80% of all job applications get sorted out during the first reading because of formalities. That means, if you write letter of application with correct structure, grammatic and spelling, you are ahead of 80% of the competitors. Most of those errors you can fix with the right tooling (in your word processor). Let somebody else proof read it and you will find all.
A letter of application should have following order:
Conclusion (with Signature)
I don’t write it in that order. I recommend writing it from the easiest part to the hardest: Letterhead, Subject Line, Salutation, Conclusion, Introduction, Body. It seems weird to work on the body at last, but it has some benefits. The other parts you can either fill in or use some templates. The body is different. You have to put effort into it. This proceed motivates me to write a good body because I gained momentum writing the other parts.
As I already mentioned on other places, personnel managers don’t have much time to read your application. That’s why it is so important to write it briefly, concise and appealing. 1 Page, 5 – 10 sentence max.
You have to convey that you’re qualified and more importantly you can solve the employers problems.
Write down your address and beneath the address of the company you’re applying to. Take other business letters you get as a template. You can find the address of the company in the employment ad or the companies website. If the personnel manager is stated in the ad, address the letter to him.
Just write: “Application for Position XY”. Optional you can mention there you read the ad.
If a personnel manager is state in the employment, write the salutation for him/her: “Dear Mr./Ms X,”. Otherwise write : “Ladies and Gentleman”.
Conclusion (with Signature)
Kindly request a job interview and write a concluding sentence.
Example 1: “I would be very pleased to get an invitation.”
Put below your signature and the date. I scanned my signature and copy it here. You can sign it after you printed it. Scanned is better if you have to send it via e-mail or general as a digital copy. The date should/must be the same as in the resume.
Write down how you found out about the position. Best case scenario you can mention a employee of the company.
Example 1: “In your ad … you search a …”
Example 2: “While researching on your homepage I found your personnel search section. I’m very interested in a collaboration as …”
As you can see, in the above parts you can either fill in the information or you can use some templates. The body is different. You have to write something individual for you and the company.
Many candidates make the mistake to just write down the requirements in the employment ad in own words. That’s WRONG! Instead you have to briefly and concise explain who you are, what you’re doing, what qualifies you for the job and most importantly how you can solve the problems of the company. Argue and take stadiums of you resume as examples. The skill is to convey all those facts in 5-10 sentences.
In applications via email you drop the letterhead and you send your resume with documents in the attachments. In applications via form you should still attach your letter of application.
It’s important to let somebody else with good language skills correct it! That will put you in front of 80% of all candidates. This is even more important for applications in a foreign language/ for foreign countries. Let a native speaker correct it! For me, it always showed at least some minor errors.
Call on action:
If you write a letter of application, try my proceed.
– Gaius Wolf