Application letters serve as a great tool for you to present yourself and your strong points. They are usually written alongside an application form or a resume in order to give it more support. They highlight the qualifications that prepare the applicant for a possible acceptance of what they applied for. It aims to provide information about an applicant in full detail. These letters are usually used for applications with regards to jobs and school admissions, but they can be used for a wide variety of situations such as for loan applications and visa applications. They are often considered to be synonymous with cover letters.
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What Is an Application Letter?
An application letter is considered to be a formal letter that is usually one-page long. These are typically submitted alongside resumes and other applications that require a form of documentation such as school admissions, loan applications, visa applications, dealerships, and even refunds. With this said, there are many ways on how you can format and layout all the appropriate words according to the purpose it will be used for.
Many people might think that it is a huge waste of time trying to write a tailor-fit application letter for the specific purpose it is intended for. However, these letters are now becoming more of a strategy to strengthening the purpose of application because this elaborates all of the bulleted details that need more discussion. The goal of an application letter is to give clarity and specificity about the purpose of the application. You should be able to grab the reader’s attention even if they have not gone through your application form just yet. It can help them analyze whether you are qualified for the admission, job, scholarship, and other applications that may require the use of an application letter. Effective application letters explain the reason why the letters are being written and are also excellently written increases the applicant’s chances of getting picked or short-listed for the application.
Establishments and businesses who may require an application letter may follow certain styles and formatting. This is why in writing one, you should watch out for any specific outline or layout that they might require. Ensure that you go through the application guidelines in order for you to supply the correct and appropriate information.
Application Letter vs. Cover Letter
Despite its many uses, an application letter is, more often than not, used for job application purposes and are used interchangeably with cover letters used for job application. They are considered to be important documents that are sent alongside a resume. It highlights the person’s skills and experiences that may give the employer a good reason to appoint the applicant and just might be the key to opening the door for a career. Though both are great letters to be used for employment purposes, what is actually the difference between an application and cover letter? Here we have a few of them.
With cover letters, introductions are usually very brief. It only consists of a few sentences (about three or four) that discuss the applicant’s work experience, academic history, and the type of industry wherein he feels that his qualifications are a good match for. Application letters, on the other hand, contain a more substantial introduction for the reason that this serves a purpose that may be seen as similar to that of a resume or CV.
Application letters briefly describe the job seeker’s work/professional history. It may even be used in place of a resume. In the case of a cover letter, it need not be so comprehensive with the description since a cover letter is just an introduction to a resume. This can be just a sentence or two.
An application letter will explain an applicant’s qualifications in complete details. A cover letter just lays down information enough to make the reader want to go through the applicant’s resume.
An application letter can be used mostly for job applications where the employer is actively looking for someone to fill in a position, whereas an application letter can be used for unsolicited interest to become part of a company’s workforce.
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How to Write an Application Letter?
Writing an application letter may seem like a tedious task, but it will prove itself worthy if you take your time in writing it. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind should there be a need for you to write an application letter.
Prepare What to Write
The very first thing you need to do when it comes to writing your application letters is to write down a bulleted form of what you want to incorporate. This is extremely helpful when you are applying for jobs and school admissions.
- Add your contact information at the very top of the letter. This helps the recipient know how to get in touch with you. This will include your name, address, contact number, and email address. You may also opt to include your personal website or LinkedIn profile.
- Include the recipient’s information. Include his name, job title, the name of the company/establishment, and address. This gives the impression that you have taken your time to research who you are sending it to and it aids in putting you ahead of everyone else who submitted the same application.
Address it properly to the person you are writing the letter to. Since you now know the name of the recipient, you may address him with “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. [Last Name].” This is definitely better than the generic “To whom it may concern” salutation. It also gives an informal feel to it.
Body of the Letter
- When it comes to the first paragraph, open it with a strong statement that declares your enthusiasm for applying. Make it short and ensure that you clearly explain the reason why you decided to file the application.
- The middle paragraphs will state how you got to know about the application and mention why you are considered to be a qualified applicant to be granted the visa, loan, job, or school admission. Give specific examples. The more concrete your examples are, the better chances of getting chosen.
- The last paragraph will express your gratitude to the recipient for allotting a few minutes of his/her time to go through your application. Invite them to contact you and ensure that you will be following up in the next few days.
The Sign-off/Closing Salutation
Give respect to the recipient by saying, “Best” or “Best Wishes,” without trying too hard to sound like a love letter. Being too formal with your closing greeting may come off as an insincere gesture. But be sure to analyze what closing greeting would be seen as appropriate for your application letter.
Write your name after the closing greeting and affix your signature above it. Make sure you leave a couple of spaces to guarantee that your signature will fit. If you’re sending your application letter via email, simply include your typed name followed by your pertinent contact information.
Always remember to keep your letters conversational rather than sounding too formal to make it more sincere and make the reader feel that you have taken a considerable amount of time trying to draft your letter.
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An application letter will follow a business letter format as this type of letter is considered to be of the business kind. The following should be considered when it comes to formatting your application letter:
An application letter, no matter how detailed it may be, should be limited to only one page. Any more than that might bore the reader.
Spacing, Margins, and Alignment
Application letters should be single-spaced with space in between the paragraphs. A one-inch margin is also preferred and it should be aligned to the left.
A traditional font style is preferred for this kind of letter such as Times New Roman, Calibri, and Arial with a font size preferably between 10 to 12.
Who Can Use Application Letters?
The people who can make use of application letters are the following:
- job seekers who want to prove themselves worthy to become a part of a company,
- students who are looking to get admitted to a university or be granted a scholarship/internship,
- employees who might want to apply for promotions or get a higher salary package,
- business owners who want to apply for a bank loan to have added finances for their company,
- individuals who want to get access to certain utilities,
- individuals who want to apply for an update certain information such as change in address and change in last name, and
- individuals who are looking to get a visa approval.
- When it comes to application letters, you need to ensure that you do not make any of these mistakes as these can hurt your application massively. Remember to not make any of these mistakes.
- Do not write a general application letter. Remember to always match it with the purpose of your application.
- Not proofreading your letters. You always have to make sure that you read your letter over and over to ensure that there are no typos or grammatical errors before you start sending them out. This will give you a poor first impression and might just be the end of the line for you.
- Make sure to not overshare in your letter. One-page long is already enough. A brief letter shows focus and that you know how to prioritize.
- Application letters will always be an important part of an application process as this can explain all of the necessary information that is relevant to the purpose of your application.
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