How to Write a Job Application Letter

An application letter is written to apply for a specific position. The main purpose of the letter is to catch the interest of a prospective employer and help you secure an interview. Employers read application letters to weed out candidates who are obviously unsuitable and to select the few they will interview.

Since your letter of application is the employer’s first introduction to you, think carefully about how you want to present yourself. What do you want the letter to say about your qualification, work experience, and abilities? Make sure your letter is written on bond paper and is free of erasures, strikeovers, misspellings, and other errors.

Address the letter to a specific person. Call the company or institution to find out who will be receiving the letter. This tells the reader that you took the time and effort to research the job opening. If you have only a box number to write address the letter “dear sir or madam.

The application letter must capture the recipient’s attention and focus on how your qualifications meet the needs of your prospective employer. Begin your letter by stating what position you are applying for and what experience, if any, you have had:

Dear Mr. Huston:

Please consider this an application for the position of delivery man for your main warehouse on the front and third streets. For the past three summers, I have worked as a deliveryman for Oakes manufacturing.

If you have learned of the vacancy through a friend relative employee of the organization or other individual, it may be to your advantage to mention the person’s name (provided you have permission).

Ms. Carla Norris your sales manager told me that you were looking for a corporate communications manager. I have been a senior editor at Watson and co. for five years and would enjoy a chance to apply my skills to help produce your company publication.

Once you have established how your qualifications match the employer’s need you can support your case in the middle paragraphs. Keep your letter brief and focused. Highlight aspects of your educational background and business experience that relate directly to the job you are seeking.

At Motorola, I supervised the work of four technicians and three process engineers working on high tech consumer products. I was responsible for all quality testing and performance standards checks and had the final authority to approve shipment or halt production of any product. May team achieve an overall performance rating of 98.1 percent.

Your final paragraph should tell the reader what action you want to be taken. In the application letter, you want the reader to give you a personal interview. Make your request easy to grant. 

I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications for this opening. Can we arrange for an interview? I can be reached at 433-5621 before 9:00 A.M or after6:00 PM

Remember, the purpose of the application letter is not to tell the whole story of your work history but only to convince the employer to grant you an interview. The interview is the time to discuss our skills and experience in more detail.

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