|Cover Letters and Thank You Letters
Professional correspondence is extremely important during a job search. This section addresses the cover letter, sometimes referred to as a letter of application or inquiry letter, and the thank you letter.
THE THANK YOU LETTER
THE COVER LETTER
The cover letter is a business letter used to transmit your resume and to introduce you and your background to the employer. In order to write the cover letter, or any type of job search correspondence, you should:
b) find out the exact name and title of the individual to whom you should address the letter
c) determine why you are interested in that particular position and company. Your cover letter needs to convince the reader you want to work for that particular organization. This is your opportunity to let the employer know what you can do for them and why they should consider hiring you.
A good cover letter should:
2. Evidence your knowledge of how to format a business letter
3. Show that you have researched your field and that particular employer
4. Convey your personality
5. Summarize your skills or training relevant to the job
6. Communicate your interest in and enthusiasm for the position
State your reason for writing and specify the position or field in which you are interested. Indicate the source of your information; if you learned of the opening from the newspaper, say so. If it was from an individual, refer to them by name (as long as you have obtained their consent). You could also state why you want to work for that company and/or how you became aware of them. Try not to use generalities such as "because of your excellent reputation..." Tie your interest to pertinent information obtained during your research of the company. Briefly specify why you desire the type of work they offer.
See the examples below:
Ms. First and Last Name, a Counselor at the Career Resource Center, recommended I contact you. I am interested in a sales position and the media kit on file sparked my interest in Big Company. This letter is to request a meeting to discuss the sales associate positions available at Big Company and how someone with my background may fit your needs.
Recently, I read an article about Your Products, Incorporated in the Wall Street Journal. Your company's research in the area of employee retirement trends is an area of special interest to me. I would like to begin my career in employee relations with a company that is committed to staff benefits. Please accept this letter in application to the human resource assistant position posted on your website.
At a recent Associated Press Conference, you discussed the idea of implementing a "Local Guest Writers" column in the XYZ Newspaper. I admire your aggressiveness in responding to subscriber interests. I am particularly impressed with the manner in which the newspaper addresses community issues and, therefore, would like to begin my career with your newspaper.
Emphasize how your academic background, college and/or other activities, and work experience qualify you as a candidate. Include qualifications and unique attributes, which distinguish you from other candidates. Be certain to address the specific skills and experience needed for that particular position (this information will come from your research and possibly from an ad). You could also include more references to your company research, letting the employer know you took the time to find out about them. Do not repeat what is on your resume.
Below are some examples:
I understand this position requires individuals to be independent, have newspaper experience, and be able to handle assignments under deadline pressure. While attending St. Johns River Community College, I have studied Composition, Business Writing and Desktop Publishing. These courses have provided experience in writing and, as all college courses do, provided the opportunity to meet deadlines. Along with my writing ability, my strong work ethic and sense of responsibility will be beneficial to your newspaper."
Refer the employer to your enclosed resume. Indicate your desire for a personal interview and your flexibility as to time and place. If you are living in or near the same city where the company is located, it would be appropriate to take the initiative and follow up your letter with a phone call to arrange an interview. If the organization is out of town, you can mention that you will be in the area on a certain date and would like to have an interview. Finally, express appreciation to the reader for their time and consideration.
The following Online Cover Letter Tips are also available:
Monster.com's Writing Cover Letters
JobStar Central About Cover Letters
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THE THANK YOU LETTER
After an interview, it is always appropriate and professional to send a thank you letter to the interviewer. It will help you be remembered and give you an edge over the interviewees who do not write thank you letters. The letter should:
2. Re-emphasize your strongest qualifications
3. Bring up an additional point not made during the interview
4. Reiterate your interest in the position
Send the letter as soon after the interview as possible. Type-written business letters or hand-written note cards are equally acceptable. If you know the decision will be made in less than three days, then e-mail is acceptable.
More information about both the cover letter and thank you letter is available in numerous job hunting books available in the campus Career Resource Centers.
Sample "1" Cover Letter:
Your Full Name
PO Box 123
Jacksonville, FL 32058
Dear Ms. Miller:
This letter is in response to your recent advertisement in the XYZ Newspaper; I would like to apply for the position of general assignment reporter.
At a recent Associated Press Meeting, you discussed the idea of implementing a "Community Guest Writers" column in the XYZ Daily News. I admire your aggressiveness in responding to subscriber interests. Particularly, I am impressed with the manner in which the newspaper addresses community issues and, therefore, would like to begin my career with your newspaper.
This position requires individuals to be independent, have experience, and be able to handle assignments under deadline pressure. While completing my education at St. Johns River Community College (SJRCC), I studied in several writing and desktop publishing courses. The writing skills I gained from these courses are evident by my experience as a student assistant in the Public Relations office at SJRCC. In addition, my strong work ethic and sense of responsibility will be beneficial to your newspaper.
My resume is enclosed for your consideration. I will contact you during the week of March 24th to arrange a time to discuss my qualifications for the position. If you would like to reach me before then, I may be contacted at (904) 829-5555 or via email at email@example.com Thank you for your time and consideration.
Type Your Name
Enclosure (The word "Enclosure" indicates your resume is enclosed)
SAMPLE 2: THANK YOU LETTER
Samuel St. Johns
123 King Street
Palatka, FL 32177
Name of Interviewer
Name of Company
Thank you for meeting with me last Tuesday, March 24th to discuss the position of thank you letter writer. I was very impressed with the description you provided of your organization and am excited about the prospect of working for you.
My qualifications are well matched with the position we discussed and I have a real interest in this area of work. My experience specifically with thank you letter writing and the good interpersonal skills I possess are among my strongest attributes. They would certainly enable me to make a valuable contribution to the Appreciation Manifestation Company.
Again, thank you for the interview and your consideration. I am eager to have an opportunity to work on your staff and look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact me at (386) 312-5555 if you have any further questions.
Type Your Name
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