Probably you are a school leaver looking for a job, or you are already working and seeking greener pastures. With a large population of Nigerians seeking job opportunities, you must be able to write a competent application letter. That will make you stand out and convince your prospective employer that you are the right one for the job. Learning how to write an application letter in Nigeria can save you a lot and land you your dream job. Amoo Abdulrazaq Abioye, an experienced resume expert and freelance writer with over a decade of experience, provides insights on crafting a successful application letter.
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A job application letter is an essential part of the recruitment process. It is the first and most important document that employers will review when considering you for a job opportunity. Standard writing is essential, whether you submit the application letter in soft or hard copy. Here you will learn how to write a competent application letter in Nigeria.
How to write an application letter in Nigeria
Among the skills to master when writing a letter of application in Nigeria is formatting. Proper formatting ensures that your letter is up to standards and the recipient can easily read it.
Amoo Abdulrazaq Abioye, a seasoned resume expert and freelance writer, shared with Legit.ng the essential components required to compose a compelling and attention-grabbing application letter. He said:
Research the company you are sending the application to. When you've all the details about the copy and the position you are sending the application for, this will give you an edge over another applicant because you will have a strong opening.
Abioye's go-to step-by-step list includes:
- Strong Opening: The only way to grab the attention of HR (Human Resource) is to categorically state why the company will benefit from you and why your goal aligns with the company mission and vision statement. You can include some achievements from your previous companies in the opening, but make it concise.
- The secondary paragraph should be your Uniqive Value Proposition (UVP); you have to showcase your skills here and how you can help the company better.
- Brief and Concise: Don't use ambiguous words; make it clear and concise; your application letter read time should not be more than a minute. In contrast, the company can also see the value you are bringing.
- Call to action: This is where most of us refer them back to resumes for more information and let them know you are available to answer any questions.
Application letter format in Nigeria should include the following:
- Your contact details
- The recipient's contact details
- A salutation
- A subject line
- An introduction
- Body paragraphs
- A conclusion
- A sign-off
Check out some key points you must pay attention to as you learn how to write a job application letter in Nigeria.
Your contact details
When writing your contact details in an application letter, it is essential to include the following:
- Address: Include the full address of your current residence. This information should include the street name, city, state, and postal code.
- Phone number: Include a valid phone number where the recipient can easily reach you.
- Email address: Include an up-to-date email address that is professional and appropriate.
- A link to your website or professional social media profiles: This is an excellent way to provide employers with additional information about yourself and your skills.
N/B: You should write these contact details at the top right corner of your application letter.
The recipient's contact details
The contact details typically include the following:
- The name and job title
- Company address
- Email address
- Phone number
It is recommendable to address your application letter to a specific individual. Addressing it to a particular individual gives the recipient an immediate personal connection and increases their chances of reading your letter.
You should write a friendly and professional salutation. If possible, address the hiring manager or recruiter by name. If it's impossible to address them by name, use a generic title like "Hiring Manager" or "Human Resources Professional."
Avoid overly casual language like "Hey" or "What's up?" in the salutation.
The subject line for an application letter should be brief but informative. A good subject line should meet the following standards:
- The subject line should convey the letter's purpose and provide just enough information so that the recipient knows what the letter is about.
- It should be clear, concise, and direct so that the reader will be interested in reading it.
- It should include a relevant keyword or phrase related to the job and your qualifications so you can stand out from other applicants.
- You should be creative and use language that will grab the recipient's attention.
The introduction of an application letter should capture the reader's attention and provide a brief overview of why you are writing. It should include a few lines stating who you are and why you are writing. Express your enthusiasm for the position or opportunity, as this can set you apart from other applicants.
The body paragraphs should include strong action words and emphasize your qualifications. Here's how you do it:
- Start by introducing yourself, your skills, and how you are the perfect fit for the job.
- Explain why your qualifications make you well-suited for this position and highlight any awards or achievements you have.
- Provide evidence and examples of how you've displayed these traits in the past.
- End the body paragraph by expressing your enthusiasm for the position and how you plan to use your skills to achieve success in this role.
Ensure each body paragraph is concise and to the point. That will show the reader that you understand the position and why you're the right person for the job.
The conclusion of your application letter should be strong and clear, and that is because it is the last impression you are leaving with the reader. It is important to reiterate your enthusiasm and interest in the role and give thanks for their advance consideration.
You should also include a call to action, such as asking the employer to contact you for an interview. Mention how much you look forward to hearing from them and what makes you an ideal candidate.
Use a formal sign-off to leave a good impression. Here are some key points to take note of.
- Nigeria's standard sign-off for an application letter is "Yours faithfully."
- That should be followed by your signature and then your full name, written in capital letters.
- If you know the recipient's name, you can use a more personalized sign-off such as "Yours sincerely."
- Sign-offs should always be written in full, without any abbreviations. That is necessary to show respect and professionalism to the recipient.
- Always double-check your sign-off before sending your application letter, as any spelling mistakes could damage your chances of receiving a response.
Application letter sample in Nigeria
The following sample demonstrates how you can apply the above format when writing an application letter for a job in Nigeria.
[Your current Address]
[Your contact number]
[Your Social media/Web address link]
Dear [sir/Madam/Name of hiring manager]
APPLICATION FOR THE POST OF A FINANCIAL ANALYST
I developed an interest in this position after reading your advertisement in The Nation Newspaper of January 10th 2023, for the post of Financial Analyst. My first-class grade in Accounting, professional qualification (ACA), PhD in finance, and 15 years of cognate experience make me well qualified for this position.
My confidence is backed up by the understanding that this post requires a strong analytical mind, self-initiative and the ability to work under minimum supervision. I pride myself in all these attributes, as evidenced by my promotions and professional awards in the past.
You may reach me at the address I have provided or through my telephone number for an interview where you can access my ability to add value to [Company name].
Thank you for your attention and consideration.
[Your full name]
Abioye also shared a sample of an application letter that secured him a job offer with the company he applied to. He mentioned:
There is no one way to do anything; I always tell my mentees that you must be creative. Many cover letter templates are online, but your creativity in fine-tuning them to what you need will make you stand out.
I have written over 2000 covers in the past, but I'll share one that got my client an interview with a salary of over $200,000 per annum. Example below:
Please accept this letter expressing my interest in the Medical Device Technologist position. I am a highly motivated and progress-focused Medical Device Design Engineer with a long-standing background in the Medical Device industry. With a track record of initiative and dependability, I have devised strategic initiatives that will prove valuable to Medical Systems, Inc.
Throughout my career, I have perfected my medical device testing and determining product specifications abilities. I am a capable and consistent problem-solver skilled at prioritizing and managing projects with proficiency.
In my previous role, I contributed management, leadership, and project management toward team efforts and business improvements. I am progressive-minded and in tune with new developments in my field, I have proven to be effective and collaborative with solid innovation talents. I enjoy joint brainstorming sessions, which allow me to coordinate activities to achieve a common goal.
Please take a moment to review my attached resume and credentials. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you regarding my candidacy. I appreciate your consideration.
What not to include in your Nigerian application letter
When writing an application letter, there are a few things to avoid. They include the following:
- Refrain from including too much personal information, which can be considered unprofessional.
- Make your letter precise and to the point, avoiding overly detailed descriptions of your experiences and qualifications irrelevant to the job you are applying for.
- Avoid using casual language or slang, as it can be off-putting to potential employers.
- Refrain from providing false information or exaggerating your qualifications, as it could disqualify you from the job.
An application letter is an essential document in your job search. The letter has the potential to make a good impression on prospective employers and help you have the edge over the rest of the candidates. You should write it with clarity, precision and professionalism to ensure you make the best first impression possible. Hopefully, you now know how to write an application letter in Nigeria. You just need to be confident.
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