A letter of application, also known as a cover letter, is a document sent with your resume to
provide additional information on your skills and experience.
A letter of application typically provides detailed information on why are you are qualified
for the job you are applying for. Effective application letters explain the reasons for your
interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences.
Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, why
the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.
Your cover letter and resume usually provide all the information which a prospective
employer will use to decide whether or not you will reach the next phase in the application
process: the interview.
While your goal is an interview and, ultimately, a job offer, the more immediate purpose of
your cover letter in some cases may simply be to gain an attentive audience for your
A cover letter provides, in a very real sense, an opportunity to let your prospective
employer hear your voice. It reflects your personality, your attention to detail, your
communication skills, your enthusiasm, your intellect, and your specific interest in the
company to which you are sending the letter.
Employers do manage to reduce the pool of cover letters and resumes to a manageable
number. How they do it can give you some insight in to how to write cover letters that will
make the cut. Because, if your cover letter doesn't pass muster, your resume won't even
get a look.
If your cover letter and resume aren't perfect they most likely will end up in the reject pile.
And perfect means perfect - there should not be any typos or grammatical errors.
Employers typically won't even consider a candidate that they cannot see is qualified at first
glance. That first glance at your cover letter is your one opportunity to make a good
impression and make it to the next round.
When writing an application letter you should include:
First Paragraph: Why you are writing - mention the job you are applying for and where
you found the listing.
Middle Paragraph(s): What you have to offer the employer - mention why your skills
and experience are a good fit for the job.
Last Paragraph: Say thank you to the hiring manager for considering you and note how
you will follow up. (How You Will Follow Up: Remember, it is your responsibility to follow-
up. State that you will do so and provide the professional courtesy of indicating when;
one week is typical.)