How to write an application letter for a job offer:A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write a Cover Letter That Gets Results

You want your resume to look polished for a job or entry into grad school. An application letter is equally essential for those who came in late to this competitive market. This letter will help you demonstrate your professional skills and showcase the experiences you have earned during your academic or previous professional commitments. This article will give you an insight into how to write an application letter and what key factors to include to enhance its presentability. 

Let’s explore the basic formats, the points to include in this list, and the factors to exclude –

How to write an application letter correctly?

Only a correct set of words are not important; the format is equally crucial while writing down an application letter. Let’s check out the details –

Application letter for a job

When writing an application letter for a job, you must have already – 

Researched in detail about both the company and the job profile. You have noted how and why this company is ahead of its competitors and its culture and reputation in the market. Regarding the job profile, you have got an idea about the specialized certifications and skillset required from your end. 

Step 1 – Use a professional format. Begin with the salutation and the name of the hiring manager. Eg: ‘Dear A.’ 

In case you do not have a name, go in for – ‘Dear (Name of the department) Hiring Manager.’ 

Step 2 – Start your letter by clearly stating the position you are applying for. In case you were referred by someone/or saw a job posting, state that. 

Step 3 – Detail why you are ‘tailored’ for this job. State your academic qualifications (those that are required for the job), your previous experience (if any), and your certifications (in case of a professional course). 

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Step 4 – You have to summarise your qualifications briefly. You have to write this part using professional and compelling language to detail your experience and qualifications in tune with the job posting. This is the ‘most important’ part, which will highlight ‘your’ credentials and showcase why you are qualified for this job. 

Step 5 – End your application letter with a professional closing statement. Mention why you want to get this job, what you will bring to the table if given the job, and that you are looking forward to reaching the next stage of the hiring process. Conclude with Sincerely and Regards. 

Include the documents and mention the same on a closing note. That’s how to write an application letter for getting a job opportunity. 

Now, let’s concentrate on your application letter for grad school.

Application letter for admission to a graduate school

For this – 

Step 1 – You will have to address your letter. For this, rather than the name it is better to use the recipient’s position since you are praying for an interview regarding an academic concern. Along with that, you must use your mail address, phone number, and physical address. 

Step 2 – It goes without saying that you must use a formal salutation. Eg: Dear (title) Admission Coordinator, Department Head/ To Whom It May Concern. 

Step 3 – Then, you need to create a subject line. This brief line will give an idea about the letter. Eg: Application for admission (to the specific course). 

Step 4 – You will have to introduce your purpose for doing this course and your specific interest in the same. This is the section you must focus on most when you want to understand how to write an application letter. In this segment, you will have to compellingly write out why you are interested in this program and how your previous academic background makes you the ‘perfect’ for this concerned program. 

Step 5 – This is another segment for you to highlight your achievements in academics and the skills you have obtained. Note down your certificate courses, notable references, and mentors, as well as the awards/recognitions that you have received. 

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Step 6 – This will be your last note or concluding section. Herein, you will reiterate why you wish to join this course/program and close the letter by thanking and salutations. 

As you must have seen from the examples above, words enrich your letter, but placing those words coherently and in alignment to hit the target audience is critical. Also, the application letters mentioned above are the most common ones you must write out. 

What to include in the application letter?

Assuming you have read the above section well, you already have a fair idea about how to write an application letter. Hence, in this section, you will obtain a little more clarity about ‘what things to include’ in this application letter. 

  • Ensure that your qualifications are tailored according to the demands of the job you’ve applied for. 
  • Address it to a specific person. Try to avoid Sir/Ma’am (use only if the specific person is unavailable).
  • You must include the reason for writing the application letter specifically. Be as precise as possible and highlight the relevant portions. 
  • As far as documents are concerned – you must attach the experience and academic certificates and mention the same clearly in the letter. 
  • Lastly, use positive language throughout the letter (but not unclear acronyms or jargon/ also do a grammar check), and assuredly show your inclination to appear for an interview or join the course. However, your language must not reflect overenthusiasm since that could be a turn-off. 

Follow this format along with a professional appearance, and assuredly you will have a ‘worth it’ application letter. 

What to leave out in the application letter? 

In your quest to know how to write an application letter, you have clarity about the formats and the points to include in the letter. This section will outline the ‘not to include’ points in your application letter to enhance the quality of the letter and thereby improve your chances of getting accepted. 

  • The language must not be generic and should not be a repetition of the pointers mentioned in your resume. 
  • Put your emphasis on the qualities that you possess, specifically your strengths. There’s no need to apologize for the skills that you do not have constantly. Rather, let them know that you are more than interested in picking up those skills. 
  • Ensure certifications and documents support all your claims. Also, you may take references from resume publications but do not copy the same. Both these come under falsification and could result in you being rejected. 
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An application letter is your gateway to landing an interview for the job, or grad school. It is only at the interview stage that you push for the job or the enrolment. Therefore, to get your foot through the door, knowing merely how to write an application letter is not enough. Formatting it correctly and using precise ‘target words’ is the key to success. If you found this article helpful, then do share it with your friends and colleagues who require help.

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Frequently Ask Questions 

Q1: What is an application letter?

Ans: An application letter, also known as a cover letter, is a formal document that accompanies a resume or CV when applying for a job or seeking admission to an educational institution. It introduces the applicant, highlights relevant qualifications and experiences, and expresses interest in the position or program.

Q2: What should I include in an application letter?

Ans: In an application letter, include your contact information, the date, a professional salutation, an introductory paragraph expressing your interest, a body paragraph highlighting your skills and experiences, a closing paragraph summarising your key points, and a polite closing. Additionally, mention any attachments such as a resume or references.

Q3: How do I tailor an application letter to a specific job?

Ans: To tailor an application letter to a specific job, carefully review the job description and requirements. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences that match the job criteria. Customise the content and language to align with the company’s values and culture. Show enthusiasm for the specific role and demonstrate how you can contribute to the organisation.

Q4: How long should an application letter be?

Ans: An application letter should be concise and focused. Ideally, it should not exceed one page. Use clear and concise language to communicate your qualifications effectively. Avoid unnecessary details and ensure that the letter is well-structured and easy to read.

Q5: Should I send a printed or digital application letter?

Ans: It depends on the employer’s instructions and preferences. Many companies accept digital application letters via email or online application systems. In such cases, follow the specified format (e.g., PDF or Word document) and ensure the file is properly named. If the employer requests a printed copy, follow their instructions and submit a neatly printed, professional-looking application letter on high-quality paper.

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