Writing FCE – A Letter Of Application (thư xin việc)


(thư xin việc)

You have just read the following advertisement in a newspaper:


We are looking for people to work as information officers in our Central Tourist Office, answering questions and giving information to foreign visitors. Part time work only, evenings and weekends.

  • Do you speaking any languages?
  • Do you know your country well?
  • Do you like meeting people?

Apply in writing to the Director, Central Tourist Office.


Write a letter of application to the Central Tourist Office (140-190 words).

I. Answer these questions

1. Do you know the name of the person you are writing to?

No, we don’t.

2. Have you ever met the person?

No, we haven’t.

3. Is your letter for business or giving news?

It is for business.

4. What greetings and endings are suitable for letter?

Dear Sir/Madam,


Yours faithfully,

Simon Garrett

5. What topics are expected in your letter?

  • Where you saw the advertisement
  • Your age
  • What languages you speak
  • Your present occupation
  • Your previous experience in this kind of job
  • Information about how to contact you

II. Brainstorm the topic

  • Who can apply for the job?

university students,  retired people, housewives, the people who have another part-time job or want to have extra income, …

  • Skills or knowledge we may need

Good knowledge of local tourist attractions, travel routes, accommodation, good telephone skills, …

  • What characteristics do we have to be?

Friendly, patient, organised, calm, polite, a good listener, …

III. Two model letters

Letter A (unsuitable)

Dear Central Tourist Office,

I’ve just read your ad for an information officer in ‘The Daily News’, and I’m looking for a summer job. This one would be just great!

I’m 20 years old and I’m a student at university. I’m studying French and English, so I think that these languages could come in handy for talking to tourists, and besides I need the practice! I also had a fantastic holiday in Italy last year, and picked up quite a bit of Italian.

I had a good time last year, working as a tourist guide, so I’ve got a good knowledge of the city, and I love working with people. In fact, I’m hoping to do a tourism course when I finish college, so I can work in a hotel.

I hope you think I would be OK for the job. Drop me a line or give me a call on 100 667788.



There are some unsuitable things in letter A

  • Using the unsuitable greeting and ending
  • Using contracted verb forms: I’ve, I’m, …
  • Using personal tone: I think, …
  • Using informal, conversational vocabulary: a bit, OK, …


Letter B (suitable)

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to apply for the job of information officer, which was advertised in ‘The Daily News’.

I am 20 years old, and I am studying French and English at university. I have just completed my second year, and would like the opportunity to practice my languages with foreigners. I also speak some Italian. I would also like to gain some valuable experience working with tourists, as I am considering a career in the hotel business when I graduate.

I have always been interested in working with people. I worked as a guide last summer with Blue Sky Holidays, which I enjoyed very much. Because I was working as a guide, I had to study and remember a lot of information, so I would say I have a good knowledge of history, places of interest, and tourist resorts.

I can be contacted at the above address, or by telephone on 100 6677788. I look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Garrett

Simon Garrett

There are 4 paragraphs in letter B

  • Paragraph 1 = purpose for writing: information office, Daily News
  • Paragraph 2 = why interested in job: help with studies, experience, career
  • Paragraph 3 = previous experience: like people, guide, knowledge
  • Paragraph 4 = conclusion: contact details

IV. Formal ways to express ideas

Rewrite the informal sentences to make them more appropriate for a formal letter

1. I got my diploma last year.

I received my diploma last year.

2. It was fun!

I was enjoyable!

3. I liked the way the hotel looked after its guests.

I was impressed by the way the hotel looked after its guests.

4. I speak Chinese very well.

I speak Chinese fluently.

5. I’m Ok about working at weekends.

I am willing to work at weekends.

6. I’m free to work in July and August.

I am available to work in July and August.

7. Would you like me to come for an interview?

Would you like me to attend an interview?

8. I have a lot of experience of this kind of work.

I have considerable experience of this kind of work.


Exam practice

You have just read the advertisement opposite in a newspaper.


Fit, enthusiastic people required to work with groups foreign children (aged +11) visiting this area in July and August.

We are looking for people who:

  • like working with children
  • can speak at least two foreign languages
  • have previous experience of organising sports and other activities

Apply in writing to the manager, Adventure Holidays, explaining why you would  be suitable for the job.


Write your letter of application (150-190 words)

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