Information on Technical Communication

 Reader Analysis
 Definitions
 Descriptions
 Formal Report
 Analytical Report
 Typography Hints
 Instruction Basics
 Memo Format
 Oral Report
 Progress Reports
 Proposal
 Resumes
 Letter of Application
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Letter of Application Hints

  • A job ad presents an employer's hopes, not absolute demands. Employers will often accept less in some categories in return for more in others. A good letter of application acknowledges the differences between the ad and your resume but stresses the assets you would bring to a job.

  • People with GPAs below 3.0 get good jobs. If you have below a 3.0 overall, perhaps you have a 3.0 in courses in your major, or a 3.0 in the final two years. If applicable to the job description, indicate this information about your grades in the letter.

  • If you have relevant work experience, you should emphasize it by providing information on exactly what you did, how much responsibility you had, and what skills you used. But work experience is important even if it is not directly relevant. It can show ability to get along with co-workers, take responsibility, deal with customers, and solve problems. If you worked while going to school, it can show the ability to balance time demands. Indicating that you worked many hours each week may even explain a less than perfect GPA.

  • The tone of your letter of application should be affirmative and upbeat. Emphasize strengths rather than apologize for weaknesses.

  • Don't explain the job to the employer. When you write: "this position will surely require . . . . " you are offering your opinion on matters you don't fully understand.

  • Don't list your good qualities, but use the letter to explain actions which reveal those qualities. Rather than "I am a good leader," write "I was the only part-time worker at Jones Company who was promoted to section head."

  • Whenever possible, refer in your letter to the specific elements of the job described in the ad.

  • Remember that you don't have to put everything in your letter. The purpose of the letter is get an interview. You will have more time during the interview to explain any additional assets you bring to the position.