Writing a Great Letter of Application
When you sit down to begin drafting your letter of application, remember that a good letter of application, combined with a good curriculum vitae or resume, will produce a job interview – not a job offer. Always bear in mind that the purpose of the letter of application is to seize the hiring manager’s attention. In the same time, make sure you don’t want your letter to be interpreted as something like, “Bring me in for an interview for this job!”
You may begin by saying what position you are applying for, and where you learned about the opening:
“I would like to be considered for your opening for a customer care officer, as advertised in the Morning Newspaper.”
The nice thing about this opening is that anyone in the company can read your letter and understand what you want.
Next you should follow up with one to three paragraphs explaining why the job fits you like perfectly. There are several ways to do this.
If your job history is well-suited to the job offer, your letter should draw attention as following:
As my curriculum vitae shows, I was a customer care officer at the Blue Foundation from 2000 until 2003. That experience provided me a solid understanding of customer relations. I also gained experience in the field as an undergraduate, when I worked on alumni volunteering program for my college’s campaign.
You should then draw the employer’s attention to related skills and experience that qualify you for the opening:
“I also have two years’ experience in corporate communications for the Verom Company. Through that work I gained a good understanding of how corporations view their customer care relations, and what considerations they take when solving difficult situations for their clients. I also gained experience in planning and carrying out strategic communication campaigns. I believe I am able to put this knowledge to work for your company’s benefit in identifying and finding appropriate solutions within customer relations.”
You should also stress your degrees, certifications, and educational experience that is required for the position, or that would improve your ability to perform in it:
“I received my master’s degree in management administration from University of South Carolina this spring.”
You should conclude by restating your interest in the job opening and making a clear request for an interview:
“I am very interested in your job as a customer care officer. It would allow me to put my experience in building corporate customer relations and my skills in strategic communications to good use. I hope I have the opportunity to meet with you in order to learn more about this position and to discuss how I could contribute to your organization’s goals.”
As a general rule, it is advisable to keep your letter of application concise. Try not to go over a page and a half. (A single page is even better). The tone should always be formal. Always remember that your letter of application is the equivalent of meeting with someone for the first time. It’s better to act in a caution way rather than to risk coming across as inappropriate for the company’s culture.