Is writing a job application letter something you must do to get hired by a company?
YES, if you want an instant answer. But the truth is that landing yourself a job is not as easy as many think these days. It becomes even more difficult for applicants who don’t know what potential employers are looking for.
Writing a job application letter can tell an employer if you know and understand what they’re looking for. A job application letter is the formal type of letter you write and send to your employer when applying for a job. What many also call a “Cover letter”. In this article, you’ll learn:
- What a job application letter is
- Tips for writing a cover letter
- Job Application letter sample
- Writing a “Killer” job application letter
What is a Job Application Letter?
True, a resume provides a clear and detailed record of your accomplishments, skills, and work experience. But you’d have to first lure your potential hiring manager into perusing your resume. And you do that by writing a job application letter. In a very persuasive manner.
A job application letter is written and usually sent alongside your resume to your employer. It helps you get into the heart of whoever will read it on behalf of your employer.
It is your chance to create a powerful first impression by highlighting your skills, achievements and how relevant they are to the job posting and requirements.
That’s to say, writing a job application letter is something every job applicant should do, even when a potential recruitment team is mute about that. But for specific cases where a job listing clearly instructs you not to send in an application letter, forget it. Don’t bother writing one!
Tips for Writing a Cover Letter
While writing a job application letter may be a daunting task for any job applicant, putting careful and planned efforts into doing that is rewarding. Either you’re a fresher who just graduated from college or varsity and wants to land your first job, or a worker seeking for a better job offers.
Thus, below are some amazing tips to help you reserve a seat in the interview session when followed painstakingly:
#Tip 1. Do your research
Understanding this first will do you good and help you appreciate the tips that follow. In writing a job application letter that will make your employer frantically chase you, you must understand what the job entails and what your employer wants, and then match your relevant skills and experience to the job.
And to do all of that, you must read and re-read (as many times as you want) to get the relevant skills and abilities your hiring manager wants you to offer. Through this, you’ll be able to include necessary and defining keywords in your job application letter, which gives your employer the impression that you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
#Tip 2. Decide to write an application letter for the job
Sending your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to your potential employer without a cover letter is something you don’t want to do– and of course, shouldn’t do.
As said earlier, except for situations where the job posting particularly states that you shouldn’t send a job application letter, you should always write and send one . Of course, you need to follow the instructions of your recruiter as to how you should write and send in your application.
For instance, you should write your cover letter directly via email when your employer instructs you to send it as an attachment, be it in PDF or Docx. format. But that depends on what the job application process asks you to send.
#Tip 3. Follow the job application letter structure
The content of your job application letter may be great, but not following the standard structure of an application letter will hurt your chance of being invited for an interview by your potential employer. And that’s why you should read on and pay careful attention to the section below that talks about job application letter samples.
#Tip 4. Be concise and straight to point
Hiring managers would not applaud you for writing some long essays as your cover letter. They are brutally impatient to do that. That’s why you should keep it simple and precise when writing your job application letter. A page-long letter with about three to four paragraphs is pretty fine. And for the sake of word count, you settle within the range of 250–400 words.
#Tip 5. Sell yourself
You’d want your employer to chase you back after thumbing through your cover letter, right?
If yes, that’s to say, you need to do some selling– by selling yourself– when writing your job application letter. And this involves you focusing on the value the company will get from you throughout your letter.
Accordingly, you can give practical instances where you demonstrated or applied the skills or competencies stated in the job description or posting. You can further strengthen this effort by using realistic and retrievable (or) data that back your claim.
#Tip 6. Properly edit and proofread your letter
How do you feel each time you find grammatical errors or clumsiness while reading a supposed important document? Do you get irritated or overlook it?
While you may have the gift of patience to overlook errors, your employer does not. And that’s why you must take time to carefully keep your letter clean from typos and grammatical ambiguity through proper editing and proofreading.
Job Application Letter Sample
You need to know the structure of an application letter first before learning how to format a cover letter like a pro. Therefore, in this section, you’ll learn the following:
- Structure of an application letter
- How to format an application letter
Structure of an Application Letter
Your Contact information section
This section includes some of your basic contact information on how you get contacted by your prospective employer. And the contact section include information like:
- Your full name
- home address
- Email Address
- City, State Zip Code
- Phone Number
- LinkedIn profile hyperlink (this is optional yet important for some job roles)
That said, it’s important to note that the where and how you include your contact information in your job application letter is dependent on the medium through which you want to write and send it. For instance, if you’re the HR team, through the job posting ask you to upload and send your cover lever, you should nicely type it at the top of the page of your letter.
The address of your employer is simply the contact information of your hiring manager. Therefore, addressing your application to the hiring manager is very paramount.
Through proper research on sites like LinkedIn or the “about us” page of the company website, you should be able to get the name of the HR manager. But in rare cases, where you are unable to find the preferred name or gender of the hiring manager, you can make do with just the title of the Hiring Manager or HR manager.
And this section includes:
- Name (if you have it)
- Title: (Usually Hiring manager, head of HR department, or HR managers, depending on what is obtainable in the organization you’re applying to)
- City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
Using the personal name of the hiring manager is usually advised. For it has a strong effect on your employer, as it gives them the impression that you’re someone who can crack out any piece of information through research. And on top of that, it can give your employer the impression that you’re a social person with interpersonal skills at a satisfactory level.
But as mentioned, if you’re unable to get the name after several attempts on your part, sticking with the usual “Dear hiring Manager” would suffice.
Body of Cover Letter
This is the part of a letter in which you articulate your thoughts and make your employer perceive you as an ideal candidate.
As it’s earlier said in this article, under the tips for writing a cover letter, you should keep your job application letter brief. You can logically organize your thoughts into three to four concise paragraphs. Say, for example, you opt for three paragraphs, each should contain the following:
- First paragraph:
This is where you want to start “wooing” your potential employer by showing your interest in the job and telling them how you discovered the job opening or posting in a fascinating manner. Hence, making them want to read the next paragraph and not want to use the delete or move to the trash button.
- Middle paragraph
At this point, you need to pitch yourself to your employer. Here, you want the hiring manager to see you as the right candidate by practically linking your relevant skills, abilities, and experience to what the job requires— as stated in the job description.
- Final Paragraph
Having done justice to selling yourself to your employer, you then need to conclude your application letter with a tone of enthusiasm and optimism. Finally, you’ll let your employer know that you’re open to an interview, and you may state how best and easy they can reach you if need be.
There are a couple of complimentary closing remarks you can use. Some of the common ones include “your sincerely,” “best regards,” “respectfully yours,” etc.
How you’ll sign your cover letter will depend on how you plan to write and send your job application letter to your employer. For a hard copy letter, your handwritten signature becomes inexcusable. Whereas, if you’re sending your cover letter via email, you’ll need a typed Signature followed immediately by your name.
How to format an Application Letter
Knowing the structure of a job application letter is not enough to get invited for a job interview. You need to appreciate how to format your cover letter correctly and professionally. On this note, here are some formatting tips for your cover letter:
- Font style and Size:
Beyond getting the content of your application letter right and well organized, you should pay close attention to its appearance. And one thing to check or/and adjust is your font choices.
In staying professional and plain, you can stick with traditional fonts like Time New Romans, Arial, or Calibri (Body). And for the font size, 10 to 12 is considered professional.
- Email versus hard copy letters
You should know that you can write and send job application letters, either by hard copy or email. The difference between writing a job application letter via email and hardcopy is that one involves you sending a printed copy (hard copy) of your letter to a company’s physical address.
On the other hand, an email application involves you writing and sending in your cover letter from your email address to a designated email address of the company, usually handled by the human resource team.
Quite frankly, the email application is more popular these days. However, you should follow every single instruction given by your employer in regard to the mode of application. It’s very crucial.
- Letter Spacing:
You should space your letter in a single line. In other words, you should include a space between every paragraph and between each section of the letter.
- Email Spacing:
Unlike the printed letters, email job application letters do not have certain sections. However, when spacing your email letters, ensure you apply space between each section of the job application letter.
That’s to say, you sure want a space to separate each paragraph of your letter, just the first paragraph from your salutation to the hiring manager. And, of course, you want a space after your final paragraph— before your complimentary close.
- Bonus Tip:
Ensure your cover letter is clean and easy to read by your employer when they receive it. Otherwise, your job application letter will get into the trash can. Whether you sent it in via email or hard copy.
The bottom line is: Clean up your letter, following the guidelines or instructions provided by the hiring manager or recruiting team.
Writing a “Killer” job application letter
Writing is a practical act. So far, you’ve learned the tips for writing a cover letter, the structure of an application letter, and how to format an application letter. Now, it’s time to start engagingly writing a job application letter by applying all you’ve explored above.
PS: The job application letter below is for the job posting above. But note that the applicant is an imaginary being., as well as the address. All were adopted for the sake of explanation.
Job Application Letter Sample
5, Eve-Adams Avenue,
Opposite Biggy Restaurant,
May 15, 2022
The Concept House,
Rosabon Financial Services,
No 32, Montgomery Road,
Dear Hiring Manager,
In response to the posting for the collection officer position I found on LinkedIn.com, I write with delight to express my interest in the job. I have a sound background and skills in accounting and business communications.
With over three years of experience in the fintech industry, I would like to help Rosabon Financial Services boost its debt recovery rate as a collection officer. At BMB finance, where I worked as a loan collection officer, I recouped an average of N15,000,000 per month from clients.
During that time, I worked closely with my superiors and colleagues in handling technical issues of customers related to loan applications and resettlement of debts through a quality feed mechanism.
As someone who believes in a good work ethic, I’ve always appreciated customer satisfaction, integrity, and utmost commitment to excellence, which are the core values of Rosabon Financial Services. Joining your formidable team will allow me to harness my valuable skills towards realizing your company objectives, even as I advance in my career.
I would love to discuss your collection officer position in more detail. On that note, I’m open to an interview at a time convenient for you. Thank you for your time reviewing this letter, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Writing an engaging cover letter may not be easy at first. But through practice and applying most of the tips in this article, you’re on your way to getting a fat pay. That’s after landing your dream job. All the best!