How To Write an Application Letter (With Template and Example)
An application letter is important to include when you’re submitting your resume for a job. This type of letter allows you to elaborate on your qualifications and explains why you want the position. A well-written application letter can inspire hiring managers to call you for an interview, propelling you forward in the application process. In this article, we share the steps for writing an application letter along with a template and an example for you to use when writing your own.
What is an application letter?
An application letter, also known as a cover letter, is a document that accompanies your resume when you’re applying for a job. This letter expands upon the information you have noted in your resume. It gives you a powerful opportunity to emphasize your most relevant qualifications and explain why you believe you’re the best candidate for the job.
While you’re not always required to include an application letter with your resume, it’s always a good idea to do so. This document allows you to present a persuasive argument for why you deserve a job interview. Your application letter can also help explain your resume further, such as a long gap in employment or apparent demotion. While a resume is confined to a concise format, your application letter provides room for elaboration. Use the application letter to its full potential to increase your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.
How to write an application letter
Follow these steps to compose a compelling application letter:
1. Research the company and job opening
Thoroughly research the company you’re applying to and the specifications of the open position. The more you know about the job, the better you can customize your application letter. Look for details like:
- Recent awards the company has received
- Major accomplishments or distinguishers that set this business apart from competitors
- Specialized certifications, skills or knowledge that are necessary or helpful for the job
- The size of the company
- The company culture
- Charitable projects the company is involved with
- The name and title for the hiring manager
2. Use a professional format
This letter should follow a professional format and include your name, your contact information, the date and the company’s information. Begin with a professional salutation, such as “Dear X,” and address the hiring manager by name whenever possible. If thorough research doesn’t yield the hiring manager’s name, you may use “Dear [Department] Hiring Manager,” to address your recipient.
3. State the position you’re applying for
Open the letter with a clear statement about the position you are applying for. Mention the company by name. You may want to specify where you saw the job posting. If you were referred by someone at the company, be sure to include their name and position.
4. Explain why you’re the best fit for the job
In one or two impactful sentences, explain why you’re the best fit for this job opening. Provide clear details regarding your experience, skills, education or certifications.
5. Summarize your qualifications
Mention the top qualifications that make you a good fit for the job. Provide a brief summary of your background that highlights the most important points from your resume. Consider what you want the hiring manager to know first. The reader will likely read your cover letter before reviewing your application, so this is your opportunity to make a compelling argument for why the reader should review your resume.
6. Mention why you want the job
Include a personal statement about why you want this position. You’ve already explained why the company should want you. This section details why you have chosen this company and what excites you most about this job opportunity.
7. Include a professional closing
Thank the reader for reviewing your letter, reference your resume and any other attached documents and offer to provide additional information as needed. Mention that you look forward to the next steps in the hiring process and conclude with “Sincerely,” as a closing.
Application letter template
[Your city, state and zip code]
[Hiring manager’s name]
[Hiring manager’s title]
[Company city, state and zip code]
Dear [Hiring manager’s name],
I’m writing to express my interest in the position of [job title] at [company]. [Explain how you heard about the job and name your contact if you were referred by someone within the company.] I believe my [skills and qualifications] make me an ideal fit for this job.
[Use the second paragraph to elaborate on how you would help the company. Reference specific campaigns or projects when possible.]
[Use the third paragraph to summarize your key qualifications. Elaborate on your most important accomplishments and include details that you were unable to provide in the more concise format of your resume.]
[Use the fourth paragraph to briefly explain why you want to work for this company. Mention the additional documents included with your cover letter, and express your excitement about moving forward in the hiring process.]