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How to Write a Job Application Letter

  • Learn about appropriate content for job application letter (sometimes called cover letter) by reading "Application Letters" in Brusaw et al. Handbook and the web site on job application letters. Both resources include sample letters. I, of course, would have you use the samples on the web site as your primary guides. Also review business letter format in "Correspondence" in Brusaw et al. Handbook.
  • NOTE: for this project, as for the resume project, you can prepare a letter based on your background at this point OR you can hypothesize what your letter will be the semester that you graduate. Please indicate in upper right-hand corner the date for which you are preparing the job application letter: e.g., Spring 2000, Fall 2000, or Spring 2001.
  • Obtain a job description similar to what you will apply for when you graduate.
    You can obtain this job description from ones posted on internet resources, at Career Services, or another source appropriate for your field. 

    OR you can write your own job description based on what qualifications you know are required for your intended career. (Occupational Outlook Handbook at http://stats.bls.gov/ocohome.htm should provide information about these qualifications.) If you write your own description, "Job Descriptions" in Brusaw et al. Handbook may be helpful. 

    Find or write a job description that provides more guidance than the short "BS in Accounting required." 

  • Write your letter to the job description.
  • Print your letter on same resume paper that you use for your resume.
  • SUBMIT: 
    • (1) job description (required or your letter cannot be graded). Although you'll be given a second chance to submit a job description if it's not submitted the first time with your job application letter, five points will be deducted.
    • (2) job application letter (350 to 400 words for non-honors students and 400 to 500 for honors students) printed on same paper that you use for your resume.


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