How to Write a Good Application Letter

Writing guide
Posted on September 25, 2009

Application letters are used for colleges, schools, advanced programs, jobs, and more, and writing a good application letter begins with understanding the audience that will receive and read the letter. Start by reading information about the organization you are sending your application letter to – such as by reading the website, checking news reports, and talking to other people from the organization. After reviewing the information available, consider how you represent the best ideals of the organization, how events in your past have prepared you for being a part of the group. The best application letter represents not only your interest in the program or organization, but also how you will be a benefit to the program.

After you have developed a list of the benefits of the organization and a list aligning your personal experience or education to the list, you will need to consider the needs of your audience. Someone will read your application letter and determine if it qualifies you as a candidate. Will your audience want to know more about how your past represents the needs of the program, or how your future will benefit from the program? Do you represent an elite group that defines the organizational goals – such as high performing students seeking admission into gifted programs? Finally, a good application letter is equally about your needs and those of the organization – you would not address the letter to be a form of brag or a letter that defines the organization and nothing about yourself. Reading your application letter aloud will enable you to evaluate how it sounds, remove grammar errors, and reading it to other people will assist you in finding out how it makes you appear in the eyes of others.

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