Job Search Letters
All job search letters serve as an example of your written communication skills,
your understanding of professional business etiquette, and your enthusiasm and
qualifications for a particular job. Also, they provide additional opportunities
for you to make a positive impression on a prospective employer. Take the time
to draft them and make revisions; they must be free from spelling and
grammatical errors. Well-written, strategically timed letters can impact a
successful job search outcome - they're that important! Job search letters
We encourage you to have a career counselor review a draft of your job search
letter before you send it out.
To schedule an appointment, stop by Craig-Lee 054 or call 401-456-8031.
Cover letters accompany your resume and contribute to your ability to
persuade an employer to interview you. We encourage you to include a cover
letter even when not requested. Each letter is crafted individually for each
position to which you apply. An effective letter will reflect your interest in
the position and organization and highlight the match between the skills you
have and the skills the employer is seeking.
Avoid "to whom it may concern letters" - make the call and find out the name of
the person to whom the letter should be addressed. Not only is this good
business etiquette, but also it will make it easier for you to know whom to call
to confirm receipt of your job search documents and to schedule an interview. Be
sure to use the name of the organization rather than only referring to "your
Name of person
City, State, Zip
(1 paragraph): Identify the position to
which you are applying and how you learned of the opening (e.g., through Destinations
a newspaper ad, a friend or faculty member). Express why you are interested in
the position, connecting your interest to how you can meet the employer's needs
- not just your own professional goals.
(1 - 2 paragraphs): Introduce the
qualifications you have that will create interest in your candidacy. Connect the
skills on your resume with the skills the employer is seeking - use the actual
job description as your guide. Provide concrete examples of where you have
developed and/or demonstrated key skills (e.g., education, employment, unpaid
experiences) and how they contribute to your ability to meet the employer's
(1 paragraph): Confirm that you've enclosed
requested documents (e.g., resume and list of references). Provide contact
information. Restate your interest in the position and the opportunity to
discuss your qualifications in greater detail. Indicate that you will follow-up
to schedule an interview. Thank the employer for consideration.
(don't forget to sign the letter!)
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Thank You Letter
An individualized thank you letter written to each person with whom you
interviewed, as well as anyone who was instrumental in coordinating your
interview(s), is essential. In addition to thanking people for time spent
discussing your qualifications and the position in greater detail, the thank you
letter may also be used to introduce information you did not have the
opportunity to discuss during the interview and to emphasize your continued
interest in the position.
Thank you letters demonstrate your understanding of business etiquette and
contribute to your standing out from other well-qualified candidates - most of
whom will not take the time to write them. They serve to remind your
interviewer(s) about the strength of your candidacy when it comes time to make
decisions about who will move forward with the process or be given the job offer
- especially if you were interviewed early in the process.
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Letter of Refusal
You may get a job offer that you ultimately determine you don't want. You may
decide after an initial interview that the position is not right for you and you
don't want to continue with the interview process. Either way, you need to
quickly communicate that you are no longer a candidate for the position. Do so
in a professional manner that will not damage future relationships with the
person or the organization.
Write a brief letter stating that while you appreciate being considered for
the position, it is not the right position for you at this point in your career.
Wish them success in their search and indicate that you would like to be
considered if a more appropriate position opens in the future.
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As you conduct your career exploration and your job search, there will be
opportunities to send follow-up letters. After an informational interview or networking, you will send a thank you letter. You
may also want to keep your professional network
alive by letting people know how your search is progressing or to confirm making
contact with a person to whom you were referred.
After attending a job fair, you may want to follow-up with company
representatives to reconnect. This letter will serve to distinguish you from the
many candidates they met that day and underscore your qualifications and your
interest in the position/company. It will be a hybrid: a combination of a thank
you letter (e.g., for speaking with you) and a cover letter reiterating your
qualifications for the position based on what you learned at the job fair.
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