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Preparing an Application Letter
So you have written your CV showcasing your knowledge and skills. It is easy to read, accurate and eye-catching, your spelling and grammar are correct and you have got all of your evidence to back up what you say. You cannot fail, or can you?
Whether your potential employer has requested a CV or an application form, in the vast majority of cases you will need to produce a covering letter. It may be that even before they read your form or look through your CV, the employer will make an initial judgement based on your letter. So, if your CV is the “first foot in the door”, then your letter could determine whether the door is ajar or whether it is bolted firmly shut!
Just like the CV, the covering letter needs to tick certain boxes. It must be professional in its appearance, set out in a business-like manner and it must be accurate. How do you achieve this and what does the letter need to cover?
Again, like the CV, there are many opinions and ideas on writing your covering letter. Here are some key points that you’ll need to consider:
Address it to the correct person
Take the time to find out where your application needs to go. What is the name of the person who will be considering the application and what is their title and job role?
Explain the reason for your interest
Tell them why you are interested in the role and what attracts you to the company.
Answer questions that are raised in the advert
If your potential employer has asked for specific information, then supply it. If, for example, you are asked about your salary details or referees then include them here.
Spotlight the most relevant information
You are trying to match yourself to the job on offer so spell out what it is that makes you suitable. Your letter should be even more precise, highlighting the absolute essentials for the job.
Use appropriate language
Just like your CV, use business-like language that is clearly understood. Check your spelling and grammar and make sure you use a positive tone in your writing.
You have taken the trouble to find out who to send the letter to and you have addressed it to them in person so make sure you sign-off correctly. If you have used the person’s name, then use ‘Yours sincerely’. If you’ve addressed the letter Dear Sir (or the like) then sign-off with ‘Yours faithfully’. Use good quality stationary.