Applying for a new job or a new role at a company is sometimes not so clean and simple. A hiring manager may ask for a curriculum vitae, a resume, a cover letter, or both. What is the difference?
An application letter is a cover letter that is useful to help put yourself forward for a job interview. This is a separate piece of paper added on top of a resume or CV. Why? Because it helps sell yourself. An application letter shows your personality and can draw attention to your skills.
Here is how to write a cover letter that speaks to your strengths. Below we have compiled the following tips and application letter template and format. This will help open doors and land a job interview.
Make a Good First Impression With Your Application Letter
How do you do this you wonder? Start with the formatting. Use professional formatting that makes it easy to read your application letter. The next section covers top tips to consider when you draft your cover letter.
Next, be concise. A hiring manager or internal recruiter does not have endless amounts of time to read an essay. Be brief and to the point but focusing on your skills and abilities. Include examples of past work situations to show how you work and can lead a team for instance. You can also include data to back-up your successes, such as sales figures.
Include keywords used to describe the job description for the role you are targeting. Tailor it to the position to show that you are a suitable fit and that your experience or skills are relevant. Also, show that you have done your research and are familiar with the company itself.
Last but not least, proofread your application letter. A spelling or grammatical error can influence a hiring manager's view of you as a candidate. Do not give them a reason to think otherwise. You want to leave a positive impression that will last in their mind.
Format of a Job Application Letter
The formatting of an application letter is crucial to how it reads. As a rule of thumb, use left alignment with one-inch margins and single spacing. This will allow more room for writing to fit on one page but do not overwrite. Remember to keep your points succinct. A classic font, such as Times New Roman is safe and size 12 pt is usually legible by most persons.
Before you get started, consider whether you will send the cover letter by email or post. Nowadays, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic, most are focusing on digital transmission. The below outlines what to consider for an email template in particular.
Include your name and job title in the email subject line so the reader knows why you are emailing. They will know it is an application, so is relevant to what they are looking for. They can also categorise it so that they read it at a time that makes the most sense for them. You want the reader, who should be the hiring manager, to take time to read your application letter.
Write a professional opening that speaks to the reader with a business greeting. Use "Dear Mr./Mrs." followed by their last name. If the hiring manager's name or salutation is unknown, you can use "To Whom It May Concern"or "Dear Hiring Manager".
Open with your interest in the role. You can choose to mention where you saw the job posting, such as LinkedIn. Proceed to talk about relevant experience and skills that you can bring to the table. Give a brief overview of your work history that is relevant and use the next section to include details. If you found the job through a contact, mention your acquaintance. This could get your foot through the door.
Use this section to breakdown qualifications with specifics. You can include statistics here, such as record-breaking projects, or include awards won. Expand on the information in your resume with bullet points, so that the information is easy to read. Short sentences are better absorbed.
Do not forget to thank the employer for their time and consideration in your application. Be polite and professional. You can mention when you will follow-up again. This is so that they know when to next expect correspondence from you, and they can prepare.
Give a complimentary close. If you do not know the employer, sign-off with "Yours Sincerely". Include your LinkedIn account, personal website, or online portfolio depending on the position.
Write your cover letter in the body of the email to save time from the receiver having to open an attachment. This reduces one step in the process. You will be one step closer to the employer or hiring manager reading your letter.
A Job Application Letter Template
The below outlines the steps you can take to write out an application letter in an email.
[Name] — [Title of Position] Application
Dear [Salutation] [Name]/Hiring Manager/To Whom It May Concern,
I am reaching out to you regarding the job posting for [Job Title] I found on [Platform]/I heard about through [Acquaintance Name]. I am keen to apply for this position and would appreciate your consideration as a candidate for this position.
- [Relevant Previous Experience]
- [Qualifications & Skillsets]
- [Case studies/Projects/Awards include Data/Figures]
- [Values e.g. I enjoy giving back to the community]
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application letter. I look forward to following up next week. Should you need any further information from me, feel free to let me know and I will be able to provide.
[Digital Signature] (optional)
[LinkedIn link/Personal Website/Online Portfolio]
Have not found a role yet to send in an application letter for? Discover jobs online and see how you can go about doing this during Covid-19 times in 2021.