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The 2 Classes of Application Letters

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Job applicants write different application letters depending on the position and company approached. Most of these letters fall into two main categories, solicited and unsolicited. Solicited letters apply for advertised positions while unsolicited letters are used to seek unadvertised positions. Each type is formatted differently, but both letters should convince employers of an applicant's value.

Solicited Letters

Solicited application letters are written for positions advertised online, in newspapers, through job search websites, company websites or word of mouth. Advertised positions indicate that the company has a job opening and is actively looking to hire. These letters are written when an applicant's skills fit the advertised position. Sometimes these letters are also used after personal meetings with a company employee.

What to Include in a Solicited Letter

Solicited application letters should outline the position being applied for, how the applicant learned about the position, the applicant's qualifications and how these qualifications help the organization. If the applicant has not met with an employee, these letters should end with a request for an interview. When these letters are sent after a meeting or interview they should remind the recipient of the interview’s highlights and the applicant’s reputable skills.

Unsolicited Letters

Unsolicited or prospecting application letters are written for unadvertised positions. Applicants write these letters when they have a strong interest in a certain company or organization but do not know if the company is hiring or has an opening. They are written both as an inquiry into open positions and as a description of the applicant’s skills. Sometimes they are also used when inquiring about internships.

What to Include in an Unsolicited Letter

These letters should outline the applicant’s interest in the company, the desired job description and applicant’s qualifications for the desired position. Applicants should highlight the unique skills they could bring to the company. Applicants looking for unsolicited positions need to explain why the company should include a position for them. These letters also end with a request for an interview.


Rachel Watkins has been writing for magazines and blogs since 2006. Her professional experience includes working in college admissions and academic planning. Watkins also covered environmental issues for the About My Planet blog network. She received her bachelor's degree in English literature and philosophy from Washington College in Maryland.

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