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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

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If you have a question for our Career Coach, E-mail Helen at careers@ReConnectAfrica.com

ImageDear Helen

A friend sent me this website and I decided to reach you. Could you please help me with what should go into writing a good application letter for employment? I would be most grateful.

Thank you.


Dear Felicia

When writing a letter of application, bear in mind that you are sending your prospective employer their first impression of you. On that basis, it is important to structure your letter so that the recipient gets a clear and concise picture of what you have to offer and why are right for the job.

Always analyse the job description – it will give you all the clues you need to highlight the relevant skills and experience you have for the job. Don’t focus only on the parts that appeal to you; look at all the requirements of the job and put the emphasis on those criteria that are considered essential for the role.

Keep the structure of the letter logical and sequential so that each paragraph addresses a particular point. I would suggest an introductory paragraph that clearly sets out the purpose of your application and where you read about the vacancy. Follow it up with a paragraph that briefly introduces you and what you are doing or have recently done. Use the next paragraph to link your skills/experience to what is required for the job. Focus on the key skills and cite only your relevant experience and achievements – if in doubt, refer back to the job advert or job description. Try and highlight a couple of specifics very briefly as evidence of these skills.

Bring the letter to a close by explaining your interest in the job and the company and demonstrating your motivation and enthusiasm and indicate your availability for interview.

Keep your letter short and punchy rather than writing a long letter with details that will not be important to the company or relevant to the job. Recruiters spend very little time reading an application, so make your points short and effective.

If you need help to review your application letter or any other careers advice, don’t forget don’t forget that we offer online careers advisory services that include CV and cover letter reviews.

Warm regards,


Voted Candace Business Woman of the Year 1997, Helen Dupigny is a Director and co-founder of Working Plus, (www.working-plus.com) a Careers Management and Diversity consultancy and creator of the award-winning ‘Six Steps Career and Personal Development Programme’. A Sierra Leonean based in London, Helen is also the author of ‘Vicissitude’, a guide to making life and career changes.

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