Write that Winning Application Letter

First impressions; yes, we all have them. Even though we are told not to judge a book by its cover, we all do it to some degree anyway. An application letter is your clients crucial first impression on a potential employer, so it needs to be fabulous. It needs to knock their socks off. It needs to get their foot in the door.

Most jobs nowadays, require an application letter to accompany a resume. While the resume is a very significant tool in getting your clients skills across to potential employers, they can pretty much be stock standard as well; but an application letter is your clients chance to tell a short story about themselves, to sell themselves in their own words, to get their resume read and to ultimately gain that interview.

Writing an application letter doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Once your client knows what is expected, it’s actually quite easy.

Pass the tips below onto your clients and help them get that interview!

Read the advertisement, then read it again

Mark any keywords that are in the ad that you can use in the application letter and make sure you can back up your claims.

Don’t just copy your resume

This is your chance to show some personality and your interest in the job and company. Match the application letter to the job role to which you are applying for. If you are applying for a few different jobs, write a new application letter for each job. Your resume can stay the same, but you need to personalise each letter to whom it is intended for.

Keep it simple

Use simple language; write as if you are talking to the person face to face. You need to be comfortable with what you have written. Make your application letter easy to read, for example; font size: 11 or 12 and font style: Calibri or Time New Roman.

Make sure your layout is correct

There are hundreds of application letter templates on the internet, these will show you how to layout your application letter professionally if you are unsure.
Click here to get our FREE Resume and Application Letter Templates

Include all essential details

The details you need to include are:
  • Date
  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • The contact details of the recipient/employer
  • and remember to state the position to which you are applying, either as a heading or in your opening paragraph.

Don’t make it too long

One page is acceptable, about three paragraphs. Remember your application letter won’t be the only letter they receive. Be confident, let them know why you are the best person for the job. Elaborate on your resume by giving more details about relevant experience you may have. If you have a lot of experience, put it down in years as opposed to specific dates.

Tell them what they want to hear

Don’t tell them why this job would be good for you and your career, tell them why you would be good for their company and what you can bring to the table. Remember, they’re looking at what you can do for them, not the other way around.

Highlight achievements

Towards the end of your letter, you can highlight any career achievements, as long as they are particularly relevant to the job to which you are applying.

Close your letter

Draw your letter to a close by being polite, saying thank you and showing interest in meeting for an interview.

Finally, check and double check your letter

Make sure there are no spelling mistakes, get someone else to proofread your letter. The last thing you want is to be disregarded because of a simple spelling mistake (it happens more often than you’d think).

Remember, you are not the only person wanting or needing this job. Your application letter needs to stand out from the crowd while being professional at the same time. Be true to yourself when writing your letter, put some of your personality into it.

In the end you will never really know what type of person they are looking for to fill the position. Sometimes it’s not only about experience and qualifications; a person’s personality can get them a long way and a glimpse of this in your application letter will hopefully secure you with an interview. Then you can really show them what you are made of.


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