When you are in the market for a job, your first priority is to set
up as many interviews as you can. This means that you have to ensure that your
application stands out from the crowd. Remember that the way you apply is as important
as any qualifications you may have. The application is your first introduction
to the employer. If you reveal yourself as being careless or flippant at this
stage, he is not going to want you working for him no matter how qualified you
Pitfalls to avoid when sending the Application
The Ideal Application Letter
to avoid when sending the Application Letter
- Unless specified in the advertisement, a job application
should not be handwritten, especially if your handwriting is not
easily decipherable. The best policy is to restrict your handwriting
only to the signature.
- You may actually be sending applications all over the place -
nothing wrong with that. But why make that obvious by sending photocopies
of an original application letter? Each application should be an
original. When you send in illegible handwritten application letters
or photocopies/cyclostyled sheets you can bid goodbye to any hopes
of an interview call.
- It is inadvisable to use someone else's letterhead (may be that
of the company where you are working) to write your application.
It reflects a certain laxity in your integrity.
- When you seal your application letter in the envelope don't become
so generous with the quantity of gum on the envelope that the receiver
cannot extricate it. If the letter cannot be easily taken out you
won't be called either especially if it gets torn in the process.
- A badly folded letter can also spoil the whole image of an otherwise
well-typed letter on good quality paper.
The Ideal Application Letter
The application letter is usually in the nature of a
brief covering letter to your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume /
bio-data which highlights your qualifications and experience (relevant
to the job you are applying for).
It helps to focus on how your skills match with what the employer
is looking for, based on his advertisement. It then, shows that
you have read the advertisement carefully; given thought to the
employer's needs and contribution you can make and demonstrates
that you are not just looking for a job - any job.
The kind of letter you write is very important. Very few people
go to the trouble of writing a good letter. If you do make an effort
composing a letter, your application will have more chances of surviving
to the next stage.
A good letter does not mean a long letter; in fact, the very opposite
is true - it should be concise, to the point and well phrased. It
should not stretch to more than one page. If you are to send in
an application form, the letter should be even shorter.
Points to remember for an Application letter:
- Address it to the right person; get the address absolutely correct.
- If writing to a named person, start with 'Dear Mr./Ms. X' and
end it 'Yours sincerely'.
- If writing to an unnamed person start with 'Dear Sir/Madam'
and end it 'Yours faithfully'.
- Mention the advertisement first, then the precise job title,
where you saw it and on which date.
- The next paragraph should say briefly why you think you would
be suitable for the work and when you could start (if this is
- Enclose your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and state that your are doing
- Do a rough copy first.
- Have the application typed, if possible on an electronic typewriter.
- Use good quality white bond paper to type the application and
use a matching quality and color of envelope. When using personal
stationery make sure it is not garish.
- Use an envelope larger than the contents (an envelope - 9" x
4" should take your letter easily).
- Fold the letter as little as you can.
- Have the application neatly typed - with a layout pleasing to
the eye - and without errors (take the services of a professional).
· Get somebody to look the whole thing over, for instance, ask
a parent or teacher to do so. · Make a copy of your file.
If care is taken to avoid the common pitfalls in writing out a
job application and to prepare a neat, complete and compact document
which also explains how the employer will benefit from the skills
you offer, you would have crossed the first, and perhaps, the most
difficult hurdle in the search for a job. The employer and you both
stand to benefit and find mutual satisfaction in the process.