NEMNET - Job Search Letters

Job Search Letters
There are several types of letters which one may use in a job campaign. These may be divided into two broad categories: (1) letters of application; and (2) follow-up letters of various kinds. All letters you write should be in good form, carefully planned, and contain the desired information. The following basic rules should be observed regardless of the type of letter.

The Basics

Every resume you send will need an accompanying cover letter, which can be used to inquire about possible job openings in your field or to apply for known vacancies. The main function of a cover letter is to entice the employer’s interest in you so s/he will read your resume.

The letter should be concise; you should be able to tell your story on one page. You can go into details in the interview, should you get one.

You may develop one basic letter that can be changed slightly for the different positions for which you are applying. It is essential, however, that you type each letter individually. Mass-produced letters are usually recognized as such and connote a lack of sincere interest in the organization to which you have written.

While your letter should follow a standard business format, try to make it as personal as possible. Identify the individual who will be in a position to say ‘‘you’re hired,’’ and direct your correspondence to him/her.

In order to personalize your letters, obtain information about the business, industry, agency, or school in which you are interested and refer to this knowledge in your letter. Your letter is often the first contact between you and a prospective employer and your research will leave a good impression.
  • Use resume paper, and matching envelope, of the usual business correspondence size, (8 1/2" x 11").
  • The letter should be neat in appearance and proofread carefully for form, spelling, punctuation and English usage.
  • Keep the letter brief and to the point. Employers will lose interest if they are required to read through irrelevant information.
  • Candidates should define the objectives of their letters and then attempt to determine how these objectives can best be met.
  • In all letters avoid such things as negative approaches, boastfulness, exaggeration, insincerity and inconsistency.