All it takes is one mistake or one ill-considered risk in formatting your application letter to send it right to the trash without a hiring manager even bothering to check your resume. Your application letter is your first introduction to an employer, and just like any first impression, it’s hard to shake.
A messy or inconsistent application letter format tells employers you’re a messy and inconsistent candidate. You want an application letter that conveys your professionalism and demonstrates why you’re a right fit for the job. With the right tools, tips, and tricks, anyone can write a stunning application letter that can knock employers’ socks off while serving as an effective invitation to review your career qualifications.
Application Letter Format
The following is an application letter from Maria van Zandt. Maria is a recent college graduate with a master’s in digital marketing who’s already shown her go-getter personality by taking on internships at major tech companies. Maria now seeks to launch her career by securing a full-time position with a reputable company, and she’s excited to work on the next generation of market-leading apps and productivity tools. Maria needs a letter that positions her as a fast-rising star and a talent to watch.
There’s no doubt the modern market is a millennial market, and to reach a fresh young audience, you need a fresh young mind with a direct connection to what engages your target demographic. As a recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon with a master’s in digital marketing, I believe I would bring valuable contributions to your digital marketing team.
Today’s audience is one of cynics who seek three factors from their apps: value, entertainment, and the hope needed to overcome their mistrust of corporate advertisers. Typical marketing tactics no longer work. Today’s marketing needs to be innovative, personal, and organic, with that intangible “it” factor leading to viral campaigns.
In my internships with top thought leaders in game-changing marketing, including Amazon, Google, and Blizzard, I gained the consumer insight needed to address these market challenges. It’s about thinking differently, and my perspective combined with my creative drive allows me to challenge the status quo in ways that win market results.
I hope you’ll consider my application. InnoVaTech has always captivated me with its groundbreaking approach to productivity apps, and your market strategy is one of the best in the business. I’d love the chance to chat with you about the position and the value I can bring to your company.
Maria van Zandt
Is This a Good Application Letter Format? Let’s Check
1. Does the letter personally address someone at the target company?
It does! The letter begins with “Dear Mr. Paulson,” and we can assume that Mr. Paulson is in HR, a top executive at the company, or the contact listed on the job advertisement. This shows that our jobseeker, Maria, paid attention to the job application or even went out of her way to research the company and learn who the major players are. If you can’t find a contact listing in the job posting, it can’t hurt to Google the company website and do a little investigating.
2. Is the letter specifically tailored to the company’s challenges and industry?
Yes, it is. The application letter format centers around the difficulties many tech companies face in winning consumers in a very crowded app market. Maria demonstrates that she understands these difficulties and what lies at the heart of them as well as shows she knows which consumer demographic is most valuable to the industry she’s targeting. She speaks clearly and confidently of her understanding and proposes ideas for overcoming these challenges.
3. Does the letter take a personal tone that conveys the jobseeker’s personality?
Absolutely. There’s a confidence and assertion in the written tone that comes across as personable, enthusiastic, and well-informed without being unprofessional. It’s important to straddle that line in a successful application letter. Think of it as opening a dialogue with the reader, and try to be as engaging and approachable as possible.
4. Does the letter speak to professional accomplishments?
Indeed. In this letter, Maria is quick to mention her master’s degree from a prominent university, including her area of study (which would be relevant to the position sought). She continues on to discuss challenges pertinent to the hiring company but also speaks of her internships with key industry names and mentions why they have value. Even though she’s a recent graduate, she’s still quick to point out that she’s a top talent capable of attracting the attention of household names in innovation.
5. Does the letter explain why this candidate specifically is right for the company?
Yes. She points out her connection to the audience as well as her creative mindset and exposure to thought leadership among some of the top innovation companies in the country. Her knowledge of their products means that she can understand how to position them in the market.
The Most Important Application Letter Format Takeaways
Whether responding to a job advertisement or sending a blind letter of interest, your application letter format should always focus around the company’s needs—and why you’re the right professional to meet those needs. Always review job applications and company info to understand exactly what companies are looking for, and tailor your presentation to those requirements using a personable, engaging voice.
Above all, be confident without being arrogant, and don’t hesitate to speak to your accomplishments. Use our sample as a guideline, and follow our tips to build your own winning letter and put your best foot forward in your job search.