Many job seekers do the mistake thinking only the Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume would catch the eye of our prospective employer. But how soon we tend to forget that the unemployment rate in Nigeria is well over 23percent (official figures), in reality that figure can be almost double. That means for every available vacant position, there are 5 or more equally qualified persons for the job. So how does one stand out in a sea of hopefuls? Everyone has a resume which basically states who we are, you can express yourself more intelligibly and creatively with a cover letter and make the employer see you as the best candidate for the job. Gone are the days we normally have application letters, although this might still be asked for when it comes to getting a job on man-know-man basis. However for the ever changing corporate world, cover letters have come up to replace application letters. This piece of document allows you to express yourself and make the employer see why you should even be granted an interview and given the job. In a simple line, “a cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience”. Employers use cover letters as a way to screen applicants for available jobs and to determine which candidates they would like to interview. If an employer requires a cover letter, it should be listed in the job posting. A cover letter typically provides detailed information on why you are qualified and the best candidate for the job you are applying for. Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. Writing a cover letter can seem like a difficult task. However, if you take it one step at a time, you'll soon be an expert at writing cover letters to send with your resume. A cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview or having your resume ignored, so it makes good sense to devote the necessary time and effort to writing effective cover letters. A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented, factual resume and add a personal touch. It is often your earliest written contact with a potential employer, creating a critical first impression. So take your time to know the organization you are writing it to, and a knowledge of you responsibilities if you get the job will surely help when trying to promote the skills you have through your cover letter. Basically, there are three general types of cover letters: The application letter which responds to a known job opening. The prospecting letter which inquires about possible positions. The networking letter which requests information and assistance in your job search. Your cover letter should be designed specifically for each purpose outlined above as well as for each position you seek. Do not design a form letter and send it to every potential employer, because every employer has its own uniqueness. Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences (remember, relevance is determined by the employer's self-interest). They should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the position and what value you can add to the organisation. Always keep in mind that your cover letter does not need to be too long. So make it as precise and concise as possible. When you are writing a cover letter, there is specific information that needs to be included. Your cover letter will include a contact section, a salutation, and information on why you are the best for the job, a closing, and your signature. Lastly, for any job application are submitting, always ask Almighty Allah to give the best which would be good for you, your hereafter and the deen. May Almighty Allah favour us with the best. Amin. Ridwan Adeoye is an animal geneticist and a staff writer at 1one4.com.