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Write a knock out application letter that's well formatted

Date: 10/04/2012

 Truth be known...the application letter is what is going to get you into that interview....that's if you write it correctly and pay attention to the little details.

An application letter (otherwise known as a cover letter) should always accompany your resume whether you are applying for a casual, part-time, full-time or contractor based position.  No matter what position you desire an application letter should always be written professionally and with care to ensure that you stand out from the other applications which are competing against. Evidently the more thoughtful and professional your cover letter is, the greater chance you will have at obtaining an actual face to face interview. An application letter is such an important component of applying for employment as it provides detailed information on why  you are qualified for the job you are applying for and why an organisation should pick you over the many other applicants who are fighting for the same job. Effective application letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. At the end of the day your cover letter is a company’s first exposure to you, and it determines whether your application is trashed or fast-tracked to the company’s to-hire list. Below is a summary of the best ways to make your application letter one which employers will pay attention to and put you at the top of their applicant pile.

 Keep your letter well formatted

Employers love to see a well formatted application letter which shows that you took some time to format, align and make your letter appear visually consistent. Therefore to perform well in the area of cover letter formatting you need to make sure that your letter is aligned to one side, spaced out well and you leave at least one space between your address, your employment, the date and the line where you address the employer with "Dear...". Also ensure that you use text which is standard such as Arial or Times New Roman and size 10 or 12 so that your employer can read your application letter easily.

 Always include the date of your application

Whether you like it or not, take the time to put the date in your application so that you can prove to your employer that your letter was written at the time of making the application and also fulfilled the closing date of the position.

 Address your employer carefully and thoughtfully

 If you actually wish to be noticed, find out the actual name of your hiring manager and address your letter to "Dear Mr Smith", rather than Dear Sir/Madam. This will show that you've taken the time to find the exact person who you are applying to. If you ring up and find out this detail and speak to the actual hiring manager directly, this will give you an even greater chance of obtaining an interview as they will remember your name when you send through your application letter.

 Structure your letter correctly

 A great application letter should only be 1 page and  usually  consists of the following order of information

•Address of  applicant

 •Address of employer


 •Address to employer

 •Position you are applying for and why

 •Past employment experience and education

 •Key personal characteristics and how they can contribute to your role

 •Thank employer for their consideration of your application.

 Instruct your employer to contact you

 After presenting your case, make sure you ask the employer to contact you if they are interested in your application. Provide them with your best contact details and when you are available to start.

 Close your letter with courtesy and a thank you

 Thank the employer for their time and end your letter with sincerity and sign off.

Overall, if you follow these small but important little hints there is definitely a greater chance that you will win yourself an interview.

Once you're in the interview you can knock them out with your winning personality.  Good luck!


Written by Monique Jeremiah (Director of Exceptional Tuition and Resumes).