Place and date
The employer's full name and/or company/institution
(it would be best to address a specific person; in such a case write the name of his or her post)
Begin the letter with the greeting: Dear Sir/Madam/Sir or Madam,
- Write how did you learn about the vacancy and which post you are applying for (e.g. In reply to your advertisement in …, I wish to apply for the post … )
Explain why you are writing to this particular company/institution.
- Convince the employer that you are the person with the qualifications he or she needs. Give examples of your achievements which prove your skills and talents. Do not repeat what you have written in your CV. Instead, focus on their relevance to the job. If you do not meet all the requirements, declare your willingness to learn and present your career plans in the company. Show that you are familiar with this particular company/institution: it is vital that your prospective employer does not get an impression that your letter is a copy of what you have sent to other companies.
- Declare that you will gladly come to an interview.
- Sign off with "Yours Sincerely" or "Yours Faithfully." Your signature should be hand-written.
- Read the job offer carefully and emphasise the skills and qualifications which are most valued by the prospective employer.
- Writing in reply to an anonymous job offer (e.g. by a "large chemical company") you are risking that it is the company you are currently employed in that is recruiting new staff. It is common nowadays that recruitment is conducted by outsourcing companies. If that is the case, you have to contact the person to whom you will send your application. It is almost certain that the name of the recruiting company will not be disclosed to you, but if you ask whether they can assure you that it is not the company XYZ, you are working for now, you will most probably receive such information.