Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Application for Employment

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When sending a company your resume for a job or internship, it's always a good idea to include a letter of application.

What should you write? Your application letter should contain information on the position you are applying for and your qualifications for the job. It should be properly organized, formatted and spaced so it's readable and makes the best impression on the hiring manager.

Here are guidelines to follow when writing a letter of application for employment.

Guidelines for Writing a Job Application Letter

Length: A letter of application should be no more than one page long.

Format: A letter of application should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Use about 1" margins and align your text to the left, which is the standard alignment for most documents.

Font: Use a traditional font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The font size should be between 10 and 12 points.

How to Organize a Letter of Application

Header: A letter of application should begin with both you and the employer's contact information (name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.

Salutation: Begin your letter with "Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name." If you do not know the employer's last name, simply write, "Dear Hiring Manager."

Introduction: Begin by stating what job you are applying for. Explain where you heard about the job, particularly if you heard about it from a contact associated with the company.

Briefly mention how your skills and experience match the company and/or position; this will give the employer a preview of the rest of your letter.

Body: In a paragraph or two, explain why you are interested in the job and why you make an excellent candidate for the position. Mention specific qualifications listed in the job posting, and explain how you meet those qualifications. Do not simply restate your resume, but provide specific examples that demonstrate your abilities. You can either write about these specific examples in complete sentences or in a bulleted format.

Closing: Restate how your skills make you a strong fit for the company and/or position. State that you would like to interview and/or discuss employment opportunities. Explain what you will do to follow up, and when you will do it. Thank the employer for his/her consideration.

Signature: End with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information.

Proof and Edit Your Letter

Remember to proof and edit your letter before sending it. It may sound silly, but also be sure to include the correct employer and company names - when you write many letters of application at once, it is easy to make a mistake.

If you are applying to a job in advertising or another field that emphasizes creativity, you might be able to be more flexible with these guidelines.

However, think closely about the position and the company before deviating drastically from this format.

Read More: Sample Job Applications | Sample Resumes