The job application letter contains five basic sections: The heading, inside address, salutation, body, and closing.
The heading includes your complete home address and the date.
The inside address is the address to which the letter will be sent. Always address your letter to a specific individual with his or her correct title. In most cases, the job advertisement will list a contact person, along with the appropriate title. If a person's name is the only information given, call the company and ask what the person's title is. If no name is listed, call and ask for the name of the department head or personnel director. Make sure you spell all names and titles correctly.
For the salutation, use only the name of the contact person. If you are responding to an ad giving only a post office box number, list the information given as the inside address, skip the salutation, and go on to the body of your letter.
The body is the most important section of the letter. Before you begin writing this section, analyze the job ad closely and identify the specific qualifications the position requires. Compile a list of the training and/or experience you have had which fulfills these job requirements. Group you strongest qualifications into one or two general topics (i.e., experience, personal interests, education, etc.) which best demonstrate your suitability for this job.
The body usually consists of four paragraphs. In the first paragraph, identify the job you are applying for and your source of information about the job (i.e., newspaper, placement agency, company newsletter, campus placement office, etc.). In addition, introduce your general topics. In the second paragraph;, explain why you are suited for the job by expanding on your topics.
Briefly describe your training and experience, focusing on your strongest qualifications. Be sure to give specific, concrete details about your knowledge of equipment, languages, software, office procedures, etc. In additions, refer the reader to your enclosed resume. In the third paragraph, connect yourself to the employer. Explain why you want to work for this particular company and what you can do for it.
In the final paragraph, politely state that you would appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed. Include a phone number or numbers where the interviewer can reach you or leave a message for you. Also thank the reader for his or her time and consideration.
In general, use phrases such as Sincerely or Sincerely yours for the closing. Space down four lines and type your full name. If your are enclosing material with you application letter, space down two more lines. Type Enc.: and briefly state what you are enclosing (i.e., resume).
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