The application letter should be no more than a single-spaced page and a half. Find a job ad you are qualified to apply to. Whether you actually apply is up to you. Before you write the letter, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Who is the employer? What are its ethos and/or mission? What are some adjectives you might use to describe this company?
  • How does the employer’s ethos and/or mission align with your professional interests? Why might this employer be interested in interviewing someone like you? 
  • What attracted you or drew you to the job advertisement? Why do you believe this is a good position for you? 
  • How does your skill set measure up with the relevant qualifications? What stands out most for you as your strengths as an applicant? What weaknesses or gaps are in your existing skill set? How might you account for those gaps in your document preparation? 
  • What is implied but not explicitly stated in the job advertisement? Put another way, what can you read between the lines of the job advertisement? What is the employer implicitly asking for in the job advertisement? 
  • What is your primary strategy for planning, designing, and composing your resume? That is, what will you highlight from the job advertisement? How will you highlight such items? 
  • What is your primary strategy for planning, designing, and composing your application letter? That is, what will you highlight from the job advertisement? How will you highlight such items? 

When completing this assignment, please keep in mind the following items:

  • Who is the audience for my application letter?
  • What specifically do I want to highlight in the application letter?
  • How do I lead a reader through the application letter?
  • Am I providing specific supporting evidence? Showing vs. Telling?
  • Am I employing language from the job advertisement in the application letter?
  • Am I using active language?
  • How is my design visually appealing?
  • Is there unnecessary repetition or redundancy in the document?
  • Have I adopted an appropriate tone for the document?
  • How does the application letter extend my resume?
  • How does the application letter tell my story as a prospective employee?

This list is not meant to be exhaustive of all items that you need to keep in mind when composing your application letter; however, use this as your initial guide. Regarding the revision of your application letter, you need to be sure to eliminate any unnecessary errors and/or discrepancies that might undercut your ethos or credibility as a writer.

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