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What is the difference between application letter and cover letter? FREE TEMPLATE

General | 11 sep 2023.

In the competitive job market of today, job seekers are constantly on the lookout for ways to stand out and make a positive impression on prospective employers. Two essential tools in the job hunting arsenal are the application letter and the cover letter. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they serve distinct purposes in the hiring process. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key differences between application letters and cover letters, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to create both effectively.

What is an Application Letter?

An application letter, also known as a job application letter or a letter of application, is a formal document submitted by a job seeker to express their interest in a specific job vacancy. The primary purpose of an application letter is to introduce the applicant and their qualifications to the potential employer. Unlike a resume or CV, which provides a comprehensive overview of one's professional history, an application letter is tailored to a particular job opening.

Also read How to Create a Comprehensive Resume

How to Create an Application Letter

1. research the job opening.

Before you begin crafting your application letter, it's crucial to thoroughly research the job opening. This includes understanding the job requirements, responsibilities, and the company's culture. The more you know about the position, the better you can align your qualifications and skills with the employer's needs.

2. Format and Structure

An application letter should follow a standard business letter format. Here's a basic structure to follow:

Heading: Include your contact information (name, address, phone number, and email) at the top, followed by the date.

Recipient's Information: Below the date, include the recipient's name, title, company name, and address. If you can't find this information in the job posting, address the letter to the hiring manager.

Salutation: Start your letter with a professional salutation, such as "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Hiring Manager."

Introduction: Begin with a strong opening paragraph that mentions the specific job you're applying for and how you learned about it. Express your enthusiasm for the position.

Body Paragraph(s): Use one or more paragraphs to highlight your qualifications, skills, and relevant experiences. Be specific and provide examples of how your background aligns with the job requirements.

Closing Paragraph: Summarize your interest in the position and express your desire for an interview. Mention that you have attached your resume for reference.

Closing : Use a formal closing such as "Sincerely" or "Yours faithfully," followed by your signature and typed name.

3. Tailor Your Letter

Each application letter should be customized for the specific job you're applying for. Highlight the qualifications and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for that particular position. Avoid using a generic, one-size-fits-all letter.

4. Showcase Your Skills

Use the application letter to showcase your skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job. Highlight achievements, projects, or experiences that demonstrate your capability to excel in the role.

Also read  7 Interview Tips to Impress Hiring Manager

5. Proofread and Edit

Before sending your application letter, carefully proofread it for grammar, spelling, and formatting errors. A well-written, error-free letter demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail.

6. Enclose Required Documents

If the job posting specifies additional documents, such as transcripts, certifications, or writing samples, make sure to include them along with your application letter.

When to Use an Application Letter

Application letters are typically used when:

A job vacancy is advertised.

The employer specifically requests an application letter.

You want to provide a more personalized introduction to your resume.

Effective Application Letter Example:

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State ZIP Code]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Today's Date]

[Recipient's Name]

[Recipient's Title]

[Company Name]

[Company Address]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I am writing to apply for the [Position Name] at [Company Name], as advertised on [Where You Found the Job Posting]. With my strong background in [Relevant Skill/Experience], I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my expertise to your team.

In my current role at [Current Company], I have consistently demonstrated my proficiency in [Relevant Skill]. For instance, [Provide an Example of an Achievement or Project Relevant to the Position]. These experiences have honed my abilities and prepared me for the challenges and responsibilities of the [Position Name] role at [Company Name].

What sets [Company Name] apart for me is its reputation for [Company Attribute or Project]. I am deeply impressed by the impact your organization has made in [Industry or Field], and I am eager to be part of such an innovative and forward-thinking team.

Please find my resume attached, which offers a more comprehensive overview of my qualifications. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to discuss how my skills can contribute to the continued success of [Company Name].

I can be reached at [Your Email Address] or [Your Phone Number]. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of becoming a part of the [Company Name] family and working toward achieving its goals.

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter, sometimes referred to as a covering letter, is a document that accompanies your resume when applying for a job. Unlike an application letter, which is typically focused on a specific job vacancy, a cover letter is more general and can be used for various job applications. The primary purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself, highlight your qualifications, and explain why you are an excellent fit for the company as a whole.

How to Create a Cover Letter

1. research the company.

Before you start writing your cover letter, research the company you're applying to. Understand its values, mission, culture, and recent achievements. This knowledge will help you tailor your cover letter to align with the company's goals and values.

A well-structured cover letter should include the following elements:

Heading : Similar to an application letter, include your contact information and the date at the top.

Recipient's Information : Address the letter to the hiring manager or the appropriate person if their name is mentioned in the job posting. If not, use a generic salutation like "Dear Hiring Manager."

Introduction : Begin with a strong opening that mentions the position you're interested in and how you found out about it. Express your enthusiasm for the company and explain why you're a good fit.

Body Paragraphs : Use one or more paragraphs to showcase your qualifications, skills, and experiences. Emphasize your contributions and achievements in previous roles. Highlight how your skills align with the company's needs.

Closing Paragraph: Summarize your interest in the company and reiterate your enthusiasm for the position. Express your desire for an interview to further discuss your qualifications.

Closing : Use a professional closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your signature and typed name.

3. Personalize Your Cover Letter

While a cover letter can be more general than an application letter, it should still be personalized for the specific company and position. Tailor your content to match the company's values and show how you can contribute to its success.

4. Highlight Transferable Skills

In a cover letter, focus on transferable skills that are applicable across various roles and industries. Explain how your diverse skill set makes you adaptable and a valuable asset to the company.

5. Match Your Resume

Your cover letter should complement your resume, not duplicate it. Use the cover letter to provide context for your resume and highlight specific achievements or experiences that are relevant to the job.

6. Proofread and Edit

Just like with an application letter, proofread and edit your cover letter carefully to ensure it is error-free and well-written. Attention to detail is crucial.

When to Use a Cover Letter

Cover letters are typically used when:

You are applying for a job without a specific job posting.

The job application process requires a cover letter.

You want to express your interest in a company and its culture, beyond a specific job opening.

Apply to urgently hiring jobs here!

Effective cover letter example.

I am writing to express my strong interest in the [Position Name] position at [Company Name], as advertised on [Where You Found the Job Posting]. With a proven track record in [Relevant Skill/Experience], I am confident that my qualifications align perfectly with the requirements of this role.

In my previous role at [Previous Company], I [Briefly Describe an Achievement or Responsibility Relevant to the Position]. This experience allowed me to hone my [Relevant Skill] skills and contribute to the growth and success of my team. I am eager to bring this expertise to [Company Name] to contribute to its continued excellence.

One of the aspects of [Company Name] that particularly excites me is [Specific Company Attribute or Project]. Your commitment to [Company's Values or Mission] aligns perfectly with my own professional values, making [Company Name] a natural fit for my career goals.

Enclosed is my resume, which provides further details about my qualifications. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences can benefit [Company Name] in greater detail. Please find my contact information below:

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of joining the team at [Company Name] and contributing to your ongoing success.

In conclusion, application letters and cover letters serve distinct purposes in the job application process. An application letter is tailored to a specific job vacancy and focuses on your qualifications for that role, while a cover letter is more general and introduces you to the company as a whole. Both letters, however, are essential tools for showcasing your skills and enthusiasm to prospective employers.

To succeed in your job search, it's crucial to create both types of letters effectively. Research the job opening or company thoroughly, follow the appropriate format and structure, and customize the content to match the employer's needs. Additionally, always proofread and edit your letters to ensure they make a positive impression. Application letter example and cover letter example illustrate how to structure both a cover letter and an application letter effectively, emphasizing the importance of tailoring the content to the specific job and company while showcasing your qualifications and enthusiasm.

By understanding the differences between application letters and cover letters and mastering the art of creating them, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job in today's competitive job market.

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Application letter vs. cover letter: pros and cons, tips for job application scenarios

Paul Drury

1) Application letter when there is no job opening

2) job application letter for academic programs, 3) longer application letter for internships, introduction, convey resume facts in letter form. , highlight your achievements alongside personality and context., signpost each part of the letter. , make sentences shorter and minimize descriptive language. , ensure the application letter is heavy on factual detail..

Application letter? Isn't that a cover letter, but twice the length? What is that you say? Some people use it to replace a resume and a cover letter? Why on earth would you want to do that? What is a letter of application vs cover letter?

Job search jargon can be difficult, especially when different words mean different things in various parts of the world. So let's take a look at the general differences and similarities between an application vs cover letter . They do have varying uses - so think about the right choice for you.

In this article we will explore:

What is an application letter?

  • Three situations when you might choose to write an application letter
  • What is the difference between an application letter and a cover letter?
  • What is the purpose of a letter of application?
  • An application letter example
  • The format and structure of a job application letter
  • How do I write an application letter?

Application Letter vs. Cover Letter - In this article we will explore

An “application letter” is used in limited circumstances in a job search as a replacement for a resume and cover letter. 

These two pages have to encompass the highs and lows of your career as well as describe why you would be a great hire for a potential employer. Tough ask.

Many in human resources view this as recruitment heresy; but hear us out. The specific job application format, despite its unwieldy nature, has a reason to exist. The job application letter is vanishingly rare, but certain people do decide to use it. The argument of letter of application vs cover letter is clear cut. Combining a resume and cover letter into one longer application letter is no easy task.

Recruiter’s Note

It should be noted that the term “application letter” is often used to describe the traditional cover letter. In other words, sometimes the two terms mean exactly the same thing. Similarly, the words “CV” and “resume” sometimes (but not always) refer to the same thing, the only difference being that the term “CV” is much more popular outside North America. A cover letter may be referred to as an application letter simply because that's what it's called in that part of the world. This article deals with application letters as separate documents with their own specific set of goals.

A resume is a strictly formatted, factually based document, while a cover letter adds a personal touch to the application process. But with a single job application letter that does both jobs, where do you start to impress a recruiter?

Is there one occasion in a hundred when a job seeker might choose this option? Might it make a difference to you one day? 

By the way, there is an entertaining 7.5-minute video on cover letters vs. application letters at . It offers the same advice we do, although with a delightful African accent. It settles the application letter vs cover letter debate, once and for all.

When to use an application letter

Before we explore all the reasons why a resume + cover letter combo is usually better for job seekers than a single application letter, an examination of online recruitment wisdom does highlight a few occasions when a job application letter might prove a valid choice. So what are the three types of application letter?

We must stress that in 99% of cases, this advice and the following application letter sample is definitely not the norm, but if you have tried everything else in your job search toolbox, it might just be worth a try.

When the job market is tight, potential hiring managers and recruiters will have even less time to consider job applications, especially if there is no job posting. 

If job applicants have a genuinely compelling story to tell, some candidates might decide to send over their sales pitch in application letter form (as an attachment in an email or in a forum like LinkedIn), because they know that someone won’t spend the time digging through their formal resume for the relevant details. Our application letter sample at the end of this chapter offers a flavor of how it might be worded. 

Sending a formal resume might be presumptuous if there is no role available, but a short cover letter does not offer enough space to sell your career story. Enter the longer, chunkier application letter (that is pretending to be a cover letter and not a resume).

Another type of letter sent when no open position is advertised is called a letter of interest, letter of intent or statement of interest. A letter of interest is very similar to a cover letter, but it’s written when no open position is advertised. The usual advice for a letter of interest is to hold it to one page and include a resume. This is different from the so-called application letter, which is generally supposed to be two pages and is sent without a resume.  

For example, if you teach English as a second language (ESL) and you live in Spain, you may become aware of a school that teaches ESL. Even though it’s not advertising any jobs for new teachers, you want the school to know that you would be interested in working there and you have the skills to do so. In such a case, you might send a letter of interest and a resume. For more info, see our blog on “ Letter of Interest vs. Cover Letter .”

Job application letters will never match the factual accuracy and coverage of a resume, but a small number of candidates do decide to use them as a tactic to get their foot through the door.

One consideration with a job application letter is that it will be read in its entirety. The format of a resume makes it easier to dip in and out, so writing a longer letter may be a way of getting every argument across?

When there is a requirement to describe depth of academic experience , a longer-form letter is sometimes employed in academic circles instead of a resume. Here, the letter of application vs cover letter argument is won in favor of academic rigor. Outlining the importance of your academic work is difficult in a short cover letter.

Again, this is a rare occurrence, but for an academic who is looking to connect with a like-minded faculty manager (outside of the confines of HR oversight), an application letter gives them the opportunity express why they would be a fit for that new job. Many academics are used to reading long pieces of content, so a two-page application letter will not seem overly onerous.

Many in academia would expect an academic resume with a wealth of information about past research papers and qualifications, but for areas of expertise which require more depth of explanation, an application letter may be a useful format.

There is genuine merit for an intern to view the following example of application letter with a little more interest. 

Interns will not have the experience to flesh out a two-page resume , but a one-page resume may not be enough space to describe the passion that they have for their desired role. As social media has brought interns ever closer to potential future bosses, a less formal job application letter might be able to do the job of both a cover letter and a resume. 

The free-flowing nature of a letter allows them to explore their potential from a professional and personal perspective. 400 words is not enough on a cover letter when you desperately want to take that first rung on the career ladder.

If the application progresses onto a more formal footing, interns will still need a resume for an internal recruiter, but a longer initial letter could make a difference. Not every application is standard, so if you feel that you are able to divert from the norm and risk sending a longer application letter, take the plunge.

Application letter sample

Meet Lana. She is writing a speculative application letter to get a job at a new retail outlet that is opening up. She doesn't know when they might be hiring, so this one-shot application letter sample is her best shot of getting on their radar early on. They are unlikely to read both a cover letter and her resume at such a stage. 

We had to dig deep into various professional cases to come up with the best example, but with our desire to provide the most comprehensive set of resources for job seekers, we felt that sharing an example of a job application letter was worth doing. This really does include the best of both worlds.

The following job application letter sample is a good attempt at what such a letter might look like, but it will quickly become obvious that the format is far from ideal. You have to have a really good story to keep a hiring manager reading beyond the second paragraph. Make sure that you hit them with what matters to them early on.

If you start to understand that this format is not for you - you might be far happier and better off checking out our cover letter templates , writing guide and profession-specific letter examples .

Having said all that, here is an example of an application letter:

Retail manager application letter sample

Job application letter format and structure

The format of an application letter is difficult to define. While we have created advice guides for all sorts of cover letters, the bloated nature of the application letter format means that almost anything goes. Just make sure that you use bullets and the odd list to break up the text - white space matters in an application letter, too.

We would like to compare and contrast the structure of the two formats.

After starting the header of the letter with your contact information, the greeting section needs to be addressed to the correct person and begin the letter with a personal connection. Everyone likes being called by their name. 

Additionally, make sure that you use the correct form of address. “ Dear Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. Surname ” is the safest option to get the letter off to a solid start. ”To Whom It May Concern” is never acceptable, though if you can't find out the name of the hiring manager, you can opt for a more generic greeting like “Dear XYZ Hiring Team.” This advice applies to both cover letters and application letter.

How to format a cover letter in 2024: examples and tips

Take your career growth to a new level with these 10 expert tips to writing and formatting the best cover letter.

The introduction of a cover letter should be a short opening paragraph to grab the attention and focus on one standout aspect of the candidate’s experience. It is the one sentence that you want to remain in the hiring manager’s mind for the rest of the recruitment process.

The introduction for the application letter format has to work a bit harder. Because there is no factual resume to fall back on, the application letter introduction should be more practically oriented, leaving the reader in no doubt as to the suitability of the candidate.

Where a hiring manager has the option to find a candidate's value in the depths of a resume, candidates have to be mind-readers to work out exactly what to highlight in their application letter intro. It is a really tough ask and very easy to miss the mark.

The body of the perfect cover letter should contain a couple of brief insights into the personal qualities and professional achievements of a candidate, outlining why they are a fit for the role and backing that up with quantifiable numbers. It is eminently possible to create a lasting impression in the space of two or three paragraphs. In communication skills terms, brevity is the soul of wit.

Conversely, it is difficult to know where to start in suggesting how to structure the body of an application letter.

First, the job application format should ideally retain an aspect of the chronological nature of a resume . You don’t want the reader jumping back and forth through your career timeline as they read it and you should include dates of employment where possible. 

Elements of personality and culture fit can also be sprinkled throughout the writing. Try to lead with your most relevant characteristics, with the most recent examples at the beginning of the letter.

After a couple of sections about work experience, the job application letter offers an opportunity to expand at greater length on how you understand the role and why you think you would be a fit. 

Anticipate the interview questions and show that you are the right person for the job. This is something that is not always possible in either a resume or a cover letter, so it is ideally suited to a persuasive piece of writing that may well be speculative in nature. Go into significant detail around how exactly you see yourself fitting in.

For a cover letter, the conclusion is a one-paragraph call to action, intended to persuade the employer to invite you to an interview. It's the cherry on top of your job application. 

The length of the application letter format means that such a pithy closing paragraph might seem a little apologetic. In this case, it is worth reminding the potential employer of the key aspects of your candidacy. They may be a bit lost in such a long letter, and repetition can be an effective device (if you are repeating the right things, that is).

Is an application letter the same as a cover letter? 

The industry standard of a personality-led cover letter is intended to complement the factual formality of a resume. As such, the cover letter is often used as a compelling conversation-starter that might entice a hiring manager to read the resume in a little more depth. 

Cover letters hint at the threads of a candidate’s career that are worth exploring further during an interview process . 

Application letters, on the other hand, need to communicate both factual experience and a sense of personality. In terms of comparing and contrasting a cover letter and an application letter format, the basic approaches are similar, but the application letter format is more cumbersome.

Tips for writing a great application letter for a job vacancy 

If you are determined to write an application letter, or if someone has asked you to put down your thoughts on your suitability for the role in an email (for example), here are five suggestions for making the most of an imperfect format. Here is how the letter of application vs cover letter thought process plays out. 

Weaving the facts of your resume into the broader narrative of an application letter for employment is crucial to getting your work experience across. 

Factual details are far easier to pick out on a resume, so they risk getting a little lost in the depths of an application letter. But if you put the more important facts toward the beginning of paragraphs, hiring managers will be more likely to notice. Numbers and percentages are automatically more visible, so quantify and add context.

As an application letter is a mix of fact and personality, you can mix up your factual achievements with descriptive adjectives and more context than a resume typically contains. 

Much is discussed about storytelling in the recruitment process and if you can manage to merge these factors, your story has a chance of being finished. However, two pages of solid text is a lot of story to take in.

A resume has distinct sections for each part of your experience, and a cover letter usually has a set format to add the extra details. It is therefore essential for job applicants to signpost the content of every paragraph in the first sentence of an application letter.

Some people might decide to use mini-titles, but this often comes across as being too simplistic and may break up the flow of the story. Try to make the first sentence of each paragraph short and direct.

Two pages might seem a lot for an application letter, but when you consider that it has to be written in full sentences and with acceptable English, suddenly the simplicity and brevity of skills lists on a resume (for example) seem very appealing. 

Keep your sentences as short and impactful as possible. Otherwise you might find yourself not having enough space for some of your achievements and experiences. Having said this, don't include too many lists with lots of commas - the application letter needs to be legible.

While the purpose of a cover letter is to weave a more emotionally appealing story because the resume has covered the factual bases, the limitations of the job application letter format mean that it should contain as much factual detail as possible. 

Devices such as bullet-pointed lists are a great way of getting fact-heavy accomplishments across. Put simply, make sure that you don't waffle. The tone should be conversational - it should be a conversation packed with achievement.

The differences between an application letter and a cover letter

To summarize, while the application letter is a mash-up of a resume and a cover letter, it is a little more than that. Essentially candidates use it as an extended conversation starter in certain specific situations.

The application letter allows them to set out their arguments exactly the way that they would like a hiring manager to hear them. With a letter, there is no ambiguity. It is written how it is meant to be received. It is important that the candidate understands which arguments will be effective as this is their "one shot." 

While a hiring manager can dip in and out of a resume where they see fit, an application letter leaves them no choice. If it doesn't hit the mark, chances will reduce significantly.

Application Letter vs. Cover Letter - Tips for application letter job vacancy

But what if I decide to write a cover letter after all?

We recently shared 9,000+ words of career advice in our blog on cover letter writing and many of the suggestions in that piece will also be relevant to writing an application letter, should you choose to do so. 

Do your research on the employer, choose the right tone for the letter and immerse yourself into the culture to imagine what sort of employee they are looking for. 

The best cover letters are a wonderful medium to complement a resume, yet their impact is often overlooked. A perfectly targeted cover letter can genuinely make the difference between a first interview for that dream job and another rejection. We have a wide range of guides and cover letter samples for multiple professions that bring the reality of the letter to life. 

If you compare the cover letter examples with the application letter example, you will see why most employers would prefer the cover letter plus a resume to create the ideal first impression. In the letter of application vs cover letter argument, there is usually only one winner.

At the end of the day, you should choose what fits you best. If the situation warrants a more free-form and non-traditional document like the application letter, go for it! 

But if you decide to stick with the tried-and-true combo accepted by recruiters worldwide, make sure to check out our online resume tools for resumes and cover letters (complete with pre-generated phrases, a grammar checker and more).  

Save your time, avoid stress and uncertainty. There’s no reason not to empower your job search with convenient solutions!

How to write a cover letter with no experience

How to Write a Cover Letter [Full Guide & Examples for 2024]

Background Image

After weeks of heavy job searching, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume.

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send in your application and call it a day, you remember that you need to write a cover letter too.

So now, you’re stuck staring at a blank page, wondering where to start...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

We're going to cover:

What Is a Cover Letter?

  • How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter, Step by Step
  • 15+ Job-Winning Cover Letter Examples

Let’s get started.

A cover letter is a document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your resume or CV.

The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, it should be around 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter is supposed to impress the hiring manager and convince them you’re worth interviewing as a candidate.

So, how can your cover letter achieve this?

First of all, it should complement your resume, not copy it. Your cover letter is your chance to elaborate on important achievements, skills, or anything else that your resume doesn’t give you the space to cover. 

For example, if you have an employment gap on your resume, the cover letter is a great place to explain why it happened and how it helped you grow as a person. 

If this is your first time writing a cover letter, writing about yourself might seem complicated. But don’t worry—you don’t need to be super creative or even a good writer .

All you have to do is follow this tried and tested cover letter structure:

structure of a cover letter

  • Header. Add all the necessary contact information at the top of your cover letter.
  • Formal greeting. Choose an appropriate way to greet your target audience.
  • Introduction. Introduce yourself in the opening paragraph and explain your interest in the role.
  • Body. Elaborate on why you’re the best candidate for the job and a good match for the company. Focus on “selling” your skills, achievements, and relevant professional experiences.
  • Conclusion. Summarize your key points and wrap it up professionally.

Now, let’s take a look at an example of a cover letter that follows our structure perfectly:

How to Write a Cover Letter

New to cover letter writing? Give our cover letter video a watch before diving into the article!

When Should You Write a Cover Letter?

You should always include a cover letter in your job application, even if the hiring manager never reads it. Submitting a cover letter is as important as submitting a resume if you want to look like a serious candidate.

If the employer requests a cover letter as part of the screening process, not sending one is a huge red flag and will probably get your application tossed into the “no” pile immediately.

On the other hand, if the job advertisement doesn’t require a cover letter from the candidates, adding one shows you went the extra mile.

Putting in the effort to write a cover letter can set you apart from other candidates with similar professional experience and skills, and it could even sway the hiring manager to call you for an interview if you do it right.

Need to write a letter to help get you into a good school or volunteer program? Check out our guide to learn how to write a motivation letter !

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

Now that you know what a cover letter is, it’s time to learn how to write one!

We’ll go through the process in detail, step by step.

#1. Choose the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, stylish template?

cover letter templates for 2024

Just choose one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in no time!

As a bonus, our intuitive AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter as you write it. You’ll have the perfect cover letter done in minutes!

cover letter templates

#2. Put Contact Information in the Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with your contact details at the top. These should be in your cover letter’s header, separated neatly from the bulk of your text.

Contact Information on Cover Letter

Here, you want to include all the essential contact information , including:

  • Full Name. Your first and last name should stand out at the top.
  • Job Title. Match the professional title underneath your name to the exact job title of the position you’re applying for. Hiring managers often hire for several roles at once, so giving them this cue about what role you’re after helps things go smoother.
  • Email Address. Always use a professional and easy-to-spell email address. Ideally, it should combine your first and last names.
  • Phone Number. Add a number where the hiring manager can easily reach you.
  • Location. Add your city and state/country, no need for more details.
  • Relevant Links (optional). You can add links to websites or social media profiles that are relevant to your field. Examples include a LinkedIn profile , Github, or an online portfolio.

Then it’s time to add the recipient’s contact details, such as:

  • Hiring Manager's Name. If you can find the name of the hiring manager, add it.
  • Hiring Manager's Title. While there’s no harm in writing “hiring manager,” if they’re the head of the department, we recommend you use that title accordingly.
  • Company Name. Make sure to write the name of the company you're applying to.
  • Location. The city and state/country are usually enough information here, too.
  • Date of Writing (Optional). You can include the date you wrote your cover letter for an extra professional touch.

matching resume and cover letter

#3. Address the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed all the contact information, it’s time to start writing the content of the cover letter.

The first thing you need to do here is to address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager.

In fact, you want to address the hiring manager personally .

Forget the old “Dear Sir or Madam” or the impersonal “To Whom It May Concern.” You want to give your future boss a good impression and show them that you did your research before sending in your application.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes something sticks with their generic approach

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager?

First, check the job ad. The hiring manager’s name might be listed somewhere in it.

If that doesn’t work, check the company’s LinkedIn page. You just need to look up the head of the relevant department you’re applying to, and you’re all set.

For example, if you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novorésumé. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Officer.

Here’s what you should look for on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And there you go! You have your hiring manager.

But let’s say you’re applying for a position as a server . In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager” or “food and beverage manager.”

If the results don’t come up with anything, try checking out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Make sure to address them as Mr. or Ms., followed by their last name. If you’re not sure about their gender or marital status, you can just stick to their full name, like so:

  • Dear Mr. Kurtuy,
  • Dear Andrei Kurtuy,

But what if you still can’t find the hiring manager’s name, no matter where you look?

No worries. You can direct your cover letter to the company, department, or team as a whole, or just skip the hiring manager’s name.

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Dear [Department] Team
  • Dear [Company Name]

Are you applying for a research position? Learn how to write an academic personal statement .

#4. Write an Eye-Catching Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Hiring managers get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph.

The biggest problem with most opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Here’s an example:

  • My name is Jonathan, and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a Sales Manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

And do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start with some of your top achievements to grab the reader’s attention. And to get the point across, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

Your opening paragraph should also show the hiring manager a bit about why you want this specific job. For example, mention how the job relates to your plans for the future or how it can help you grow professionally. This will show the hiring manager that you’re not just applying left and right—you’re actually enthusiastic about getting this particular role.

Now, let’s make our previous example shine:

Dear Mr. Smith,

My name’s Michael, and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked as a Sales Representative with Company X, another fin-tech company , for 3+ years, where I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month and beat the KPIs by around 40%. I believe that my previous industry experience, passion for finance , and excellence in sales make me the right candidate for the job.

The second candidate starts with what they can do for the company in the future and immediately lists an impressive and relevant achievement. Since they’re experienced in the same industry and interested in finance, the hiring manager can see they’re not just a random applicant.

From this introduction, it’s safe to say that the hiring manager would read the rest of this candidate’s cover letter.

#5. Use the Cover Letter Body for Details

The next part of your cover letter is where you can go into detail about what sets you apart as a qualified candidate for the job.

The main thing you need to remember here is that you shouldn’t make it all about yourself . Your cover letter is supposed to show the hiring manager how you relate to the job and the company you’re applying to.

No matter how cool you make yourself sound in your cover letter, if you don’t tailor it to match what the hiring manager is looking for, you’re not getting an interview.

To get this right, use the job ad as a reference when writing your cover letter. Make sure to highlight skills and achievements that match the job requirements, and you’re good to go.

Since this part of your cover letter is by far the longest, you should split it into at least two paragraphs.

Here’s what each paragraph should cover:

Explain Why You’re the Perfect Candidate for the Role

Before you can show the hiring manager that you’re exactly what they’ve been looking for, you need to know what it is they’re looking for.

Start by doing a bit of research. Learn what the most important skills and responsibilities of the role are according to the job ad, and focus on any relevant experience you have that matches them.

For example, if you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. The top requirements on the job ad are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

So, in the body of your cover letter, you need to show how you meet these requirements. Here’s an example of what that can look like:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $40,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation and management process end-to-end. I created the ad copy and images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Our example addresses all the necessary requirements and shows off the candidate’s relevant skills.

Are you a student applying for your first internship? Learn how to write an internship cover letter with our dedicated guide.

Explain Why You’re a Good Fit for the Company

As skilled and experienced as you may be, that’s not all the hiring manager is looking for.

They also want someone who’s a good fit for their company and who actually wants to work there.

Employees who don’t fit in with the company culture are likely to quit sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary , so hiring managers vet candidates very carefully to avoid this scenario.

So, you have to convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about working with them.

Start by doing some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company’s product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the company’s culture like?

Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or on job-search websites like Jobscan or Glassdoor.

Then, pick your favorite thing about the company and talk about it in your cover letter.

But don’t just describe the company in its own words just to flatter them. Be super specific—the hiring manager can see through any fluff.

For example, if you’re passionate about their product and you like the company’s culture of innovation and independent work model, you can write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features, such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2, were real game changers for the device.

I really admire how Company XYZ strives for excellence in all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone who thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I’ll be a great match for your Product Design team.

So, make sure to do your fair share of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying to that specific company.

Is the company you want to work for not hiring at the moment? Check out our guide to writing a letter of interest .

#6. Wrap It Up and Sign It

Finally, it’s time to conclude your cover letter.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't make in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? If there’s any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision, mention it here. If not, just recap your key selling points so far, such as key skills and expertise.
  • Express gratitude. Politely thanking the hiring manager for their time is always a good idea.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. This means you should ask the hiring manager to do something, like call you and discuss your application or arrange an interview.
  • Remember to sign your cover letter. Just add a formal closing line and sign your name at the bottom.

Here’s an example of how to end your cover letter :

I hope to help Company X make the most of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your Facebook marketing goals. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at the provided email address or phone number so that we may arrange an interview.

Thank you for your consideration,

Alice Richards

Feel free to use one of these other popular closing lines for your cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

Cover Letter Writing Checklist

Once you’re done with your cover letter, it’s time to check if it meets all industry requirements. 

Give our handy cover letter writing checklist a look to make sure:

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional Email
  • Phone Number
  • Relevant Links

Do you address the right person? 

  • The hiring manager in the company
  • Your future direct supervisor
  • The company/department in general

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention some of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?
  • Did you convey enthusiasm for the specific role?

Do you show that you’re the right candidate for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements for the role?
  • Did you show how your experiences helped you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you conclude your cover letter properly?

  • Did you recap your key selling points in the conclusion?
  • Did you end your cover letter with a call to action?
  • Did you use the right formal closing line and sign your name?

15 Cover Letter Tips

Now you’re all set to write your cover letter! 

Before you start typing, here are some cover letter tips to help take your cover letter to the next level:

  • Customize Your Cover Letter for Each Job. Make sure your cover letter is tailored to the job you're applying for. This shows you're not just sending generic applications left and right, and it tells the hiring manager you’re the right person for the job.
  • Showcase Your Skills. Talk about how your skills meet the company’s needs. And while your hard skills should be front and center, you shouldn’t underestimate your soft skills in your cover letter either.
  • Avoid Fluff. Don’t make any generic statements you can’t back up. The hiring manager can tell when you’re just throwing words around, and it doesn’t make your cover letter look good.
  • Use Specific Examples. Instead of saying you're great at something, give an actual example to back up your claim. Any data you can provide makes you sound more credible, so quantify your achievements. For example, give numbers such as percentages related to your performance and the timeframe it took to accomplish certain achievements.
  • Research the Company. Always take time to learn about the company you're applying to. Make sure to mention something about them in your cover letter to show the hiring manager that you're interested.
  • Follow the Application Instructions. If the job posting asks for something specific in your cover letter or requires a certain format, make sure you include it. Not following instructions can come off as unattentive or signal to the hiring manager that you’re not taking the job seriously.
  • Use the Right Template and Format. Choose the right cover letter format and adapt your cover letter’s look to the industry you’re applying for. For example, if you’re aiming for a job in Law or Finance, you should go for a cleaner, more professional look. But if you’re applying for a field that values innovation, like IT or Design, you have more room for creativity.
  • Express Your Enthusiasm. Let the hiring manager know why you're excited about the job. Your passion for the specific role or the field in general can be a big selling point, and show them that you’re genuinely interested, not just applying left and right.
  • Address Any Gaps. If there are any employment gaps in your resume , your cover letter is a great place to mention why. Your resume doesn’t give you enough space to elaborate on an employment gap, so addressing it here can set hiring managers at ease—life happens, and employers understand.
  • Avoid Quirky Emails. Your email address should be presentable. It’s hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Just use a [email protected] format.
  • Check Your Contact Information. Typos in your email address or phone number can mean a missed opportunity. Double-check these before sending your application.
  • Mention if You Want to Relocate. If you’re looking for a job that lets you move somewhere else, specify this in your cover letter.
  • Keep It Brief. You want to keep your cover letter short and sweet. Hiring managers don’t have time to read a novel, so if you go over one page, they simply won’t read it at all.
  • Use a Professional Tone. Even though a conversational tone isn’t a bad thing, remember that it's still a formal document. Show professionalism in your cover letter by keeping slang, jargon, and emojis out of it.
  • Proofread Carefully. Typos and grammar mistakes are a huge deal-breaker. Use a tool like Grammarly or QuillBot to double-check your spelling and grammar, or even get a friend to check it for you.

15+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Check out some perfect cover letter examples for different experience levels and various professions.

5+ Cover Letter Examples by Experience

#1. college student cover letter example.

college or student cover letter example

Check out our full guide to writing a college student cover letter here.

#2. Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a project manager cover letter here.

#3. Team Leader Cover Letter Example

Team Leader Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a team leader cover letter here.

#4. Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to a career change resume and cover letter here.

#5. Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a management cover letter here.

#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing an executive resume here.

9+ Cover Letter Examples by Profession

#1. it cover letter example.

IT Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing an IT cover letter here.

#2. Consultant Cover Letter Example

Consultant Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a consultant cover letter here.

#3. Human Resources Cover Letter

Human Resources Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a human resources cover letter here.

#4. Business Cover Letter Example

Business Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a business cover letter here.

#5. Sales Cover Letter Example

Sales Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a sales cover letter here.

#6. Social Worker Cover Letter

Social Worker Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a social worker cover letter here.

#7. Lawyer Cover Letter

Lawyer Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a lawyer cover letter here.

#8. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing an administrative assistant cover letter here.

#9. Engineering Cover Letter Example

Engineering Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing an engineer cover letter here.

#10. Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a receptionist cover letter here.

Need more inspiration? Check out these cover letter examples to learn what makes them stand out.

Plug & Play Cover Letter Template

Not sure how to start your cover letter? Don’t worry!

Just copy and paste our free cover letter template into the cover letter builder, and swap out the blanks for your details.

[Your Full Name]

[Your Profession]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Location]

[Your LinkedIn Profile URL (optional)]

[Your Personal Website URL (optional)]

[Recipient's Name, e.g., Jane Doe],

[Recipient's Position, e.g., Hiring Manager]

[Company Name, e.g., ABC Corporation]

[Company Address]

[City, State/Country]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

As a seasoned [Your Profession] with [Number of Years of Experience] years of industry experience, I am eager to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. With my experience in [Your Industry/Sector] and the successes I've achieved throughout my education and career, I believe I can bring unique value and creativity to your team.

In my current role as [Your Current Job Title], I've taken the lead on more than [Number of Projects/Assignments] projects, some valued up to $[Highest Project Value]. I pride myself on consistently exceeding client expectations and have successfully [Mention a Key Achievement] in just a [Amount of Time] through [Skill] and [Skill].

I've collaborated with various professionals, such as [List Roles], ensuring that all [projects/tasks] meet [relevant standards or objectives]. This hands-on experience, coupled with my dedication to understanding each [client's/customer's] vision, has equipped me to navigate and deliver on complex projects.

My key strengths include:

  • Improving [Achievement] by [%] over [Amount of Time] which resulted in [Quantified Result].
  • Optimizing [Work Process/Responsibility] which saved [Previous Employer] [Amount of Time/Budget/Other Metric] over [Weeks/Months/Years]
  • Spearheading team of [Number of People] to [Task] and achieving [Quantified Result].

Alongside this letter, I've attached my resume. My educational background, a [Your Degree] with a concentration in [Your Specialization], complements the practical skills that I'm particularly eager to share with [Company Name].

I'm excited about the possibility of contributing to [Something Notable About the Company or Its Mission]. I'd be grateful for the chance to delve deeper into how my expertise aligns with your needs.

Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Heart of Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application falls through.

After all, your cover letter is meant to complement your resume. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression in your cover letter, only for the hiring manager to never read it because your resume was mediocre.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered here, too.

Check out our dedicated guide on how to make a resume and learn everything you need to know to land your dream job!

Just pick one of our resume templates and start writing your own job-winning resume.

resume examples for cover letters

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that’s meant to convince the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate for the job.
  • Your job application should always include a cover letter alongside your resume.
  • To grab the hiring manager’s attention, write a strong opening paragraph. Mention who you are, why you’re applying, and a standout achievement to pique their interest.
  • Your cover letter should focus on why you’re the perfect candidate for the job and why you’re passionate about working in this specific company.
  • Use the body of your cover letter to provide details on your skills, achievements, and qualifications, as well as make sure to convey your enthusiasm throughout your whole cover letter.
  • Recap your key selling points towards the end of your cover letter, and end it with a formal closing line and your full name signed underneath.

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve every step of the way! 

Follow our career blog for more valuable advice, or check out some of our top guides, such as:

  • How to Make a Resume in 2024 | Beginner's Guide
  • How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) in 2024 [31+ Examples]
  • 35+ Job Interview Questions and Answers [Full List]

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Difference between Letter and Application

Letters and applications are two types of written communication that are often used for different purposes.

The main difference is that letters are used to communicate information or ideas while applications are used to request something.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Letter and Application:

Letter vs Application

Now, let’s move to Letter vs Application:

Major differences between Letter and Application

Letters are used for a wide variety of purposes, such as sending personal or business correspondence.Applications are specifically used to request something.
Letters are typically addressed to a specific person or organization.Applications are often submitted to a general address or website.
Letters can be any length.Applications are often longer and more detailed due to the nature of the request being made.
Letters can be written in a variety of formats, such as a traditional business letter or a more casual email.Applications are usually written in a specific format dictated by the organization receiving the request.
Letters may or may not receive a response.Applications usually require a response from the organization receiving the request.
Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Letter and Application”.

Final words

Letters and applications are two different types of written communication that serve different purposes. Letters are used to communicate information or ideas, while applications are used to request something. Understanding the differences between these two types of communication can help you use them effectively in different situations.

You can view other “differences between” posts by clicking here .

If you have a related query, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Also, kindly share the information with your friends who you think might be interested in reading it.

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formal letter vs application

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Write a Formal Letter in Five Easy Steps

Knowing how to write a formal letter is important for your academic and professional career. We’ve made formal letter-writing easy. All you have to do is follow the steps below.

White text over yellow background reads "writing a formal letter." (Formal letter how to write, formal letter in English)

Writing a Formal Letter Is Simple

  • Write your name, contact information, and date.
  • Add your recipient’s name and contact information.
  • Then, move on to the greeting and the body.
  • End your letter with a complimentary close.
  • Send your letter.

What Is a Formal Letter?

A formal letter is a letter—or correspondence—written for a professional or academic setting.

Types of formal letters include:

  • Cover letter
  • Inquiry letter
  • Legal letter
  • Letter of intent
  • Reference letter
  • Resignation letter

As you can see, there are several reasons you may find yourself writing a formal letter . If you don’t know how to write one, don’t panic. Below, we’ll go over the five easy steps of writing a formal letter .

How To Write a Formal Letter

Formal letters are easy to write, all you have to do is follow these steps:

1. Write Your Name, Contact Information, and Date.

To start your formal letter , write your name, contact information, and date on the left-hand side of the paper. Skip a line before the date so that it looks like this:

Photo of sample formal letter. (formal letter how to write, formal letters in English)

2. Write the Recipient’s Name and Contact Information.

Add another space, and then the recipient’s name and contact information.

Photo of Formal Letter Sample. (Formal letter how to write, formal letter in English)

3. Write the Greeting and the Body.

After writing the date and the recipient’s contact information, open with a greeting. Formal letters begin with “Dear” and the name of the person receiving your letter. If you don’t know the name, write the job title or department. Only use “To Whom It May Concern” as a last resort.

The most common formal letter format is block style: single space and left justify each paragraph.

Dear Fiona Fernandez,

Note that the comma comes after the name.

When writing the body of a formal letter , remember to be brief and stick to the point, avoid contractions, and proofread your text. Regardless of what type of formal letter you’re sending, the last thing you want to do is send one riddled with errors.

If you want to be certain your writing is free of spelling and grammar mistakes, LanguageTool’s online editor can check your writing as well as offer stylistic improvements and formatting suggestions.

4. End Your Letter With a Complimentary Close, Your Name, and Signature

You’ll want to end your formal letter with a complimentary close. The most common complimentary close for a formal letter is “Sincerely.” Other closes include:

  • Respectfully,
  • With appreciation,

The comma comes after the complimentary close, and only the first word is capitalized. After the complimentary close, leave a space for your signature, and then type your name below it.

5. Send Your Letter

You can send your formal letter in multiple ways. One, by folding the letter into a stamped and addressed envelope and sending it in the mail. Or two, by sending it as an attachment in an email. Keep in mind that you may follow these same steps to write the letter as a formal email instead, without including the date and contact information.

Close up photo of man with envelope in his hands. (Formal letter how to write, tips for writing a letter)

Writing Formal Letters

There’s no way around it. Knowing how to write a formal letter is important. When the time comes, and you find yourself having to write one, just follow these steps to write an excellent formal letter.


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How to Format a Formal Letter: A Step-by-Step Guide

formal letter vs application

Whether it's a professional letter for a job application, a letter of inquiry, or a resignation letter, the stakes are high, and the rules are strict.

But don't worry, we've got you covered. We'll delve into the nitty-gritty of crafting the perfect subject line, listing your contact information, and composing a compelling body paragraph. We'll also explore different business letter formats, including MLA and APA, and provide you with practical examples and templates to help you write a professional letter that leaves a lasting impression.

So, whether you're a seasoned professional or a novice writer, buckle up and get ready to master the art of formal letter writing. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Importance of Formal Letters

Formal letters are not just about following a set structure or using a professional tone. They are about effectively communicating your intentions, establishing credibility, and building professional relationships. Whether you're applying for a job, making a business inquiry, or lodging a complaint, a well-crafted formal letter can make a world of difference.

When to Use a Formal Letter

Formal letters are a crucial tool in professional communication. They are typically used in situations that require a formal tone and an official approach. For instance, when applying for a job, a well-crafted formal letter can display your sophistication and command over language. Similarly, if you're addressing an authority or a professional contact, a formal letter format is the way to go.

The decision to use a formal letter often depends on the recipient and the nature of your interaction with them. If you're communicating with a business, government agency, or an individual with whom you don't have a personal relationship, a formal letter is the best choice. It lays a solid foundation for building a professional relationship and ensures your message is received with the seriousness it deserves.

In contrast, if you're communicating with friends, family, or acquaintances, an informal letter or email might be more appropriate. These can be conversational and personal, covering topics like personal news, congratulations, or invitations.

Types of Formal Letters

  • Sales Letter : A formal letter promoting a company's product or service, detailing why they should be purchased and including a call to action.
  • Acceptance Letter : Used when accepting an honor, resignation, job, or other formality.
  • Inquiry Letter : Written when you want more information about a product. A similar letter to this would be a reply to an inquiry letter.
  • Apology Letter : Used when making a formal apology for a mistake.
  • Claim Letter : Sent when you're unsatisfied with a product or service, detailing your dissatisfaction and what you want the company or manufacturer to do to reimburse you.
  • Cover Letter : Often sent to hiring managers by prospective job candidates with their resume, detailing qualifications for a particular job and expanding on certain things mentioned in the resume.

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formal letter vs application

How to Write a Formal Letter: Step-by-Step Guide

This section will walk you through the process of how to write a formal letter, from including your contact information to proofreading your final draft.

1. Write Your Name and Contact Information

Starting to write a formal letter begins with your name and contact information. This is typically placed in the upper left-hand corner of the letter. Your name, or your company's name if you're representing one, should be the first line.

The goal is to provide clear and concise information. This allows the recipient to know who the letter is from and how to contact the sender if necessary.

2. Include the Recipient's Name and Contact Information

When writing a formal letter, it's crucial to include the recipient's name and contact information. Start by writing the recipient's name, followed by their official title, such as Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. This shows respect and professionalism.

Next, include their job title if applicable. This is especially important if you're writing to someone in a large organization where roles and responsibilities may vary.

Following the job title, write the name of their company. This helps to ensure your letter reaches the right place, especially in larger organizations.

3. Craft the Subject Line

Crafting the subject line of a formal letter is a crucial step that requires careful thought. It's the first thing the recipient sees and can set the tone for the rest of your letter. The subject line should be concise, clear, and directly related to the purpose of your letter. It's not a place for fluff or unnecessary details.

In some letter formats, such as the AMS style, the subject line is written in all caps. This is to draw attention and make it stand out. However, this is not a hard and fast rule and may not be necessary in all types of formal letters.

The subject line is your first impression. Make it count. It can be the difference between your letter being read or ignored. So, take your time to craft a subject line that accurately represents the content of your letter.

4. Compose the Body of the Letter

The body of a formal letter is where you convey your main message. Start by introducing yourself and stating the purpose of your letter. This initial paragraph should be concise and direct, setting the tone for the rest of the letter.

In the following paragraph, delve into the details of your message. This is where you can provide supporting information or elaborate on the reasons behind your letter. Remember to keep your language professional and avoid any jargon or slang.

The final paragraph of your letter should summarize your main points and indicate the next steps. This could be a call to action, such as requesting a response or suggesting a meeting. It's also a good place to express gratitude to the recipient for their time and consideration.

5. Close the Letter

Closing a formal letter is just as important as the body of the letter itself. It's the final touch that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. The closing should be professional and respectful, reflecting the tone of the rest of the letter. Common sign-offs include:

  • " Sincerely "
  • "Best regards"
  • "Respectfully yours"

After the sign-off, leave a space for your signature. Sign your name, then print it underneath in capital letters. If you think the recipient might not know your gender, you can include your title in brackets after your name. This is also a good place to include your contact information, such as your phone number and email address.

The closing of your letter is your final opportunity to make a professional impression. Make it count!

6. Proofread Your Letter

Proofreading is the final yet crucial step in the process of how to write a formal letter. It's your last line of defense against errors that could potentially undermine the professionalism of your letter.

Start by reading your letter aloud. This technique helps you catch awkward phrasing and run-on sentences that you might have missed while writing.

Next, check for spelling and grammar errors. Even the most minor mistake can distract your reader and detract from the message you're trying to convey.

Exploring Different Business Letter Formats

Whether you're writing a formal letter to a conservative company or a more liberal one, the format you choose can significantly impact how your message is received. Let's delve into the intricacies of these formats and learn how to use them effectively.

Understanding MLA Letter Format

The MLA letter format, a set of guidelines recommended by the Modern Language Association, is a popular choice for formal letter writing in academic settings. This format is designed to ensure clarity, consistency, and proper organization in written communication. It's like a formal letter template that helps writers maintain professionalism while adhering to academic standards.

The format includes specific guidelines for various elements of a letter. The heading, date, recipient's address, salutation, body paragraphs, closing, and signature all have their place and style in an MLA letter.

The primary purpose of using the MLA letter format is to convey ideas in a uniform and professional manner effectively. It's not just about writing a letter; it's about crafting a piece of communication that is clear, concise, and respectful of the reader's time.

So, whether you're writing a cover letter for a research paper or submitting correspondences to scholarly journals, the MLA letter format can be your guide to creating a well-structured, professional business letter.

Deciphering APA Letter Format

The APA letter format, an acronym for the American Psychological Association letter format, is a widely recognized standard in the realm of psychology and other social sciences. This format is designed to ensure consistency and clarity in academic communication, making it a go-to choice for research papers, professional letters, and manuscripts.

The APA letter format is more than just a set of rules for fonts, margins, and spacing. It's a tool that enhances communication within the academic community by ensuring that ideas and information are conveyed accurately and effectively. It includes specific guidelines for the placement of addresses, dates, salutations, subject lines, body paragraphs, and signatures.

The emphasis of the APA letter format is on readability and organization. It encourages the use of clear headings, concise and formal language, and proper referencing. This format is all about maintaining consistency and professionalism in correspondence, making it an essential skill for anyone involved in academic or professional writing.

Closing the Letter: Best Practices and Tips

From choosing the right sign-off to including a handwritten signature, every element plays a crucial role in the overall impact of your letter.

Choose the Right Sign-Off

Just like an email signature , choosing the right sign-off for your formal letter is crucial. It's the final touch that leaves an impression on the reader. The sign-off you choose should reflect the tone and purpose of your letter. For instance, if you're writing a business letter, a formal sign-off like "Yours sincerely" or "Best regards" is appropriate.

On the other hand, if you're writing a professional letter and know the recipient's name, using "Yours faithfully" is a good choice. Remember, the sign-off is not just a formality; it's a part of your letter that conveys respect and professionalism.

Mastering the art of formal letter writing is all about paying attention to details, and choosing the right sign-off is one important detail.

Include a Handwritten Signature

The inclusion of a handwritten signature at the end of a formal letter is a crucial step that should not be overlooked. It adds a personal touch and authenticity to your correspondence, making it more professional and credible.

When writing a business letter, after your closing remarks, leave a space for your signature. This space is typically four lines, enough to accommodate your handwritten signature.

The way you close your letter and include your signature can leave a lasting impression. So, take the time to do it right and maintain the professional tone of your letter.

Final Thoughts on Mastering Formal Letter Writing

Whether you're crafting a business letter, a reference letter, or a letter of inquiry, understanding the specific guidelines and formats is key. From including your name and contact information to choosing the right sign-off, every detail matters in conveying your message effectively and professionally.

With practice and attention to detail, you can master the art of formal letter writing and make a lasting impression in your professional communications.

If you're stuck with what to write, consider using Strategically AI, a content platform to plan and build content.

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formal letter vs application

Difference Between Letter and Application (Letters vs Applications)

Letters vs Applications

Letters and applications are standard methods of written communication. These two methods have similar purposes, but there are relative differences regarding structure, format, and contents. This article will explore all about letters and applications and help you to get through an understanding of letters and applications.

What Is a Letter?

A letter conveys a message from one person to another or one organization to another. Usually, letters are used for business or personal communication. It can be sent through email or postal service. Letters are written for various purposes, such as to express gratitude, request information, apologize or wish, or offer congratulations.

Purpose of Letters

Letters are primarily used to transmit information, express feelings, or make a request. Letters are commonly used for personal or professional communication, including sending condolences, requesting information, expressing gratitude, congratulating someone, and more.

What Is an Application?

Application is a standard mode of communication. Applications are used formally for requests, such as a loan or leave application. Applications are more detailed than letters and are used for specific situations. They are submitted through an official process and are sometimes used to evaluate candidates' qualifications for requested job positions, loans, or any opportunity. 

Purpose of Applications

Primarily applications are used for applying for specific requests, services, or opportunities. They are usually longer and more detailed and might often include background information about applicants, such as education qualifications, experience, and objectives. 

Format and Structure of a Letter & Application  

A letter's format typically comprises the date, the sender's address, the recipient's address, a greeting, the letter's body, a closure, and the sender's signature. A letter's structure is frequently informal and less formal than an application's.

The following is a general guide on letter format and structure:

This section contains the sender's full name, address, city, state, zip code, and date. 

The salutation section contains greetings for the recipient of the letter. Based on the relationship between sender and receiver, salutations vary. Salutations begin with "Dear" and are followed by the recipient's name. If the sender is unsure about the recipient's name, the sender can start with "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern."

The body section contains the central theme or purpose of the letter. Here the sender explains the purpose and includes essential information in an easy-to-understand manner. They are sometimes followed by key points to express the desired outcome that the sender expects from the recipient. 

The closing section expresses appreciation, goodwill, or well wishes, such as "Sincerely" or "Best Regards," followed by name and signature.

In this section, the sender includes their phone number and email address. 

An application format usually contains a header, personal information, education and job background, skills and qualifications, references, and a conclusion.

Here's a quick guide on the format of an application.

This section contains the sender's full name, address, city, state, zip code, and date.

This section contains concise and clear explanations of your application and expectations from this opportunity. 

In this section, applicants usually introduce themselves. 

This section contains applicants' education and work experience, listing their professional history, skills, accomplishments, or certifications that might help them stand out.

This section is the follow-up section of the previous section. This section contains specific skills and abilities relevant to the position they are applying for. 

This section contains information such as references.

This section includes a summary of about applicant's personality, why they are best fit for the position, and why they are interested in the opportunity. After this brief overview, the applicant expresses gratitude in this section and ends the application. 

Key Differences between the Letter and Application

Purpose To convey personal information, thoughts, feelings, or casual communication. To use officially for a job, loan, or any other specific opportunity.
Tone Its more informal, personal, and expressive Its official, more formal, and business-like
Format It follows standard business letter format, with a heading, date, salutation It follows a structured format with formal salutations and sections for specific qualifications and skills.
Content It focuses on a single topic and expresses personal thoughts such as congratulations, wishes, etc Typically includes detailed information about the candidate, such as personal and contact information, school and job experience, skills and talents, and other pertinent information.

When to Use a Letter and an Application

Writing a letter or application depends on various factors and purposes of the communication, including the recipient.

Use a letter when:

  • You wish to convey thanks, congratulations, or sympathy.
  • You must seek information or support.
  • You'd like to make a suggestion or provide a reference.
  • You are conversing informally with someone with whom you have a personal or professional relationship.

Use an application when:

  • You're looking for a job, a loan, or another opportunity.
  • You must offer detailed information about yourself and your qualifications.
  • The organization with whom you are communicating necessitates a disciplined and official approach.

Common Types of Letters

  • Cover Letter

When applying for a job, a cover letter is usually sent with the CV or application. It's your chance to introduce yourself, explain why you're interested in the position, and highlight your qualifications.

  • Recommendation Letter

A recommendation letter is prepared by someone familiar to the receiver, such as a teacher, boss, or employee. It is frequently used to support a job application or to demonstrate the recipient's qualifications or character.

  • Apology Letter

A letter of apology is written to show regret or remorse for a mistake or error. It is frequently used to mend relationships or to restore damage caused by mistakes.

  • Thank-You Letter

A thank-you letter is one written to show gratitude or appreciation for something. It is frequently used to express gratitude for a present, a favor, or an act of compassion.

  • Congratulation Letter

A congratulatory letter is written to express congratulations or well wishes. It is frequently used to commemorate a significant event, such as a graduation, a promotion, or a wedding.

Common Types of Applications

Applications are frequently used to apply for specific opportunities or services, and the following are some common types of applications:

  • Job Application

A job application is a form used to apply for a position. It usually includes information about the applicant's education, work experience, abilities, and qualifications.

  • Loan Application

A loan application is a form that is used to request a loan. It usually contains the applicant's earnings, expenses, assets, and liabilities.

  • School Application

A school application is a form used to apply for school entrance. It usually contains information about the applicant's academic background, exam scores, and extracurricular activities.

  • Grant Application

A grant application is a form used for funding from a foundation or another source. It usually contains details on the applicant's project idea and budget.

Tips for Writing Effective Letters and Applications

It is critical to be brief, straightforward, and to the point while writing a letter or an application. Here are some pointers to help you write better letters and applications:

  • Make it clear what the letter or application is for.
  • Maintain a professional tone and avoid slang or colloquial words.
  • Use bullet points or brief paragraphs to make the text easier to read.
  • Highlight your skills and achievements, and explain why you are the ideal candidate for the position or opportunity.
  • Thoroughly proofread the letter or application for typos or errors.
  • To write excellent letters and applications, tailor your message to the recipient and purpose, and adopt a precise and professional tone.
  • Check for mistakes and adhere to the receiver's special instructions or recommendations.
  • Whether you're writing a cover letter, a job application, or a school application, it's critical to put your best foot forward and successfully explain your qualifications and interest.

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The Difference Between a Cover Letter and the Email You Send With Your Application

person at computer

When it comes to making a job change, getting it right truly matters. You need to get the keywords right , the messaging right , the formatting right . You’ve got to find the right people to endear yourself to, and the right words for your cover letter and follow-up correspondence.

And, for the love of it all, you’ve got to nail the approach.

But, my oh my, there are so many considerations—so many things we all second guess ourselves on when applying for a job.

Should you make the cover letter the body of the email, or attach it separately? (Or both?) Do you address the person by first name, or go with Mr. / Ms. So-and-So? (And, does same rule apply for both?) How casual or formal do you need to be? Is there a right or wrong format for cover letters and emails? Does the cover letter need to be a page or less? How long should the intro email be?

Holy Hannah—it’s enough to make the coolest cucumbers among us start to feel like crazy people. And that’s even before you’ve made an introduction.

Deep breaths, everyone. Deep breaths. Let’s break this cover letter stuff down into manageable chunks. Here’s what you need to know:

Should the Cover Letter Be an Attachment or Just the Body of Email?

The short answer is: either. Not both, either.

If you ask 10 recruiters of hiring managers which they prefer, you’ll probably get five who say attachment and five who say email. But here’s the good news: Nearly all will report that it’s not going to make or break you either way. So, don’t let this topic unravel you.

I happen to be a proponent of “cover letter as body of the email,” and here’s why: It gives you the opportunity to make a strong, memorable first impression the millisecond that reviewer’s eyes open their inbox. You can draw someone in with an incredible opening line, and then showcase the ways in which you could contribute to the team.

If, instead, you decide to go with cover letter as attachment, you should be brief and point the reader to the attachments.

I’ve learned you are seeking a senior project manager with e-commerce experience and knowledge of Jira. That’s me. My attached resume and cover letter outline my qualifications for the role. Thank you very much for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon!

Keep it brief if you go this route. Those on the receiving end won’t appreciate having to plow through a super long email and all your attachments.

Lastly, don’t even think about replicating the cover letter in both the email and the attachment. That’s just ridiculous (and, makes you look totally indecisive).

Now that we got that figured out, let’s answer the other questions that are probably eating at you:

Do I Use a First Name Salutation—or a More Formal One?

This is best answered with, “It depends”—for both the cover letter and the accompanying email. (I know, just doing my part to make things simple here.)

In all seriousness, it’s best to evaluate the tone and style of the organization you’re attempting to join, and then guess which salutation would be most would the appropriate and appreciated. You can do this pretty easily by reviewing the company’s website and social media presence.

Remember, you’re going to be hired for that next role if (and only if) you’re a “yes” to these three questions

  • Do we think she can do this job?
  • Do we like her?
  • Do we think she’ll fit in around here?

That said, if you can introduce yourself in a way that implies right out of the gates that you’re a triple yes, you’re in business.

Is a Conversational Style Allowed?

In general, I think that job seekers get a bit too revved up about “proper” and end up losing sight of the fact that there’s an actual person at the receiving end of this (assuming you’re emailing your application directly).

Guess what? People like engaging, conversational reading. They notice when an applicant seems genuine, personable, and interesting. They appreciate when plowing through their pile of candidates doesn’t feel like total drudgery.

That being the case, unless you’re applying for a role within an extremely conservative or structured industry or organization, heck yes, a conversational style is allowed. Certainly, this is not your time to bust out a bunch of slang or (gasp) use language that could offend, but it’s a-ok to make your cover letter or intro email read like you’re a real person.

Just be sure and make it clear—in both cases—why you want to work for that company and what, specifically, you can walk through their doors and deliver.

Is the One Page Rule for Cover Letters Still True? What About in an Email?

Hard and fast “rules” make me crazy in general, so I’m not going to announce the exact length that your cover letter or your intro email need to be. I will simply suggest that you get in there, quickly endear yourself to the recipient, and then spell out, specifically, how and why you make perfect sense for the role you’re pursuing. And then wrap it up.

If you can pull it off with a one-page cover letter, absolutely. If you need a page and a half? So long as you’re peeling out any and all unnecessary blabber, knock yourself out. (And this article tells you how to cut it down to make it as effective as possible.)

For the email, again, get to the point and don’t be redundant if you’re also attaching a cover letter.

You can get these things right, for real. Nail the big stuff, sweat the details that truly matter, and get right to the business of making your grand entrance, well, one that’s grand.

formal letter vs application

  • CBSE Study Material

Application Letter Writing: Format, Examples, Tips, and More

Application letter writing: through this article, students can learn about the latest format of application letter writing. also, find attached examples for the same. some important tips for application writing have also been laid out below..

Tanisha Agarwal

What is an Application Letter? 

It is a letter, written formally, to request something from a person in a concerned position and seek their permission. This formal letter is referred to as an application letter, and the process of writing an application is known as application writing or application letter writing. An application can be written for leave, an extension of a project deadline, a position, etc.

Types of Applications

  • Job Application Letter: It is written to request a job opening in an organization. It is sent to the email address of the organization, and the HR department of the company, or it is submitted offline to the organization by visiting them.
  • Academic Application Letter: It is written for academic purposes when a request regarding leaves, scholarships, fees, activities, etc. is to be made. Any formal request to be made within an academic institution by a student is an academic application letter.
  •  Personal Application Letter: An application letter written for personal work such as asking for a loan, travel grant, visa, passport, or any such individualistic request is called a personal application letter.

Steps for Writing an Application

An application letter can be written using the below-mentioned steps. Using this procedure will assist you in writing an application letter in a fast-paced and proficient manner. In just 10 easy steps, you can write a perfect application letter. Have a look at the steps below:

Step 1: Know your objective for writing the application. An application letter should only be written with a set objective in mind.

Step 2: Planning Any form of letter-writing requires planning. A planned letter always includes important topics, is drafted concisely, and ignores irrelevant stuff in an application.

Step 3: Begin with the date. The first thing that goes into an application is the date on which it is written and submitted.

Step 4: Mention the name, designation, formal location, and company/school/bank (whatever the case may be) of the receiver. You can also add the contact number if you wish to.

Step 5: Write down the subject of the application. One of the most important parts of the application is where you write down the reason for writing the letter. For example: if you are writing an application letter to ask for a one-day leave on Raksha Bandhan, then the subject line should go as Application for One-Day Leave on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

 Step 6: Start your body with a warm salutation.

 Step 7: Intro Para Start by introducing yourself and explaining the motive behind writing this application.

 Step 8: The following paragraphs should be accompanied by additional information and an explanation regarding the subject.

 Step 9: The concluding paragraph must include sentences that talk about the request you are making, thank the receiver, and show him/her that you are looking forward to a positive response.

Sample Format of Application Writing

Since the application letter is a formal letter, it has to be written down in a particular format. The format for application letter writing is given below. This format is used in application writing, irrespective of the objective or occasion.

formal letter vs application

  Example of an Application Letter

Let us suppose that a student in Class X at ABC School has been suffering from a minor knee fracture. She wants to take a 15-day leave from school since she has been advised by her doctor to take complete bed rest for the said amount of time. An application letter to the principal of the school will be written in the following manner:

Date: 03/07/2023

The Principal

Delhi, India

Subject: Application for leave on medical grounds

Respected Mam

I, Reena Mishra, a student of Grade 10 ‘B’ at your school, am writing this letter to inform you that I would need 15 days off from my academic schedule since I have a minor knee fracture and have been advised by my doctor for complete 15-day bed rest.

I request that you kindly grant me leave for 15 days since I am not in a condition to walk. I am attaching a medical certificate here, for your reference.

 Thanking You

Yours Sincerely,

Reena Mishra

Occasions for writing an application

  • Job Application
  • Resignation letter
  • The request for transfer from one city to another (within an organization)
  • Seeking leave
  • Demanding Work From Home
  • Asking for a holiday at a school or college
  • Medical facility approval (in special cases where a child is allowed to carry certain equipment on medical grounds)
  • Scholarship query
  • Fee-related query
  • Letter asking to change personal details in a bank and many more

Tips for Application Letter Writing

  • Be brief and concise. Convey your message through shorter and more concise sentences. Don’t exaggerate your messages.
  • Make it easily readable and understandable. Use normal, regular words. Frame sentences in a manner that is easy to understand.
  • Review your application before submission.  Check your application for proofreading before submitting it. Look for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. These minute mistakes create a negative impact on your personality.
  • Show positivity: Your article must always look like you are positive about your demand. This makes the receiver think twice before rejecting your application.
  • Don’t miss out on the format.  Since an application letter is formal, it is important to adhere to the format. Don’t miss out on the small details in the letter. Even the wrong placement of a comma can lead to a straight rejection of your application.

Difference between Application Writing and Letter Writing

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  • Key Differences

Know the Differences & Comparisons

Difference Between Formal and Informal Letter

formal vs informal letter

On the contrary, informal letters are written to friends and relative for personal communication and uses a casual or an emotional tone. The article excerpt presents you all the important differences between formal and informal letters in a detailed manner.

Content: Formal Vs Informal Letters

Comparison chart.

Basis for ComparisonFormal LetterInformal Letter
MeaningA formal letter is a letter, written in formal language, in the stipulated format, for official purpose.A letter written in an friendly manner, to someone you are familiar with, is called informal letter.
ObjectiveProfessional CommunicationPersonal Communication
FormatWritten in prescribed format only.No prescribed format.
Written inFirst person - Business letters, third person - others.First, second or third person.
Written toBusiness, college/institute, employer, organizations, etc.Friends, family, acquaintances etc.
SentencesLong and complexShort and simple
SizeConciseLarge or concise
Contractions and AbbreviationsAvoidedUsed

Definition of Formal Letters

A formal letter is any letter written in the professional language, with a prescribed format for a formal purpose, i.e. it can be a recommendation letter, enquiry letter, complaint letter, cover letter and so on. All business letters are formal, but vice versa is not possible. Such letters are used for a variety of reasons like a formal invitation, proposal, reference, making a complaint or inquiry, applying for a job. While writing a formal letter one should keep in mind the following things:

  • It should be in specified format.
  • It should avoid the use of unnecessary words.
  • It should be straight to the point.
  • It should be relevant and objective.
  • It should be complex and thorough.
  • It should be polite, even if it is a complaint letter.
  • It should be free from any mistakes, i.e. grammatical or spelling.

There are three types of formal letters, i.e. business letters, letters for outlining civic problems and job applications.

Definition of Informal Letters

An informal letter is a letter written to someone; we know fairly well. The letter can be used for some reasons like conveying message, news, giving advice, congratulate recipient, request information, asking questions, etc. It is a personal letter, written to whom you are familiar with, like friends, siblings, parents or any other closed one. There is no specific format prescribed for writing this letter.

While writing an informal letter, one can afford to be friendly, and make use personal or emotional tone. Slang or colloquial terms, codes, abbreviations, etc. can also be used at the time of writing it, depending on the familiarity with the recipient.

Key Differences Between Formal and Informal Letter

The significant points of difference between formal and informal letters are discussed as under:

  • A formal letter is one, written in formal language, in the stipulated format, for official purpose. A letter is said to be informal when it is written in a friendly manner, to someone you are familiar with.
  • Formal letters are written for official or professional communication. On the other hand, informal letters are used for casual or personal communication.
  • There is a manner prescribed for writing formal letters. As opposed to informal communication, which does not follow any format.
  • Formal letters are usually written in the third person, however, for business letters, first person is used. On the contrary, informal letters are written in first, second and third person.
  • Formal letters are used for writing letters to business, i.e. partners, suppliers, customers, clients, etc. , college or institute, employer, professionals, etc. As against this, we use informal letters for writing letters to friends, relatives, acquaintance, etc.
  • While writing formal letters, we use passive voice. Conversely, an active and imperative voice is used.
  • The sentences we use at the time of writing a formal letter are, long and complex. Unlike an informal letter, where we use short and simple sentences which are easy to interpret.
  • The size of a formal letter should be concise; that does not include irrelevant matter. In contrast, the informal letter can be concise or large.
  • Formal letters do not include contraction like (didn’t, can’t) and abbreviations rather it uses full forms. As compared to informal letters, which makes use of contraction, abbreviation, idioms, phrasal verbs and even slang and colloquial terms.

Video: Formal Vs Informal Letter

So, before start writing letter, first of all, you should identify, Who is your recipient? If you are having a professional relationship with the recipient, then you should go for a formal letter, whereas if the recipient is someone very close to you or you know the recipient well, then the informal letter is the right choice for you.

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formal vs informal writing

Harouna Adamou Mamane Sani says

April 17, 2017 at 9:45 pm

I have found it very interesting, helpful. Thanks !!!

sanskar says

June 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm

it is helpful

Jenny Leo iris says

October 23, 2022 at 11:17 pm

Sunusi Muhammad saidu says

April 8, 2023 at 9:24 pm

Thanks you so much for your answer. But I don’t know how to find the reference?

shreemant kumar says

June 1, 2017 at 8:00 am

really helpful

June 29, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Really ……it is helpful for me !!!! Thank u very much for such a good description..

Nkwain says

October 2, 2017 at 7:46 am

Very interesting and edifying.

Ifeoma iwu says

October 17, 2017 at 9:26 am

Thank very much, I learnt a lot.

October 24, 2017 at 11:51 am

Finally. Now I get it! Thanks for the simple language cause I’m not the best English speaker.

Quddus says

January 10, 2018 at 12:32 pm

thanks it is really usefull

Mr. Innocent says

January 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm

This is really helpful article written in simple language. Easy to Understand. Love you….. Thanks a lot.

Michelle says

March 26, 2018 at 10:17 pm

Good article.

Surbhi S says

May 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Thank you all for sharing your views with us. Keep reading 🙂

Adrian C. says

June 14, 2018 at 3:48 am

thank you so much. this was very helpful for a school project i was doing : )

Gaston Byaruhanga says

July 5, 2018 at 9:04 pm

Thank you for your updates, keep it up

October 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm

This is very useful, thank you!

Ekumi Mombu says

October 3, 2023 at 11:19 pm

My teacher likes it

Ernest says

December 6, 2018 at 2:44 am

Thank you for giving us good explaination.

Elakiya says

December 29, 2018 at 11:10 am

It’s really very useful. I’m going to write the Ielts exam, give some writing task ideas and tricks.

Malik Muhammad Tanveer says

January 15, 2019 at 7:57 pm

Great Job Ma’am… Very useful. Thanks a lot……

January 28, 2019 at 3:24 pm

really helpful, thanks.

Sudhendra says

February 26, 2019 at 6:55 am

Thanks a lot it was helpful

Stephen Isaya Elias says

April 3, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Thanks a lot

April 27, 2019 at 7:18 pm

very helpful thanks for the explanation and good article

sattusrinu says

June 7, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Thankyou very much it is helpful to me and all. thankyou very much


September 18, 2019 at 6:45 pm

It is Good formation for about writing later. You explain very well. It is helpful to all student

Emmanuel Rueben says

January 14, 2020 at 9:57 pm

It really helped me in understanding formal and informal letters. Thank you very much…..

Pratima kurmi says

March 12, 2020 at 6:01 am

Njie Akwa Miriam says

February 25, 2020 at 3:22 pm

It is very enriching, my students will benefit from it alot.

Thank you very much!

March 12, 2020 at 6:00 am

It helped me a lot……. Thanks for sharing your views

Ojumoola Olajesu Theophilus says

April 11, 2020 at 5:18 am

Over the years, i just understand this now. I am very grateful for this information.

February 15, 2021 at 8:51 pm

This was very helpful thank you.

Rushil says

February 20, 2021 at 2:28 pm

This Was Very Helpful Thank You

February 23, 2021 at 7:03 pm

Very easily understood thanks for the good explanations and differences 🙂

April 12, 2021 at 5:21 pm

I found it easy to understand. Thank you

Maxwell Caulker says

May 20, 2021 at 8:54 pm

It is really helpful

Cleopatra says

June 5, 2021 at 2:35 am

Thanks alot ❤️❤️❤️ it helped me in a school project that I’m doing.

Munkoh says

June 10, 2021 at 12:46 am

Very educative

Fakunmoju testimony says

June 27, 2021 at 5:48 pm

Thank u very much

Okunade eniola says

September 3, 2021 at 11:26 pm

Very interesting

Rejoice says

November 8, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Very useful and interesting Nice one 👏👏👏👍


December 13, 2021 at 7:04 pm

The article has a very useful impact to me and someone outside there.


January 16, 2022 at 10:24 pm


Ankitaom Shrivas says

February 28, 2022 at 1:48 pm

It’s good for my letter problem. Thanks for the help. 😊😊

Ainomugisha Lincoln says

March 15, 2022 at 5:50 pm

March 15, 2022 at 5:53 pm

It gives the actual information that one should follow when writing a letter of any type

Soliana Teshome says

April 26, 2022 at 9:51 pm

First I am grade 6 student I use it for journal assignment and it’s good for me.


December 4, 2022 at 1:59 am

First I am grade 6 student I use it for journal assignment and it’s good for me.

Muhammad Buhari Sa'eed says

December 9, 2022 at 11:09 am

I really understand what formal and informal letters means. Thanks you very much for that!

March 24, 2023 at 10:21 am

best content ever,quite easy. Thank you.

April 1, 2023 at 12:46 pm

Wow this have help me more to understand a very big difference between formal and informal latter thanks alot

rachel welch says

October 3, 2023 at 10:40 pm

Johnson Joseph says

May 18, 2023 at 12:30 pm

Pls, I would love to know how many address does an international informal letter have? If possible, with example (s). Thanks.

May 20, 2023 at 3:26 pm

Really helpful I needed it for assignment but when I saw this it was wonderful

Jainendra Singh says

December 18, 2023 at 5:12 am

this article such good my university teacher give this article link for chapter 4 formal letter and informal letter.

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