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What are the parts of an application letter.

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Whenever you apply for a job, you’re typically directed to submit a resume and a letter of application, also known as a cover letter . If you dread writing cover letters, you aren’t alone – many people would rather avoid them altogether. They are an important part of the job search process, though, and the better your letter, the better your chances of getting the job.

If you break down the application letter into several parts, though, it is a lot less intimidating. The most important thing to remember is that the cover letter isn’t about you and what you want. It’s a letter of introduction, in which you give the employer a taste of what you are capable of and what you can do for their company. Tailor the parts of the application letter – greeting, opening, body, company knowledge and closing section – to the individual position you’re applying for, and you’ll be successful in getting calls for interviews and, ultimately, a great job.

The Greeting

Every application letter needs a greeting. How you open your letter indicates not only your level of professionalism, but also how much effort you put into researching the company and position. Therefore, a generic “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” is likely to get your letter tossed in the trash before it’s even read.

Sometimes, you will get lucky, and you’ll have a name. Rarely does a specific name appear in a job advertisement, but it can happen. If you are sending the letter to a personal contact, or you’ve already made contact with the recipient, great. Just make sure you spell his or her name correctly, and stick with “Ms.” instead of Miss or Mrs. If you have a good relationship with the person already, you can safely use only their first name, but otherwise, be formal and professional and stick with “Dear Mr. Smith ... ,” etc.

If you don’t have a specific name, then you will have to do some research. Google and social media are your friends; many companies have corporate directories online where you can find a relevant name. Other companies deliberately make it more difficult to find individual employee names and contact information in order to protect the privacy and security of their workers. You can try calling the human resources office and asking for a name, but if all else fails, you will have to use a more generic greeting.

In this case, your best bet is to tailor the greeting to the job; for example, you might write, “Dear Senior Account Executive Hiring Manager.” By doing so, you’re indicating that you are applying for a specific job and that your letter was written for this specific person. Again, avoid bland greetings that could apply to anyone, and focus on showing your interest in this specific job.

The Opening

You’ve probably heard the statistics about how recruiters only spend a few seconds reviewing applications. Knowing that the reader is likely to make a decision about whether to schedule an interview after only skimming a few lines of your letter, it’s important to make the opening paragraph compelling enough to spur the person to read on.

The first paragraph of your application letter should be just a few lines that tell the hiring manager why you are writing, highlight an accomplishment and show your enthusiasm for the position. It should be direct and to the point; don’t waste time going on and on about how you heard about the position or how you think you are perfect for the job. Employers aren’t really interested in what you think about your qualifications. Rather, they want specific details showing that you have the skills that they need.

For example, your opening paragraph might read something like, “As a sales professional with eight years of experience in the technology field, I am interested in your Senior Account Executive opening. I have consistently met and exceeded my sales goals, increasing overall profits in my region by 15 percent. I would love the opportunity to meet with you and discuss what I could do for your company.” If you learned about the position via a mutual contact, you could add in a line like, “Jane Smith suggested that I get in touch with you regarding this position, as she thinks my skills would be valuable to your company.”

Remember that the goal of your application letter is to get an interview, and that employers are interested in what you can do for them. Don’t open your letter by discussing how you are looking for a new challenge or that you believe or think that you are perfect for the job. Employers aren’t concerned about giving you a challenge or being a rung on your career ladder, so focus on how you can benefit them.

Once you’ve grabbed the hiring manager’s attention, it’s time to get into the specifics. Because you are sending this letter with a resume, don’t waste space rehashing everything contained in that document. Instead, the body of an application letter should read like a highlight reel. What are your most impressive accomplishments? Choose those that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for, and connect the dots for the reader. Show how you can bring value to the company, and that you have the skills and experience that they need.

After briefly summarizing your experience in a few sentences, highlight your experience via short bullet points, ideally containing quantifiable achievements. In other words, don’t just say that you increased customer satisfaction – prove it, and show how much. Use numbers, performance metrics, or quotes and comments from customers or your co-workers to support your claims. If possible, incorporate keywords from the job description to make it clear to the reader how your experience relates to the specific position. For example, you could write:

“Implemented a new procedure for processing applications that increased productivity by 20 percent and reduced customer wait times by 30 percent.”

Or, “Developed a business strategy that reduced excess inventory and save the company $100,000.”

If you have quotes from former colleagues, bosses or customers that give you a glowing review, don’t be afraid to use them. But don’t go overboard – one or two is plenty.

Above all, your cover letter should reveal your personality, and show not only that you’re qualified for the position, but that you are interested in it and enthusiastic about working for the company. Entrepreneur Seth Porges, in Forbes, advised job seekers to spend some time doing some research on industry trends or history to add some flair to the application letter. For example, you might write about a recent technological innovation and how you’re excited to be a part of how it’s changing the world, or talk about how your industry has changed since you first started in it. The idea is to show the recruiter that you care, that you know the industry and that you’re curious and willing to stay up-to-date.

Highlight Your Knowledge of the Company

Once you’ve highlighted your experience and demonstrated your enthusiasm for the industry and the job, it’s worth devoting a few lines to show that you have done your homework and researched the company. If something interesting happened within the company recently, such as a new product launch or acquisition, mention it and how you’re excited to bring your skills to the company to help during this transition. If that’s not possible, research the company website to uncover the corporate mission and vision, or review its annual reports to find out the goals and major projects taking place. Relate your experience back to what you find, and your letter will stand out.

The Closing

Your final paragraph should summarize your skills (in one line) and focus on the next steps. Don’t ramble or repeat what you have already said, just succinctly state your case and ask for an interview. Although you may have been advised to tell the recipient that you’ll call to follow up at a specific time, that’s not advisable. For starters, it’s easy for the hiring manager to avoid your call. But more important, such a line can come across as pushy or arrogant, even if you think it shows that you take initiative. Instead, note that you would welcome the opportunity to meet with the recruiter to discuss your experience and potential contributions in more detail, and that you look forward to hearing from him or her. That way, you still include a call to action, but leave the control in the reader’s hands.

Special Circumstances

There are times when writing an application letter isn’t always so straightforward. For instance, if you are a student or recent graduate, you most likely don’t have a well of experience to draw from, and therefore have to get a little more creative in how you highlight your experience. Mention achievements from your summer jobs or internships, or point out coursework you completed that provides you with relevant knowledge.

Writing a cover letter can also be challenging if you have a resume gap or you are unemployed, whether it was due to a termination or by choice (such as you took time off to raise a family.) Employers are going to notice the gap, so you shouldn’t avoid it, but don’t make it the focus of your letter either. If you lost your most recent job, you might address it by focusing on what you’ve done since leaving, such as taking courses or working part-time. If you left for personal reasons, you might say something like, “Although I’m returning from a time away from the field to manage personal obligations, I have nearly two decades of experience in finance.” The idea is to address the gap, while still putting the focus on what you bring to the table.

However, be careful and selective about how much you share. Keep in mind, for example, that employers are prohibited from asking candidates about their marital status or if they have children. Sharing information about your family could inadvertently cause discrimination against you. By the same token, if you took time off from work and overcame a significant challenge, highlighting what you did and the lengths you went to to bounce back might show your strength, perseverance and determination, and impress an employer. Use your best judgment.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Your cover letter may be exceptional content-wise, but if it’s riddled with typos and grammatical errors, it’s going to land in the circular file. Put the same level of care and attention into your application letter that you do with your resume. Carefully proofread, and have someone else look it over as well to catch anything you missed. Make sure your contact information at the top of the page is correct, and don’t forget to sign the letter. It might take a little more time, but taking care of these details can make the difference between getting the job and more time pounding the pavement.

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  • How to Write a Cover Letter
  • Forbes: 6 Secrets To Writing A Great Cover Letter
  • Business Insider: 5 Common Mistakes That Recent Grads Make When Applying For Jobs
  • Monster: Unemployed? Put Your Cover letter to Work

An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.


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Job Application Letter Format and Writing Tips

parts of application letter writing

  • Tips for Writing an Application Letter

Job Application Letter Format

Job application letter template, job application letter example.

  • Job Application Email Example

A job application letter (also known as a cover letter) is a letter you send with your resume to provide information on your skills and experience. This letter is your chance to “sell” yourself to an employer, explaining why you are an ideal candidate for a position.

When you write your job application letter, it’s essential to pay close attention to formatting . There’s a right way to format a cover letter; deviate from the standard guidelines and hiring managers may drop you from consideration.

In fact, anything that makes your job application letter appear less than professional can prevent hiring managers from taking you seriously as a candidate. Make sure your cover letter is formatted properly and is free from errors before you send. 

Tips for Writing a Job Application Letter

Do not copy your resume. A cover letter is a sales pitch. The purpose of this letter is to convince the hiring manager that you’re a strong candidate and to highlight your relevant experience and abilities. Your application letter should show how exactly your background makes you a good fit for a particular position. In contrast, your resume is a general record of your experience, education, and accomplishments.

Tailor each application letter to the job. As mentioned above, emphasize in your letter why you are an ideal candidate for the specific job. This requires that you personalize each letter to fit the company and position. Match your qualifications to the job posting by highlighting the skills, experience, and requirements listed in the description.

Be professional. Application letters have a fairly rigid format—as hiring managers read your letter, they will expect to see certain information included in set areas. You have freedom within the structure to be personable, but it is important to stick to a certain level of formality. Pay particular attention to the professionalism of your salutation . You wouldn't, for instance, want to refer to the letter's recipient by their first name unless specifically requested.

Carefully proofread. Employers are likely to overlook an application with a lot of errors. Therefore, read through your cover letter, and even consider asking a friend or career counselor to read the letter. Proofread for grammar and spelling errors. Be particularly mindful to spell the letter recipient's name correctly, as well as the company name.

Follow business letter format. Use business letter format when writing your letter. If you’re sending a typed hard-copy letter, be sure to lead with a paragraph containing your address, followed by the date, followed by the address of the recipient. If you’re sending an email, you can omit the address and date sections.  

Decide whether to send a hard copy or email. The main difference in formatting an email application letter is that you need to include a subject line that clearly lays out your purpose for writing, e.g. “Graphic Designer—Joe Smith.” And, instead of placing your contact information at the top of the letter, as you would in a hard copy, you'll include it below your signature.

Since your application letter will be accompanied by your resume, make sure the letter does not duplicate your resume exactly.

Use this formatting information as a guideline when writing your customized application letters , so you know what information goes where.  

Contact Information Name Address City, State Zip Code Phone Number Email Address

Employer Contact Information (if you have it) Name Title Company Address City, State Zip Code

Salutation Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name, (leave out if you don't have a contact)

Body of Application Letter The body of your application letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up. See below for a paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown of the body of the letter.

First Paragraph The  first paragraph  of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the job you are applying for and where you found the job listing. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one. You might conclude by briefly and concisely saying why you think you are an ideal candidate for the job.

Middle Paragraph(s) The next section of your application letter should describe what you have to offer the employer.

It can be a single paragraph, or you can break it up into a couple of paragraphs. If the section gets lengthy, you may use bullet points to break up the text. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it.

Mention specifically how  your qualifications match the job  you are applying for. In this portion of the letter, make your case for your candidacy.

It can be helpful to spend some time researching the company —this knowledge and insight helps you make an informed and persuasive argument for your candidacy.

Use specific examples whenever possible. For example, if you say that you have lots of experience working successfully on team projects, provide an example of a time you worked in a group and achieved success.

Final Paragraph Conclude your application letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow up.

Complimentary Close (examples)

Signature (for a hard copy letter)

Typed Signature

Download the job application letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Melissa Brown 11 South Street Harbor View, Maine 04005 555-555-5555 melissa.brown@email.com

July 14, 2021

Jason Rivera Human Resources Director Avery Solutions, Inc. 700 Commerce Way Harbor View, Maine 04005

Dear Mr. Rivera,

I was excited when my former colleague, Stephanie Taylor, told me that you were hiring for a Human Resources Specialist at Avery Solutions.

Stephanie has told me how important teamwork is to your group at Avery, and how much you need an HR Specialist who can fit in with the department and hit the ground running on day one. I believe that I am the ideal candidate for your team.

In my current job at Smith Group, I created and run our onboarding program, including organizing background checks and new hire orientation. I also have extensive experience in:

  • Data reporting/data entry on HRIS software
  • Recruiting and hiring processes, including creating job descriptions and postings, screening resumes, and scheduling interviews
  • Producing company events, such as the annual company-wide picnic (100+ employees from across the country)

I’d love to speak with you about my qualifications and what I can do for your team. I’ve attached my resume for your consideration. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on my cell at 555-555-5555 with questions or to arrange an interview.

Best regards,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Melissa Brown

Job Application Email Example 

Subject Line: George Woo – Editorial Assistant

Dear Ms. Cortez,

I was excited when Ada Wilson told me that you were looking for an editorial assistant with a background in rights and research and a passion for digital media. She suggested that I throw my hat in the ring, and I’d love the opportunity to tell you more about what I can offer your team.

I’ve interned for Ada’s team for the past three summers, developing extensive experience with the rights and research process. Last year, I was instrumental in securing the rights to include Sara Frey’s poems in our digital anthology – a first for an online publisher, according to Ms. Frey’s estate.

I also have:

  • Expertise with most popular content management systems, including WordPress
  • Analytics knowledge, including expert-level facility with Google Analytics
  • A strong work ethic and commitment to meeting deadlines

I hope you’ll reach out at your convenience to tell me more about your team’s goals and needs for the coming year. You can reach me on my cell at 555-123-4567 or via email at George.Woo@email.com.

How to Get Your Application Noticed

Don’t copy your resume: Your job application letter is a sales pitch. Don’t regurgitate your resume; instead, use this document to sell the hiring manager on your skills.

Tailor your application letter to the job: Match your skills and qualifications to the job description, highlighting those that make you an ideal candidate.

Be professional: Use business letter format and be sure to proofread your letter before you send.

CareerOneStop. " How Do I Write a Cover Letter ?" Accessed July 14, 2021.

CareerOneStop. " Write Effective Cover Letters ." Accessed July 14, 2021.

Purdue University. " Writing the Basic Business Letter ." Accessed July 14, 2021.

Parts of a Cover Letter: A Detailed Breakdown of 6 Must-Have Sections

Nathan Thompson

3 takeaways

  • Learn each part of a cover letter and proper cover letter structure
  • Discover how to correctly write each section of your cover letter 
  • The best method for generating personalized cover letters in seconds with the Teal AI Resume Builder

When you’re job searching, writing a cover letter can be one of the most discouraging tasks on the list. After all, you’ve already bookmarked the job you want, researched the company, and tailored the perfect resume to match the job description. 

And now, you need to find the time (and energy) to fit all that information into a single-page cover letter.

But by knowing all the parts of a cover letter, along with how to write them, you’ll have a massive head start in the application process. 

What are the parts of a cover letter?

Before you get started creating your cover letter sections, it's important to know the main parts of a professional cover letter. Here they are in order:

  • Salutation (or greeting)
  • Opening paragraph
  • Closing paragraph

Struggling to land interviews with your current resume and cover letter? Get started with Teal’s AI Resume Builder today.

Just like there are resume sections , cover letters have sections, too.  So, first things first: should a cover letter have a header? Absolutely. 

More than just a list of ways to reach you, the header of your cover letter is your first branding opportunity. It should mirror the header of your resume to frame your application as a polished and cohesive package. 

This symmetry isn't just visually appealing; it shows a deliberate and meticulous approach to your job application.

But what should be on a cover letter header?

The key elements of a cover letter header include your:

  • Email address
  • LinkedIn URL (Optional)
  • Phone number

Here’s an example: 

Parts of a cover letter showing the header

Consider adding a link to your professional online profile, like LinkedIn, especially if you’re applying for a remote job. 

Note: Even if you’re sending an email cover letter, you should attach your letter as a PDF. First, it’s just easier to format. Second, it helps the hiring manager print or share this document with other decision-makers. 

Following the date, you’ll want to add the:

  • Name of the hiring manager 
  • The company you’re applying to 

Here’s what this looks like: 

Parts of a cover letter showing hiring manger details in the header

2. Salutation

When you’re on the hunt for a new job, first impressions matter. This is what makes the cover letter salutation so important.

This is where writing a personalized cover letter begins and where you demonstrate your interest and effort in connecting with the company on a human level. Directly addressing the hiring manager is highly recommended when you know their name. It signals respect, shows that you've done your homework, and positions you as a candidate who values personal engagement.

Why not just start your cover letter as “To whom it may concern”? 

Because in today's job market, where a lot of applications flood an inbox, a personalized greeting helps you stand out. It sets a tone of attentiveness and immediately tells the hiring manager that you pay attention to detail. 

Even this little gesture can transform a generic cover letter from a one-size-fits-all document into a tailored conversation starter that resonates with the person responsible for filling the role.

How to find the hiring manager's name

Finding the hiring manager’s name may seem difficult, but it’s often simpler than you think. 

Here are some strategies to uncover this key piece of information:

  • LinkedIn : The professional network is your first port of call. Search for the company and sift through employee listings, focusing on those with titles like “Hiring Manager,” “Recruitment Officer,” or specific department heads if you’re applying for a specialized position.
  • Company website : Sometimes, the information is hidden in plain sight on the company’s ‘Team’ or ‘About Us’ page. Larger companies might list their staff, job titles, and contact information.
  • Calling in : A direct approach can be the most effective. Call the company’s front desk or HR department. Be polite, introduce yourself, and explain that you wish to address your cover letter appropriately. Most will be happy to help.
  • Networking outreach : Rely on your network. Ask colleagues or mentors if they know who the hiring manager might be for the position you're eyeing. A mutual connection can often provide you with the name you need.
  • Social media scan : Companies often post about their team and new hires on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. A quick search might yield the right name.

If you can’t find the hiring manager's name despite your best efforts, opt for a polite and general salutation like “Dear hiring manager” or “Dear hiring team” over the impersonal “To whom it may concern.” 

This retains a level of personalization and respect for the team's collaborative hiring effort. It also sets you apart from the many others who simply wrote: “to whom it may concern.”

Write the elements of a cover letter with Teal's AI

Before you start writing the main parts of your cover letter, consider using Teal instead.

Teal’s cover letter generator pulls from the information you added to a specific resume (also extracting the main keywords and details from the job posting you’re applying to) to align your content. Then, in just a click, you’ll have a great cover letter written before your eyes.

All of the parts of a cover letter written with AI

3. Opening paragraph

The opening paragraph of your cover letter is your chance to captivate the reader's interest and set the stage for your narrative. 

When it comes to your cover letter format , this section should include a succinct introduction of who you are, a brief mention of the position you’re applying for, and a compelling reason why the role aligns perfectly with your skills and career aspirations. 

How to grab your reader’s attention in the opening paragraph

To make your entrance memorable, the opening paragraph must do more than introduce – it must intrigue. Here’s how to ensure it does that:

  • Start with a bang : Lead with a strong statement or a striking fact about your career achievements. Alternatively, a concise, bold expression of your enthusiasm for the company can be just as effective.
  • Show, don't tell : Use a mini anecdote or a powerful example from your experience that reflects your capabilities and mirrors the values or needs of the company.
  • Tailor your tone : Match the tone of your writing to the culture of the company. A startup might appreciate a more casual and innovative opener, while a traditional firm might respect a formal and straightforward approach.
  • Add some flair : Add a touch of your personality without overshadowing your professionalism. Make sure it’s a blend that conveys your unique professional identity.
  • Research results : Mention something recent about the company that impressed you, showing you’re up-to-date and genuinely interested in what they do.
  • Give the why and the what : Clearly articulate why you’re excited about the role and what you bring to the table – this is your unique value proposition.

Example of cover letter content for an opening paragraph

“Imagine a marketing strategy so engaging that it doesn't just capture attention but creates a movement. That's been the hallmark of my approach as a Marketing Manager for the past decade, where I've increased brand engagement by an average of 65% year-over-year. Inspired by [Company Name]'s recent groundbreaking campaign on sustainability—a subject close to my heart since I was just a kid—I am eager to bring my expertise in crafting compelling narratives to the role of Head of Marketing.”

You can find more cover letter samples in these marketing manager cover letter examples .

What makes this a strong opening:

  • Engages with storytelling: The opening verb is “Imagine,” which is much more engaging than something more traditional, like “My name is…”
  • Quantifiable achievements: It includes a specific, measurable achievement (increasing brand engagement by 65% year-over-year), which adds credibility to the applicant’s claims and showcases a track record of success.
  • Personal connection: There’s a personal touch with the mention of a lifelong passion for sustainability, making the applicant’s interest in the company feel genuine and deeply rooted.
  • Alignment with company values: The reference to the company’s campaign on sustainability suggests that the applicant has done their research and shares the company’s values, implying a natural cultural fit.
  • Focus on contribution: By stating a desire to bring expertise in crafting compelling narratives, the applicant immediately addresses how they can contribute to the company’s success rather than just what they wish to gain from the position.

If you can get all of those qualities to shine through in your cover letter, you’ll be more likely to get the reader over to the body of your cover letter. 

Your cover letter body is the meat of your message. It's where you dive into your professional journey, aligning your skills and experiences with the needs of the job at hand. 

This part should be structured in a clear and compelling manner, usually composed of one to three paragraphs, each serving a distinct purpose. 

The first paragraph should connect your past successes to the potential future contributions you'll make to the company. Subsequent paragraphs , like the second or third paragraph , can be used to go further into your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements while also reflecting your knowledge of the company’s goals and challenges.

How to showcase relevant skills and experiences

Here’s how to write a cover letter body that resonates with hiring managers:

  • Customize and contextualize : Tailor each example of your experience to mirror the job description. It’s about relevance—show the reader why and how your background prepares you for the specific role.
  • Quantify your impact : Use numbers and metrics to give weight to your achievements. Whether it’s increasing sales by a certain percentage or reducing costs through innovative solutions, numbers speak louder than words .
  • Problem, action, result (PAR) method : For each skill or experience you share, present the problem you encountered, the action you took, and the result of your efforts. This method illustrates your thought process and problem-solving skills.
  • Align with the company's vision : Show that you’ve done your homework by relating your experience to the company's current projects or goals. This demonstrates not just alignment but also initiative and forward-thinking.
  • Storytelling with substance : Craft your experiences into a narrative that’s engaging. Your goal is to lead the reader on a journey that showcases growth, impact, and relevance to the role.
  • Be concise, be clear : Avoid jargon and overly complex language. The body of your cover letter should be easy to read and understand, ensuring that your points are made without confusion.

Example of what should be in a cover letter body

During my tenure with XYZ Corp, a pioneer in eco-friendly packaging, I spearheaded a transition that faced significant initial resistance both internally and from our customer base. The challenge was formidable: to reframe the public's perception of sustainable packaging from a costly alternative to a savvy, consumer-driven choice. My strategy was to launch an educational campaign that highlighted not just the environmental impact but also the long-term economic benefits. This initiative not only garnered a 120% increase in consumer engagement but also positioned XYZ Corp as a thought leader in the market. In my most recent project, I led a cross-functional team to address a 15% slump in market share due to increased competition. By instituting a thorough competitor analysis and customer feedback loop, we identified key areas where our messaging fell flat. I orchestrated a brand revitalization campaign focused on our core strengths, infused with customer success stories. The result was a 25% market share rebound within the first quarter post-campaign. In each role, I've aligned my actions not only with the company's immediate goals but with a visionary outlook. For instance, anticipating the rise of AI in marketing, I initiated a successful pilot program at XYZ Corp that utilized machine learning to personalize customer interactions, leading to a 30% uptick in customer retention rates.

But remember, not every cover letter will focus on the same information. You’ll need to craft your cover letter according to the specific job you’re applying to. 

While this level of personalization may seem tedious, it’s absolutely necessary. 

5. Closing paragraph

One of the last main parts of a professional cover letter , the closing paragraph, isn’t just a summary but a strategic push to get you into the interview room. This part should reiterate your interest in the position, succinctly summarize why you’re the right fit, and express your enthusiasm about the potential to contribute to the company. 

It's also the place to include a call to action, such as expressing your desire to discuss your application in more detail in a personal interview.

How to end the cover letter on a strong note

  • Reaffirm your value : Concisely restate how your skills and experiences align with the job and can benefit the company.
  • Personal touch : Express genuine enthusiasm and confidence in your ability to perform the role. Let them feel your eagerness and readiness to take on the challenges it presents.
  • Call to action : Encourage the hiring manager to take the next step. You can say you look forward to the opportunity to discuss how you can contribute to their team or that you're eager to provide further details on how you can help achieve their goals.

Closing paragraph example in a cover letter

I am excited to contribute to [Company Name]'s innovative marketing efforts. My skill set aligns seamlessly with the objectives of the Head of Marketing position. I am eager to apply my expertise in strategic planning and digital engagement to drive impactful campaigns that resonate with your brand's vision, and I look forward to discussing how my experience and insights can support your company's success. Thank you for considering my application, and I am hopeful for the opportunity to discuss collaboration in person.

If you're looking for more inspiration, check out this comprehensive database of 1300+ cover letter examples .

6. Sign-off

A professional sign-off sets the tone for how your cover letter is received. It's the equivalent of the final handshake after a successful meeting—it should convey respect and formality. 

Here's how you can ensure your sign-off strengthens your application:

  • Choose the right closing : "Sincerely," "Best regards," and "Kind regards" are safe and professional options. If the company culture is more casual, "Best" or "Warm regards" may be suitable.
  • Include your full name : Your sign-off should always include your full name to ensure clarity and formality. If you've established a personal connection with the hiring manager, adding a handwritten signature above your typed name can add a personal touch.
  • Professional contact details : Beneath your name, include your professional contact details, such as your phone number and email address, and LinkedIn profile URL to facilitate easy follow-up.

The best way to write a cover letter 

Again, if writing a cover letter is your least favorite part of the job application, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to take all the bullet-point information from a resume and turn that into a single page of compelling and persuasive text. 

From getting the cover letter format just right to writing the actual information, it’s not an easy task. 

That’s why, with a tool like Teal’s cover letter generator , there’s simply no excuse for not having a personalized cover letter with each application. 

Simply build your resume, and with the click of a button, you can have a polished and personalized cover letter in seconds. 

Sign up for Teal today to give it a try!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should each section of a cover letter be to maintain the reader's interest, can i include bullet points in the body of my cover letter to highlight my achievements, is it necessary to address the cover letter to a specific person, and what if i can't find a name.

parts of application letter writing

Nathan Thompson

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  • Job Application Documents

How to Write a Job Application Letter (with Examples)

Last Updated: March 21, 2024 Fact Checked

Sample Letters

Introduction, body paragraphs, closing your letter, expert q&a.

This article was written by Shannon O'Brien, MA, EdM and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Shannon O'Brien is the Founder and Principal Advisor of Whole U. (a career and life strategy consultancy based in Boston, MA). Through advising, workshops and e-learning Whole U. empowers people to pursue their life's work and live a balanced, purposeful life. Shannon has been ranked as the #1 Career Coach and #1 Life Coach in Boston, MA by Yelp reviewers. She has been featured on Boston.com, Boldfacers, and the UR Business Network. She received a Master's of Technology, Innovation, & Education from Harvard University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 10,654,137 times.

So, you’ve found your dream job and want to make sure you nail the job application process. You double- and triple-check the criteria—they’re asking for a cover letter. What does that mean, and how do you write it? A cover letter or letter of application is a single page that sums up why you want and deserve the job. Think of it as an extension of your resume; a sales pitch for why you’re the perfect candidate. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide full of examples and tips on how to write a letter of application for a job. With our help and a little finesse, you may soon be calling that dream job your own.

Things You Should Know

  • Format your application letter single-spaced and in Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri font that’s 10- to 12-point in size.
  • Open your letter with an engaging and confident first paragraph that briefly includes your qualifications, where you found the job, and your overall interest in the position.
  • Show your personality in the body paragraphs by describing the passions that relate to the position in 1 or 2 sentences.
  • Use keywords (like leadership, communication, and detail-oriented) from the job description throughout your letter to show that you’ve done your research.

parts of application letter writing

  • First and last name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Personal website and/or portfolio link (if you have one)

Step 4 Provide the company’s information.

  • If you don’t know the hiring manager's name, search the company’s website or refer to the name of the individual who originally posted the job opening.
  • If you’re in doubt about who to address your letter to, use “[Department] Hiring Manager.”

Step 5 Open your letter with a formal greeting.

  • If you don’t have the employer or hiring manager’s name, use a general but professional opening, “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear [Department] Hiring Manager.”

Step 1 Explain what drew you to the job.

  • Be short and specific in this opening paragraph—save those details for later.
  • Think of your first paragraph as a sales pitch. What can you say that’ll grab their attention immediately? Is there something you have that other candidates don’t that make you more qualified for the position?
  • Show the employer that you’re familiar with the company and job application by noting keywords and characteristics valued by the company.
  • For example: “I write to apply for the Office Manager position at Acme Investments, Inc. I am an excellent fit for this position, as demonstrated by my extensive background in management and proven success as a corporate administrator.”

Step 2 State where you found the position.

  • Companies appreciate when job candidates include this information because it lets them know where people are searching for jobs.
  • Only include a company contact or friend’s name if you have their permission. This way, they’ll be ready to answer any questions about you and your character later.
  • You may write something like: “John Smith recommended that I get in touch with you about the general manager position at EnviroRent,” or “I came across the available position on LinkedIn and believe I am a strong candidate.”

Step 3 Explain why hiring you would benefit the company.

  • For instance, if the company needs someone who can lead a team and handle multiple projects at once, note what team projects you’ve led in previous positions and how you improved overall productivity.
  • If you have numerical data or stats to back up your accomplishments, include them! This is your time to brag about your achievements and show how you’ve excelled in the workplace.

Step 1 Summarize your strengths, qualifications, and experiences.

  • Scan the job application for keywords like leadership, communication, management, and detail-oriented. Then, highlight in your letter how you have these characteristics or skills.
  • Avoid embellishing any of your qualifications. Remember, an employer can always double-check the facts.
  • If you’re not sure what to write, refer to your resume or CV. What have you done that matches the job description best, and how can you elaborate on it?
  • For example: “In my previous role, I successfully supported an office of 100 personnel and honed my management and interpersonal skills through customer service and clerical responsibilities.”

Step 2 Include details that aren’t on your resume.

  • For instance, you could express how the company has impacted you personally and why that’s driven you to apply for the position.
  • Although you want to provide details, keep it short. Stick to a 1 to 2-sentence description rather than a full-length story. Your letter should stay under 3 paragraphs.
  • Here’s an example: “My passion for teaching began the summer of my sophomore year of high school when I was a camp counselor. I was given the opportunity to teach a class focusing on local plant life, and the campers’ enthusiasm cultivated my love for teaching and conservation.

Step 3 Finish with a call to action.

  • For instance, you could write, “I am excited about the possibility of working for you and your company. I would be more than happy to discuss my qualifications and Acme’s future direction in person or via video conference.”
  • Keep your call to action brief and open, or provide specific dates you’d be available to meet with the employer.

Step 1 Thank the employer for their time and consideration.

  • For instance, sign off with, “Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you,” or “Thank you for considering me for this position. If you have any further questions or require additional documentation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.” [12] X Research source

Step 2 Sign off with a respectable salutation.

  • If you’re sending your letter via email, import your signature into the document as an image or .png file.

Adrian Klaphaak, CPCC

  • Always proofread and ask someone else to read over your application letter before you send it. This way, you can make sure it’s absolutely perfect and error-free. [14] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Keep the overall tone of the company or employer in mind while writing your letter. For instance, if you’re applying to be a journalist for a prestigious news website, match their word choice and writing style. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Be sure to customize your application letter for every job you apply to, even if they have the same qualifications. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

parts of application letter writing

You Might Also Like

Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae)

  • ↑ https://www.ferrum.edu/downloads/careers/cover-letters.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/job_search_letters/cover_letters_workshop/formatting_and_organization.html
  • ↑ https://icc.ucdavis.edu/materials/cover-letters
  • ↑ https://hbr.org/2016/05/learn-to-love-networking
  • ↑ https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-write-a-cover-letter
  • ↑ https://www.astate.edu/dotAsset/54eb42cc-33a3-4237-a46e-3f4aaac79389.pdf
  • ↑ https://career.gatech.edu/writing-effective-cover-letter

About This Article

Shannon O'Brien, MA, EdM

The best way to start an application letter is to mention where you found the job opportunity and how your strengths can benefit the employer. Devote time in the body paragraphs to tell the employer more about your experience and qualifications. Explain why you’re the best candidate and finish by inviting the hiring manager to contact you. For suggestions on how to prepare your letter, and examples of what to write, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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CareerManager Blog

Essential Parts of a Job Application Cover Letter

parts of application letter writing

Applying for jobs is stressful, and having to tailor each application to the job and company in a timely manner just adds to the effort level. But if you want to stand out from the crowd of 100+ people that may apply for any job, you can’t just submit the same cover letter (or job application letter) to each hiring manager for each role.

When you’re submitting cover letters, it’s essential to get them right. From the basics, such as contact information, greeting, and salutation, to the bulk of the letter, we’ve laid out the key areas to cover and guidance for writing yours to stand out.

Note: We also have downloadable templates you can use so you don’t have to worry about coming up with your own professional designs. You can download and customize them for free from the Templates page.

As with any letter, there is an expected flow of information.


The top part of your letter sets the stage by covering some of the common elements of a greeting and contact information.

Your Contact Information

Name, mailing address, phone number(s), email address, and any social media handles if you’d like to make it easier for the employer to check you out.

parts of application letter writing

Employer Contact Information

Unlike the resume, where you don’t include information directly about the potential employer, you do in the cover letter.

parts of application letter writing

Include the date either after your own contact information or before the greeting. By providing the date, you can also reference it if you need to follow up with the potential employer if you haven’t heard back about an interview. Here are a few examples of where you can place the date in the introductory design.

parts of application letter writing

You need to address the letter to someone, but what do you do if you don’t know the name of the recruiter/hiring manager? First try to call or email the contact person listed on the job advertisement to see if you can find out who for sure will review your letter. That way, you show commitment to researching details and solidify your interest in the role. If that doesn’t work, you can always go with the customary “To Whom It May Concern.”

parts of application letter writing

Requisition Number

When a job requisition number/identifying number is included on the job posting, you should include it somewhere within the cover letter to make it very clear the exact job you’re applying for. You can place it at the top in the introductory material, and/or mention it in the body text.

parts of application letter writing

The first part of the letter was easy. The next part gets a little more challenging because you need to paint a positive picture of why this company would benefit from hiring you, but you don’t just want to rehash bullet points from your resume. To write a compelling letter, you need to answer these questions/ask yourself these questions and tie your experience to the job ad and your understanding of it. Use these prompts to help build your story rather than aimlessly tossing text into paragraphs. These prompts take some of the guesswork out.

Who I Am and How That Can Improve Your Business – Introductory paragraph

Don’t speak in general terms, just saying how many years you’ve held a certain job title or where you went to school. You also don’t want to sound self-serving by saying “I want to use this role to fulfill my goal of becoming a manager” or a similar statement. You do want to show enthusiasm for the role; just be certain that how you frame it shows the benefits you bring to the employer. Have you designed a training program that has been proven to increase employee retention? Simplified a process to reduce the number of minutes it takes to complete each task? Organized a yearly charity event to benefit the local community? Consistently worked with “difficult” team members to discover they were just in the wrong department / hired for the wrong job? Show how you can repeat these accomplishments for the new employer, based on the exact requests they’ve placed in the job ad.

Before you officially put the refined details into the introductory paragraph of your cover letter, you can jot out ideas, read them out loud, and improve them. Improvements include being specific and measurable in your details, and making sure you’re speaking directly rather than sounding too formal or forced.

In this paragraph, you’ll also want to let the hiring manager know how you learned about this open position. For example, were you referred by an employee, a long-time follower of their company who noticed the open position on Twitter, or happened upon it on a job board?

How I Have Achieved Success Before and How I Can Do it for You – Second/third paragraph

In the following body paragraphs, you elaborate on how your unique skills and experience will be an asset to the company. Don’t use generic statements like “my skills would lend well to the position.” Focus on specific skills, how they match the job ad, and support your claims with actual accomplishments from your work history (measurable, quantifiable if possible).

This is the time when you need to be persuasive, even if it feels like you’re bragging and it feels uncomfortable! It’s hard for most people to frame their talents and wins in a way that is persuasive and unique without feeling big-headed or arrogant. But it’s up to you to make it clear; no one can read between the lines.

In the last paragraph, thank them for considering your application to the role and reiterate why you’re excited to contribute to the organization and its customers. Indicate when you will follow up if you have not yet heard back from the recruiter or hiring manager. This strategy is not to sound impatient or ungracious; it’s really to make sure you are committed to the entire process of working toward earning the role, and to give the heads up in a polite and professional manner that you will continue to follow through on that commitment. Follow the standard letter format to close out your cover letter. Use a professional word such as “regards/kind regards” or “sincerely” followed by your full name.

Other Things to Consider

Keep the cover letter to one page. Even though the pages allowed has changed for resumes, you don’t need to drone on for more than a page in the letter.

You don’t need to spend money hiring and expensive graphic designer or professional career material creator, but do use some basic design elements to make the letter look professional. Simply using a letterhead template in your word processor or looking up standard letter formats on the web will guide you into clear design.

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What Do Admission Committees Look For in College Applicants?

What Do Admission Committees Look For in College Applicants

When it comes time for your college or graduate school search, the application process can be the most daunting part. From asking for recommendation letters to writing a stellar essay, applying to college is no walk in the park, especially when you're juggling multiple applications at once. After finally submitting your application, you may be ready to take a deep breath and relax. But even still, you may find yourself asking questions such as, what will the admissions committee think of my application? Was my application good enough? Understanding what admissions looks for in applicants can help you craft a stellar application.

What Do Admissions Committees Look For in College Applicants?

College applications ask for a variety of information and materials, which may initially feel overwhelming. However, it's essential to view this process as your opportunity to personalize your application and showcase your unique strengths, interests, and experiences. College admissions officers typically look for a combination of academic achievements, extracurricular activities, personal qualities, and unique experiences, taking a holistic approach to evaluating college applicants. In this blog, we'll go over each criteria the admissions committee considers when reviewing college applications so that you can feel confident in your submission.

1. Academic performance

As you probably already know, a key component to a college application is academic performance . Whether you're applying to college from high school or looking to earn your master’s degree, there are several grade criteria that admissions take into consideration. Not only is your GPA considered, but the types of courses you took plays an important role. Taking rigorous courses such as AP courses in high school or upper-level courses in college will strengthen your academic profile. The admissions committee wants to see evidence of strong academic performance and the ability to handle college-level coursework.

Academic performance

2. Essays and personal statements

Essay prompts and personal statements are a common aspect of a college application. Personal statements and essays allow you as an applicant to showcase your personality, passions, interests, and writing abilities. These writing assignments are an excellent opportunity for you to show why you’d be a great fit for the college program you’re applying to. Admissions officers look for essays that are authentic, well-written, and demonstrate self-reflection. They also look to determine how the program will help you meet your goals. Be creative and most importantly, be yourself so that your essay can be compelling, memorable, and an accurate reflection of who you are.

3. Letters of recommendation

A letter of recommendation is your chance to further support your application from a different perspective. Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, coaches, supervisors, or mentors provide insights into an applicants' character, work ethic, and potential for success in college. A recommendation letter can offer anecdotes, examples, and observations that test scores and essays can’t. When requesting recommendation letters , ask academic or professional sources that you have developed a meaningful connection with and who can provide positive insights about your character and abilities. Strong letters of recommendation can help applicants stand out.

Letters of recommendation

4. Extracurricular activities

Being involved in extracurricular activities can help demonstrate your well-roundedness and passions, which will further strengthen your application. Admissions committees will get a greater sense of who you are and what you are interested in, which can help them determine whether you’d be a good fit for the program. They also look to see how you are able to balance activity involvement with academics. If you’re involved in a few extracurriculars, be sure to highlight them in your application, whether it's a sports team, student club, volunteer work, or an internship.

Extracurricular activities

5. Demonstrated interest

Another important factor that admission committee’s take into consideration when evaluating college applications is the students interest in the school and program they’re applying to. The committee wants to see a student’s demonstrated interest as it can help them determine that the student will fit with the campus culture and community, and that they are more likely to enroll in the school. Applying early, expressing your eagerness in your essays, showing off your knowledge of the school or program you're applying to, and attending college events such as open houses or information sessions are all ways you can demonstrate your interest to the committee.

Demonstrated interest

Tips for Crafting a Standout College Application

Now that you have a better understanding of what goes on in the admissions process, here are a few tips to help you craft a standout college application.

1. Make your application strong where you can

Overall, the review of college applications by admissions is typically a holistic process and no single factor determines admission. If you feel that your application might be lacking in an area or two, you can likely compensate for it by showcasing strength elsewhere. If you have great writing skills, be sure to write a stellar essay. Or, if you participated in different extracurricular activities, highlight your accomplishments in your application. Be sure to make your application as strong as possible where you can.

Make your application strong where you can

2. Proofread

It may seem simple, but proofreading not just your essay, but all of your application material is a crucial part of your college application. Be sure to read over your personal statement, resume, essays, and any forms you fill out for any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Having a second pair of eyes can be helpful to catch any mistakes you may have missed, so don’t hesitate to ask a friend, family member, or teacher for help.


3. Stay organized

Chances are you aren’t applying to just one college. You may have a few top choices for universities you’d like to attend on your radar, and a few backup options for extra measure. Having several applications you're working on is even more reason to stay organized. Keep track of application deadlines, requirements, and submission materials for each college you're applying to. You can create a checklist or use a planner to stay organized throughout the process.

Stay organized

Create an outstanding college application

Crafting a great college application can be challenging, but understanding key components and guidelines can make the process easier and less stressful. When completing your application, try to do your best for each component and emphasize your strengths. All in all, the admissions committee simply wants to see if you’d be a good fit for the school, and having a strong application that aligns with your goals and the program will help you stand out. If you’re ready to begin the next step in your academic journey, apply to one of NJIT’s top-STEM programs today .


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    No hard numbers. "I worked in a team and provided customer service to elderly residents". 5. Choose engaging words for your application letter. Your letter of application's length should be 250 to 400 words or 3 to 4 paragraphs — long enough to get your point across but short enough that the reader won't lose interest.

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    Letters of application are essential in the job market, so don't risk losing to other candidates just because you didn't write one. 2. Address Your Letter of Application Properly. Addressing an application letter is simple. Firstly, include your contact information in the header of the application letter : Full name.

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    It means that you need to provide the following information: Your personal info (name, email, phone number/LinkedIn) Date written. The recipient's info (name, job title, email, company address) Example of an application letter header: Kaylee Tran. 9215 Fremontia Ave, Fontana, CA 92335.

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    Format of an Application Letter. Create enough spacing: 1-1.15 between lines, 1-inch margins, double space between paragraphs. Choose the font: Garamond, Helvetica, or Arial in 11-12 points in a font size. Align the content to the left. Pick the file format: PDF, unless the recruiter requested a Word file specifically.

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    2. Make sure the language you use is easy to read. You might be a , but those long words won't impress the hiring manager if they make your letter difficult to read. 3. Use positive language. Positivity is the way forward when it comes to selling your skills to a potential employer.


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