Writing job application letters
A letter of application will probably be the first contact you have with a prospective employer. It is therefore
important that your written work makes a good fist impression. Make sure that your letter clear and legible,
and try not to make it too wordy - your skills and talents need to stand out.
Always read the job advertisement thoroughly; underline the skills that the employer is looking for and make
sure you demonstrate that you have these skills in your letter. Don’t be embarrassed or shy; always be
confident that you are the perfect person for the job.
Make sure that you don’t forget the obvious - your name, address, contact details and the date. Enclose a copy
of your CV if requested.
You will impress the employer if you have found out the name of the person you need to write to; it
demonstrates that you have been proactive and that you pay attention to detail. If you start your letter with
Dear Mrs Jones, end it with Your sincerely. If you start with Dear Sir/Madam, you always end the letter with
If the advertisement has a reference number make sure you include it in your letter; enter it below the opening
Write clearly and don’t use a long word if a short word will do. If you have been unemployed for a while say
how you spend your spare time, for example voluntary work, study etc, and link what you have learnt through
these activities to the skills that the employer is looking for.
Be honest and keep to the facts; don’t say you enjoy bungee jumping - if it isn’t true you could be caught out in
your interview. Be positive but don’t over sell yourself.
Whether you hand write or type your letter make sure it is neat. Leave plenty of space around the edges and
sufficient space between each paragraph. Always use a good pen - you don’t want your prospective employer
struggling to read the words as your pen is running out. And make sure you use good quality paper and