Although most of your job search letters will be written to seek out employment opportunities, there will be occasions that will require other forms of correspondence. These too should be prepared carefully and professionally.
This letter is designed to generate informational interviews - not job interviews. During informational interviews you can meet with individuals who may be able to give you information about your intended career. Informational interviewing is a valuable way to research job markets, define career goals, and possibly uncover vacancy information.
A resume is not typically attached to a networking letter - again your goal with informational interviewing is not to interview for a job, but to gain information that may help you in your job search. However, during your informational interview, you may want to bring your resume in order to assist the interviewer in helping you answer questions or further clarify goals.
Thank You Letters
This is one of the most important, yet least used forms of correspondence. It is used to establish goodwill, express appreciation, and strengthen your candidacy. Make sure that everyone who helps you in your job search receives a thank you letter. When used to follow up a job interview, try to send your thank you letter (or email) within 24 hours.
This letter should be brief and concise. Make sure to restate your interest in the position, reemphasizing your qualifications and expressing your sincere appreciation for the interview.
This letter is used to accept a job and confirm the terms of your employment (salary, starting date, etc.). Most often this letter follows a telephone conversation during which details of the offer and terms of employment are discussed. Some employers will specifically request that you respond in writing. Even when this is not the case, write a formal letter of acceptance to project your professionalism and avoid any confusion about your employment.
Once you accept a position, you have the obligation to inform all other employers of your decision, and to withdraw your application from consideration. Express appreciation for the employer's consideration and state simply and cordially that you have accepted other employment.
Letter of Decline
Employers aren't the only ones who send rejection letters. You may decide to decline job offers that don't fit your personal objectives and interests. Rejecting an offer should be done tactfully and thoughtfully. Indicate that you have given the offer careful consideration and have decided not to accept it. Be sure to thank the employer for the offer and for considering you as a candidate.
Today’s primary modes of communication are e-mail, text messages, and web pages. The job search process is no different. Most job searches are done on the Internet, and job seekers e-mail their resumes or complete online applications.
Given these facts: Are cover letters still necessary?
While the answer varies, the majority of human resource representatives and recruiters say yes. Done the right way, a cover letter can capture the second glance needed in a competitive job market.
There are two tips for crafting a catchy cover letter: follow the formula and personalize it.
Cover letters contain four components with one essential question answered in each.
Paragraph One – Introduction
Who are you and why are you writing?
Paragraph Two – Highlight of Qualifications
How has your education, previous employment, or other experiences repared you for the position?
Paragraph Three – Connection to the Company
Why is this company or job a good fit for you?
Paragraph Four – Closing Statement
How interested are you and where can you be reached for an interview?
Paragraphs one and four follow standard formats. The opportunity for your application to connect with a recruiter is in paragraphs two and three.
Paragraph Two: Draw attention to yourself
When you read the job description and you declared, “I’m perfect for this job!” Tell the recruiter why. Is it because of a particular course you studied? Did you complete an internship that allowed you to perform similar duties and responsibilities? Were you able to develop a skill set through a part-time job or campus activity that is applicable to this position?
Make the connection between your past and this job. Don’t repeat your resume, but rather make reference to items on it that you especially want the recruiter to be aware of.
Paragraph Three: “Professional Flattery”
Your job search will reveal many positions for which you are qualified, but not all of them are of interest. What makes this position or company different? Pinpoint specifics about the job description that catch your eye. Research the organization. If the company product or workplace philosophy is appealing, tell the recruiter why.
Avoid empty compliments. Recruiters can spot meaningless sweet talk a mile away.
Applicants sometimes forget professionalism, and even common sense, when it comes to e-mailing and the job search. If your e-mail contains any of the following, hit the delete button.