A job application letter, together with your CV, forms your calling card that you leave with companies prior to a job interview. These documents will possibly be the reason for your future employer to give you the job. While your CV sums up facts & figures about your skills, personal data, work experience and education, the job application cover letter is intended as a more personal note in which you share your motivation for this position, explain how you heard about the vacancy and discuss what personal skills you have that will be useful for this position. Below you will find a good example of a job application letter, which you can use as a guide when writing your own application letter.
What does an application letter contain?
Even though application letters are the perfect vehicle to show something of your personality, all application letters usually comprise the same standard components. The structure is very important: many employers value a set outline that allows them to quickly scan the primary data. A professional and powerful application letter consists of the following:
- Your address
- The address of the company you are addressing
- Location and date
- A reference line, followed by the reason for writing the letter (this only applies to hard-copy letters sent by post; if you are sending your letter by e-mail, you can put this information in the subject field)
- The salutation
This is followed by:
- An opening sentence
- A paragraph about yourself
- A paragraph about your skills
- A paragraph about your motivation
- A closing sentence
At the bottom of the document the following:
- Other comments
The template is fixed with regards to the addresses. In the body of the letter you can play around a bit with the sequence of the three paragraphs if desired.
Example job application letter
Here is an example of an application letter.
In [name source here] I read about the vacancy for the position [name of position] at [name of company]. Are you still searching for someone to fill this post? Then I think I could be the person you are looking for.
My name is [name], I am [age] years old and live in [place]. Since completing my study in [name of study] and obtaining my degree, I have been preparing to enter the employment market. The position you are advertising caught my eye. This job would be a perfect opportunity for me to gain new experience and at the same time prove my worth.
I would describe myself as having a strong work ethic, as assertive and creative and in possession of a large vocabulary and good language skills. I enjoy working independently but also work well together with others. In addition I am highly proficient in Dutch and English, in speech and in writing. I approach most wide-ranging work assignments with a willing mindset, a healthy dose of creativity and an academic outlook.
This position appeals to me in particular because I enjoy [list various personal motives]. What’s more the work is similar to some of my previous work experience, [name previous work experience]. The independent character of the work also appeals to me: I prefer working flexibly and would be happy to discuss various options.
If you think I could be of value for [name company], I would naturally be very happy to further elaborate on this letter and the enclosed curriculum vitae in a personal interview.
I look forward to your reply.
[first and last name]