Applying for a job or an academic program, one has to prepare a documentation pack. An application letter is a very important element of such pack since it highlights your qualification and personal traits. It is crucial to pay special attention to creating this paper because no other part of a documentation pack tells that much about you as a person than an application letter.
In this article, we will guide you through an entire process of creating an awesome application letter. Add these tips to your armory to guard against errors! Let’s start.
What is a purpose of an application letter?
You may be wondering, why should you write an application letter, if you have already written a resume. Well, your resume tells a story about your work experience and outlines your skills and accomplishments, while an application letter has a different purpose. Applicants write letters to explain to an employer why they want to take a certain place and should be selected among others. You have to show that you can contribute to a company (or a college) and prove that there is no better candidate for this place.
This sounds like a challenging task, but if you start ahead and follow successive steps, you will soon become a real expert in composing application letters. Today, we will stop on creating an application letter for a job position, but these are the basics you can also apply for academic writing if needed.
- Make it 100% relevant
Read a job application carefully again to keep them in mind. Before you start writing your first draft, take a piece of paper and make two columns. The left column will be “Job requirements” and the right one will be “My skills”. Now compare the requirements and skills you have pointed in your resume before.
Complete those tables accordingly and see how your skills are coherent to the requirements. This will give you basic ideas and a clear vision of your future application letter.
- Important formatting nuances
Add your contact information at the top of your application letter. It is important to let your employer contact you and know who you are, therefore add a clear letterhead to your paper before you begin writing. This column should include the following information:
Personal web page (if you have and need a portfolio)
- Address your letter properly
Remember, when you are writing an application letter, you are still addressing it to a real person, not “whomsoever it may concern”. Balking this nuance will demonstrate that you haven’t researched the company properly and this won’t increase your chance for an interview. If you don’t know the name, something like “Dear hiring manager” will be okay.
- The first paragraph is important
Your first paragraph should be engaging to grab reader’s attention from the first lines. Your potential employer reads a lot of boring application letters, so be aware that a boring introduction will send your application letter to a trash can.
Open your letter with a strong statement that shows how engaged and excited you are.
Your first paragraph should reveal what you like about the company and show that you are familiar with crucial information about it and your desired position. It means that if you are applying as a journalist, you have to be familiar with the articles already issued by this company.
- Show how hiring you may be beneficial for an employer
If a company has an open position, it means that there is a problem that needs to be solved and you are the one who has a solution. Therefore, you don’t need to tell the employers how will you benefit from the company. Instead, explain how your experience and skills will help the company. Adding a couple of examples will be great. If you have numbers and statistics of any kind – provide them. For example, using stats like a revenue increase under your leadership is a really good idea.
- Write a brief summary of your strengths and experience
Your second paragraph should demonstrate your abilities, qualifications, and experience that show that you are a perfect candidate. You may refer to your resume here, adding the same skills you have mentioned there with more explanations of them.
If you can recall any smart and short anecdote that shows how you can solve the problems, you are welcome to add one.
In this part, you should also include the central and relevant aspects of your previous job experience. Don’t be afraid to mention your old accomplishments.
- Add some information you don’t have in a resume
An employer will see what you have done in your previous position from a resume. However, your application letter has to describe you as a person behind the skills and experience you have gained. You may write a couple of sentences about the changes that came to your life due to a career you have chosen. Add some personal tone to your paper, demonstrating a human side of yourself with a story, but remember to keep it short.
Finishing your application letter
- Invite an employer to contact you
Tell the reader that you are looking forward to having a conversation and provide your contact information again.
- Sign off
Don’t be too formal, because this may sound insincere. Use “Yours sincerely” or “Best wishes” if you don’t know what else to write. This will help you show respect without being too informal.
Hopefully, these instructions will come in handy! Good luck!