How to Write an Application Letter: Template and Example Provided

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how to write an application letter
how to write an application letter

The Perfect Application Letter: Template and Example Provided

Cover letters (commonly known as letters of application or job application letters) accompany your resume as part of an effort to convince potential employers that you possess all of the qualifications required for that specific position.

Here's an introduction on how to write an application letter: For starters, let's define its purpose, research the institution or company you intend on writing to, format and structure it correctly to address its recipients, highlight skills and experiences while customizing it each job application, edit and proofread your letter before sending and avoid making these common errors when writing applications letters

Follow-Up After Submitting an Application Letter

Writing an application letter plays a vital role in the job application procedure. It acts as your first impression on a potential employer, allowing you to highlight your skills and passion for the job. Here are a few important tips to consider while composing your application letter:

  • Personalize Your Letter: Address the letter to the specific individual who will be reviewing your application, if possible. This shows that you have taken the time to research and tailor your application to the company.
  • Highlight Your Qualifications: Clearly outline why you are a good fit for the position. Focus on the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate, and provide specific examples to support your claims.
  • Show Enthusiasm: Express your excitement about the opportunity to work for the company. Conveying your enthusiasm for the role can help set you apart from other applicants.
  • Keep it Concise and professional. Your application letter should be concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary information and focus on relevant details that showcase your qualifications. Additionally, make sure to use a professional tone throughout the letter.
  • Customize for Each Job Application: While it may be tempting to use a template for multiple applications, customizing your letter for each job you apply to can increase your chances of standing out to the employer.
  • Proofread Carefully: Before sending your application letter, be sure to proofread it carefully for any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. A well-written and error-free letter demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.

By following these guidelines, you can create a well-crafted application letter that effectively highlights your qualifications and helps you make a positive impression on potential employers.

Understanding the Purpose of an Application Letter

An application letter is a formal document that serves as an introduction to a potential employer. Its main purpose is to highlight your qualifications and interest in a specific job position. Here is why understanding the purpose of an application letter is crucial:

  • Introducing Yourself: The application letter introduces you to the employer and provides a brief overview of who you are, what you do, and why you are a suitable candidate for the job.
  • Showcasing Your Qualifications: It is an opportunity to showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a perfect fit for the job. This is your chance to highlight your strengths and align them with the requirements of the position.
  • Expressing Your Interest: By writing an application letter, you demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. This shows the employer that you have taken the time to research the organization and are genuinely interested in being a part of it.
  • Personalizing Your Application: Unlike a resume, which is more general, an application letter allows you to tailor your application to a specific job. You can customize your letter to match the job description and company culture.
  • Making a Strong First Impression: Your application letter is often the first thing a potential employer will see. It is your chance to make a positive and memorable first impression, setting the tone for the rest of your application.

Understanding the purpose of an application letter will help you craft a compelling and effective document that grabs the employer's attention and increases your chances of landing an interview.

Researching the Company or Institution

When you are preparing to write your application letter, take the time to research the company or institution you are applying to. Understanding the organization's values, mission, and culture will help you tailor your letter to align with their goals and show that you are a good fit for the position. Here are some steps to guide you through your research process:

  • Visit the Company Website: Spend some time browsing the company's website to learn about their history, products or services, key personnel, and any recent news or achievements. This information will give you valuable insights into the company's goals and values.
  • Read Annual Reports or Publications: Reviewing the organization's annual reports or publications can provide you with a comprehensive overview of their financial performance, future plans, and strategic direction. This knowledge can be useful when highlighting how your skills and experience can contribute to their growth.
  • Check Social Media Profiles: Following the company on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter can give you real-time updates on their activities, events, and any recent developments. Engaging with their content can also demonstrate your interest in their work.
  • Search for News Articles or Press Releases: Keeping up to date with any news articles or press releases related to the company can give you a broader perspective on their industry standing, challenges, and opportunities. Referencing these in your application letter can show that you are well-informed and proactive.

By conducting thorough research on the company or institution, you can personalize your application letter, showcase your genuine interest in the role, and demonstrate how you can contribute to their success. Remember, standing out in your application often comes down to how well you understand the organization and can articulate your unique value proposition to them.

Formatting and Structuring Your Application Letter

When formatting and structuring your application letter, it's essential to ensure that it is well-organized, professional, and easy to read. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Use a clear and professional font. Opt for a classic font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman in a legible size (11 or 12 points) to enhance readability.
  • Include your contact information: Place your contact details at the top of the letter, including your full name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Add the date and recipient's information: Below your contact details, include the date of writing, followed by the recipient's name, title, company name, and address. If you have this information, ensure that you address it to the specific person.
  • Write a compelling introduction. Begin your letter with a captivating introduction that states the position you are applying for and where you found the job listing. This section should grab the reader's attention and make them want to continue reading.
  • Highlight your qualifications: In the body of the letter, clearly present your qualifications and skills that make you a suitable candidate for the position. Use bullet points or concise paragraphs to make it easy for the reader to scan and understand your key points.
  • Conclude professionally: End your letter with a polite conclusion, expressing your interest in discussing your application further. Sign off with a formal closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.”
  • Proofread and edit: Before sending your application letter, proofread it carefully to check for any errors in spelling, grammar, or formatting. You can also ask a friend or colleague to review it for feedback.

By following these formatting and structuring tips, you can create a well-crafted application letter that showcases your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position.

Addressing the Recipient Correctly

When writing an application letter, addressing the recipient correctly is crucial, as it sets the tone for your communication. Here are some tips to help you get it right:

  • Research the Correct Name: Before starting your letter, ensure you know the name and title of the person who will be reading it. Addressing them by their name adds a personal touch and shows that you have taken the time to research.
  • Use the Appropriate Title: If you are unsure of the recipient's gender or marital status, using a generic title like “Dear Hiring Manager” can work well. It's better to be slightly formal than risk getting it wrong.
  • Avoid Generic Greetings: Starting your letter with a generic greeting like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” can come across as impersonal. Try to find the specific name to make a better impression.
  • Double-Check the Spelling: Once you have the recipient's name, double-check the spelling to ensure accuracy. Misspelling a name can be seen as careless and might reflect poorly on your attention to detail.
  • Consider the Formality: The level of formality in your greeting should match the tone of the company and the industry. For example, a more creative field might appreciate a less formal salutation.

Remember, addressing the recipient correctly shows respect and attention to detail, which are qualities that employers value in potential candidates. Take the time to get this right, as it forms the first impression the reader will have of you.

Highlighting Your Skills and Experiences

When writing your application letter, it is crucial to effectively highlight your skills and experiences to make a strong impression on the employer. Here are some tips on how to showcase your qualifications effectively:

  • Customize Your Content: Tailor your letter to the specific job and company you are applying to. Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the position.
  • Use Action Words: Start bullet points with strong action verbs like “managed,” “developed,” or “implemented” to demonstrate your achievements.
  • Quantify Your Achievements: Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify your achievements. For example, mention how you increased sales by a certain percentage or managed a team of a specific size.
  • Showcase Transferable Skills: Even if you are changing industries, highlight transferable skills that are applicable to the new role. Communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills are valuable in any position.
  • Provide Examples: Back up your skills and experiences with specific examples. Describe a successful project you led or a challenging problem you solved to give the employer a concrete idea of your abilities.
  • Match Requirements: Make sure to address the key requirements listed in the job posting. Showcase how your skills and experiences align with what the employer is looking for.

Remember, the goal is to make a compelling case for why you are the perfect candidate for the job. By effectively highlighting your skills and experiences, you can increase your chances of standing out to potential employers.

Customizing Your Application Letter for Each Job

When applying for different jobs, it is crucial to customize your application letter for each position you are interested in. Tailoring your application letter demonstrates to the employer that you are genuinely interested in the specific role and that you have taken the time to understand their requirements. Here are some tips to help you customize your application letter effectively:

  • Research the Company: Begin by researching the company to understand its values, goals, and culture. This information will help you align your skills and experiences with what the company is looking for in a candidate.
  • Highlight Relevant Skills: Identify the key skills and qualifications outlined in the job description and tailor your application letter to emphasize how your own skills and experiences align with these requirements. Be specific and provide examples to showcase your suitability for the role.
  • Address the Hiring Manager: Whenever possible, address your application letter to the hiring manager by name. Personalizing your letter in this way shows that you have put in the effort to find out who will be reading your application.
  • Customize Your Opening Paragraph: In the opening paragraph of your application letter, mention the specific job title you are applying for and briefly explain why you are interested in the role and the company. This will immediately capture the employer's attention.
  • Show Enthusiasm: Express your enthusiasm for the position and the company throughout your application letter. Employers are more likely to consider candidates who show genuine interest in the opportunity.
  • Proofread Your Letter: Before submitting your application, make sure to thoroughly proofread your letter to ensure it is free from any errors. Typos and grammatical mistakes can leave a negative impression on the employer.

By customizing your application letter for each job you apply to, you increase your chances of standing out as a strong candidate and securing an interview. Take the time to tailor your letter carefully, and you will demonstrate your commitment and motivation to potential employers.

Editing and Proofreading Your Application Letter

When it comes to editing and proofreading your application letter, attention to detail is crucial. Here are some essential tips to ensure your application letter is polished and professional:

  • Check for Spelling and Grammar Errors: Make sure to carefully review your application letter for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Spelling errors can detract from your professionalism, so use a spell checker and consider asking someone else to review it as well.
  • Review for Clarity and Conciseness: Ensure that your letter is clear, concise, and to the point. Avoid using overly complicated language or jargon that may confuse the reader. Be straightforward in conveying your message.
  • Format Your Letter Properly: Check that your application letter follows the standard format. Use a professional font with appropriate spacing, and include your contact information at the top of the letter. Make sure your letter is well-organized and easy to read.
  • Customize for Each Job Application: Tailor your application letter to the specific job you are applying for. Mention the company's name, the position you are applying for, and why you are interested in working for that particular organization. Personalizing your letter shows that you have put effort into your application.
  • Seek Feedback: Before sending out your application letter, ask a friend, family member, or mentor to review it. Fresh eyes can catch errors or inconsistencies that you may have missed.

Remember, your application letter is often the first impression a potential employer will have of you, so take the time to edit and proofread it thoroughly. A well-crafted and error-free letter can significantly increase your chances of landing an interview.

The Common Mistakes to Avoid in an Application Letter

When crafting your application letter, there are certain pitfalls you should steer clear of to ensure your document is impactful and professional. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Generic Greetings: Addressing your letter with a generic salutation like “To Whom It May Concern” can come off as lazy. Instead, make the effort to find out the hiring manager's name for a more personalized touch.
  • Overly Long and Dense Paragraphs: Extensive blocks of text can be overwhelming for the reader. Make sure to break up your content into shorter paragraphs for better readability.
  • Lack of Tailoring: Sending out a generic application letter to multiple companies can harm your chances. Tailor each letter to the specific job and company you are applying to showcase your genuine interest and fit.
  • Grammatical and Spelling Errors: Failing to proofread your application letter can make you appear careless. Always check for grammatical and spelling errors to maintain a professional image.
  • Overly Formal or Informal Tone: Finding the right balance between being professional and personable is crucial. Avoid being too formal or too casual in your tone to maintain a professional demeanor.
  • Failure to Showcase Achievements: Your application letter is the perfect opportunity to highlight your accomplishments and skills. Avoid merely restating your resume and instead focus on showcasing how your experiences make you a strong candidate for the position.
  • Not Following Instructions: Neglecting to follow specific instructions provided in the job listing, such as submitting certain documents or including specific information, can signal a lack of attention to detail.

By steering clear of these common application letter mistakes, you can increase your chances of standing out to potential employers and securing the job you desire.

Follow-Up After Sending Your Application Letter

After sending out your application letter, it is essential to follow up to demonstrate your continued interest in the position. Here are some key points to consider for an effective follow-up:

  • Give it time. Allow a reasonable timeframe for the hiring manager to review your application before following up. Typically, waiting around one week after sending your application is appropriate.
  • Email Follow-Up: Sending a polite and professional follow-up email is a common practice. In your email, reiterate your interest in the position, briefly mention your qualifications, and express gratitude for the opportunity.
  • Phone Follow-Up: If contact information is provided in the job posting, consider making a brief phone call to inquire about the status of your application. When doing so, be respectful of the recipient's time and keep the conversation concise.
  • Personalized Approach: Tailor your follow-up message to the specific company and position. Avoid using generic templates and demonstrate your genuine interest in the role.
  • Stay Professional: Maintain a professional tone in all your follow-up communications. Even if you don't receive a response immediately, remain courteous and patient throughout the process.
  • Following Up Multiple Times: If you haven't heard back after your initial follow-up, you may consider sending a second follow-up email or making another brief phone call. However, be mindful not to come across as overly persistent.

Remember, effective follow-up can help keep you at the forefront of the hiring manager's mind and showcase your commitment to the position. By following up thoughtfully and professionally, you can increase your chances of standing out among other applicants.


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