Are you looking for a new job? You may need to write a job application letter to inform the employer of your interest in the open position. Many employers prefer such application letters as they provide more details of the applicant's personality than would be discernable with the usual practice of outlining your professional experience with a resume and cover letter.
In this article, we will find out what makes an effective job application letter and how to write one.
What is a job application letter?
A job application letter is essentially a detailed pitch to convince a prospective employer of your eligibility for the open position for which you are applying. Together with expressing your interest in the job, the letter will highlight your qualifications, skills, experience and achievements. It will explain why you might be the best person for the job and convince the recruiter to shortlist you for an interview. Overall, a well-written application will present a creditable picture of you as an individual and professional and can make a favourable impression on employers.
How do you write a job application letter?
Writing a good job application letter involves expressing your interest in the available position and detailing why you are the best fit for the job. You will need to include your educational qualifications and professional skills and experience. Follow these steps to write an appealing letter that could convince a hiring manager to consider you:
1. Read the job advertisement details
After reading the job advertisement, make a note of the company's exact requirements and compare these with your qualifications, skills and work experience. Underline the keywords and key phrases they have used for inclusion in your job application letter to make it clear to the employer that you have read the job posting and understand what they want in a potential candidate. It is also a good idea to research the company and mention your knowledge of their business.
2. Review professional letter formats
It will help to review the accepted professional formats for job application letters and adapt one of those for your purpose. For instance, you might use left alignment with single spacing, one-inch margins, and a professional font of 10 to 12 points. You want the letter format to look clean and be easy to skim through. Try to keep the information concise and on topic.
3. Write a clear heading
If you are sending a paper copy of the job application letter to the employer, you will need to include a heading with your name, address, email, phone number and the date. You can also mention the name of the recruiter or hiring manager, the name of the company and its physical address. If you are applying by email, it is not necessary to write a header with your personal information. However, if you want the employer to have that information, you can include it below your signature.
4. Address the letter to the right person
Find out the name of the recruiter or the hiring manager and address the application letter to them. You could write "Hello, Mr./Mrs./Ms." or "Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms." and follow that with their surname. If you can't find their name, use "To the Hiring Manager" or "Sir/Madam." Be professional and courteous. Addressing the right person with their name or title and taking a professional and courteous approach will help get their attention and make them read further.
5. Begin by expressing interest in the job
At the start of the letter, mention your professional title, the job position you are applying for and where you read the job advertisement. In the same paragraph, you can detail the qualifications, skills and work experiences that make you suitable for the position. Keep your writing clear and concise.
Example: "I came across your job advertisement for a marketing manager on the Indeed job board, and I am interested in working with you. I am a seasoned marketer with a first-class MBA and seven years of work experience with the Cody Cola drinks company. Given my extensive knowledge of planning strategies, managing budgets and implementing marketing campaigns, I know I can fit in and meet the high expectations of your marketing department."
6. Describe your eligibility for the job
You can elaborate further on your skills and work experience in the next paragraphs to show how these will enable you to fulfil the job requirements. You could talk about specific work projects where you successfully carried out similar responsibilities. Detailing your work experience in this way will allow the recruiter or hiring manager to assess your capability as related to the job position without requiring to see a separate resume.
7. Highlight your attributes
To further stress on your eligibility for the job position, you can mention certain personal aspects that could suit the job. For instance, you might talk about how your outgoing personality makes it easy for you to get along well with different groups of people. You could explain how your decisiveness and strong communication skills make you a good team player.
8. End the letter with a thank you
It is basic good manners to thank the recruiter for taking the time to read your job application letter. Express your appreciation in a polite, professional tone. You can end the letter with an "I look forward to hearing from you," followed by "Sincerely" or "Best Regards" and your full name below that. If you are submitting a paper copy of the job application letter, you will need to add your signature above your name. You can also insert a digital signature in place if you are sending a PDF copy. With email application letters, you can include your contact details under your name.
How do you send a job application letter?
You can send a job application letter to the company by mail or email. The job description will include the company's preferred method of contact, and you should follow their instructions. You should also follow the accepted formats for sending print and email job application letters. For instance, a formal business heading is essential for a print letter. For an email application, though, you need a relevant and concise subject line that mentions the job title. In both cases, check if there is an application deadline and send your job application letter before that.
What are some useful job application tips?
By following these job application tips, you can improve your chances of getting your job application letter read and selected by the recruiter or hiring manager:
- Keep the letter concise. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy people and often have to process hundreds of applications. They may not have the time to go through a lengthy or multiple page application letter.
- Highlight your abilities. It will also help to include specific and verifiable instances of your work experience.
- Include keywords from the job advertisement. This can help reiterate your understanding of the job requirements and your suitability for performing the required tasks.
- Review the letter for errors. Grammatical and spelling mistakes can create an impression of negligence and lack of focus. Avoid that by proofreading it carefully before sending it.
- Customize the letter to fit each job you apply for. Employers are more likely to review and shortlist well-customized letters than generic ones.
Related: How to Get the Job You Want
A job application letter template
Using this job application letter template will make it easier to write a new one every time you apply for a job posting.
To: Email of the company or email of the recruiter or hiring manager
Subject: Application for XYZ position at ABC company
Salutation (Dear/Hello Sir/Madam/Mr./Mrs./Ms.)
Begin by mentioning the job position you are applying for and where you found it, express your interest in it and give a brief introduction of yourself and your professional title.
Highlight your educational qualifications, your professional skills and your work experience to emphasize your suitability for the job position.
Provide details of your previous work projects with other companies and explain how these improve your ability to meet and exceed the employer's expectations.
Thank the recruiter or hiring manager for reading the letter.
A job application letter example
Sales manager application letter
Subject: Application for Sales Manager with Kamat Chai
Dear Mr. Acharya,
This is regarding your call for a sales manager on the Indeed job portal. I have reviewed the job requirements and visited the Kamat Chai website, and I am interested in working with you.
I have a first-class MBA from Symbiosis, and I have worked for seven years as a Marketing Manager with Aajivan Biscuits. My work experience includes ideating, planning and organising product launches and customer engagement programs. As a result of these, we were successful in seeing higher sales five years in a row. Given my understanding of and passion for marketing strategies, I believe I will be a good fit for the position in your company.
Please see my attached resume and work samples.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.
I hope to hear from you.