Patience is a virtue
Writing an application letter is certainly not something you do every day. The circumstances in which you write the letter can vary, too. Is it because you need to find another job because you have lost your previous one, or have you chosen to go and do something different? The amount of pressure you are feeling can affect the way you write. Whatever the circumstances, don’t be too easily satisfied with your application letter. Leave it for a day and read it through again the following day with a critical eye, before you send the letter.
An application letter is your first introduction into a company. The impression you make with your letter is crucial to the employer’s choice of whether or not to invite you for a job interview. It goes without saying that you should write your application letter on nice paper. Increasingly, sending your letter by computer is becoming generally accepted. Whatever you choose, make sure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. If need be, get someone else to read the letter because sometimes we are ‘blind’ to our own mistakes.
Keep it brief and to the point
A rule of thumb is to keep sentences brief and to the point. Sentences of no longer than, say, 13 words. Try to write in a fluent style and avoid complicated industry jargon or official terminology. And above all, do not lie. Obviously, there is no need to undersell yourself, but if you have no experience with certain aspects of work, admit it. Don’t forget to mention that you are, of course, willing to attend any necessary courses.
Mention your strengths and weaknesses
In reality, an application letter is also a form of commercial letter. Admittedly, you are not selling a product, but you are selling yourself. Highlight your strengths, emphasise these without going overboard, but also be honest enough to point out your negatives – all of us have them. Make your letter no longer than one side of A4 and divide it up into paragraphs, neatly arranged on the page. What is also very important is to do your research beforehand. Not just about the company you are writing to, but certainly about yourself. Write down on a rough piece of paper your strengths and weaknesses, what you consider to be important in a job, and how you would like people to treat you. .
Do your research
When it comes to the company itself, these days it is very easy for you to just Google it. Immerse yourself in the company: how many people work there, what is their core business, how long has the company been in existence, what is the corporate culture like, etc. Use your imagination – take a critical look at yourself, to see whether you would fit in here. After all, your efforts will be in vain if you ultimately reach the conclusion for yourself that the job doesn’t actually suit you. Furthermore, you may be able to use some of the information that you find, in your letter. For example, you may highlight a certain aspect that the company considers very important that also appeals to you.
In short, an application letter:
- Must not be too long
- Is an introduction, the company’s first impression of you
- Contains a brief mention of your strengths and weaknesses, but does not go overboard
- Gives a true picture
- Shows that you have done your research