CV & Cover Letters in Ghana 2020
Internship Cover Letter
In this post, we are sharing some useful insights into how you can craft an effective internship cover letter to ace your call to interviews and avoid red flags.
A well written Cover Letter should be context specific so as to present you as an asset. When a company is in need of an intern, they are basically looking out to fill a skill/s gap.
Your ability to demonstrate that your credentials makes you the best fit is what will get you the internship offer. Your CV is the best tool which systematically captures such credentials.
However, one weakness of a CV is that it is not quite flexible enough to containing unstructured and informal information as compared to a cover letter. When done well, your internship cover letter will not only boost your CV open rate but it will equally lure the reader to look at your CV.
Generally, an internship cover letter takes the structure below;
The first item on your cover letter is the date of your application. In Ghana the preferred method is Day/Month/Year
2. Information of Hiring Manager
You will have to provide the recipient address. It is ‘cool’ to use the Hiring Manager or Human Resource Manager. However, knowing the name of the hiring manager can further make your document standout. You may present your recipient address in the form:
Full name of Human Resource Manager
Human Resource Manager
Generally, you can use Dear sir or Dear Madam. As stated earlier, if you know the hiring manager name, you can use Dear followed by the first name of the Hiring Manager.
Your heading should reflect your career objective as an intern. What exactly are you looking for in the agency? Stating your heading in the form:
Application for Consideration as [ Internship name ] will not be a bad idea.
5. Opening Paragraph
Your opening paragraph should be able to re-emphasis your title and provide a value proposition. For instance:
Please accept my application for an Accounts Intern at Sobiaonline. You will benefit from [insert benefits the employer stand to gain by engaging you]
6. Main body
In the main body, showcase your academic qualifications, work experiences and personal traits relevant to the job at hand. You can also use the last paragraph of this section to demonstrate your knowledge about the challenges the company is facing and how your engagement will help in resolving the problem.
7. Closing paragraphs
Use the closing paragraph to discuss your availability for discussions and as well, your availability for engagement. You can also demonstrate what the job will mean to you. This aspect is very important for internship openings as employers always want to know whether you are committed or not.
Closure and Signature
The last part of your letter entails the closure of the letter and then adding your personal addresses. This can take the format below:
Mobile phone number
How to Write an Internship Cover Letter
How do you tell the employer that you are the best fit for the position? With these suggestions below, we believe that you would be able to highlight your relevant skills and experiences that make you the best fit for the role.
1. Be Specific About the Position You are applying for
Applying for an internship without a well defined role indicates poor preparedness. Starting your letter with a specific role will set a good context for your application and prove that you have taken time to learn what the position entails before applying.
2. Make Use of Good Keywords.
Identify what the job entails by reading the job description. Identify all the necessary keywords and make sure they are included in your CV.
3. Demonstrate that you are the right candidate
Utilise your hard skills, soft skills and work experience to demonstrate that you are the right fit for the role. If you a fresh graduate without much experience you can list your coursework that is relevant to the role. You can also highlight leadership roles you have occupied whilst at school.
4. Demonstrate Why You are Applying for an Internship and not a Paid Job
You need the right industry specific skills, experiences and networks to help you kick-start your career successfully. Employers would want to know if this is the case. You can use your cover letter to communicate exactly what your career objective is and how it will help you and the company you intend to intern for.
5. Proofreading and Peer Reviews
Our final advice is that, you would need to proofread your cover letter again and again to make sure that it is error-free. You can also encourage peer review from friends and loved one.
Knowing how to properly format your CV will go a long way to increase your call to interviews and get you hired faster. In Ghana and most parts of Africa however, graduates are not taking through the process of formatting their CVs to make it standout. Even experienced job seekers with decades of work experience still face this challenge of presenting their extensive experience well.
This Sobiaonline series on CV and Cover Letters intends to unveil some common 5 CV mistakes you can avoid when you are writing your next CV.
CV mistakes #1: You Have Failed to Identify the Problem to be Addressed
Did you remember the problem statement struggles during your academic research in the University? The good news is that you can apply the same trick to your CV Upgrade. Every job description comes with a hidden problem the employer wishes you to solve as an employee. Without that problem your services should not be needed by the employer. For you to be able to present a winning CV, the first step is to identify the core issues are and then optimise your CV to address that.
CV mistakes #2: Avoid Very Personalized Information
Job seekers mostly assume that the more personal information they put in their CVs, the more recruiters will get to know more about them. This is true.
However, when it co mes to job search, your prospective employer need not to know everything about you. You must not include any subjective information such as age, sex, marital status, religion, ethnic background and related demographic variables.
These are very subjective variables which can affect your chances either positively or negatively. By going neutral you are helping to prevent biases and inconsistencies that might affect your chances.
CV mistakes #3: Poor Introduction
One of the most important sections of your CV is the introductory section. There are various names for the introductory section such as career summary, professional summary, background, career objective and related terms.
At Sobiaonline, we simply call it introduction as its primary purpose is to introduce the employer or recruiter to the main CV. We noticed from countless resumes how this section has been abused by job seekers.
This situation might be attributed to poor understanding of job seekers on the rational of this section, the nature of content that should be presented here and as well, the formatting style to use.
The objective of this section to lure the reader to go down to the other sections of your CV and not throwing your CV in the dustbin within 6 seconds! This underscore the need for this section to be brief and straight to the point such that readers will not be bored. The introductory section of your CV is aimed at revealing the following to the employer and should be formatted as such:
- A brief summary of your professional life
- Your personal qualities
- Your hard skills and core competencies
- Your value proposition
You could have the best photo in the world but if HR doesn’t like it you’re not getting a call. In fact, many HR departments will automatically trash resumes with photos in an effort to avoid any chance of discrimination. Additionally, images can actually “choke” the resume scanning software the companies use to receive and organize resumes. In other words, if you send in a resume with a picture they may not ever receive it because the system could not scan it.
Referees and References will always be needed to vouch for you whether you are searching for a job, furthering your education, growing your business and related career issues. In all these scenarios the recommendations that you receive from your referees can significantly influence your career success.
In this post, we are going to focus on how you can handle referees and references in your job search and as well, how to present references in your CV in the best possible way.
If you are a beginner, the usage of referees and references might appear confusing. Your reference was written by your referee and is thus a document. In the case of this article, your references is a section of your CV where you provide details about your referees who can vouch for you. A referee on the other hand is a person who can vouch for you professionally, academically or personally.
How to Manage Your References
References are usually requested in job descriptions where specific information could be needed. For instance, a job description could request for two referees whilst others could request for three. Whether a job description requests for a reference or not, it is important to still maintain a reference section in your CV. The following points should be taking into consideration when selecting referees:
Always make sure that the people you are using as your reference will be willing to vouch for you as soon as the need arises. Any undue delay on the part of your referee in vouching for you can spell doom for your search endeavors even if you perform well after an interview.
We at Sobiaonline always recommend that you have to discuss your search objectives with your referees. Keeping them in the dark will not help at all. If referees have adequate information about you it will help them to always give your prospective employers very powerful recommendations. One of the surest things that put’s employers and recruiters off is generic recommendation.
Depending on the degree of familiarity and rapport you have established with your referee, it is possible to always blind copy them when you are applying for jobs. This will help them to recommend you ton employers in the best possible way. We also advice people who serve as referees to always solicit the feedback of people they are recommending before submitting their recommendations.
How to Select Your Referees?
When selecting references, you would have to look out for people who should be able to vouch for your skills, abilities, and qualifications.
Selecting people who have good communication (written and oral) and writing skills is very desirable. These days, some companies prefers phone discussions with referees instead of written recommendations. The person recommending you should be able to defend your interest, qualifications and abilities in the best possible way whether in writing or via a phone conversation.
Secondly, it is important to select people you have worked with who preferably supervised your activities in the past.
There is no consensus regarding whether you can present your referees from your current place of work. Experts who advises against this opines that the last thing you want is for your boss to learn from one of their competitors that you have approached them regarding a new job. However, in the context of Ghana we deem it necessary that you should provide at least one referee from your current place of work. This should not necessarily be your “boss” but some one in a Senior position who can vouch for you. If you think that you do not want your current employer to be contacted you can state that in your application.
Before you use some one as a your referee, you need to make sure that you have discussed it with the person and then they have agreed to it. During the request, make sure you gauge the eagerness in their tone to make an informed decision. It is also important to verify that you have the correct contact information and discuss how they would want to be contacted. Generally, your referees should be willing to be contacted via skype, phone call or email. If after discussion with a potential referee you realized they are not interested in all these channels then, it would be advisable to get those who are comfortable with all these three channels.
How to Ask for References
You can ask for a reference via face to face discussion or email. It is advisable to start the process with a phone discussion and then meet the person later to discuss your search objectives with him/her. Always make sure you request for confidentiality if need be. Click here for a detail guide on how to ask for a reference
How to Present References in Your CV?
The reference section in your CV is usually the last item. It is acceptable to just write a section heading titled “References” and then comment ” available upon request” below.
In the context of Ghana, it is advisable to add at least two references to your application.
Do not number the references but rather present it in the format below:
Name of Referee
Name of Agency
Do you need to review your CV or professionally upgrade it? Click here to revise your CV with the help of Sobiaonline Careers.
Thank you for reading. Kindly share your ideas below
How to Apply for a UN Job
We have decided to write this post in response to job seekers request for advice on how to apply for UN jobs the right way on daily basis. We have provided some suggestions for you to get started with. Meanwhile you can access all official UN related career information via this link
All legitimate job openings of the United Nations are published at the United Nations Job Application portal. The first advice regarding how to apply for a UN job the right way is the need to apply at the right source which is the link above.
The UN Application system is a comprehensive recruitment system which helps you to present a detailed CV comprising of your personal details, education, work experience and related information in the best possible way.
In applying for a job at the UN, you would have to demonstrate that you are the right fit for the job by providing very specific information on each of the areas mentioned above. It is also important to take note of the following:
Make Sure You Are the Right Fit for the Job
Please make sure you meet the requirements of the job before you even start your application. Meeting the requirements may not just be enough but you should like the job in question. This is the best way you would be motivated to present an outstanding application.
Make Your CV Simple and Easy to Read
After your fill in your information in the job portal, there is an option for you to attach your CV. Always spend some time offline and customize your CV to meet the requirements of the job before starting the application. This achieves the purpose of helping you to address the application questions in the system in the best possible way. Secondly, presenting a well written CV will make it easier for both humans and bots to read. To make your CV is easy o read you can observe the following:
- Avoid tables graphs and images as much as possible
- Make use of short and simple sentences
- Highlight your key accomplishments as much as possible
- Divide your CV into clear subsections. For example Personal Details, Education, Work Experience and Skills
Complement Your CV with a Customized Cover Letter
You will need a cover letter which will serve as your introduction. The good thing about cover letters is that you can bend it to your liking relative to your CV.
You would have to demonstrate how you are the right fit for the job in a very innovative, smart and convincing manner such that it will entice and provoke every reader to take a further look at your CV. Your letter should not be more than one page. It should be concise and kept within the limits of four paragraphs
Always remember that your cover letter is an important tool to help you highlight things you cannot capture in your CV. For instance, if the job opening highlight preference for Ghanaian candidates, then, highlighting your extensive working experience in Ghana would not be a bad idea.
Make Good Use of Your Work Experience
Every UN agency would want to know what you have accomplished in the past to have an idea of what you can do for them. Without adding an atom of false information, include all your past experiences that are important to help you succeed based on the nature of the job. You can reserve the other experiences that are not necessary for other future applications where it will be needed.
Update Your Profile to Reflect Every Job Application
Just like your CV and letter, your profile information should be updated before every job application. This will ensure that your personal information and the documents you present will be in harmony.
Demonstrate Your Team Building Competencies
The UN system values team building capabilities. Do not shy away from presenting all accomplishments you have attained as a team. This will go a long way to demonstrate how you are a good mixer and good team player.
Pay Attention to Your Contact Details
The direct objective of every job application is a call to interview. If you provide the wrong or unreliable contact details it will defeat this purpose. You would be notified of your successful application once you are through with the application via email. Always make sure that you provide the right email address. By reliable email address we mean an email address in which you can easily be reached without much difficulty. Ensure that your email address you are given out is opened frequently. This days you can use your mobile phone to be receiving instant email alerts.
It is also advisable to provide references who have dealings with you in the past. Your references should be able to justify your work experience and education. We also advice that:
Keep your referees posted on all your job applications by serving them copies of your job applications. This will help them to take you more serious and equip them with ample information to provide your prospective employer a compelling recommendation that can enhance your prospects.
We reason with Barbara that “your application is your passport to a career with the United Nations” and that is why you need to give your next UN job application the attention it deserves.
How to spice up your job search in Ghana with Sobiaonline
In this article we wish to bring to your notice some of the cool features you can benefit from by using our job board and related services on https://sobiaonline.com. To benefit fully from our services, we advice you to open a free account here. Please find below a list of how you can change your job search game using our services.
Free Job Search Browsing and Job Application
If you are looking for a job aggregator or job board in Ghana with the latest jobs across all sectors and industries in Ghana, Sobiaonline is your best bet. Job search and applications is completely free. You can click here to access thousands of jobs across Ghana including expat job openings
Save Jobs to Apply Later
We have provided you the opportunity to save all jobs of interest to you and apply later when you are ready. This helps you to identify the best possible openings, prioritise your applications and roll out applications in a more organised way. At the end of each job description you will see the book mark job option to save the job into your account.
We have provided a job alert feature for you which helps you to get real time notifications as soon as jobs are posted. All what you need to do to set up a job alert is open a free account with us, click on the alert tab in your dashboard and set up your alert. To serve you well, you can set up a custom alert based on the following criteria:
- Job location
- Job category
- Job type
- Job tags
- Frequency of notifications
- Many more … just open an account to see it for your self
The job alert feature is our recommended option for you if you want notifications. What sets our alerts apart from others is that you are in control and hence the frequency of notifications is dictated by you. Secondly you only receive notification on jobs that interest you. You can combine it with the push notification option below for excellent results.
The push notification option is one of the new features we have just added. When you visit any of our web pages you will see a pop up requesting you to accept receiving notifications. Once you subscribe to this notifications you will always be alerted when new jobs, scholarships, funding and career articles are posted. The advantage of the push notification is that it takes less than 30 seconds to set up and you will also receive notifications in our browser even when you are not in our website.
Our email news letter platform is the oldest notification system we have been using. We use our news letter to provide special information on funding, scholarships and special offers on our products and services.
Job Seeker Profile and CV Advertisement
We have provided a free platform for job seekers to create stunning career portfolios and advertise your CVs. Employers have started using this feature and we are hoping you will soon create a profile and advertise your skill sets on our platform for free.
At the moment, you can create multiple versions of your profile to suite different portfolios of interest to you. For instance, if your are an intermediate administrative professional interested in customer service, Administrative Assistant, or receptionist jobs you can create profiles for each. Please take advantage of this service whilst it is still free. You can start the process by registering a free account here
Sobiaonline is closer! We have provided two chat platforms which always enables us to connect to our clients in real time. On mobile devices we have a whatsapp chat platform and the chat button is visible on all our pages. For desktop and laptop users, we have provided a separate chat platform and you will see the button displayed on all pages as well. So next time you want to get in touch, it is as simple as just clicking a button and you are with us!
Should you want to send us an email you will see our email address on all our web pages.
Our principal activity is CV Design. You can find out more about how we can help in your search efforts with our paid employment search services by clicking here
Please take note that Sobiaonline is not a recruitment agency. We provide employment search services and you will see all our offers via this link We also generate some income when you visit our website or click on adverts displayed on our website. To find out more job search tips from our team click here
We would like to hear from you using the comment form below. Thanks for reading.