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How to Write an Application Letter

Have you ever written an application letter for a job?

Many job seekers don’t always see the reason why they should write an application letter when they are applying for a job because they feel they can just send their CVs.

Your CV indeed contains all the necessary information that the recruiter needs to know about you, but sometimes your CV alone may not be able to do the job of helping you land the job of your dreams.

Your CV may do a great job of showing that you have the skills and education required to excel in a particular position, but it may not be great at telling your prospective employer that you are the best person for the job.

This is what an application letter does for you. An application letter expresses your interest in a job and shows the employer why you are the best person for the position. Writing an application letter is one of the hidden job search hacks that help you apply for fewer jobs, but land more interviews.

If you are tired of getting rejected every time you apply for a job vacancy, then you should consider writing an application letter that will help you express your sincere interest in the job of your dreams. In this article, we will be looking at:

  • What is an application letter
  • Importance of an application letter
  • Difference between an application letter and a resume letter
  • How to write an application letter
  • Application letter examples

How to Write an Application Letter in 2020

These tips will guide you on how you can write an application letter:

  1. Write an Outline
  2. Write your first draft
  3. Salutation
  4. Use a friendly tone
  5. Make it concise
  6. Tailor the job application letter to the job specification and company requirement
  7. Use typed and not handwritten documents
  8. Use quality paper
  9. Proof read
  10. Write a mind blowing ending

What is a Job Application Letter?

An application letter has a broad meaning because it covers a lot of aspects. We write an application letter for different purposes. Many people see an application letter as a cover letter, but that will be limiting the meaning to just a letter accompanying another document (CV).

Well in the context of a job, an application letter is a formal document that is sent to a prospective employer to express your interest in a position. An application letter is usually sent alone and not attached alongside another document.

Most times, an application letter is not sent after you must have seen an advertised position but sent whether or not a vacancy was advertised. The application letter serves a purpose that is similar to that of the CV.

When You Should Write an Application Letter

Yes, 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 and cover letter, right? But this does not quite work for application letters. Employers will not replace the CV and cover letter with an application letter.

The approach of an application letter is different from the CV and the cover letter. 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.

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.

Why You Should Write an Application Letter for a Job

Just like we have discussed earlier, there are many reasons why people write application letters. If you are actively searching for a job, then this is why you should consider writing an application letter:

  • It serves as a formal introduction between you and your prospective employer.
  • It can help you access hidden jobs.
  • It can help you to be a step ahead of other job seekers.
  • It puts you in a less competitive circle in comparison with what happens when jobs are advertised with thousands of applicants showing interest.
  • It can help you boycott the process of applying for a job online, writing a resume letter because most times application letters stand alone.

Difference between a job Application Letter and a Cover Letter

Many people use the term application letter and resume letter interchangeably because they think that they mean the same thing. Even though the application letter and the cover letter perform almost the same function, they are different.

An application letter is intended to stand alone, while a resume letter is usually accompanied by a CV or resume.

A resume/cover letter will contain a brief introduction that consists of the three to four sentences about the job seekers’ experience, education, accomplishment and why the job seeker feels he is the best candidate for the job. On the other hand, an application letter may have a more extensive introduction because it is meant to stand alone just like the CV.

An application letter often can substitute for a resume and, therefore, requires that the job seeker include specific information about her work history and professional competencies. A cover letter, on the other hand, should not contain too much information about the job seekers because it is merely an introduction to the resume.

A cover letter is like an elevator pitch. It is intended to capture the reader’s attention enough to make the recruiter or hiring manager want to review the CV.

A cover letter is usually used by a job seeker to show interest in a job vacancy after which the job seeker will attach a detailed document (which is usually a CV). An application letter is mostly used by a job seeker to show interest in an unsolicited job.

Learn how to write a stunning cover letter now.

How to Write A Job Application Letter Step by Step

1. Outline: Just like you write an outline when you want to write an essay, it is also important that you write an outline when you want to write your application letter. The outline is the structure of what you want to write in your actual application letter. It is good that you make clear what you want to achieve, and all the things that you want your prospective employer to know.

An outline of your application letter will make it easy for you to write your application letter because you have the structure planned out already.

2. Write a Draft: After you must have done a structure for your application letter, then it is good for you to do a rough draft of the application letter before writing the original one.

When you are drafting your application letter, you can make use of the outline that you did earlier to serve as a guide for your application letter. At this point, you may not worry about grammatical mistakes and punctuation errors. This is to help you develop a prototype application letter.

3. Salutation: Salutation is one aspect of the application letter that is obvious. Most times that is what the employer will likely see first as soon as they open the letter. Since this is an important aspect of the application letter, you need to be careful.

It is important for you to know some tips on salutation before you start writing your application letter:

  • You should put a comma at the end of your salutation
  • If you are addressing more than one recipient, you should address the recipient as ‘Dear Sirs/Madams’.
  • If you don’t know the name of the recipient, you should address the person as ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
  • If the recipient’s gender is not known, you should address the person with the full name. Like; ‘Dear David Houston’.

 4. Tone: Employers can sense your tone from the way that you write. When you are writing your application letter, you must treat the recipient with respect. Be polite and use formal language when you are writing. Be careful not to use slang or ambiguous words.

5. Be Brief: As much as you need to give your prospective employers reasons why you think you are the best person for the job, it is equally important for you to as brief as possible.

Employers are very busy and may not be able to spend time reading your application letter. Mention the purpose of your letter in the first paragraph because this is where the employer will likely look at first.

6. Tailor the letter to the job and the company that:Tailoring your application to the job that you are applying for and the company will give your prospective employer the mindset that you are passionate about the job and the company.

Employers look forward to hiring people that are passionate about the job. Tailoring your application letter may be all you need to land the job of your dreams.

7. Use typed and not handwritten documents: Unless a handwritten letter is requested, you should send a typed and computer-generated document. Typing your document will help you present a well-aligned, clear, and easy to read the document.

8. Use Quality Paper: If you are sending a hard copy application letter, make sure you use a good and quality paper. Don’t tear out a sheet of paper from your notepad and use that paper to write your application letter. If you do that, your application letter will look scrappy and rough.

9. Proof-reading: proof-reading your application letter will help you see errors that you would need to fix before you send your application letter. You can read your application letter out loud to yourself to see some errors.

Check the spellings on your application letter and punctuation errors. You can use Grammarly.com to check your spellings and edit your errors.

 10. Ending your application letter: When you are sending your application letter, you should make sure that your tone matches the tone of the letter. A formal letter closing is polite, courteous, and respectful.

These are common closing that you can use to end your application letter:

  • ‘Sincerely’ or your ‘faithfully’
  • ‘Your Truly’
  • ‘Faithfully Yours’

Job Application Letter Format

Application letter format

Writing an application letter can be easy and straight forward if you follow some rules. From salutation, closing, to the overall organization of your letter some rules makes your application letter appear good.

Heading

Your application letter should begin with the contact information. The contact information should include your contact and that of the employer.

The contact information should include; name, address, phone number, email, and date. If it is an email application letter, you can put your contact at the end of the letter after your signature.

The heading of your application letter includes the contact information and the salutation.

Contact information

(Your contact information)

Name

Address

City, State Zip Code

Phone Number

Email Address

Date

(The employer’s contact information)

Name

Title

Company

Address

City, State Zip Code

Salutation

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

(Salutation)

Salutation is the polite greeting that is usually at the beginning of the application after the contact information of the. The common salutation format is ‘Dear Mr./Ms’ followed by the person’s last name.

The body of the application letter

The body of your application letter lets your prospective employer know the position that you are applying for, why they should consider your application and how they would finally follow you up if they consider you for the position.

The body of your application letter is made up of different paragraphs leading up to the conclusion. Here we are going to look at the different paragraphs.

First paragraph

The first paragraph of your application letter will include information about why you are writing the letter in the first place. It is in this paragraph that you will mention the job that you are applying for and where you saw the job application.

It is in the first paragraph that you create a lasting impression on the employer. This is where you sell yourself to your prospective employer.

Second and third paragraph

The second and the third paragraph of your application letter should tell your prospective employer what you have to offer the company and what you have to offer performing the job.

These paragraphs are the most important in your application letter because this is where you have to prove to the employer that you meet the need of what the employer is looking for.

This is where you would have to share the experience, skills and accomplishments that suggest you as the best person for the job.

Remember to state how your qualification makes you the best person for the job.

Note: You should research the company and find out some information that will help you emphasize that you are the best person for the position. You can research the role that you would love to fill to find out the company’s expectation for the role, and then tailor your application in that regards.

You should also not forget to make use of specific example where possible. If you say that you are a skilled at marketing products, you should be able to give examples that would emphasize that.

Last paragraph

The last paragraph of your application letter should summarize your application letter. You should also thank your employer in this part of your application letter. You should conclude this paragraph by thanking your employer for considering you for the position.

You can also include information on how the employer or the company will follow you up.

Complimentary close

You should sign off your letter with a polite close. For example;

Sincerely,

Signature (for a hard copy letter)

Typed Signature

Application Letter Sample When Applying for A Job

Writing an application letter for a job may not be an easy thing to do especially when you are writing one for the first time.

Looking at an application letter example will help write your own without much stress. This application letter example will guide you to write your application letter.

David Emmanuel

11 South Street

Ocean View Estate, Lekki,

Lagos, Nigeria.

555-555-5555

david.emmanuel@email.com

November 13th, 2019.

Judith Peterson

Human Resources Director

Capital Solutions, Inc.

101 Admiralty Way

Lekki, Lagos,

Nigeria.

Dear Mr. Judith,

I was very happy when my friend, Daine James, told me that Capital Solutions are searching for a Human Resources Specialist with a minimum of two years experience.

From my research on the company, I learned that Capital Solutions see team work as an important aspect of performance that can help the company reach its goals, and how much the company needs a Human Resources specialist that would join the team and start performing at once. I believe that I am that ideal candidate for your team.

I am David Emmanuel, a graduate of Human Resources and Personnel Management from the University of Lagos. My 5 years of experience in Human Resources practices has made me become a Human Resources specialist.

In my current as the Human Resources Manager, I manage a team of 20 staff members, organize on-boarding program for new staff, and prepare pay role for the company. I also have experience in:

  • Data entry and data reporting on HRM software
  • Recruiting and hiring processes (which includes; creating job descriptions, posting job vacancies, creating candidate awareness on available job vacancies, screening CVs and scheduling interviews).
  • Organizing company event. (Organizing end of the year party and team bonding events).

I would love to speak with you about my qualifications and what I can do for your team. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

(Signature)

David Emmanuel.

Having a professional application letter can help you land the job of your dreams without having to wait for years. Companies receive loads of application letters daily, but learning how to write an effective application letter can help stand out from other job seekers.

Looking to land your dream job? See Top interview questions and answers to get you prepared for the big day.

{curated from myjobmag}

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