Letters Used in the Job Search
Letter of Application (Cover Letter)
Whenever you send a resume to an employer in answer to an advertisement or some other lead, it must be accompanied by a letter of application or cover letter. The purpose of this letter is to introduce yourself to the employer by telling him/her why you are writing and what contributions you believe you can make to this organization based on your qualifications. It is essentially a sales letter. You are trying to sell your services and interest the employer in meeting you. Your goal is to obtain an interview.
1. In your initial paragraph, indicate the reason for writing, the specific position or type of work for which you are applying, and how you learned of the opening.
2. In your middle paragraph(s) mention why you are interested in the position, the organization, its products or services; above all, indicate what you can do for the employer. Emphasize your main qualifications for the job for which you are applying. If you are a recent graduate, explain how your academic background makes you a qualified candidate for the position. If you have had some practical work experience, point out specific achievements and responsibilities. Present applicable items in your background to prove your potential value to the company, but do not go into great detail. Refer the reader to the enclosed resume which summarizes your qualifications, training and experience. If you have established a placement file, you may also indicate that your credentials can be obtained from the Career Services Office.
3. In your closing paragraph, indicate your desire for a personal interview. Take the initiative in requesting an appointment to further discuss your qualifications and employment possibilities. You may want to state that you will call during a specific time period to discuss interview possibilities. Show appreciation to the reader for his/her time and consideration.
Follow-Up Letter (After an Interview)
The importance of responding to the interviews you are granted cannot be overemphasized. Many employers consider these follow-up letters in measuring your interest in their organization. In addition, follow-up letters are another way of keeping your name fresh in the employer's mind.
1. Express your appreciation for the interview.
2. State your interest in at least one or two aspects of the company or position discussed in the interview.
3. Supply any additional information or material requested during the interview.
4. Express your interest in the position and/or organization.
5. Thank the interviewer again for his/her time and consideration.
SAMPLE FOLLOW-UP LETTER
Letter of Acceptance
1. Indicate your acceptance of the offer of employment. Refer to the date of the original offer letter or phone call.
2. Restate position classification, compensation offered, and the starting date if previously established.
3. Indicate your travel plans and anticipated arrival date if the initial assignment is at a considerable distance from your home.
4. Express your appreciation for the opportunity.
SAMPLE LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE
Letter of Refusal (Declining an Offer)
1. Express your appreciation for the offer and for the company's interest in you.
2. Indicate that you have carefully considered the offer and have decided not to accept it.
SAMPLE LETTER OF REFUSAL
Letter of Withdrawal
Once you have accepted a position, you have an ethical obligation to inform all other prospective employers of your decision and to withdraw your application from consideration.
1. Express appreciation for the employer's consideration.
2. If appropriate, briefly explain your decision to go with another organization. Do not say that you obtained a better job.
SAMPLE LETTER OF WITHDRAWAL
REMEMBER: Your letters represent you! All correspondence should be error-free, neatly typed, and addressed to a specific individual with his/her correct title.