How to Write a Job Application Letter (Tips and Examples)

Your guide to getting your foot in the door.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Illustration of an applicant writing a letter

Do you have your heart set on a specific company but have never seen them post a single vacancy? And are you on the verge of giving up completely, and convinced you’re going to be jobless and broke for the rest of your life?

Well, don’t crumple your perfectly written résumé in a ball of paper just yet — there’s still hope for you!

All you need to do is write an awesome job application letter.

Application letters are a great way to get your foot in the door of a company that hasn’t advertised a position or when you’re applying for an academic program or an internship.

So, what are you waiting for?

Read on to find out how to write a great job application letter (and land that dream job of yours in the process)!

What is a job application letter/email?

Whereas cover letters are used when applying for a specific vacancy, and include details which are complementary to what’s on the applicant’s résumé, application letters are submitted when there is no job opening, and they tend to be more detailed.

Unlike cover letters, which usually span about one page, application letters can be twice as long.

How should you structure your letter?

The structure and formatting of your application letter is just as important as the words you use to sell your skills and enthusiasm for the job. The pointers below will help you deliver your message in a professional and effective way.

Sender’s address

Begin your letter with your address listed in the left-hand corner of the page. In the US, it’s acceptable to list your address in the right-hand corner. (Skip this step if you’re going to send your application via email.)


If you’re applying via email, create an email address for professional use if you haven’t already. This should include your first and last names or initials — no nicknames or years of birth! Two appropriate examples are [email protected] and [email protected].


As with any official letter, include the date of your letter below your address.

Subject line

The subject of your email should make the manager want to read more and not automatically press the “Delete” button. It could be something like: “Social Media Expert with over 5 Years of Experience”.

Inside address

The company’s address should appear a few lines below your address and the date. Skip this if you’re sending an email.


As with any formal letter, you need to open with the correct formal salutation (such as “Dear Mr [surname]” or “Dear Ms [surname]”).

It’s also best to find out who the head of the department is, and address your letter directly to them to show that you’ve taken the time to really do your research. If you begin with “Dear Hiring Manager”, for example, you’re potentially destroying your chances of getting the job you’re applying for.

Opening paragraph

The opening paragraph should provide details on why you’re getting in touch.

Think about what you want to achieve with this letter before forming your answer. For example, you could say that it’s been a dream of yours to work for the company and that you feel that, given the chance, you’d love to bring new skills and ideas to the table. You can also highlight any qualifications you have here.

Middle paragraph(s)

This is where you will explain why you’re suitable for the position by listing skills you’ve developed through previous work experience. Remember that this shouldn’t be a word-for-word copy of your résumé; rather, you should use this as an opportunity to expand on notable achievements.

And make sure you tailor the content of your letter to the particular job title and company you’re applying to — you don’t want to ramble on about irrelevant details.

Final paragraph

Finally, focus on what you bring to the table and how the company can benefit from your skills and experience. If you have statistics and figures to back up your claims, even better!

For example, if you’re an experienced project manager, you could say how you want to showcase your leadership skills and help the company reach its desired turnover, and then back this up with statistics on how you did just that in previous positions.


You should close your letter with a call-to-action. For example, you could say something like: “I look forward to hearing back from you to discuss any possibilities”. And don’t forget to thank the reader for their time!

Your name and signature

If you’re sending this by snail mail, opt for a handwritten signature. If, on the other hand, you’re sending an email, simply write your name, followed by your contact information.


Most application letter templates (and formal letter templates in general) use the Times New Roman typeface at 12 points. Other recommended fonts include Arial, Georgia and Calibri.

Tips for writing your letter

When it’s time to write an application letter, bear the following points in mind to ensure that your document captures the hiring manager’s attention and successfully creates the impression that you’d make a good fit for their company.

1. Include bullet points

Bullet points can be used as an effective formatting tool when writing your application letter. They can demonstrate points clearly and concisely, as well as help with the overall layout, allowing for bite-sized, readable chunks of information.

2. Make sure the language you use is easy to read

You might be a literary wizard, 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. Therefore, you should use positive words when explaining your previous work experience.

These words include “assisted”, “conducted”, “executed”, “proposed” and “recommended”, which (when used right) can demonstrate your contribution and dedication to your role and organization.

4. Be creative

Depending on the industry that you’re interested in, you can be a bit creative with your approach. This means that you don’t have to follow the conventional structure of a cover letter, and can instead adopt a more story-like approach.

Should you add any attachments?

Since application letters are not submitted in response to particular job ads, but rather serve as an inquiry into any unadvertised openings which may be available, they tend to be standalone documents. That is to say they are not typically accompanied by other files.

Whereas cover letters are concise, tailored to the job posting and accompanied by résumés, your letter of application will be a more extensive account of your skills and experiences.

That being said, if you’re applying for a creative position such as that of a video editor or blog writer, it makes sense to include a few samples of your work that best represent your talent and ability.

Job application letter samples

The following application letter samples can give you an idea as to what to include in your letter, as well as how to structure it effectively.

1. Job application email sample

Dear Mr Cannon,

I have long been following your company’s growth and progress, being extremely passionate about clean, renewable energy. I remember coming across XYZ Renewables back in the early 2000s, when it was still in its early startup stages, and I admire how your leadership has grown the company since.

Having gained extensive experience as a solar consultant over the last decade, I have kept an eye out for any job opportunities with XYZ Renewables. This is why I am writing to you today: to express a keen interest in working with you in the future, should any solar consultation vacancies become available at your company.

In my current role at ABC Energies, I train new hires in advising and liaising with clients, as well as in designing and installing solar systems that cater to the needs and budget of our clients. I carry out the same duties myself, and have been commended for my customer service skills and technical know-how in solar systems installations. Over the last year, I have overseen and facilitated transactions totaling upwards of $1 million.

I appreciate you taking the time to read through my application. I hope that my skills and work experience can contribute to a fruitful collaboration down the line.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Rowling

2. Internship application email sample

Dear Ms Kipling,

Ever since I was a sophomore in high school, I’ve dreamed about pursuing an undergraduate degree in interior design and going on to work for an award-winning architectural firm. During my studies at AB College, where I graduated from just over a month ago, I became exposed to the works of various such firms, including your own.

XY Designs stood out to me for the simplicity of its designs (I am also a fan of Scandinavian interiors!) as well as its clever use of natural lighting and earthy colors and textures. In particular, I was impressed with the renovation of the Workwell coworking space you undertook and completed in 2022.

I believe that working alongside the designers on your team and under your mentorship would be an invaluable experience, which is why I am reaching out to enquire about any potential internship opportunities you may have this coming summer. During my studies, I have become proficient in using SketchUp and 3Ds Max, and completed my final project on Scandinavian interiors and architecture specifically. I am attaching a link to my final project portfolio below.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon.


Gemma Ford

3. Academic application letter sample

Gregory Allen
Department of English
AB University
Syracuse, NY

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Dear Mr Allen,

During my undergraduate studies in animation, I discovered — quite unexpectedly — a passion for writing, and specifically writing for film and television. Although up until that point I had believed myself to be a VFX artist in the making, the discovery caused me to reconsider. Today, I am writing to express my interest in the Creative Writing MA program at AB University.

During my final year at Arts College, I produced a screenplay for a short film, and found that setting up the scene and creating a whole new world in words was far more fascinating to me than trying to recreate it by moving around and rendering pixels on a screen. I received the highest mark out of everyone on my course for that piece of writing; and that was followed by my screenwriting professor’s recommendation: the way he spoke about AB University’s history and faculty removed any sort of doubt from my mind. It all became clear: this was to be my new path.

I have attached some writing samples, as per the application guidelines: my final-year screenplay as well as two pieces of prose I wrote in my free time. I hope that you may consider my application for a spot on the Creative Writing course.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for your time!

Best wishes,

Alex Pratt

Things to remember

From writing the first draft of your application letter to editing it and adding the final touches, remember to do the following:

1. Do your research

Research is one of the most important steps when it comes to job searching; you need to make sure that you know all there is about the organization you’re targeting and you should have a clear understanding of what their company culture is like.

2. Don’t forget to proofread

This goes without saying, but never send your application letter off without proofreading it. With so many readily available editing tools online, there’s no excuse for a careless typo or wordy sentences. Grammarly and Hemmingway are two of the most popular programs to help you perfect your writing.

3. Use their style of writing

You can usually guess a company’s style of writing from their website and publications. So, it’s important to try and keep your letter in line with this so they can see that you’re a real match for the position and that they’d be silly to not invite you for an interview.

Final thoughts

Whether you go to write a cover letter or an application letter, or even to put together a portfolio for a prospective employer to see, the same thing applies: everything you include must be related to the position you’re hoping to land.

So, before you’ve started writing, take time to consider which of your skills, qualities and achievements best portray you as a strong candidate, and how you can best convey your interest in (and suitability for) the company as a whole.

Have you ever written an application letter before? Do you have any other tips to share with fellow jobseekers? Leave us a comment in the comments section below!

Originally published on August 21, 2018. Updated by Electra Michaelidou.