Application Cover Letters
When applying for a job, an application letter should be written for every application you submit. An application letter is an introductory letter that allows you to write a little less formally than your resume and should be tailor made to the job advertisement.
Application letters let you introduce yourself and allows you to showcase your attention to detail, your communication skills, your enthusiasm, and your interest in the company to which you are sending the letter. While your resume outlines experience and achievements formally, application letters allow you to reflect your personality and should entice the reader to review your resume.
Your application letter should always be addressed to a specific person. If this information is not in the job advertisement, you can usually find this through research or simply by calling the company to find out whom you should address your letter to.
An application letter should clearly identify what job you are going for and describe a little about your relevant experience, making sure you address the selection criteria written in the job advertisement.
It is very important to provide or refer to any information specifically requested in a job advertisement that might not be covered in your resume, such as availability date, or reference to an attached writing sample. This information may be part of the interview selection criteria, and if you haven’t satisfied the initial application process, you will not get to the interview stage.
An application letter should not contain any irrelevant information and should be less than a page in length. Check this carefully, as it must not contain spelling or grammatical errors. It needs to be easy to read and promote your strengths and assets in a way that would interest employers in interviewing you.
Checklist for writing an application letter:
- Address the application letter to a specific person.
- Refer to the position title and job reference number (if applicable).
- Briefly introduce yourself (1-2 sentences).
- Address the selection criteria in the job advertisement.
- Address information specifically requested in job advertisement not included in resume (i.e. starting availability).
- Content should be to the point and simple.
- Keep the length under one page unless otherwise specified by the employer.
- Double check spelling and grammar.
An application letter with all of these requirements will be more effective and will increase the chance of your application making it through to the interview stage of the recruitment process.
The application letter is often required by an employer and they use this to ascertain your communication skills to a degree.
It is best to keep the cover letter concise and to the point so as to keep the Employers attention.