Welcome to our topic entitled Application letter. In this lesson, you will learn a lot about this very important job hunting tool. Application letter is the first ever contact that you will have with your prospective employer. Therefore, it is a must that you have considerable expertise about the nuances, purposes, and types of application letters. As future graduates, you must be well versed when it comes to the Do’s and Don’t’s of Application letter if you really are serious about landing that dream job of yours. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go!
Intended learning outcomes (ILOs)
At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
- Discuss what is application letter, its characteristics, purposes and types.
- Write an actual application letter.
What is an Application Letter?
Application letter is a business letter sent by the job applicant to the prospective employer with the hope of eventually landing the job. Application letter is the first contact that an employee has attempted to that of the company. A such, it is extremely important for the job applicant to exercise extra care and politeness in his dealings. Therefore, a well-written application letter is your passport to your dream job you always wanted after your graduation.
Application letters are actually sales letters. You are trying to “sell” yourself so you are “packaging” or “showcasing” your educational qualifications, experiences, talents, skills and knowledge. As a salesperson, you are hoping that the manager will “buy” what you are offering and you will eventually be “hired” based not on whom you know but rather, on what you know and what you have.
Now, when you write your application letter, use this letter to highlight your enthusiasm and your suitability for the position you are applying for. Don’t forget to highlight your strengths and your skills.
Characteristics of an Application Letter
- Application letter has to be the most formal business letter that you ever write. You are to project a favorable impression to your future employer. Hence, you need to be extra careful with your choice of words.
- Application letter provides detailed information on why are you qualified for the job you are applying for. These include your educational qualifications, trainings, seminars, and workshops which strengthen your over-all knowledge and skills necessary for you to perform in your job.
- It explains the reasons for your interest in the specific organization as well as identifies your most relevant skills or experiences.
- The application letter is a tool used to sell yourself as a job candidate. It supplements your resume and expands upon relevant parts of your work history and qualifications.
- Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will be contacted for a possible follow-up.
Types of Application Letter
Application letters fall into two categories. There are:
- Solicited Application Letter. This is the type of application letter that you write when the company actually announced a job opening in various media such as Classified Ads, Billboards, Radio, TV, among others.
- Unsolicited Application Letter. This is the type of application letter when the company did not actually posted any job hiring event but you are writing somehow because of the common knowledge about the potential need to hire additional employees.
Writing Application Letters
When writing application letters, remember to include in the:
Opening Paragraph: Why are you writing – mention the job you are applying for and where you found the listing/opening. For unsolicited, mention that a reliable source has feed you with information hence you are expressing your desire to apply. Don’t forget to state what made you decide to choose the company and apply for the job.
Middle Paragraph(s): What you have to offer the employer – systematically mention why your experiences, educational qualifications, knowledge and skills are a good fit for the job. Mention that the company and yourself will both benefit from the “partnership” if ever you will be hired by them.
Closing Paragraph: Be appreciative. Say thank you to the hiring manager for considering you and note how you will follow up. You may leave your contact details, email, website, LinkedIn account, among others, should they wish to contact you.
Application letter Do’s and Don’t’s
Here are some helpful tips when writing application letters:
- Do’s: Include the addressee‘s full name, title, company name, and company address
- Include your own full name, address, and contact information
- Use a formal greeting (Mr., Ms., Dr.) use formal language throughout the letter
- Mention how you found out about the position
- Be clear, objective and persuasive — rather than simply describing your background
- Be positive in tone, content and expectations
- Use transitions appropriately
- Follow up after five business days
Here are some things to avoid when writing application letters:
- Don’t’s: Write a long letter—shorter is better (2 pages max)
- Address the person by first name unless you know him or her personally and have permission to do so
- Write more than three/four paragraphs (just limit it with intro, core, closing)
- Forget to personally sign the letter
- Use contractions (I‘m, I‘d, you‘ll)
- Mix up UK and US English varieties
- Use flashy stationery (unless you‘re applying for a highly creative job)
- Use slang, vulgar, street, and profane words
Application Letter samples
Click on the following link to view some Application Letter samples from Jobstreet.com to learn more.
- Clark, Biron. (n.d.) Top 13 Job Interview Questions and Answers Examples. Accessed from the website https://careersidekick.com/what-to-say-in-a-job-interview-questions-and-answers/ on August 20, 2018.
Jobstreet.com. (February 15, 2016). Application Letter Sample for Fresh Graduates. Accessed from the website Jobstreet.com at https://www.jobstreet.com.ph/career-resources/application-letter-sample-for-fresh-graduates#.W4IGTJN9jQU on August 20, 2018