How to Write a Good Job Application Letter
The piece of paper on which you write your letter of application will be the only ambassador representing you to your potential employer. On this piece of paper you must present yourself in such a way as to impress the man who receive it that you are just the right person he is looking for.
Men with good qualification and experience fail to land a job because they do not write a good letter. They may have good potentials but do not put it in their writing.
But Why should you learn how to write a good application letter?
A potential employer usually make a ‘short list’ of ‘possible’ selected from the letters of application which he receives in response to his advertisement. These are the applications to which he will grant an interview. Your letter must be good enough to get you on to that ‘short list’.
Also staff selection is a time consuming chore. The employer having to interview a large number of applicants. Each interview will probably last about 45 minutes. This means that he will have to spend a whole working day just interviewing about 12 applicants little wonder that he will keep his ‘short list’ as short as possible. That is why your letter must be effective.
Do not humble your self in your letter. Write respectfully, but do not over emphasize your respects. Avoid the use of dishes about not being afraid or giving of your best, if you get the job it goes without saying that your employer will expect work hard and give your best, telling him so in advance will not impress him. He is looking for personality and intelligence and the personable and intelligent individual does not ‘soft – soap’ a potential employer this way.
On assumption that you are likely to seek employment as a sales manager by means of press, let us examine a typical announcement.
THE SUPER TEX PLASTIC COMPANY
Have vacancies for:
Due to our expansion programme we are seeking young people with at least a B.Sc or HND in marketing preferably with some experience inplastics to train as sales manager. Successful applicants will be appointed to state in the south – south geo – political zone of the country.
A company owned car be provided.
Applications, in writing only, to:
The General Manager
Super – Tex Plastic Company,
7 Old Market Road,
LagosNot later than two weeks from the date of this publication.
For the purpose of illustration, let us assume for the applicant an identity, a background and some comparatively commercial experience, if we leaven the whole with a few outside interest which may not be improbable the facts may look like this:
NAME OF APPLICANT: Author Esheya
DATE OF BIRTH: 2nd August 19…..
PLACE OF BIRTH: Abuja, Nigeria
MARITAL STATUS: Single
EDUCATION : Best Brain Academy, Abakaliki: “O” Level Passes in English Language, History,
Biology, CRK, Government, Economics, English Literature, mathematics and Geography.
Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki: BSc. in Marketing (Second – class upper division)
EMPLOYMENT: Coca – Cola Bottling company Ltd Enugu, as a sales correspondence clerk
Uniliver Nigerian PLC, Billing WayLagos as an Assistant to the commercial manager
PERSONAL INTEREST: Chess, Walking, Reading, and the theatre.
Before we write Author Esheya's Letter of application, I would like you to read a few letters which are not untypical of the kind of response one might receive from the advertisement.
I would refer you to your advertisement in this weeks daily sun which calls for sales manager.
I am 24 years of age and would be most grateful if you would consider me for this position.
I was educated at Enugu State University of Science and technology, EnuguState and I am at present employed by a company in the metal industry, I have had experience of plastic materials though only from the office sales side.
I thrust that this application is of your interest and I await your reply.
Yours faithfully .
I wonder what you make of that letter. The application has only said three things about himself:
(a) His age
(b) Where he was educated
(c) That he is at present employed in the sales office of a metal firm and has some knowledge in plastic materials.
No personality comes over and the employers virtually has nothing to go over.
What did the applicant do at school?
Did he (does he) play any games?
What did he do when he left school
How long has he been with his present firm? In what capacity?
What are his ambitions?
In a nutshell why does he think he should be considered?.
I refer to your advertisement in the daily sun.
I will like to take this opportunity of applying for the post of a sales manager in your company. I have over four years experience with my present employers, whose business is the wholesaling of any form of rubber to manufacturing and retail outlet is in Northern Niger.
I am 45 years of age married with a family, as there is no more advancement in my present company, I hope your company will offer better prospects than I am able to procure at present.
This application is only slightly better than the first example, the writer tells us that:
(a) He is 45 years old;
(b) He is a family man;
(c) He has had four years with his present firm, which is involved in the selling of all forms of rubber;
(d) He gives a reason for wanting to make a change (there are no more prospects for him).
Would you interview him?
With reference to your advertisement in the daily sun for a sales manager, I would like to apply for the position.
I am 35 years old and I have been driving for eight years and hold a clean driving license.
I left school at 25 after obtaining a BSc. In business administration.
My first position was with a company manufacturing paper, as a sales clerk for three years, then I moved on to become assistant to the sales manager in a company making plastic containers for four years.
I have been in my present position, where I am in control of the sales office of a firm of hardware merchants for 15 months.
I await your earliest convenience.
This man tells us little more than the other two. We know it;
(a) His 35 years old
(b) He has been driving for eight years and holds a license without endorsement.;
(c) He left school at 25 with a BSc in Business Administration;
(d) He has had experience in the sales department of three different firms;
(e) He stayed in one job for three years and another for four years.
Now let us set our the letter of application of Author Esheya whose personal details we outlined previously.
I refer to your advertisement in the daily sun, and I wish to be considered as the sales manager.
My age is thirty –two. I am single and had a good general education at Best Brian Academy Abuja I obtained ‘O’ Level passes in English Language, History, Biology, CRK, Government, Economics, English Literature, mathematics and geography, after leaving school at the age of eighteen, I continued my studies at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki and ultimately obtained a BSc. In marketing.
For the past six years I have been engaged in industrial selling, as a sales correspondence clerk with Coca-Cola bottling company Ltd of Enugu, and latterly as the assistant to the commercial manager of Uniliver Nigeria Plc of Lagos. My duties have brought me into contact with customers by letter and telephone. I am, therefore, seeking to broaden my knowledge and experience by taking the position of a sales manager with your company.
My knowledge of the plastic industry is extremely slender. However, I knew nothing of brewery industry when I entered it five years ago and with that time, I feel I have acquired a considerable understanding of its processes and marketing methods. With the training which you offer, I am sure that I will obtain an equal appreciation of the requirements of the plastic industry.
Outside my business activities, I am a moderate class player and enjoy walking, reading and the theatre,
I hope you will accord me the opportunity of an interview.
The qualification and experiences which Author Esheya has been able to offer differ from those of the writers of the previous letters, I think you will agree, however, that he has put himself over rather better than they. He has written an interesting letter, one which has a certain style about it . above all by setting out as much about himself as he has, he has provided the employer with some glimpse of the kind of man he might be.
This application letter should get Author Esheya his interview.