In fact, there are a few tweaks you can apply to your job application letter to greatly improve your chances of getting your dream job in Nigeria. In this article, we shall discuss those points in detail as we prepare you for writing highly successful job application letters in Nigeria.
Did you know that the number of unemployed citizens in Nigeria (33.3% or 23.2 million people in Q2 2021) are more than the entire population of Benin and Togo combined? With a population of over 200 million individuals and a disturbing unemployment rate of 33%, getting a job in Nigeria is no child play. This is because of the high competition for vacant positions. However, you can greatly increase your chances of getting hired by writing the perfect job application letter.
The acceptance rate of job applications is considered very low in the country and that explains why a lot of job seekers get frustrated and gate-crash at companies.
The good news, however, is that you can still get hired if you learn how to write the perfect job application optimized for the Nigerian employer.
How do you write the perfect application letter?
Please note that a job application letter is different from a CV or résumè. In most cases, you are expected to append your CV or Résumé as an attachment when sending a job application letter in Nigeria.
Nigerian employers however use the terms ‘application letter’ and ‘cover letter’ interchangeably. This may confuse inexperienced job applicants, but they both mean the same thing except in cases where the application guideline clearly states otherwise.
This article covers the following topics on this matter;
- The Definition and Structure of a Job Application Letter.
- Qualities of a Good Application Letter.
- Rules for Writing Application Letters.
- Tips for Writing A Job Application Letter Optimized for the Nigerian Labour Market.
What is an Application Letter?
An application letter is a document that serves as a formal introduction between you and your prospective employer while applying for a job in Nigeria. It is a type of business letter that states an Applicant’s interest in a specific job being applied for.
The goal of an application letter is to help you create the best possible first impression that gives your prospective employer a reason to consider you ahead of other job applicants.
What Is The Structure of A Job Application Letter?
A good job application letter should be structured to have;
- Two Addresses: This should start with yours, and then your employer’s address and contact information. ( Your contact number, email address and date of writing.) Write and arrange your address at the top right of your letter. Next is the contact information of your prospective employer on the left below yours.
Salutation is an important aspect that you should write about properly. An example of a common salutation is ‘Dear Sir/Ma,”.
This is the title of your letter. It should be capitalized and if it isn’t, you should underline it, but not both. It can either be APPLICATION FOR THE ROLE OF WEB DESIGNER or Application for the Role of Web Designer, but not APPLICATION FOR THE ROLE OF SNR. WEB DEVELOPER.
- The Body Of The Letter:
Ideally, the body of your job application letter should be divided into three or four paragraphs but not more.
👉 The first paragraph should include information about yourself and your reason for writing the letter. Here, you mention the job you are applying for and how you found out about the job vacancy. This paragraph has to be brief and not boring because this is where you sell yourself to your prospective employer.
👉 The second and third paragraphs of your letter should state your skills, experiences, qualifications and accomplishments that portray you to be the best fit for the job position. Here, you prove to the employer that you meet the requirements. It is also important to make use of keywords. In order to do that efficiently, you have to make a good research about the company, the role and the expectations. 60% of recruiters will give certain keywords such as skills/abilities. Add some of these words to your letter and be on advantage if the company you’re applying to work for uses an Applicant Tracking System.
👉 Your fourth paragraph should entail an appreciation to your prospective employer and lastly;
- Complimentary Close:
This should have you sign off with a courteous close like;
‘Yours Sincerely’ or ‘Yours faithfully’ and followed by your signature if it’s a hardcopy letter or contact information if it’s an Email Application.
Is A Job Application Letter A Formal Letter?
Yes. A job application letter is a formal letter and all formal letters have a pattern by which they’re structured.
Are There Rules To Writing An Application Letter In Nigeria?
Yes. There are rules for writing job application letters optimized for the Nigerian Labour Market.
- ✔ Keep your letter under one page long.
- ✔ Review your letter for any grammatical errors.
- ✔ Follow the structure of a job application letter described in this article.
- ✔ Focus on the skills needed when selling yourself.
- ✔ Use a font size between 10 and 12 points and use an easy-to-read but unique font.
- ✔ Follow instructions at all times.
What Are The Qualities Of A Good Application Letter?
The first thing that should come to an employer’s mind when they read your letter should be that you’re professional. Your letter should have a professional appearance.
⚡ What You Have To Offer:
This is very essential because an employer does not just want to see you just mention your skills. He would rather you tell him how you will use that skill for the betterment and development of the company. In that case, you may have an edge over others because you’re bringing an offer to the table.
According to the National Association Of College And Employers, 73.4% want candidates that possess strong written communication skills. An employer finds it easier to read through your application when you possess the ability to write well.
Most HR professionals admit that they offer insight into a candidate’s ability to write well. Grammarly is a software that helps Writers, Job seekers and professionals to proofread and edit their documents. It checks for misspellings, punctuation errors and the wrong structure of sentences.
Other examples of Writing assistant applications are; SentenceCheckup, Ginger, ProWritingAid, Reverso, e.t.c.
⚡ Your Job Application Letter Should Portray Self-confidence:
Unsure statements in your job application letter leave an impression that you’re not qualified.
You can portray confidence by using lines like;
✔ “Please endeavour to contact me, I look forward to working with you.”
✔ “Kindly contact me, I am ready to talk further.”
Instead of lines like;
❌ “Please do not hesitate to call me if you feel I’m suitable for this position.”
Download the PDF Job Application Letter Template HERE
Download the PDF Job Application Letter Template HERE
As you may have noticed in the template above, the boldened parts of the application letter, I have included the following key elements;
- 🔑 [Company Name]
- 🔑 [Job Title]
- 🔑 [Web Design Experiences]
- 🔑 [Web Design Skills]
- 🔑 [Previous Position Held at Previous Company]
- 🔑 [Previous Responsibilities]
- 🔑 [Soft Skills learnt from Previous Responsibilites]
- 🔑 [Compliments One of the Company’s Recent Projects or Values]
- 🔑 [Reasons I am Excited about the Prospect of Joining the Company]
- 🔑 [Specific Ways my Skills Can Help the Company if Hired]
Did You Know?
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As a bonus, we would also help you write the perfect job application letter, regardless of your level of experience, discipline, or field.
The labour market in Nigeria is gravely challenging with undergraduates seeking various job opportunities. When your application letter stands out, it can not get sidelined.
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