How To Write an Application Letter (Template and Example)

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Ninel Logunova 21 September, 2022

If you want to get a job, you will need to send in a well-written application letter. This is the first step in getting hired and should be taken seriously. Here’s how to write an application letter, including what should be included, formatting tips, and sample letters.

What Is an Application Letter?

An application letter is a document that you submit as part of your job application. It supplements your resume and expands upon relevant details about your experience and qualifications. In other words, it’s your chance to sell yourself to the hiring manager.

While your resume offers a history of your work experience and an outline of your skills and accomplishments, the job application letter you send to an employer explains why you are qualified for the position and should be selected as an interviewee.

When to Use an Application Letter

An application letter is often used as a cover letter when applying for a job. It gives you the opportunity to elaborate on your resume, as well. When writing an application letter, remember that you probably have competition. The aim is to stand out from these and grab the attention of the employer in a positive way. It should complement your resume and explain why you’re applying for the job.

When not to use an Application Letter

There are a few circumstances where it’s better not to include a job application letter with your resume.

If the job listing explicitly says not to include a cover letter, or if an employer asks you to submit your resume via email, you shouldn’t include a job application letter.

Additionally, some jobs may simply request that you send in a resume without adding anything else. In this case, it’s probably best not to include a job application letter.

How to Format an Application Letter

When you are writing an application letter, it’s important to follow the correct format. The format for job application letters generally includes:

The date

The employer’s contact information

Your contact information

A salutation (formal greeting)

Body paragraphs that explain why you’re qualified for the job

A closing paragraph that does one of the following:

Asks for an interview

Instructs the reader on what to do next (such as contact you to arrange an interview)

Ends with a professional sign-off and your signature

Here’s a step-by-step guide to formatting your own application letter:

1. Start by listing your contact information at the top of the letter. Include your name, address, phone number, and email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile or personal website, you can also include those links here.

2. Skip a line and add the date you are writing the letter. You can write this out in long form, such as “January 1, 2019” or simply list the month, day and year like this: “1/1/19.”

3. Skip another line and add the recipient’s name and address. If you know this information, you can include it here. If not, you can simply write “Dear Hiring Manager.”

4. Skip another line and begin your letter with a salutation followed by a colon. For example, you could write “Dear Mr./Ms. Smith:” or “Dear Hiring Manager:” If you don’t know the recipient’s name, simply use a generic salutation such as “Dear Sir or Madam:”

5. Skip another line and begin the body of your letter. The first paragraph should explain why you’re writing and how you heard about the job opening. For example, “I’m a recent college graduate who is interested in obtaining a position as a marketing assistant.”

6. In the second paragraph, elaborate on your qualifications and experience that make you a good fit for the job. For example, “I have experience in the marketing field and I am familiar with the various marketing strategies that are used today. In addition, I have excellent written and verbal communication skills.”

7. The third paragraph of your letter is where you will mention any additional qualifications that might make you a good fit for the job. For example, “I am also proficient in Spanish and I have experience working with international clients.”

8. The fourth and final paragraph of your letter should thank the reader for their time and consideration. You can also mention how you will follow up or when you will be available to interview. For example, “I will be available to meet with you at your earliest convenience. I can be reached at 555-555-1212 or by email at”

9. End your letter with a professional sign-off followed by your signature and typed name. Common sign-offs include “Sincerely,” “Best Regards,” “Thank you for your time,” and “I look forward to hearing from you.”

10. Finally, check over your letter for any spelling or grammar errors. It’s also a good idea to have someone else read over your letter to catch any mistakes you may have missed.

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