Writing cover application for a job
Writing application is both an art and a technique. It is also a kind of letter and it is also known as covering letter. Generally letters are divided into four types.
- Friendly or informal letters
- Business letters
- Invitation and replies
- Application for jobs
The letters that you write exhibit your character and thoughts. So before starting to write a letter, collect all necessary facts and information and arrange them logically and systematically. Generally all letters consist of 10 parts.
- Senders's address (give your current address)
- Date (DD/MM/YYYY) always give date & month in two digits and year in four digits).
- Direction (name and address of the person(s) to whom you are writing)
- Salutation (Dear Sir/Madam, Respected Sir/Madam etc..,)
- Reference(not necessary in personal letters)
- Body or content
- Subscription (yours faithfully/ yours truly/ yours sincerely etc..,)
- PS or PostScript (to be as a rule avoided unless it is very essential).
- The envelope
For most of the jobs, you will need to apply in writing. This normally means preparing two items: a letter of application (covering letter) and your resume. Written applications generally form a key part of an employer's selection process. Employers use selection processes to select who they should interview for a job by assessing skills, qualities, experience and qualifications. Some employers will also use selection process to identify written communication skills as these are important to the job.
Before you begin your written applications:
- ensure you have researched the employer and the position you are applying for.
- identify which of your skills, attributes, knowledge, experience and qualifications are going to appeal to the employer the most.
How to write a Cover letter ?
Many employers are very busy, so the covering letter needs to be concise.
What to include in a covering letter ?
- Customize every covering letter so that it is relevant to the employer and a particular job.
- Focus on what the employer wants to know, not what you want from them. Try to convince them that you can do the job, very well and that you will fit in and be an asset to their organization.
- Make sure you include your contact details.
- Keep your letter to not more than one page. You have to give your present address. Don't overwhelm the employer with too much information.
In the opening paragraph, explain the purpose of your letter. Here you have to mention the position you are applying for where you heard about it and where it was advertised.
In the next paragraph, show that you can do the job and do it really well - you should focus on covering concisely your qualifications, skills, abilities and experience. Highlight what makes you perfect for the job advertised.
Next, highlight how keen you are to work for the company and why. Try to give some information about what type of person you are. Keep in mind what you know about the employer and mention the personal qualities you have, that you think they are looking for. Before finishing, thank them for taking time to review your application. Also mention any attachments including your resume and any work examples.
Before sending your application, check it over or ask someone to go through it and correct the mistakes. Ensure that you have read the job advertisement and other information thoroughly. For example, some employers may ask you nto send several copies of your application. Others might want you to address specific selection criteria. If you miss things like this, the employer might think you lack attention to details.
You should also complete the following check:
- Don't send too much - employers are very busy and will not want to be boombarded with information they haven't asked for.
- Send only copies of your documents. If the employer has requested copies of certificates and other formal documents, send copies only. You can show them originals, if required, in your interview.
- Ensure your application is pofessionally presented as employers pride themselves on their professionalism and are looking at your application to ensure that you share their values. For example:
- Type your application, unless they specify for you to write it in hand.
- Use clean A4 paper.
- Don't make manual corrections, such as crossing something out or using correction fluid.
- Make sure it is easy to read - the print is clear. Leave spaces between paragraphs.
- Select suitable font size.
- Leave appropriate margins on all the 4 sides.
- Use an A4 envelope so that you don't have to fold your application. Use a standard font, nothing too fanciful.
- Tailor you application to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a creative industry, it might be appropriate to show your creativity. For most jobs, however, concentrate on making the application clear, simple and to the point.
- Number the pages in the application and include your name in the header or foot of each page just in case they become separated.
- If you decide to post your application make sure you send it in time, otherwise try and drop it in person.
If you are applying for government employement, you will probably have to provide responses to selection criteria for the job. Check out the following information.
Follow these tips to guide you through the process and get that interview
- You are writing an application for an interview and not a job. Job applications are a filter process. You are actually applying for an interview. The application is about showing your abilities and skills required for the job.
- Always read the application pack thoroughly. Most application packs will tell you how you are expected to apply for the job. Even if you are a great fit for the job, your application may be discarded if it does not meet the requirements of the application process.
- Read the job description and understand it. Read the description thoroughly and make notes on where you and experience fit the descriptions.
- List the key skills and match them. In the job description there should be a list of key skills, experience or essential criteria for the post you are applying for. This is the secret to get your application read and get you an interview. It is not enough that you meet these criteria, you need to demonstrate that you do. For every skill listed give an example of a time when you have but this skill to use.
- Use life experiences to show your skills and abilities. If these is a skill listed that you have not developed from a previous job, try and think of life experiences that might fit. Giving an example for every required skill may be the difference between getting an interview and not.
- Add a personal touch. Dont' ignore the interests and hobbies section. Although it should not influence your selection it is good to show that you have a life outside work. It helps to show you as a person and can also be used to build rapport in the interview.
- Presentation : A type-written application is more readable and professional looking than a handwritten one. Remember to print and review your first draft and check spelling and grammar.
- Don't lie - You may be tempted to lie about your experience. Please don't. An experienced interviewer will be able to realize this from your application and interview. Even if they don't you may well be found out in the probationary period.
- Ask questions if you have any questions about the application or the job. Contact the human resources department of the company, who should be able to help you. Remember, there are no stupid questions.
- Hit the deadline that you may be the best candidate with the best application. But if you miss the application deadline, you may not even get an interview.