How To Prepare A Winning Application Letter
An application letter for a job is one of the most important letters that you will ever have to write. Its style, presentation and content should have a strong bearing on the decision of any potential employer. Application letter gives a potential employer immediate image of you, more so, demonstrate how you think, communicate and conduct business.
It is felicitous to say here that an employer is more likely to take a closer look at your resume or C.V. if only your letter impresses him. A rambling , poor written, unprofessional letter communicates that you have little regard for what your resume contains. In addition, your hand writing is often considered to be a reflection of your personality. Hence, a nearly written letter could make the difference of you getting an interview or not. Pertinently, the possibility of you getting a job lies at this level because, this is your first formal contact with your employer and you know first impression they said matters.
Rules to Guard Your Application Letter
1. Keep your application short and consistent with the information required
2. Study the wording of the advertisement carefully because from it you may be able to gather information about your employer.
3. The applicant must read the requirements for the post closely and his/her reply must show keenness for the post.
Basic Steps/Procedure to observe in your application letter
Application letter as you were taught is segmented into nine stages. They include
- The addresses address
- The address of your employer
There are two formats for salutation;
- Use Dear sir if you are sure that the person you are addressing the letter to is a male, use Dear madam if your are sure the person is a female.
- Use Dear Sir/Madam if you are not certain about the sex of the receiver of the letter.
- Use Dear ……………………. if you know the name of the receiver you put it in the space. For example, Dear Mr. Isaac Akpan
The caption can either be capitalized wholly e.g. APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT or capitalize the first letter of each word and underline e.g. Application For Employment
- First Paragraph
State where you saw the advert for the vacancy and why you write the application letter. Express your interest for the job.
- Second Paragraph
This is the climax of your letter. Begin by studying the advert, the job description and any background information on the company which you are applying to. Highlight keywords or phrase in the advertisement and any additional points which you have received about the job description. Note the style of the advert and mentally adjust the way you will phrase your application to match the advert. Highlight your skills, knowledge, experience, accomplishment and describe how they meet the requirement for the position.
- Third paragraph
Here, it is simply for you to round off the application. Draw attention to your attached C.V. or resume and you must end this paragraph by saying “I am looking forward to hearing from you”
- Greeting and signing off
This should match the format or personnel approach you adopted at the start of your letter. If you start with Dear sir or Dear madam – you must end with Yours faithfully. If you started with Dear Mr Isaac Thomas for instance, you must end with Yours sincerely.
Dear sir/madam – Yours faithfully
Dear Mr Isaac Thomas – Yours sincerely
Note: These are the only acceptable methods you should use to sign off. Anything else is unsuitable and unacceptable. Make sure you write your name under your signature.