Definition: 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.

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 to write an effective application letter

  1. Specifically state what it is that you are applying for or interested in applying for (e.g., the position, appointment, student or other visa, extension on a deadline, loan, credit card, etc.).

  2. Identify the reason that you are applying. Be as specific as possible.

  3. Give the reasons that you feel you merit or qualify for the position or object/thing you are applying for, if applicable (e.g., your goals, experience, qualifications or accomplishments, positive traits, and so forth).

  4. Identify what you hope to accomplish by sending your letter and the action you would like the recipient to take.

  5. Indicate the date by which you would like a response to your letter or by which you would like the action to be taken.

  6. Refer to any other documents you have included with your letter, such as application or other forms,letters of recommendation, resume, examples of your work, etc.

  7. Include a request for any information you would like to be sent, if applicable.

  8. Include your contact information, such as e-mail address or phone number where you can most easily be reached and the time(s) when you available for calls, etc.

  9. Close your letter by sincerely thanking the person for his/her time or for any assistance he/she can give you.