The General Training test includes two writing tasks. One is a 250-word essay and the other is a 150-word letter. In the letter-writing task you will need to write a letter to someone for a specific purpose, and in your letter address common, everyday issues or tasks, such as writing a job application letter.
Today we will look at some key points you need to write a successful job application letter for Writing Task 1. You can also apply most of what you will learn here to any IELTS letter writing task.
When writing your job application letter, remember to:
- Present a clear purpose – why you are writing the letter
- Use the correct tone
- Address all three bullet points completely and relevantly
- Write in letter format
Let’s look at the following sample task. And before you read the tips that follow, think about how you would approach this task so you can compare and adapt your approach after you have finished reading this article.
You have learned about an international job that is available within the company you currently work for and you want to apply.
Write a letter to the hiring manager. In your letter ;
- Say why you are applying for this international position
- Describe the job you are currently doing for the company
- Tell him/her why you think you will be good at the job
Begin your letter as follows: Dear Sir or Madam
Formal or informal?
You will be told in the instructions who you are writing to. If you are told to begin a letter with “Dear Sir or Madam” this is a signal to be formal, using a formal tone.
In this case, you are writing to the hiring manager, not your boss or anyone you know and you are specifically instructed to begin your letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’. So, make sure you do this.
If you are not given instructions to begin your letter with “Dear Sir or Madam”, then make sure you begin your formal letter with ‘Dear Mr./ Miss/ Mrs. / Ms. Smith’ because you are not friends with the recipient.
Mektubunuzu resmi bir tonda yazmak için can’t, don’t, won’t gibi kısaltmalar ya da günlük dil kullanmayın, mektubunuzu isminiz soyadınız ve “Yours Faithfully” ile bitirin.
In addition, the purpose of the letter is a serious one because you are applying for a job, so use a more serious tone to write your letter. To keep to the formal tone: keep to the point or purpose of the letter and don’t use contractions (e.g. can’t don’t, won’t) and sign your letter off formally (e.g. Yours faithfully, followed by your full name)
Soruyu doğru anlamak
If we look at the question above, it appears that you already work for this company and you now want to work for them in an international location.
Ask yourself the following questions to help craft your response:
- Why would someone want to move to another country to work?
- What kind of work could you be doing now that would make you a good candidate to move?
- What special skills or experience could you have that would make you good for the job?
Pausing a little bit to analyze the question will help you create logical background stories so that it is easier to write the letter.
Let’s look at the possible scenarios:
You work as a French teacher at a school in Brussels and the school you work in has campuses in different parts of the world. You want to work and experience a cultural experience on the school’s campus in Korea, moving with your family. In addition, your spouse’s family is in Korea and you can speak Korean well.
You work as a product manager for a company and you know very well the product launched in this part of the world. You also want to travel abroad with your family for experience and you have all the skills and experience to be the best person to start selling the product elsewhere. You also speak the native language of that country or speak English, the business language there.
Creating stories is fun, right?
Support and develop your opinions
Making up a good story makes it easy to plan what you will write. Let’s start with the teacher scenario:
Remember that the main purpose of the letter is to get the job, so you should keep this in mind when choosing the details to be included in all main points and finding ideas to support this goal.
- Why do you want this position?
- Why does your current job make you a good candidate for this position?
- Why do you think you would be better at work in another country?
Why international position?
Want international experience: build better understanding of the Korean culture and develop new language skills
Husband has family in Korea: would like your own children to have the opportunity to live closer to relatives for some time and learn about their father’s culture
What about your current job makes you a good candidate?
The job in Korea is teaching French and you are an experienced and successful teacher: 10 years of experience working with the same curriculum
Just completed an additional qualification: Can now teach Korean as well as French.
Why best candidate for the job in that country?
Have a proven success record: won teacher of the year two years in a row.
Will easily adapt to the situation: husband is Korean and there is family there to support you and your family as you adapt to living in the new environment
Be sure to give examples to support your ideas while writing your answer. Check the difference between these two examples:
I am a good candidate for this job because I have a proven success record and my husband is Korean.
I am a good candidate for this job because I have a proven success record with this organization. I have won teacher of the year for the past two years for outstanding curriculum development in the languages department. In addition, my husband is Korean and having family already in Korea will make it easy for my family to adapt so that I can devote myself to the students and the school.
İyi bir hikaye oluşturursanız ana fikri destekleyecek örnekleri daha iyi bulabilirsiniz. Mektubun nihai amacını unutmadan yazdıklarınızı genişletin.
How many paragraphs should I write?
Brief introduction paragraph, medium-length 3 body paragraphs, and short conclusion.
Dear Sir or Madam:
Beginning of the first paragraph:
My name is Mark Jones and I am writing to express my interest in the position of product manager for the launch of moon boots in Italy . . .
Beginning of the second paragraph:
The reason why I am seeking this international position is . . .is . . .
Beginning of the third paragraph:
My current position as product manager of moon boots in Australia has given me many valid skills and experiences for this job . . .
Beginning of the forth paragraph:
I believe that I am an excellent candidate for two good reasons . . .
Should you require further information, do not hesitate to contact me. Please find my CV attached.
Note that the three paragraphs after the introduction begin with the main points requested in the question. Writing this way will guide you on what details to add to the paragraph. It also makes your writing easier to read.
However, do not limit yourself to write a paragraph for each bullet point. You can write supporting ideas in separate paragraphs unless it’s related to other paragraphs.
For each bullet point, you must write an introduction and conclusion.
In the first sentence, you should be clear about what the paragraph will be about.
Writing a letter can be fun if you come up with a logical backstory because imagination makes things simpler. Remember to use the right tone, expand your ideas with interesting and relevant examples, and organize them into separate paragraphs as mentioned above.
Paying attention to all these will help you achieve both your target score and the job you want.