Most people setting out to land a job in the U.S. from Kenya are aware that a good cover letter is crucial for getting a job application noticed. Conversely, a weak cover letter can actively create a bad impression, so it is important to put in the time and effort needed to make your letter shine. Avoiding some typical cover letter mistakes can get you off to a good start when you are working on your own letter.
Self-Deprecation Will Not Get You a Job in the U.S. From Kenya
One of the top mistakes people make when writing their cover letters is downplaying their achievements. In daily life, self-promotion is seen as a negative, so it is second nature for many to tone down their accomplishments. However, a hiring manager reviewing your application for a job in the U.S. from Kenya is not meeting you socially. In fact, your cover letter serves as your introduction to prospective employers. Convincing an employer that you are the right person for the position means being assertive and positive about your abilities. Do not hesitate to use strong wording in order to promote yourself. State your potential value for the company without downplaying or qualifying words. This includes writing that you think, feel or believe makes you a great candidate. Assert your qualifications as objective fact. If you do not state your positive attributes to their fullest extent, employers will take you at your word and assume that you are actually not that great.
A Unique Cover Letter Gets Attention
Of course, it takes more time to write an individual cover letter for every position you apply for than to copy and past the same document, only changing the addressee. This time investment is worth your while, as employers are likely to skim over something that looks like a form letter. On the other hand, hiring managers will notice a letter that is geared specifically to this individual job in the U.S. from Kenya.
To make sure you include relevant information, look at the job posting and the employer’s site. In addition to knowing the job requirements, you will get a sense of the employer’s circumstances, culture and preferences. For example, a family-owned accounting firm in a small town is likely to have vastly different priorities from a large firm with branches in major cities. Highlight the reasons why you are a great candidate for this particular accounting job, not why you are a great accountant in general.
Make Sure Your Tone Is Professional
When it comes to cover letters for your application for a job in the U.S. from Kenya, “unique” is not the same thing as “quirky” or “strange.” Not all attention is good attention. You want to stand out from the rest of the applicants, but not in a way that turns your letter into the joke of the day for the hiring managers. For the vast majority of jobs, this means keeping your letter’s tone and appearance fairly conservative. Use a professional font, conventional letterhead and good paper if submitting your application by mail. Avoid slang, colloquial expressions and sentence fragments. As humor is a highly individual and context-dependent matter, it is best avoided in your cover letter. You do not want to risk confusing or alienating the hiring manager.
While there are some creative fields where a less formal or more artistic approach can work, this is a step to take cautiously. Do not assume that non-office jobs will necessarily fall into this category. In many cases, the job description together with the instructions for applying will let you know if an off-beat approach is desirable.
Investing the time and effort to craft a great cover letter can pay off immensely. Submitting a well-written letter that is targeted to the job you want can be a highly effective tactic for advancing to the next stage of the job application process.