Letter of Application

Letter of Application :


It is possible to avoid writing friendly letters. Telephoning a friend is always an attractive option. However, some types of business letters cannot be avoided. One such business letter is the letter of application. If you respond to an advertisement in the classified section of a newspaper, there often is no telephone number given or application form to fill out. You are expected to respond in writing. Even with an application form and a résumé, enclosing a cover letter is recommended. Many employers base part of their hiring decision on the quality of the letters they receive.

In a letter of application, you are really promoting yourself and selling your skills. You want to interest the audience (the reader) in your qualifications so that he/she will think you are right for the job. The real purpose of a letter of application is to get a job interview. Only if you have an interview, will you have the chance to meet face to face with the person who does the hiring and convince him/her that you are the best candidate. Writing a good letter of application is, therefore, one of the most important letters you will ever write.

Use a modified block form if handwriting the letter and full block or block format if typing or keyboarding the letter.

In the first paragraph, say clearly which job you are applying for and how you found out that the job was available. If you are including a resume, say so.

In the second paragraph, tell the reader about specific skills and work experience that relate directly to the position the company is trying to fill. You might mention that you are a self-starter who works well as a team member or that you have success dealing with the public. Focus on the skills and abilities you can offer the company. Never say you want the job because you need the money. The employer wants someone who will give something important to his business, not someone who just takes a cheque.

In the third and last paragraph, state the purpose of your letter and ask for an interview. Be sure to thank the reader for looking at your letter and resume.

Sometimes, a resume may not be necessary. In this case, mention your education, work experience, school/community involvement appropriate to the job and the names of two or three references. Do not go into great detail in the letter. A list, or brief paragraph, outlining your background is sufficient. Remember, end the letter by asking for an interview at the employer's convenience and be sure to provide a telephone number where you can be reached.

The sample letter of application on the next page reads, Dear Sir or Madame, you should use this only as a last resort. Find out the name and title of the recipient, even if it means a long distance call. Would you hire someone who didn’t have the energy or initiative to find out who would read his/her letter of application?

Try to keep letters of application to less than a page in length.

45 Lawson Street
Saint John, NB E2K 5E5

September 2, 1999

Box 314

The Saint John Crier
1512 King Blvd.
Saint John, NB E2L 1J5

Dear Sir or Madam,

This letter is in reply to your advertisement in yesterday's Saint John Crier for a secretary and office manager. Please consider my resume in your search.

As a graduate of the Office Technology course from New Brunswick Community College in Saint John, I can offer you the best managerial skills as well as familiarity with all the latest office technologies. I have energy, enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn. In addition, my experience as a volunteer at the Teen Help Centre has given me good interpersonal skills and shown me the importance of being a team player.

I would like the opportunity to discuss my background and qualifications with you at your convenience; telephone 555-1213. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours,

Mary-Beth White

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