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16 October 2014
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Application Letters

Letters and application forms are used by employers to decide who to invite for interview. Unless you get onto the interview short list you won’t get the job. This is why it’s worth taking time and trouble to produce your best effort.

Tips - Letters of application

Respond to job adverts as quickly as possible.

If the advert says ‘write for an application form’ you should write a short letter doing just that. If it says ‘apply in writing’ you need to write a longer letter including :

  • the title of the job you are applying for
  • your age, school and exams passed or to be taken
  • why you want the job and why you think you would be a suitable candidate
  • details of any work experience or part-time jobs you have had
  • brief details about your spare-time interests and hobbies.

or send a CV and a short covering letter instead.

Unless you’re an absolute whizz at letter writing, always practise first.

Unless the job advert tells you otherwise, you can word process your letter or write it by hand in black ink.

Use good quality white, unlined paper with a matching or brown office envelope.

Include your own address and the address of the company you are writing to at the top.

Use the name of the person you are writing to if possible and finish ‘Yours sincerely’. If you don’t know the name write ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ and finish ‘Yours faithfully’.

Sign your letter and then print your name in block capitals underneath.

If you give named referees (people whom the employer can contact to ask about you), get their permission first.

Get someone to check your letter, especially the spelling, and keep a copy.


If you’re writing a speculative letter rather than answering a job advert your letter can be more or less the same as the one below. Just alter the first sentence to something like: ‘ I am writing to ask if there might be a vacancy for a trainee in the catering department of your hospital in the near future’.

Or you can send a CV with a short covering letter.

Example letter of application - school leaver

Cymraeg (Welsh)


Also see...
Application forms

Next step...
Skills at work
Training at work

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