How to Write an Application Letter
This article will guide you on how to write an application letter if you need to write a letter to apply for a job?
Most of the time, the answer is yes.
Even when employers don’t require a job application letter, writing one will help you highlight your skills and achievements and get the hiring manager’s attention.
It can help, and it definitely won’t hurt to include a letter with your resume.
After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!
You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.
You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.
Don’t panic you are in the right place.
Writing an application letter is a lot simpler than you might think.
In this article, we’re going to teach you how to write an application letter that gets you the job you deserve.
Below are a few areas we will be looking at in this article:
- What is an application letter?
- How to Get Started.
- When You Should Write an Application Letter.
- Writing Guidelines for Job Application Letters.
- Writing Steps for Job Application Letters.
- Application Letter FAQ.
What is an application letter?
An application letter, also known as a cover letter, is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience.
A letter of application typically provides detailed information on why are you are qualified for the job you are applying for.
Effective application letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences.
An application letter is also a letter of introduction attached to or accompanying another document such as a résumé or a curriculum vitae.
However, it allows you to expand on and connect the information in your resume to the specific job for which you are applying.
How to Get Started
Before you begin writing your job application letter, do some basic work.
Consider what information you want to include and also keep in mind that space is limited.
Remember, this letter is making a case for your candidacy and readiness for the position.
But you can do better than just regurgitating your resume—instead, highlight your most relevant skills, experiences, and abilities.
When You Should Write an Application Letter.
I know it is true that you should write an application letter when you are interested in a job, but that is not all you consider before you decide to write an application letter.
When you see a job advert that you are interested in, you send your CV, right?
But this does not quite work for application letters.
Employers will not replace the CV with an application letter.
The approach of an application letter is different from that of a CV.
You should write an application letter when the employer does not solicit your interest in the position.
This simply means when there is no job advertisement or posting.
For example, if you are searching for a job and you have a list of top companies that you would love to work for, you don’t necessarily have to wait for a job posting to declare your interest in that particular job.
You can simply email an application to different companies.
However, this is a way for you to extensively and formally introduce yourself to the prospective employer of the companies that you would love to work for.
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Writing Guidelines for Job Application Letters
Writing a job application letter is very different from a quick email to a friend or a thank-you note to a relative.
Hiring managers and potential interviewers have certain expectations when it comes to the letter’s presentation and appearance, from length (no more than a page) to font size and style to letter spacing.
When preparing a job application letter, follow these guidelines to make sure your letter includes the information a hiring manager needs:
- Emphasize your skills and abilities
- Stay concise
- Proofread the letter
- Review the job listing keywords
1.Emphasize your skills and abilities
An application letter is your opportunity to sell yourself as an excellent candidate.
Make sure you include specific examples of situations in which you applied your experience, abilities, and skills to benefit the organization.
It is also helpful to include data that supports your claims.
2. Stay concise
Although it may be tempting to include a lot of detailed information about yourself, it is important to be concise.
If a hiring manager receives a letter that is multiple pages, they may not take the time to read it. A brief letter is more manageable and appealing.
Proofread the letter
Since this letter is serving as your first impression, you want to make sure It is as positive as possible.
Make sure your letter does not have any grammatical or spelling errors to avoid a potentially negative first impression.
Review the job listing keywords
Most job postings will include certain skills and abilities that the hiring manager and supervisor want applicants to possess.
However, including these keywords in your application letter helps to show the person reviewing it you would be a good fit in that specific role.
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How to format an application letter
When writing an application letter for a job, follow these steps to make sure you include information about yourself and your professional experience that will appeal to a hiring manager:
- Use a professional format.
- Create the heading.
- Address the letter to the hiring manager.
1. Use a professional format
A job application letter should be more professional than your usual writing.
The alignment of the document should include single spacing, one-inch margins, and left alignment.
However, it is best to use a professional and traditional font, such as Times New Roman, in a size from 10 to 12 points.
Try to keep your job application letter to one page.
When reviewing your application letter, the hiring manager will get their first impression of you as a potential employee, so take time to format it professionally and keep it concise.
2. Create the heading
Use a formal business heading for your job application letter.
The heading should include your name and contact information, the date, and the company name and address.
If you send your job application letter via email, you can eliminate your name and contact information from the header and put it at the bottom of the email after the signature instead.
Examples of a formal business heading:
Your city and ZIP code
Your phone number
Your email address
Name of the hiring manager or supervisor
Title of the hiring manager or supervisor
Company physical address
By including a professional and detailed heading, you can make it easier for the hiring manager to follow up with you regarding the position.
3. Address the letter to the hiring manager
In your research, try to find the name of the person reviewing applications for the job.
Address your letter to this person with a common business greeting, such as “Dear Mr./Ms.” and their last name.
If you’re unable to find the preferred gender pronouns of the individual reviewing your application, you can use “Dear and their first and last name.
Preferably you can just use “Dear Hiring Manager”.
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Writing Steps for Job Application Letters.
- Choose a Cover Letter for the Right Occasion
- Add Your Contact Information
- State Your Purpose
- Establish Your Value
Choose a Cover Letter for the Right Occasion
A cover letter isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to your job search.
It’s essential to choose the format that’s appropriate to the specific position, company, or career path you’re pursuing.
Add Your Contact Information
Applying for a job isn’t the time to play hard to get.
Make getting in touch with you as effortless as possible.
Your contact information should include the following, in this format:
- Your first and last name
- Street Address
- City, State Zip
If at all possible, try to find out the name of the individual you are writing to, and begin your letter with “Dear Mr. (or Ms.) followed by his (or her) last name.
State Your Purpose
In an application letter, your opening paragraph should state what job you are interested in.
Establish Your Value
This section (which can be one or two paragraphs) should showcase your experiences and skills and explain how they align with the job you are applying for.
With this paragraph, you will conclude your cover letter by restating why you feel you’re a great fit for a particular job. You can end either with a call to action or a statement of your intent.
- End your letter with one of the following:
- Thank you,
- Warm regards,
- Best regards,
- Yours respectfully,
- Kind regards,
- Thank you for your consideration,
- Sincerely yours,
- Yours truly,
- Respectfully yours.
- Do NOT end your application letter with any of these:
- Talk soon,
- Later, etc.
If you are mailing in your application letter, sign the letter above your printed name, check the whole thing one more time for spelling and grammar and you’re done!
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Application Letter FAQ.
1: Should My CV Be Accompanied By An Application Letter?
The answer is yes, your CV or résumé should always be accompanied by an application letter.
It’s an important self-marketing tool that you shouldn’t fail to utilize.
2: How Should I Format My Application Letter?
Your application letter should be formatted the following way:
● Heading (hard copy) or Subject (Email)
Check this post for more information on how to format your application letter
3: What Should I Include In My Application Letter?
Your application letter should include relevant work history and skills, the significant role you played in your previous job which matches the job you are now applying for, why you would be a good fit for the role, achievements, and any industry certifications you possess
4: How Long Should My Application Letter Be?
Typically, a cover letter should be half a page or one full page in length. Break it into paragraphs, so that the information can be easily and quickly absorbed by the recruiter.
I trust you now know how to write a professional application letter?
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