Job Application Letter

How do you write that all important Job application letter?

 

Imagine that you are perusing through the newspaper, when suddenly, your eyes fall upon an ad that makes your heart jump to your mouth. With quick darting movements of your eye, you read through it and realize that you are exactly what they are looking for!


Intuitively, you grab a paper and a pen and sit at the table with a determined look on your face. But when your hand can’t get to write a single word, it is at this moment that you start wishing that you paid attention during those English Lectures, and you bitterly regret having thrown away your English notebook. With the frustration rising, writing that job application letter is beginning to seem all the more impossible…

Don’t worry. I am here to help you out. You will write that application letter. Just follow my lead.

Firstly let us consider a question regarding the job application letter:



Should an application letter be hand written?



It is the general view that all business letters should be typed. In fact I came across a document stating, in no uncertain terms, that business letters should never be handwritten.

However, I looked up ads in newspapers and came across these interesting ones:



Candidates should apply in writing and include an updated Curriculum Vita with a reliable telephone number and e-mail addresses and names of a minimum of 2 referess…



If you believe you can rise to this challenge, then you are invited to send your curriculum Vitae in MS Word format



No hard copies of applications will be accepted…



Applicants should send hand-written applications….



What do you learn from the above examples?

The format of your job application letter depends on what your prospective employers demand. Some will demand them to be typed, whereas others will require that they be written by hand, and others still will demand soft-copies.

With the rise in technology, most companies have found it easier to receive job application letters via-email. And since some handwritten job application letters turn out to be nearly illegible, most companies demand typed out job application letters. So there seems to be more points for typed out applications.

However, in the end, it all depends on the employer’s wishes. In almost all cases, they specify how they want you to send the applications. Failure to adhere will jeopardize all your prospects of being employed.

If the employer does not specify the format the job application letter should take, but only gives you a postal address, it is entirely up to you to decide whether to type it or not. Which, do you think, will be taken more seriously: a handwritten application or a typed one? Which one, do you think shows more dedication and personal effort? It’s up to you to judge.



How about Enclosures?



Details of what to add in a job application letter are specified in the ads. Don’t enclose what has not been specified. The common enclosures that are required are: resumes (CVs); photocopies of results slips, National Registration Cards, certificates, etc; referees; and other such important documents.

Don’t forget to make mention of these things in the body.

Having considered this question, we are going to work together on an example of how to write a job application letter. We will start from the ad in the paper, then work progressively till we write that job application letter.

Cooool !!!

Let us do this!

I picked on the following ad and altered it a bit:



DG Investments, specializing in corporate Promotional clothing and with its head office in Zambia is looking for highly motivated sales Executives Male and Female to start work immediately.

Qualification

  1. Grade Twelve School Certificate
  2. Diploma in Marketing/Sales.
  3. Excellent Communication Skills
  4. Past experience in Marketing and Sales will be an added advantage.

Please send your application with your details Curriculum Vitae and Contact Telephone numbers to…

The Country Director
DG Investments
P.O. Box 333777E
LUSAKA
ZAMBIA



You are convinced that you are qualified for this job and it just has to be yours. So what do you do? Immediately start writing your job application letter? I would not recommend that.

The first thing to do is understand what your prospective employers want. Make a list of these:



  • Highly Motivated Sales Executive
  • Grade Twelve Certificate
  • Diploma in Marketing/Sales
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Past experience in Marketing



So are you certain that you meet all these qualifications? Good. Now rewrite them in a manner that is true to your situation; as though you are stating them with reference to yourself:



  • I would love to use my abilities to help DG Investment realize excellent clothing sales
    My grade twelve examinations are excellent
  • I studied marketing at the Copper belt University for three years and obtained a diploma
  • My communication skills are exceptionally good – I was used by the school administration to give speeches on important occasions.
  • Worked for four months with MTN marketing department as part of my industrial attachment.



Do you see your letter already taking form? GREAT!!!

Now it’s time to make your draft. It should have three parts to it:



  1. The opening paragraph
  2. The body
  3. The Closing paragraph



The opening paragraph

What should be included in the opening paragraph?



  • The job you are applying for, its title, and reference number(if given).
  • How you came to learn about the job



So what job are you applying for?

In your draft, under the heading opening paragraph, you may crudely write the following:



-Sales Executive(no reference number given)
-ad in the Guardian Newspaper of February 6, 2009.



You need to get straight to the point in the very first paragraph. You may write:



Further to the advertisement which appeared in the Guardian Newspaper of Feburary 6, 2009, I am applying for the position of Sales Executive.



If a reference was given, you could say:



I am applying for the position of Sales Executive which was advertised in the Guardian Newspaper ( 6th February, 2009; reference G425).



The point is to mention the source of information about the offer, whether from an employee or Tv ad.


It is certainly a good idea to mention, in the very first paragraph, what qualifies you for this job. This saves the reader time and builds up the interest from the very first paragraph—a good way of getting the edge over the other applicants. So you could add the following information:



I am applying for the position of Sales Executive which was advertised in the Guardian Newspaper ( 6th February, 2009; reference G425). The experience I gained working as a Sales person for MTN makes me highly qualified for the job



Or better yet, you could say:



I am applying for the position of Sales Executive which was advertised in the Guardian Newspaper ( 6th February, 2009; reference G425). I would very much love to use the experience I gained working as a Sales representative to help DG Investment realize excellent clothing sales



The last part is especially effective. Why? Obviously all the applicants meet the minimum requirements. But mention of your experience will elevate your application and give you the edge…



Body



In the body, you expand on what you have already mentioned in the opening paragraph. You should not just restate your qualifications. You should sell yourself.

Of course, you should not mention each and every qualification. That is why the resume or CV is there. Instead, concentrate on the ones that are pertinent to your job. Let us look at our list of qualifications again. Which of them deserve special mention?



  • I would love to use my abilities to help DG Investment realize excellent clothing sales
    My grade twelve examinations are excellent
  • I studied marketing at the Copper belt University for three years and obtained a diploma
  • My communication skills are exceptionally good – I was used by the school administration to give speeches on important occasions.
  • Worked for four months with MTN marketing department as part of my industrial attachment.



Obviously the grade twelve results will be enclosed in the envelope and do not need any emphasis. Besides, how can one get a diploma without proper Twelfth Grade Results? So in the end, the following qualifications are the ones that deserve special mention in the body:



  • I studied marketing at the Copper belt University for three years and obtained a diploma
  • My communication skills are exceptionally good – I was used by the school administration to give speechs on important occasions.
  • Worked for four months with MTN marketing department as part of my industrial attachment.

So this is how you may write the body:



I recently graduated from the Copperbelt University with a diploma in Marketing. During my final year at the university, I worked with MTN as a sales representative for a period of four months. During those months, I learnt valuable lessons on marketing strategies that could be very useful to your company.

I developed excellent communication skills back at school, and I was used often to give speeches in behalf of the school on important occasions.

I am a very social person and my cheerful disposition has made it easy for me to make a good number of friends. This could be an added advantage as human interaction is what makes the sale industry a success. Details of my qualifications are in the enclosed CV.



The last part here is a good example of ‘selling’ yourself:



I am a very social person and my cheerful disposition has made it easy for me to make a good number of friends. This could be an added advantage as human interaction is what makes the sale industry a success. Details of my qualifications are in the enclosed CV.



Include any aspect of your experience or life that you think qualifies you better than other candidates. Remember you are trying to convince your prospective employer that you are the best one for the job!

Some people decide to add information such as their age, nationality, and sex. They may say for instance:



I am a Zambian female aged 23…



This information could prove very helpful especially when the company adds information like this in their ads:



females are especially encouraged to apply…



But most of the times, such information is irrelevant to the job. In fact, in some rare cases, it may work against you. Some are discriminated against because of age, nationality or gender…

Sometimes, you may request information about the salary, or the commencement date, but I would not recommend this because it may give the wrong impression about you. The employer may think you are more concerned about yourself than the company. In fact, such information is clarified at the time of interview.



The Closing paragraph

.

In the closing paragraph:



  • ask for an interview
  • include details necessary for contacting you



So here is how you may conclude the job application letter:



I am looking forward to meeting you as soon as I am considered to further discuss my qualifications and experience. You may reach me at these two numbers: 09442233 or 09223311.



Can you believe that we are done already with our job application letter?

WONDERFUL!!!

Okay, let us now put our letter together and see how it appears:





sample application letter




Any comments about the above? Are you content with the information on how to write a job application letter? Please send me a word:




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