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Letter Of Application Vs Cover Letter

What is a Letter of Application?

Tips for Writing a Letter of Application With Examples

A letter of application, also known as a cover letter, is a job application document sent with your resume to provide additional information about your skills and experience.

The letter of application is intended to provide detailed information on why are you are a qualified candidate for the job you are applying for. Effective application letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences.

Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, what makes you a strong candidate, why they should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up.

Letter of Application Tips

  • Always write one. Unless a job posting specifically says not to send a letter of application or cover letter, you should always send one. Even if the company does not request a letter of application, it never hurts to include one. If they do ask you to send a letter, make sure to follow the directions exactly (for example, they might ask you to send the letter as an email attachment, or type it directly into their online application system). Following application directions is the first step to getting selected for an interview.
  • Use business letter format. Use an official business letter format when writing your letter. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the employer’s contact information. Be sure to provide a salutation at the beginning, and your signature at the end.
  • Sell yourself. Throughout the letter, focus on how you would benefit the company. Provide specific examples of times when you demonstrated skills or abilities that would be useful for the job, especially those listed in the job posting or description. If possible, include examples of times when you added value to a company. Numerical values offer concrete evidence of your skills and accomplishments.
  • Use keywords. Reread the job listing, circling any keywords (such as skills or abilities that are emphasized in the listing). Try to include some of those words in your cover letter. This will help the employer see that you are a strong fit for the job.
  • Keep it brief. Keep your letter under a page long, with no more than about four paragraphs. An employer is more likely to read a concise letter.
  • Edit, edit, edit. Employers are likely to overlook an application with a lot of errors. Therefore, read through your cover letter, and if possible ask a friend or career counselor to review the letter. Proofread for any grammar or spelling errors.

More Tips: Guidelines for Writing Employment Application Letters

Writing a Letter of Application: Step-by-Step

2. Heading (for a business letter)

Your heading should include your name, address, city, state, and zip code, followed by your phone number and email. The date should be on the next line. Then you should list the name of the company contact, their title, the company address and city, state, and zip code. If you are sending your letter via email as an attached document, title the document with your name and the job title.

2.Subject(for an email letter)

List the job you are applying for and your name in the subject line of your email message, so the employer is clear as to what job you are interested in and who you are.


Begin your letter greeting with "Dr./Mr./Ms. Lastname." If you do not know the employer's last name, simply write "Dear Hiring Manager" or leave the greeting off the letter and start with the first paragraph.

4. Body of Letter

  • First Paragraph: Explain why you are writing - mention the job you are applying for and where you found the listing.
  • Middle Paragraph(s): State what you have to offer the employer - mention why your skills and experiences are a good fit for the job. For each skill or quality you mention, provide a specific example.
  • Last Paragraph: Say thank you to the hiring manager for considering you and note how you will follow up.


End your letter with a polite closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Regards”, and  your signature (handwritten if you are sending it by post), followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information.

Read More: Job Application Letter Examples

Related:Guidelines for Writing Application Letters | Sample Resumes

Application Letter vs Cover Letter: Differences

Landing a job in any industry today requires diligence and a commitment to properly presenting yourself to potential employers. When you are interested in starting a job search of your own, understanding the difference between application letters and cover letters can help you submit the right documents any time you apply for a new position. Knowing the differences between application and cover letters will give you an idea of when it is appropriate to use either one while job hunting.

Application Letter purpose

An application letter is often more thorough than a traditional cover letter. You can send an application letter to companies and potential employers even when there are no current job openings being posted as available online or within the company directory. Application letters include more thorough details of your work experience, skills, education and your overall qualifications for the positions you are interested in, rather than simply highlighting what you have to offer. Sending an application letter is ideal if you are looking for new ways of promoting yourself professionally or if you have multiple ideal jobs you would like to obtain. Application letters improve your overall professional reputation while giving you a chance to be given additional opportunities in the future.

Purpose of a Cover Letter

The purpose of a cover letter is to inform a potential employer of why you are qualified to work in a position you want, while also formally addressing them before attaching your resume along with the letter itself. A cover letter is not as in-depth as an application letter, as it generally simply covers why you are seeking the job and the position you want to obtain. Cover letters are typically essential when you are applying for a new job, whereas application letters can be sent separately to potential employers without the attachment of a resume.


Application letter introductions are often longer than cover letter intros, and include details about relevant skills, work experience and even education you have obtained that may come in handy with the job you are trying to get. Cover letter introductions may also include why you want the position you are applying for, but are often only 2 to 3 sentences in total.

Creating an enticing introduction within your application letter can help to captivate your audience, whether a hiring manager or an employer is reviewing the letter him or herself. The more detailed you are with your application letter introduction, the more likely you are to receive feedback or even a call requesting you for a future job opportunity and interview.

Formatting differences

Formatting cover letters vs. application letters is not too different from one another, depending on how much information you plan to include when writing out your application letter. Application letters often include multiple paragraphs, which are more lengthy than traditional cover letters. Cover letters include a section to address who will be receiving the letter, followed by a shorter introduction, body paragraph and conclusion.

Application letters also include conclusions, which should be strong and to the point, including details requesting a follow-up interview or phone call. The length of a conclusion is usually just one paragraph, for both cover and application letters.

When to send an Application Letter

Knowing the differences between cover and application letters is a way for you to properly format your own resume or the document you choose to use when you want to appeal to potential employers. The better the understanding of the two types of letters, the easier it is to communicate to employers in a way that increases your chances of being hired.

Sending an application letter can be done even when there are no open positions available for the company you want to work in. An application letter highlights your skills and experience for potential future opportunities, even when there are no active jobs that are available at the time of sending one in.

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