Career Advice

How to Write an Application Letter (Plus Samples)

An application letter is sent alongside your CV or resume during the job application process and learning how to write an application letter that can help land you a job can make the whole job search worth a while.

First, what the application letter does is that it adds more personality to your job application thereby adding more details about your background and experiences in the position. It supports your CV or resume which outlines your professional skills and experience.

 Curious to learn how to write an effective job application letter? Keep reading as we explain what you need to know on how to write an application letter with samples.

What is a Job Application Letter?

Before we dive deep into how to write an application letter, it’s best to discuss what a job application letter is.

A job application letter is a standalone document which you submit alongside your other job application documents like CV or resume, portfolio samples, etc., to a potential hiring manager to express your interest in their open job position.

Generally, a job application letter expresses your professional background. It highlights your skills, and achievements, and helps you get the attention of the employer into picking up interest in your application.

When properly written, the job application letter can help the reader understand why you should be called up for an interview and also why you are the best candidate for the job.

Your CV or resume can be crucial to you getting a job, a job application letter can do the same as well. It can impress a potential hiring manager and make you stand out amongst other candidates for the job.

In your letter, you need to show how your professional goals align with the goals of the company. It is very crucial to use your application letter to exhibit certain aspects of your personality.

Tips for Writing an Application Letter

Before you write an application letter, there are certain steps you need to take to come up with an engaging job application letter. Follow the below tips on how to write an application letter to get the best results.

1. Elaborate your skills and abilities

In addition to your CV or resume, a job application letter is another opportunity for you to sell yourself to a potential employer as an excellent candidate for their job.

Include specific examples of scenarios where you applied your abilities, skills, and experience to benefit the company. It is also important to include stats, data or figures to back up your claims.

2. Review the keywords from the job description

The majority of the job descriptions for any posting out there contain certain skills and abilities that the employer or hiring manager requires the applicant to possess.

To make your application letter stand out, you need to include these keywords in your letter to show the reviewer that you are a good candidate for the role.

3. Keep it short

As much as you may be tempted to go into many details about yourself and your background, it is better to keep the letter short.

You will be submitting a CV or resume alongside your application letter, if the employer finds out that your application letter contains multiple pages and he or she also needs to go through your other documents, they may find it difficult going through your letter.

Therefore, a concise letter can be more manageable and appealing to the employer than a lengthy letter.

4. Proofread the letter

Since the application letter can serve as your first impression, you need to make sure that it is positive and error-free.

Make sure that your application letter is free from grammatical errors, spelling errors, or any form of typo errors to avoid a potential negative first impression.

5. Create a particular letter for every role you apply

Unless clearly stated in the job description, endeavour to create and send one letter for each job you apply for.  This letter will be well-structured and offers the potential hiring manager to learn more about you, and how well you fit the job, and also gives you the chance to make you stand out amongst other applicants.

How to Format an Application Letter

When it comes to how to write an application letter, it is also good to know how to format an application letter.  Follow the steps below to properly format your application letter which will make it more compelling and engaging.

1. Utilise a professional format

A job application letter is a formal letter and should be written using a professional format. It ought to be more professional than a thank-you message or email to your colleagues.

The alignment to use for the letter should be single line spacing, one-inch margins and left alignment. A traditional font like Times New Roman with a font size of 10 to 12 points is ideal to use.

And most importantly, endeavour to keep your application on a single page but well optimized so that when the employer goes through it, they should get a good first impression of you as their potential employee.

However, take your time to format your job application letter, make it concise but professional.

2. Create the heading

When writing your application letter, you should use a business heading for it. The heading should contain details like your name and contact information, the company’s name and address, and the date.

If you prefer to send your job application letter via email instead of a post office, your can remove your name and contact information from the letter header and put it at the bottom of the email before your signature.

Sample header

[Your full name]

[Your city and Postal code]

[Your phone number]

[Your email address]

[Date]

[Name of employer or supervisor]

[Title of employer or supervisor]

[Company name]

[Company address]

Once you use a professional and detailed heading, you can make it easier for the employer or person in charge of the employment to follow up with you regarding the role.

3. Direct your letter to the employer or hiring manager

During your research, try to get the name of the employer or whoever will be in charge of handling the applications for the open position.

Direct the letter to this person with common business greetings like “Dear Mr./Mrs” followed by their last name.

If can’t find the gender information of the person reviewing the application letter, you can make use of “Dear [first and last name]” or “Dear Employer/Hiring manager”.

How to Write an Application Letter

Everyone can write an application letter but not everyone can write the application letter that captivates the attention of the person reviewing the letter. In that regard, the below steps should guide on how to write an application letter.

1. Review information about the company and role

As emphasized earlier in this article, it is better to write an application letter for every position you are applying for. So, endeavour to include pertinent details from your research and the job description.

To accomplish this, spend some time researching the company’s information, which you can likely find useful information from the company’s website, as well as the job description., or use Google News to learn about the company.

Compare your skills, qualifications, and experience with the list of skills listed in the job listing. You may also think about certain specific skills and experiences that can help boost your performance in the role, such as leadership skills, goal-driven, etc.

2. Open the letter by describing your interest

In the first paragraph of your application letter, mention the job title for which you want to apply for and where you saw the job posting.  Include your specific interest in the position and the company so the person n charge of reviewing the letter will know that it is not a generic application letter.

Briefly highlight the main skills, experiences or qualification that you possess which makes you a good fit for the role.  This section is where you draw the attention of the person reviewing the application letter, so it is important to appease the person as quickly as possible.

Example: “I saw the open job posting for the marketing intern position on an online job board, and I am very interested in the role. I’m attracted to your company’s vision and mission of innovation and putting the customer first. I am in my final year studying marketing with a minor in communications, so I feel compelled that my educational experience has prepared me to work in a fast-paced marketing department like your company.”

3. Outline your qualifications and experience

The next few paragraphs of your application letter should show your experience, qualifications and skills, aligned in a way that suits the company’s goals and mission.

For example, if the job you are applying for is within a non-profit organization that offers educational opportunities to underserved members of a community, you could talk about your experience with non-profit organizations or related organizations.

Since a job application letter is a standalone document like a resume or CV, you should provide details of your experiences that relate to the role you are applying for.

4. Add aspects of your personality

When it comes to how to write an application letter that is engaging, adding aspects of your personality can go a long way in grasping the attention of the reviewer.

An engaging and friendly application letter is likely to attract the reviewer, especially when they can get an idea of how well you might fit perfectly with the team in the company.

For example, if the role is from a non-profit organization, you can explain in your letter that you are good at connecting with children and people in general.

5. Express gratitude

Before you conclude your letter, express your gratitude to the employer or hiring manager reviewing your letter and considering you for the open role.

The employer is taking time out of their busy day to review what you have written, so showcasing your gratitude for the time spent by them is a professional and polite way to close your application letter.

Example: “I appreciate your time in reviewing my application letter. Since you likely received several application letters for this open role, I am extremely thankful for the time you have spent reading about me and what would make me a good candidate for this role.”

Read Also – 10 Killer Questions to Ask in an Interview

6. Close the application letter

Many people prefer to use “Best” or “Sincerely” to close their application letter, although any professional sign-off format you use should suffice.

The final line of the application letter should include your full name, and if you are submitting a hard copy for the letter, include your signature above your name.

If you are sending your application letter via email, you should include your contact information beneath your full name, rather than adding it in the mail header.

Job Application Letter Sample Template

Below is a sample template to use when writing your job application letter. Follow these samples to craft a specific job application letter for each job listing you apply for.

[Your full name]

[Your home address]

[Your email address]

[Your phone number]

[Date]

[Name of employer or hiring manager]

[Title of employer or hiring manager]

[Company name]

[Company address]

Salutation [Dear Mr./Ms.],

[Outline where you saw the job listing and express your interest in working in this role.]

[Discuss some of your skills and qualifications that would make you a good candidate for the job.]

[Describe your previous experiences in a way that emphasizes your personality and skills, while also showing how you align with the goals of the company.]

[Express your gratitude to the employer or hiring manager for reviewing your letter. Include any follow-up details, if applicable.]

Closing [Sincerely or Best]

[Your signature]

[Your name (printed)]

Final Thoughts

When it comes to how to write an application letter, it is best to follow expert advice and tips on crafting converting job application letter.  

The tips and steps highlighted in this article should guide you on how to write an application letter that has the potential of increasing your chances of getting the job.

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