Before you start writing, keep in mind that you will have enough space to include only the most prominent of your accomplishments. Application letter should not consist of rearranged highlights from your resume. It is an independent paper, making a case for your job hunt. You may include most recent work experience, advancements in the field of knowledge and academic progress – anything that would make you a qualified candidate.
To stay on the right track, you have to read the job advertisement carefully. Every clue to a future position is hidden between the lines of a job description. If the employer wants a confident, self-assured person with a potential to leadership, you have to match your qualifications accordingly. If, on the other hand, more humble talents are required, you might consider trying another position. The changes, made in your application letter, should not be drastic.
To cope with this task, you should make a list of achievements and provide examples of successfully managing a complicated assignment. In case you have to convince your employer you are stress-resistant and have major experience in handling tricky situations, think of the times when you had to act on the spot and still had everything under control. Make this a highlight of your application letter and stress the importance of being calm and composed.
The structure of the application letter
Application letter does not equal an informal e-mail to a friend or an acquaintance. You will have to follow guidelines to compose a presentation for your future employers and hiring managers. Attention to details is the key: you have to remember about the correct font size and the limited space. Stick to a set structure to make your application letter look organized:
- Contact information. If you work with the hard copy of your resume and application letter, this stage is obligatory. You have to include your last name and number in the copy of the letter and indicate the time you would like to be called with the job offer. In case you decide to send a cover letter by e-mail, this step can be skipped.
- Salutation. Salutation is necessary. It is formally greeting a person you get in touch with and making a friendly gesture to break the ice on both sides. You can use a gender-neutral greeting in case you don’t know your hiring manager, or write a generic salutation if you are not sure about the name of the interviewer and want to remain polite.
- Body. This is the most important part of an application letter. In the body of the letter, you should mention the desirable position and motivations that led you to applying for a job. You can also include relevant experience and highlight your recent accomplishments, so that your employer knows you support words with actions. Ultimately, you will have to thank your managers for accepting your cover letter and sign off politely.
- Complimentary close. Do not forget to stay friendly throughout the whole letter. Make sure you include a complimentary close at the end and use adjectives like “dear” and “best”. Do not be afraid to sound overly polite, as application letter is meant to indicate your motivation for a position.
Application letter samples
If you are unsure as to what kind of cover letter your employer wants to see, you can start with finding similar texts. This way, you will have a test ground for practice and learn the basics of writing a cover letter in no time. Study what the job description says and match your talents to the requirements.
Your cover letter should stand out from the pile of other letters and show the hiring manager you are a qualified candidate for the position. Do not forget to proofread once you’ve finished writing and edit an application letter to satisfy the future employer. Feel free to include relevant experience if you think that would be helpful.