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THE LETTER OF APPLICATION
The letter of application is probably the most important letter you will have to write at the beginning of your business life. Many of the best positions are secured through this medium, and it is important that you be able to write a good letter of application before leaving school. The primary purpose of a letter of application is to create a favorable first impression; therefore overlook no point that will have anything to do with making the letter both attractive and effective. Of course, as in all letters, the wording is of prime importance, but it should be remembered that neat and artistic arrangement is nowhere more vitally essential than in the letter of application. The letter that is perfect in mechanical construction will frequently secure a reading where a carelesslywritten letter, however well-composed, will be thrown into the waste basket.
Begin your letter of application by stating the reason for making the application; it may be general, in response to a request, or in answer to an advertisement. The second paragraph should state age and qualifications. In giving your qualifications do not recount your entire family and personal history, but simply state, in one or two terse sentences, your educational preparation and the experiences that have the most important bearing on the work into which you seek entrance. It is unnecessary to make extended reference to experience that would have no possible value in your prospective position. To say, for instance, you have had four years' experience as grocery clerk, would not help you in securing a position as correspondent.
In the next paragraph the names and addresses of references should be given when they are requested. One or two are usually sufficient, as to give a long list of former employers will create the impression that you are a "rolling stone.” The matter of salary should be left until the last. A great deal of tact, indeed, is required to handle this subject in the right way, and it is sometimes advisable not to mention it at all unless you have been requested to do so.
The letter should close with an appropriate sentence, usually with the request for a personal interview where this is possible.
It is not necessary to inclose a stamp for a reply; a stamp will not insure an answer to a poor letter of application.
Study carefully the following model letter:
2800 Lakewood Ave.,
June 11, 1909
Mr. Thomas G. Hoy,
Aud., M. & St. L. R. R. Co.,
Mr. Charles Norton of your office has informed me that you
will take on a new stenographer next week.
As I intend to come
to Minneapolis in a few days I should like you to consider me as
an applicant for the position.
I was graduated at the John Marshall High School of this city
I am at present a student in the Blank Commercial
School, and expect to finish the prescribed course this week.
am twenty-one years of age and single.
I do not use tobacco in
During my summer vacations for the past four years I have
been employed as general office assistant in the office of Mr. A.
V. Hartwell, P. A., C. & A. R. A., Chicago. ' I am permitted to
refer you to Mr. Hartwell as to my character and ability.
I hope that my application will receive your favorable con
Answer the following advertisement, using the blank space below:
Wanted-A stenographer to take charge of the correspondence of a commission firm and act as assistant bookkeeper. Either sex. State age, experience, references, and salary expected. Address Box 346, Tribune.
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