How do you bag that amazing job? How do you write a stunning application letter?
An application letter, sometimes called a cover letter, is a document often included with a resume to provide detailed information on why you are the qualified candidate for a job you’re applying for.
We often believe the art of writing a letter as really easy until there’s a paper in front of us and a pen locked in the palm or the hands on the keyboard, yet find ourselves with no idea of what to write.
Never freak out. This article will put you through on how to write an impressive application letter.
Do Your Homework
Writing an application letter is more than just putting down a few chunks of words to show interest in a job. It should also be relevant.
Start by doing some groundwork on the job; try and know what the employer wants; spend some time decoding the job ad — if there’s one — to get the biggest clues.
After you’ve done your homework and have gotten the sense of what to highlight in your letter, you’re set to start writing.
Add Your Contact Information
You’d want to hear from the employer afterwards, won’t you? Therefore, you should add your contact information.
Your contact information should be placed at the top of the letter, aligned to the right.
Put your name first, then your address, your phone number, your email address, and your personal website (if you have one and it’s relevant), placing each entry on a different line.
Include the Company’s Information
After your information should come the company’s.
You should include the name of the employer, his/her title in the company, the name of the company, and address. All these under your contact information and aligned to the left.
Putting detailed information of the employer puts you ahead of other applications. It shows you’ve taken the time to research on the company.
If you don’t know the name of the employer or hiring manager, search the company’s website, their social media pages, or ask around from people who might know.
Salute the Employer
Salutation is simply the likes of “Dear Mr/Mrs Blah Blah,” we see in letters.
Your letter should be formal, so your salutation too. You shouldn’t be using “Greetings,” “To Whom It May Concern,” “Hello,” as they all seem more informal, and shows you haven’t really researched on the employer.
- “Dear Mr [employer],” — if the employer is a male;
- “Dear Mrs [employer],” — if the employer is female and married;
- “Dear Miss [employer],” — if the employer is unmarried or a young woman;
- “Dear Ms [employer],” — for a marital-status-neutral adult woman. This may be applied in cases which the marital status is unknown.
Write an Eminent Body
This is where you should channel the most of your time and energy. The body of your letter is its selling point. If it’s not good, the whole letter isn’t.
Start by writing a capturing first paragraph.
Employers read a lot of application letters, and most times they only scan a few seconds before deciding if to continue reading or look the trash way.
Open with an engaging statement, informing the reader that you’re excited to be applying for the job. Show the employer that you’re a good fit by writing in a similar tone to the company. For example: If you’re applying to a school or an institution, you should try to embody a tone similar to academia.
Include what about the job that attracted you — what you like about the company. However, be concise about this and not verbose.
Convince the employer hiring you will benefit the company.
This is a thing most applicants fail to do. They go about writing generic looking letters, and eventually earn their applications a space in the trash.
There’s a good reason there’s vacancy. A problem needs to be solved, and they need someone to do that. You’ve done some groundwork and know what the company wants, convince the employer you can help solve the problem.
However, don’t assume you will get the job, and avoid terms that imply you are already working for the company like “When you hire me, I’ll do these things”.
Look at your lists of accomplishments; does any seem relevant to the problem? Mention it. It should help convince the employer you’re a perfect fit for the job.
Also, briefly summarize your strength, qualifications, and experience.
Invite the employer to contact you.
This does go a long way. A simple act of inviting the employer to contact you will help stimulate your chances of ever getting a reply from him. Show some confidence (without being cocky) by telling him that you look forward to speaking further.
For example, add this: “I am looking forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.”
Signing off is simply signaling the reader that the letter has ended. Although not much of a big deal, it’s also important it be flawless.
Your letter is formal, your sign off should agree with that too. Use phrases like “Best wishes,”, “Yours faithfully,”, “Yours sincerely,”. Try to show respect without you sounding informal.
Add Your Name
After the sign off should come your name. Write your full name on the last line and below the sign off phrase.
Consider including a signature too; however, it is not always required.
Writing application letters can be tiring; however, it should not always be so. Improve your writing skills by developing the habit of writing on a regular basis. Write like it’s your job.
Also, every time you write, make sure to always proofread, edit, proofread, and edit yet again until you can no longer point out any error. Employers tend to overlook applications with a lot of errors. Therefore, you should never take such chances.
Lastly, always keep your application letter brief. Keep it under a page long, with no more than four paragraphs. An employer having a lot of letters to read will mostly always prefer a concise one to a verbose.
And that’s all on writing an amazing application letter. Hope this post was helpful? Help share it if it was.
Originally published at https://howabeg.com.ng on May 14, 2018.