Monday, 16 April 2012

The Presentation of Self in Letters of Application: A Mixed-Method Approach

an article by Emilia Soroko (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland) published in Journal of Employment Counseling Volume 49 Issue 1 (March 2012)


The application letter, as the first phase of employment-seeking, is an opportunity for a job applicant to make a favourable impression on a potential employer. In the current study, the author used a mixed-method approach to empirically explore strategies for self-presentation in job application letters and determine the methods used in the letters and their lexical content.

An array of self-presentation strategies, both structural (relating to the formal aspect of the letters) and tactical (involving specific tactics or strategies), were identified and discussed. Job candidates’ self-evaluation strategies in application letters may contribute to a more accurate assessment of interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies. The results suggest that lexical and meaning levels of analysis in letters of application should be treated as distinct.

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