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How to Write Job Application Letters

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Along with your resume, you need to write a job application letter, or cover letter. The purpose of a cover letter is to highlight your qualifications and preemptively answer any questions that might arise when your future employer is looking over your resume. For example, you can point out your most relevant accomplishments or explain why you have holes in your work history.

Read the job announcement carefully to make sure you address the specific qualifications in your job application letter.

Place your address either as a heading, as on business stationery, or at the top right side of the page, as if you were writing a formal letter. Skip two lines, and put the date, aligned with the left margin. Finally, skip two to four lines, and type the address and name of the company to which you are applying.

Write a strong statement about why you are the perfect candidate for this position--and be sure to include the title of the position you are applying for--in your first paragraph. Example: "I read with great interest your open position for human resources manager in Sunday's edition of The News-Gazette. My 15 years of experience as a human resources manager at XYZ company and my strengths in communication and organization make me the perfect candidate for this position."

Highlight the former positions or education that would most benefit the company you wish to work for in the body of the job application letter. You do not need to write about every job you've ever had, only the ones that most pertain to the job opening. Mention specific responsibilities you had at each job as well as any awards or honors you received. If you have no job experience, write about your education, internship or college experience. Be honest in your letter, but sell yourself.

Close your letter with a strong paragraph that briefly summarizes your strengths.

In your last sentence, say thank you and sound confident. Example: "I appreciate your time in reviewing my application and resume, and I look forward to hearing from you soon."

Type a closing, then skip four lines and type your full name.

Print your letter, and sign your name between the closing and your typed name.

Tip

You want your cover letter to fit on one page. Think about this when you are spacing the letter and choosing the size of your font. It is always best to go with a simple font, such as Times New Roman.

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