How to Write an Application Letter
Do you need to prepare an application letter for a job? Do you have little or no idea on how to go about this? Then this article is just what you need. Even if you are not applying for a real job where recruiting firms do not require a job application letter such as applying for a part-time job or even a remote job, this article is your best bet to know all you need about writing application letter
Searching for a job in Nigeria requires a huge lot of time and resources; this requires that you do your best to leverage on your opportunity to always give a good impression to recruiting firms. In the process of looking for jobs in Nigeria, many job seekers always try preparing for this by learning and practicing how to answer interview questions which no doubt is good and important. However many tends to overlook or undermine the essence and importance of Application letter in their job pursuit sojourn. How to write application letter for jobs in Nigeria is an integral part and aspect which all job seekers must have and leverage on because this is your first contact with your potential boss. Definitely you would not want to mess that up right, there is no myths about searching for jobs in Nigeria, it can be as simple as you want it to be, information is everything, implementing it is another. Top job sites in Nigeria provide you with the much needed job tips and advice that you need to scale the hurdles of hunting for jobs in Nigeria.
An application letter is the first correspondence you are going to have with your possible boss as earlier stated. Recruiting firms will definitely judge you based on the content of your application letter. Have it at the back of your mind that Job opportunities in Nigeria is limited in the light of the numbers of unemployed graduates that we have. This implies that the competition for getting job is very high and tough.
As a result of this your application letter must stand out because employers usually deal with hundreds of job applications for a single vacant position
We write an application letter because we wanted to know that the person the company searching for the job is the best and perfect for the position. Therefore, it is inevitable to write an application letter in applying for a job. But what is really the importance of an application letter.
Let us try to activate your sense imagination using this scenario, picture yourself trying to sell a product online or pitch an idea to someone or a potential buyer, how you employ all possible means to convince the buyer that your product is right compared to others for the buyer; how you adopt strategic means, the attention to details in the manner at which you present yourself and the product in a bid to get your product approved or sold for the right price. That is what a good application letter is all about. As you can deduce from the little scenario which I just painted out, In selling a product, the presentation of advertisement and other resource information about the product should be convincing and reliable so as to be bought by buyers in the market.
The same with the application letter, since you are selling yourself to the company and the application letter serves as the advertisement and reliable information about yourself, it should be convincing for the HR or the Personnel officer to go over your resume for further evaluation.
In addition, since this is an application letter, you must in the course of writing an application letter ensure that you do not use words loosely; your sentence structure must be apt and precise. The simple subject and verb agreement should be followed accordingly not to mention other grammatical sentences boosting your knowledge and skills you are offering. The organization and structure should also be given attention. As a job applicant you must note that in preparing your application letter, there are others who are also doing that, competing with you for that job by implication every part of your application letter matters, they must contain contents that will help give you an edge over others, the benefits of having or writing a good application letter is numerous. Before I delve into the benefits of a good application letter, it is important that you know that a cover letter and an application letter are different so do well to know the difference and not confuse them for one another. Below are some vital points that will help you highlight the basic difference between the two:
Application letter of an individual would consist of in-depth information about a person. It highlights the various qualities that a person possesses and would also provide information about the various skills of the applicant. On the other hand, a cover letter is quite simple and would describe the professional capacity of the person. The function is to capture the attention of employer or recruiter, to define that the applicant is fit for the role.
Important details which must be contained in the application details are the vital skill, qualities, and professional capabilities of the applicant. On the other hand cover letter does not contain specific information, but will rather contain a brief overview.
Length of the Application letter: the application letter should not be more than a page. It is ideal that it should contain three paragraphs, where an introductory paragraph would mention about the person and their objective. The second highlight of the applicant should highlight the skills of the applicant while the third should focus on proposing an interview
Benefits of a Good Application letter.
A correctly written application letter will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting the job of your dreams. While your curriculum vitae should necessarily summarize all your relevant work history, education, and specific details about your job qualifications, the application letter should state why you stand out from the rest of the candidate
The importance of a cover letter is clear when you consider how much it can convey to potential employers. As such, it’s crucial that it’s as well-written as you can make it so that the letter properly carries your ideas through the words. Though your interview gives you the time to explain these ideas in-depth with the potential employer, your letter should allude to them and catch their interest.
Common Mistakes which are to be avoided when writing an Application letter
- Avoid too many words: Remember that the employer has limited time, so do spend your time adding irrelevant information or stories. Keep it short and crisp
- It talks only about you: Yes, it is your application but it should also make the reader feel that you fit in the role as well as organization. So try and create a connection between your skills and the role/company.
- Using the same application letter for every job: Having a draft or template ready for your personal use is a great idea which should not be discouraged. However having a ready-made application letter which you use for every job you apply for is not a good move as it will definitely affect your chances of securing a job. The fact is that every job is different with various skill set, so using a previously used application letter will reduce your chances as it will not fully grasp your strengths and abilities as well as your experience in relation to the job that you are applying for. The advice here is that you should never use an application letter which has been used by you before for other jobs to apply for new ones. Do well to always ensure that you tailor your application letter to fit the described role of the advertised job that you are applying for.
- Including grammatical errors and typos: Typos and grammatical errors are a major turn-off for an employer and works as an evidence for your negligence and failure to write.
Components of an Application Letter
As stated earlier, the content of an application should not be more than a page and it must only contain information which is quite necessary to serve it purpose. The truth is that you do not need plenty words to sell yourself to recruiting firms and companies. With simple but concise information you can nail it and have the job of your dreams. However, these pieces are (at most) about a page to ensure they’re concise and to the point. Because of this, you’ll need to include these vital sections of the letter in a balanced and the most convincing way.
- Contact information
Like your resume, the header of your application letter should include a section for your contact information unless specified otherwise. This way, the interviewer can see all your necessary information right away and at a glance. Be sure that this part of the letter contains your name, address, phone number, email address, and your networking profile.
Writing an appropriate salutation often requires you to do a bit of research into the company and who will be reading your letter. Using generic phrases like “to whom it may concern” can create a disconnect between you and your potential interviewer and make your following enthusiastic language seem ungenuine. For the best effect, its ideal that you use the person’s name as this establishes a connection.
The body is the section where you explain what you have to offer the employer and why you’re interested in the position. Depending on the detail you decide to go into, this part of the letter can be as long as four paragraphs—as long as it doesn’t go over the page. If you fear it might be too long, remember to go back and cut down some of your long sentences. This section is also where you’ll exemplify most of your personal writing style, so it’s important that you structure the letter to cater to the job.
- Closing and Signature
When closing a cover letter, it’s imperative that you remain professional. Steer clear of any personalized phrases such as “cheers” or “best” to avoid coming across as too informal. Instead, it’s often best to play it safe with closings such as “sincerely” or “yours truly.” Once complete, sign your name to officiate the document.
Sample Letter Format
Contact Information (Include your contact information unless you are writing on letterhead that already includes it.)
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Mail Address
Contact Information (The Person or company you are writing to)
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./ Ms. Last Name
Endeavor to use a formal salutation, not a first name, unless you know the person well. In case you do not know the person’s gender, you can write out their full name. an example, “Dear James Steven” instead of “Dear Mr. Steven” or “Dear Ms. Steven” and in the case that you do not know the recipient’s name, it is still good and acceptable that you use, “To Whom it May Concern”.
Body of the letter
- The first paragraph of your application letter should provide an introduction. That is an introduction that will state the reason for the letter. Keep this brief and short, you do not need any other long story to add to this.
- The second paragraph must contain specific information which is going to state the details about your request or the information that you are providing
- The last paragraph of your application letter should reiterate the reason you are writing and thank the reader for reviewing your request. If appropriate, it should also politely ask for response or the opportunity to arrange a meeting to further discuss your request.
Job Application Letter Samples
23 Allen Dave Street, Lagos
Company Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr. / Ms. Contact:
I have effectively combined my (educational background) and skills in the areas of (marketing and operations) to successfully (meet all balanced scorecard targets) and (generate sales in excess of 1 million). I have been asked to take on increasingly more responsibility at Company XYZ.
I am bringing to your attention my skills, accomplishments, and (talent for selling in a competitive marketplace), so that we can discuss joining XYZ Company as a (senior member of your direct sales) team.
Major achievements to date include:
- Founded a small business following graduation and grew revenue over the course of eight years to nearly 2,000,000.
- Significantly upgraded workforce planning process of Large Company’s call center operations, resulting in a 15% increase in service level in just one year’s time.
I look forward to meeting with you to discuss how I can add value to your company’s bottom-line results.
Formal Application Letter
July 17, 2020
Dr. Louis Prince
Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115
Dear Dr. Loius
I am currently a graduate student in Greg Mendel’s lab at the U. of Brünn and I am writing to inquire about the possibility of a postdoctoral position in your laboratory. I plan on graduating in June, 2021 and I would be interested in beginning between June-September, 2022.
My graduate work has focused on the inheritance patterns of certain traits in the pea Pisum sativum. Since peas have many traits that differ between different true-breeding plants, and since peas can both cross-fertilize and self-fertilize, this has been a good system for studying inheritance. My work has suggested that the inheritance of genetic traits follows two general rules. First, two members of a gene pair segregate from each other into the gametes. Second, during gamete formation, the segregation of alleles of one gene is independent of the segregation of alleles of another gene. This work will soon be published by the Natural History Society of Brünn.
During the course of my graduate work, I have become very interested in Drosophila developmental biology. I have been especially intrigued by studies of the Polycomb complex and how it represses gene expression during development. Thus, I am quite interested in the work going on in your laboratory.
I am planning a visit to the United States sometime early this summer. If possible, I would like to visit your lab at that time. I would be happy to present a seminar on my work.
Enclosed is a copy of my CV. I have asked my three references to send you letters on my behalf. I look forward to hearing from you.
May 2, 1996
Dr. Welcome Bender
Department of BCMP
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115
Dear Dr. Bender,
I am currently a graduate student in Greg Mendel’s lab at the U. of Brünn, where I have been studying segregation and independent assortment of genetic traits. I plan to graduate next month and I am interested in your line of research. Therefore, I am applying for a postdoctoral position in your lab. My CV is enclosed. I look forward to hearing from you.
Hugo de Vries
By Marcus Amudipe