In this article, we'll cover:
Aside from your resume, the hiring manager may ask you to submit a cover letter as a formal letter for a job application. Under different circumstances, it can go under different names shown below:
Among these application formats for jobs, an application letter most closely resembles the function of a cover letter. It demonstrates your relevant qualifications for the position and convinces the employer to call you for an interview.
This article will guide you on how to write an application letter for employment and feature samples of both an application letter format and an email job application format.
Simply put, a letter of application is a formal document sent with your resume to explain at least these three things:
A well-written job application letter can grab the recruiters' attention effectively, motivate them to read through your resume and offer you a job interview. Hence, you should always submit a short application letter, even though it’s not required for the application.
Recruiters normally would read your application letter before your resume. Therefore, it is important that your job application letter could serve as an overview of your profile as a candidate, and is interesting enough to make them want to review your application until the end.
When reviewing an application letter, recruiters expect to find a brief introduction of who you are and why you're applying for this role. Next, some paragraphs should elaborate the qualifications you possess that make you the right fit, in terms of education, experience, and skills. If you've stayed in the field for a while, focus on showing your achievements and present to the employer how you would contribute to their company in your job application letter.
Lastly, to make a lasting ending for your application letter, express your appreciation for their time and insert a CTA about the job interview. Also, make sure you include a professional sign-off!
In this paragraph, you will learn how to write each of the 6 sections included in a job application letter:
Basically, the header of an application letter should follow the format of any other formal letters. It means that you need to provide the following information:
Example of an application letter header:
9215 Fremontia Ave, Fontana, CA 92335
May 10, 2022
West Randall Elementary School
15620 Randall Ave, Fontana, CA 92335
The salutation in a job application letter is a greeting to the people who will read your document and evaluate your qualifications for the role. Normally, they can be the company founder, the hiring manager, or the position’s department head.
Good salutations for application letters:
Bad salutations for application letters:
💡 Pro Tip: The cover letter salutation is one part of the letter where you can address the receiver of the letter directly. Addressing the correct or relevant people directly shows that you’ve put in the effort to do some research about the role and the team.
In the opening paragraph, it's essential to introduce yourself and the purpose of writing this application letter. The most important information that employers expect to read is a brief statement of your qualifications that make you qualified for the position.
Instead of stuffing too many details in this section, keep your application letter opening paragraphs within 2-3 sentences.
Example of the introduction paragraph in a job application letter:
“My name is Kaylee Tran, an MSc graduate from IU International University of Applied Science. I am interested in applying for the Software Engineering Intern at Google after coming across your job listing on LinkedIn. I believe that my educational background and freelancing experience make me a highly competitive candidate for this position.”
Here comes the most important part of your application letter for employment where you will need to express your motivation to apply and provide details on why you think you're the right fit.
In the same way that you write a resume or CV, key components include skills, education, work experience, and professional achievements. However, instead of listing them in bullet points, you will compile a concise paragraph that best presents yourself to the hiring manager.
💡 Pro Tip: Don't just repeat information from your resume. Keep your explanation no longer than 10 sentences. Be brief and concise since recruiters don’t have all day to review your application letter.
Example of the body paragraph in an application letter:
“I have a strong passion for writing and blogging, which is why I have found such fulfillment in content creation. My first job was as a social media specialist at IVY Travel, where I was responsible for managing the company’s social media accounts and producing well-thought-out content to attract more potential customers. My biggest achievement is receiving the 2018 Marketing Award for doubling the average organic likes from 80K to 160K on Facebook in one year.
The following year, I advanced my career as a freelance content writer. This allows me to write for a variety of industries such as FinTech, EdTech, fashion, beauty, and tourism. I have helped over 15 companies with their content strategy and online branding. My previous clients are content with my active listening, attention to detail, and commitment to deadlines.”
In this the final paragraph of your application letter, you will need to:
Example of the closing paragraph in an application letter:
“As requested, I have enclosed my resume, work samples, and IELTS certificate. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information. Thank you for your time and appreciate your consideration of my application. It would be my honor to have the chance to discuss this opportunity further with you.”
To end an application letter, just simply write a formal closing, followed by your signature.
If you're using an email job application format, make sure your email signature is professional and covers your personal information, like this:
Kaylee Tran (Ms.)
Good sign-offs for application letters:
Bad sign-offs for application letters:
9215 Fremontia Ave, Fontana, CA 92335
May 10, 2022
West Randall Elementary School
15620 Randall Ave, Fontana, CA 92335
Dear Mr. Miser,
My name is Kaylee Tran, an MSc graduate from IU International University of Applied Science. I saw the posting of the Software Engineering Intern from Google on LinkedIn, and I am very interested. I believe that my educational background and freelancing experience make me a highly competitive candidate for this position.
For the past two years, I have gained hands-on experience in coding and programming, providing solutions in database technology, and testing applications. My main responsibility is collaborating with a US-based team to develop four new websites that serve 2.5 million users per month. The biggest accomplishment I have achieved is building and implementing an automated bug tracking system, resulting in a 25% reduction in issues reported in the later stages of development.
The documents attached are my resume and work portfolio. I look forward to learning more about the Software Engineering Internship Program at Google. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I'm writing to express my interest in the content editor position listed on CakeResume. While I have 5 years of experience in content marketing and social media management, I am confident that I am well-positioned to support IVY Magazine.
I have a strong passion for writing and blogging, which is why I have found such fulfillment in content creation. My first job was as a social media specialist at IVY Travel, where I was responsible for managing the company’s social media accounts and producing well-thought-out content to attract more potential customers. My biggest achievement is receiving the 2018 Marketing Award for doubling the average organic likes from 80K to 160K on Facebook in one year.
The following year, I advanced my career as a freelance content writer. This allows me to write for a variety of industries such as FinTech, EdTech, fashion, beauty, and tourism. I have helped over 15 companies with their content strategy and online branding. My previous clients are content with my active listening, attention to detail, and commitment to deadlines.
As requested, I have enclosed my resume, work samples, and IELTS certificate. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information. Thank you for your time and appreciate your consideration of my application. It would be my honor to have the chance to discuss this opportunity further with you.
Need to write a quick and simple application letter? Use the free application letter template below.
[Your email address]
[Your phone number]
[Company physical address]
Dear Mr./Mrs. [Last Name],
I am writing this letter to apply for the [job title] position at your company - [company name]. I believe that my educational background and professional experience make me an ideal candidate for this role. Moreover, I can have a chance to continue building upon the [technical skill] and [soft skill] acquired over the past [number] years.
In the last role as a [job title], I was responsible for [job task 1], [job task 2], and [job task 3]. I pride myself on [notable accomplishment 1] and [notable accomplishment 2], resulting in [contribution] at [your former company].
You and the team can rely on me as a [personal trait 1], [personal trait 2], and [personal trait 3] employee with the ability to [soft skill] effectively. In terms of my educational background, I earned my [degree type] in [your major] from [University name] in [year]. I also obtained a certificate (or license) in [field].
Please find attached my resume for your further review of my skills and work history. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this position and how I can bring more value to the [team or department name].
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
This is particularly important if you choose an email format for your job application. Think of it as an article title that is professional-looking and can grab the reader's attention.
Examples of email subject lines for application letters:
💡 Pro Tip: Some job postings list specific formats that you are required to follow when submitting your application. Make sure to pay close attention to these specific instructions if you don’t want your application to go missing.
Bullet points on a resume make it easier to list relevant skills. However, you can’t do so when writing a job application letter - instead, provide specific examples of how you’ve leveraged that skill and what you've achieved. That will help fully showcase why you’re the right one for the position.
A rule of thumb is not only your resume but also your application letter should be tailored to the job opening. You just need to review the job description carefully and insert keywords related to skills, job responsibilities, and requirements. Doing so can help effectively pitch yourself to employers and stand out from the crowd.
In general, an application letter sample for any position should not exceed one A4 page, ideally 250 to 400 words. Also, keep in mind that the body paragraph is the focus of the letter - longest and providing the most detail.
Being polite and professional will always imprint a positive impression on recruiters. It also indicates good character and can be seen as an indication of how you will fit into the company. Hiring managers will be impressed by your professionalism if you put your appreciation into words.
A CTA (call-to-action) is like an invitation and reminder to the hiring manager to follow up and speak with you further regarding the job opportunity. This allows you to express your interest in the role and give them a push to reach out to you for an interview.
Many job applicants don't make a practice of proofreading their application letters, resulting in spelling and grammar mistakes. These may reflect badly on you and cost you the interview. Thus, make sure your job application letter is error-free before it's submitted.
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--- Originally written by May Luong --