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Application letter. This writer is attempting to get an interview for an editorial position at textbook-publishing company. In this letter, the writer cites specific details concerning her science, teaching, and publishing experience—details that she hopes will make a strong case for candidacy for this job.
Heading. The heading portion of a business letter includes the writer's address and date. In traditional business letters, you do not include your name in the heading.
Inside address. The inside address provides the full name, title, and address of the recipient of the letter. In this example, the writer addressed the letter to a department. You can address a business letter to a department or position within an organization if you cannot get a specific name.
Salutation. In this portion of the letter, the writer uses a somewhat awkward salutation. Better would be to use something like "Dear Human resources Department" or "Dear Human Resources Department Head." Be sure and punctuate the salutation with a colon, not a comma (which is for informal, friendly, nonbusiness letters).
Introduction. The introduction to any business letter should be brief—four or five lines at the most. In this application letter, the writer states the purpose of the letter (to apply for an employment opening), cites the specific job title, mentions how she heard about the opening, and generalizes on her qualifications. Instead of mentioning your best qualifications, you can mention someone you know within the company, someone you know who is known to people within the company, or some detail about the company you are applying to. Details like these are designed to hook readers in and make them keep reading.
Education. This letter takes the fairly common approach—at least for people early in their careers—of having two body paragraphs, one for experience and the other for education. Notice how this writer makes overt connections between her education and the job she's applying for. Notice how she calls attention to every detail she can that will underline her science education and her writing skills.
Newspaper, magazine, and book titles. Use italics (or underscores) for newspaper names, as well as for magazines and books. (Use quotation marks for titles of chapters or articles within newspapers, magazines, and books.)
Experience. This is the other commonly section for people just getting out of college or just starting their careers. This writer reviews those parts of her experience that involve science, science education, technical writing, and textbook publishing. This part of the letter could be improved with details as to where the writer taught. Also, "positions in the medical field" is quite vague: specifics would help. And finally, merely stating that the writer has superior interpersonal skills" is weak and ineffective: citing some example in which those skills were used would be far better.
Personal goals. This writer spends an additional paragraph explaining her career and educational goals. Information like this can backfire in an application letter: the recipient is not interested in how the potential job fits into the applicant's plans, but instead how well the applicant can fit into the recipient's organization. The paragraph in the example letter is probably effective in that it underlines how the applicant skills will grow after she is hired, thus raising her value to the organization. And the paragraph also conveys the writer's enthusiasm and commitment to her work.
Wrap-up. This final portion of the application letter contains the concluding paragraph and the signature block. As do other writers, this writer includes information about contacting her. When you write an application letter, don't forget to sign in the open area above your typed name. Also don't forget to indicate the enclosure of the resume.
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