The formal email or application letter has long been a Cambridge B2 email writing task. Like other letter and email forms, it is now a possible option in Part 2. Here we take look at what you need to know and how to write a formal application email.
Let’s now look at a sample question. You can typically expect something like this.
Before we start we need to look at register. Register is using the right type of language for a specific situation. By using the wrong type of language you can have a negative effect on the reader. This means, in this case, we have to make sure we use semi-formal or formal language. If you don’t do that in the exam your score will be affected.
The parts of any email or letter writing that are most affected by register are the greetings and endings we use. These examples of greetings & endings below are acceptable in formal email or letter writing. When we think of formal writing ,certain greetings have specific endings. This example here is when you have no name and it is the only option you should use.
When we know a person’s name we have a few more options to choose from. With the names John White and Mary White as examples we can use the following. However, we do not use first names with these titles.
Note: We only use Mrs for a woman if we know she is married. Ms is a a more common title for all circumstances.
An application letter or email is a real life task and the organisation we present here is how you can write an email for a job application. This type of letter is also called a covering letter.
Paragraph 1 Why am I writing?
In formal letter/email writing in English the first paragraph is always an explanation of why you are sending a letter to email. For an application letter this can be very simple. These two examples show different levels of formality but both would be appropriate.
This makes it clear to someone reading what the purpose of the letter/email is.
In our second example the same information is a little more detailed and formal. It is an example of what can be used in real life covering letters.
In this paragraph you should present any qualifications and experience that are relevant to the job. Don’t include anything that is not.
Here you can add the special skills you have that are relevant to this job.
This is the place where you can say why you would be good for the job. Typically you would add comments about attitude, work ability and anything else that could be of interest to an employer.
The final paragraph is where you can mention a CV and talk about interviews and contact by the potential employer. There is a standard way you can write this and this example suggests what you can include.
Note: While we have used a five paragraph model here, you can choose to combine information together. The purpose here is to show you how you can organise the information.
Take a look at the image of a letter plan below.
Purpose of letter
Dear Mr Wilson,
I am writing in reply to your advertisement on jobs.com for summer camp helpers and I would like to apply for one of these positions.
Personal Details & Experience
I am 19 years old and a university student. In the evenings and some weekends, I work as a team leader in my local youth club , where I have helped for the last three years. The activities there include sports and a social club.
Music is a passion of mine so I play guitar in my free time. I have given guitar lessons to young children during school holidays. I am keen on sports, especially outdoor sports. As well as being a good swimmer I also play tennis.
I feel I am a very positive, motivated person who always wants to learn new things. I also believe that I work well with rest of the youth leaders and although we share responsibility in organizing the activities it is skill I have myself.
I am available for interview at any time and I have attached my CV for your attention. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.