What Is the Meaning of an Application Letter?

An application letter is a formally written one-page letter that accompanies a resume and other requested documentation in application for a job or academic program. Application letters are often synonymous with cover letters, and in addition to describing what materials are included in the application, an application letter should also take time to highlight the qualifications that prepare the writer for acceptance into the job or academic program.

Application letters typically begin with an introductory paragraph that states the position being applied to, reveals how the minimum qualifications for the position are met and asks the reader to continue reading to learn more about the applicant’s qualifications.

Paragraphs that follow the introduction paragraph typically highlight the top reasons the applicant should be considered. For experienced applicants, these paragraphs typically highlight work experience and workplace projects of significance. For less experienced applicants and new graduates, these paragraphs might highlight academic experience, such as classes taken that would be useful in this position or any particular academic projects or honors received.

An application letter should also include a concluding paragraph that express appreciation to the receiver for taking the time to consider the application. The final sentence should convey that the applicant looks toward the future by asking for a formal interview in-person, online or by phone.