Writing The Application Letter / Career development


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As part of a series of six workshops which cover the most important aspects of professional career development, I train future MBA graduates how to write an internationally successful CV and how to write an application letter that initiates an invitation by the prospective employer. In short, these workshops range from writing skills to personal awareness, analysis of weaknesses and strenghts to how to find the perfect match in terms of future employers.

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Writing The Application Letter / Career development

  1. 1. Writing The Application Letter by Elisabeth Dols-De Rooij areer Development
  2. 2. “To live is to choose, but to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.‖ Kofi Annan 1938 - present
  3. 3. Training outline Discussion Key Questions to ask yourself Planning Producing and Completing 2 types of application letters Lay out letter: Intro – Core – Close (Template) Transitions and style of writing Targeting organizations: How? The application letter do‘s & don‘ts Personal Questions
  4. 4. Discussion___________________________Which one is more important to the employer: your CV oryour application letter? Why?True or False?―Past performance predicts future behaviour.‖Question: How employable are you?
  5. 5. KEY QUESTIONS to ask Yourself_______________________________What is my motivation?Which career objective do I want to achieve?Where can I best apply my skills and qualifications?Which companies match my drive?In other words:What can I do for them?
  6. 6. Fear no question Kirsty MacCulloch is a senior project manager at Hobsons/GET Graduate Recruitment, the market leader in student recruitment marketing and management.Source: JobSite Be My Interviewer
  7. 7. Match Your competencies Your experience Your interests With the company‘s competencies experience interests
  8. 8. “Know thyself.”Socrates 470 BC – 399 BC
  9. 9. 75%Planning Writing 25% Completing1.Preparation 2. Production 3. Development
  10. 10. The Application Letter = Your Motivation
  11. 11. ACT NOWRemember that you are responsible for explicitly communicating your value to the employer.
  12. 12. Writing AidsCover Letter Template & Transitions
  13. 13. Application Letters Types A. Cover Letter B. Speculative letter
  14. 14. A. Cover letterThe opportunity to sell yourself to employerTo say WHY your CV or letter of applicationis worth reading Use it to highlight your enthusiasm, your suitability for the job. Emphasise your strenghts and skills.
  15. 15. Cover letter - IntroClearly structures:WHAT you‘re applying for – the job title andWHERE you saw the advertExample: In reference to…
  16. 16. STRONG OPENING STATEMENTS!I am excited to see a strong potential fit between theManagement Consultant position you posted in …[where]on …[when] and my previous experience.Your posting for a Controller indicated requirements thatclosely match my background and expertise. I have enclosedmy CV to provide a summary of my qualifications andbackground for your personal review.
  17. 17. Cover letter – The CoreClearly structures your motivation:WHY the job interests youWHY you want to work for this organization in particular Example:“My interest goes out to your organization ever since…“
  18. 18. This is a strong Core Statement!Your company intrigues me as an organization that realizesthe importance of inspiring teams to reach new heights, which isthe very type of vision that has defined and propelled my career.
  19. 19. The Core - EmphasizesWHY you are suitable for the position  Elaborate on the information in your CV by highlighting your relevant skills, experience and personal qualities  Match your skills to the position‘s specification, using the same key words where possible.
  20. 20. The Core – Relates to The company’s Vision – Mission statement!
  21. 21. MISSION STATEMENTS―Setting the standard in helping our customers manage their financial future.‖―…to play a key role in international education in the field of management of transition processes in culturally diverse organizations.―It‘s Your World.‖
  22. 22. Cover letter – The Close*Remember to end positively and enthusiastically* include ***Call to Action!***
  23. 23. The Close - Examples THE OPEN CLOSE ―Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you soon.‖ THE CONFIDENT CLOSE ―I am confident and willing to answer any questions you may have in order to ensure compliance with your requirements and high standards. ―
  24. 24. The Close – Call to Action Example: ―Please visit my Linkedin account http://www.linkedin.com/pub/elisabeth-dols/13/a68/433 to learn more about my experience and connections. Or, feel free to browse my website www.communication- realization.com to find out more about my career objective.‖
  25. 25. This is a strong CLOSING statementI look forward to meeting with you to learn more aboutthe [title] position and discuss your objectives, and how I cancontribute to the success of your department. In themeantime, please feel free to contact me should yourequire any further information or if you have any questions.Yours Sincerely,
  26. 26. B. Speculative Letter• Tailored to a specific organization • Addressed to a named individual
  27. 27. The Speculative Letter Should be clearly structured to cover:• the kind of work you are looking for;• why you want to work for this organization in particular;• why you are suitable;• highlighting your relevant skills, experience and personal qualities from your Resume. Remember to sound positive and enthusiastic
  28. 28. Targeting organizations When should I use this approach? Try this with organizations that You would really like to work for – Let them know about you Use recruitment agencies or word of mouth to fill vacancies Don‘t have to advertise because they receive so many speculative applications
  29. 29. Shortlist organization(s) Focus on• what kind of positions they have that are of interest to you• what their requirements are in terms of qualifications, work experience and skills• why they interest you as a potential employer• finding out who you should approach within the organization.
  30. 30. How?• Research the job Check out what the job youd like actually entails. Use careers information, web searches, Blogs, recruitment literature, job advertisements and job descriptions.• Analyse your skills Analyse your skills, experience and personal work requirements to be sure they match what is required to do the job.
  31. 31. Contact your chosen organization(s)• Finally, you need to write a speculative letter to accompany your CV and send it to the employers you have decided to target.• Indicating that you know something about the company shows that you are interested in the employer.
  32. 32. Follow up!If you dont hear from them, wait 5 working days, then follow up with a telephone call. Ask if they have received your letter and CV and ask to discuss its content further.
  33. 33. WritingThe application letter –In short  Be Clear - Content  Check Grammar & Spelling  Edit  Proofread 100x or  Let Someone Else Proofread For You
  34. 34. “With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.” Ayrton Senna 1960 – 1994
  35. 35. Application Letter Do’s Include the addressee‘s full name, title, company name, and company address Include your own full name, address, and contact information Use a formal greeting (Mr., Ms., Dr.) – use formal language throughout the letter Mention how you found out about the position
  36. 36. Application Letter Do’s continued Be clear, objective and persuasive — rather than simply describing your background Be positive in tone, content and expectations Use transitions appropriately Check Properties in MsWord! Keep copies of everything you send (create a filing system) Follow up after five business days.
  37. 37. Application Letter Don’tsDon’t: write a long letter—shorter is better (2 pages max) address the person by first name unless you know him or her personally and have permission to do so write more than three/four paragraphs (intro, core, closing) forget to personally sign the letter (or type your name)
  38. 38. Application Letter Don’tsDon’t: use contractions (I‘m, I‘d, you‘ll) don‘t mix up UK and US spelling. use flashy stationery (unless you‘re applying for a highly creative job) use slang.
  39. 39. Consider all skills involved • Prospecting: company research • Networking: initiating, leading, selling • Writing: Resume & Cover Letter • Listening: interpreting, analysing • Convincing: public speaking, expertise • Trusting: Your Self
  40. 40. “I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul.” Excerpt from ‗Invictus‘ first published in 1888 in Henleys Book of Verses
  41. 41. USEFUL LINKShttp://holland.angloinfo.com/countries/holland/working.asphttp://www.askoxford.com/betterwriting/http://www.careerperfect.com/content/resume-writing-help-sample-resumes/http://www.jobsite.co.uk/bemyinterviewer/
  42. 42. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!