your objectives are in your professional career. For instance, to excel in my area of competence and to be a role model for my co-workers and to ensure that the job is done in the time set for it by ensuring that I am punctual, accurate and provide clear information.
Summary of Qualifications:Here you state in a few sentences who you as a professional. For instance, an open and well-spoken individual with a hands-on professional mentality to achieve success. A strong background in accounting in both the private and the public sector with experience using various accounting programs. Major strengths include excellent communication skills, attention to detail with checking and double checking, respect for others and eager to learn.
Professional Accomplishments: (limit it to max 6)• Here you list your accomplishments item by item but not in a static way. Limited it to 5 points.
• For instance, created a daily briefing protocol to enable a smooth hand over between the shifts.
• Provided support to the Human Resource Manager in setting up a new pay roll system.
• Successfully liaised with suppliers to improve their on-time delivery by offering them prompt payments. By doing so we reduced the amount of stock we needed to keep and as such we could reduce our costs.
Work History: (start with your current position)• Team leader debtors, EcoBank, Gambia 2015 - present
• Accounts clerk, Trust bank, Gambia: 2012-2015
• Bank teller, Trust bank, Gambia, 2010 - 2012
• Cashier, Palm Beach Hotel Gambia, 2009 - 2010
• Waiter, Badala Park Hotel, Gambia 2008
Education (most recent on top)• Certificate in accounting 2, 2012
• Certificate in accounting 1, 2010
• St Johns secondary school, 2008
Other useful information:• Here you can list other achievements or points of interest that could be useful to know for your future employer
• For instance: volunteer at The Gambia Red Cross, 2009 – present
We hope that our Jobs in Africa service will be helpful for all our visitors.
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