Thursday, September 3, 2009

Job Application Letter Critique

Below is my draft of cover letter for the position of research officer. Before starting your critique, please note that some information in the letter may be fictional.

xxxxx xxx
#xx-xxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx x
Singapore xxxxxx

4 September 2009

Ms Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxx
Deputy Director
Office of Human Resources
Institute for Infocomm Research
1 Fusionopolis Way
#21-01 Connexis South Tower
Singapore 138632

Dear Ms Xxxx

Application for Post of Research Officer

I refer to your advertisement posted on the website on August 31st, 2009 (Job Reference Number: 12R/R/290809/01) on the position of Research Officer in the field of Radio Frequency and Antenna Design.

I am a fresh graduate with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with 1st Class Honors degree from National University of Singapore, with Telecommunications as my specialization track. Thus, I am well equipped and confident with hands-on skills and knowledge in the field of radio frequency and antenna design through courses that I had taken in university. In addition, I am proficient in several computer programming languages such as C, C++ and MATLAB. Moreover, I am also very familiar with softwares used in electrical engineering, such as LabVIEW, PSPICE and OrCAD.

Besides having all relevant skills and knowledge, I am regarded as committed and focused overachiever, as well as a quick learner by peers and mentors. Furthermore, I am capable of working independently, as shown in the intensive training I had received in university. In addition, I am a proven team player and have no problem mixing around with people from different cultural backgrounds.

I am aware that Institute for Infocomm Research is a well established research institute in Singapore and had won several awards in recent years. I would like to be a part of institute and contribute to the progress and achievements of your institution.

I feel certain my strong initiative and commitment to excellence, coupled with impressive knowledge and skills in this field will be an immediate valuable asset to Institute for Infocomm Research. Should you acknowledge after reviewing enclosed resume, I would welcome an opportunity of a meeting to further discuss your needs and my ability to meet them. I can be contacted through +65-xxxx-xxxx and/or

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I hope to hear positive response from you soon.

Yours sincerely




  1. Hi Jin,

    Overall, this letter completely covers all the required aspects of a job application letter. I have a couple of comments and suggestions:

    1. Language. While reading your letter, it seems that there is some extent of lack of coherence, as well as fluency in your sentences. Basically, the sentence structure could be improved.

    2. Formatting. This may be minor, but you may wish to standardize the format of the dates (ie. 4 September 2009 compared to August 31st, 2009). You never know if the person would place an unfavourable judgment on you because of that inconsistency.

    3. Knowledge of institute. You may wish to further showcase your interest in working in the institute by elaborating what awards the company has been awarded, that you actually are aware of. I believe this will further impress the reader of your letter.

    4. Unintended pressure on the reader to get back to you with "good news". As Chris mentioned in the class regards to this, the word "positive" in the sentence, "I hope to hear POSITIVE response from you soon", places pressure on the person to reply to you with what you want to hear -- that you have been shortlisted for interview. You may want to take note of that.

    Hope you do not feel demoralized; these are but well-intended suggestions. >.< Cheers!

  2. Hi Jin,

    your cover letter is reasonably good. It can better if you were to follow the suggestions that Chun Fong has mentioned.

    As Chun Fong mentioned, the structure of some of the sentences can be improved to convey the proper meaning of the message.

    For example, lets take a look at this phrase;
    "have no problem mixing around with people from different cultural backgrounds".

    Instead of saying that that you do not have problems mixing around with others, I think it would be best if you were to say something like;
    "have no problem working with people from different cultural backgrounds".
    It sounds more professional.

    Or perhaps you can mention that you have worked with people of diverse cultural backgrounds in numerous occasions during your undergraduate studies.

  3. Hey!

    Overall, your application letter is well done. You have fulfilled most of the 7Cs in your content and I like that you mentioned your technical and soft skills clearly.

    But, I agree with Chun Fong on some improvements that you can make. Perhaps you can soften the tone a little to avoid an overly confidence feel. Perhaps you can add phrases like "I believe that", "I hope to", "would like to" so as to make your letter sound more polite and sincere. :)

    Nonetheless, your letter is a good read!