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THE WHARTON SCHOOL


JOB SEARCH LETTERS
Job Search Letters 66
Purpose of a Cover Letter 66
What to do Before You Start Writing 67
Competencies, Interests, and Values 67
Market Research 67
Outline Your Points Before You Write 67
The Structure of a Cover Letter 68
Sample 68
A Good Cover Letter 69
Examples 69
Letters to Executive Search Firms 71
Requests for an Informational Interview 72
Thank-You Letters 72
Commonly Asked Questions About Job Search Letters 73
Conclusion 74
Sample Letters 75
First Contact 76
Request for an On Campus Interview 79
Following -up on a Referral 80
Following-up After a Meeting 82
Responding to an Advertisement/Job Posting 83
Requesting an Informational Interview 85
Letter to an Executive Search Firm 86
Post Interview Thank-you Letter 87
Resources 88
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JOB SEARCH LETTERS
For all but the most talented of writers, writing an effective cover letter is time consuming and
frustrating. The number of people who tell you that your letters are never read contributes to the
frustration of the process, not to mention the varying opinions on letter format and content.
However, cover letters are an absolutely necessary part of the job search process. Ninety-five
percent of employers will quickly scan your resume before deciding whether or not to even read
your cover letter. So, you may think, why even bother? Because, while your resume may
determine if your cover letter gets read, your cover letter then determines whether the readers
interest is further piqued or diminished. There are many qualified applicants for every
available job. A compelling cover letter can be one of the things that differentiates you
from the rest. Additionally, resumes sent without cover letters have a high probability of being
discarded.
The time-consuming process and doubt about real results of cover letters often lure job seekers
into the trap of conducting mass mailings to firms using a minimally tailored form letter. This
effort will get you nowhere fast. Mass mailings are very tempting because personal computers
have made it easy and because it is a great way to feel as though you have been productive.
However, your chances of reaping anything from this effort are minimal. You have put in very
little energy, enthusiasm or creativity. Why should the employer believe anything other than that
you lack these three qualities? If you leave this section of the guide with nothing else, leave it
knowing that unless you are a recognized expert in the field in which you are applying for jobs,
your time is ABSOLUTELY better spent on the myriad job search activities discussed in this
guide rather than on processing a mass mail campaign. Use the tips in this section to help you
create an effective, thoughtful cover letter and then tailor it to the employer or situation it really
can make all the difference.
The vast majority of your job search letters will be cover letters applying for a specific job or
asking for information. Therefore, the majority of this chapter is devoted to these. However,
thank-you letters and letters requesting informational interviews are also covered briefly at the end
of the section. Examples of different styles of letters are included in the sample section.
PURPOSE OF A COVER LETTER
A cover letter will not get you a job. However, it might get you an interview, which takes
you a step closer to getting a job.
Networking is one of the most effective ways to prepare for the job search and, indirectly or
directly, is responsible for an extraordinarily high percentage of job seekers employment
offers. Most networking interactions require some sort of introduction; a cover letter often
serves as an introduction to the employer or contact.
A cover letter adds a personal touch to your resume and helps create a bridge between your
past experience and what you can contribute to an employer in the future.
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The best resumes, like the best commercials, are short, to the point and get the readers
attention. However, this often requires leaving off valuable details that may differentiate you
from other applicants. The cover letter is the perfect place to expand on your
accomplishments and experiences. Additionally, compelling an employer with your
knowledge of the industry/firm/function is a great way to get an interview. The cover letter
allows you to do this in a way that a resume never will.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU START WRITING
Career advisers can predict, with remarkable reliability, the people who will have the most
difficulty changing careers. You may imagine that it is typically the individuals with work
experience most dissimilar to their target, but this is not the case. It is the individuals who insist
on skipping all or some of the steps below. So, to remind you once again, not completing at least
some rudimentary (the more the better, obviously) Competencies, Interests, and Values Analysis
and Market Research is a sure-fire way to fail.
Competencies, Interests, and Values Analysis
It will be impossible for you to sell an employer on your skills and experience if you do not have a
well considered inventory of your skills and how you have demonstrated them (see Chapter
Three). Without a defined area of interest and a knowledge of how you fit in there, you will find
cover letters extremely difficult to write and letters that compel the reader, almost impossible to
produce.
Market Research
Once you know where you want to work and have defined what you have to offer, the next step
is to research the industry, function, and firm BEFORE you write to them (See Chapter Three).
Knowing a firms structure, new businesses and profit drivers will allow you to determine which
of your skills and experiences you should highlight. It will also show your sincere interest in the
industry or firm. Extra effort really does count here. When applying for a specific position,
obtaining a job description is very helpful, but is often not available. Your assessment efforts
should include research on what skills people in the industry/function/firm have and what kinds of
backgrounds the firm typically seeks.
Outline Your Points Before You Write
Decide what you are going to say before you start writing. After you have finished your Market
Research, structure this information into a list of the characteristics, skills, and experience the firm
to whom you are writing is seeking. Then, for each of these, list an example or two of how you
have demonstrated the skill, characteristic, or experience. Use this list to develop your cover
letter.
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THE STRUCTURE OF A COVER LETTER
Whether you are writing a letter to request an informational interview, or are writing to apply for
a specific job, the structure of a cover letter is basically the same.
Most letters will have three basic sections: #1) Who you are and why you are writing
#2) What you have to offer the firm
#3) Conclusion and indication of follow-up
The following provides a description of the sections and a sample layout of a basic cover letter.
Date
Mr. Out of Control
Power Nap Company
Cat Lane, NY 19856
Dear Mr. Control:
Opening Paragraph: The first paragraph should be a short (two-four sentences) introduction to you. You
should identify who you are and indicate why you are writing. It is best to try to be specific in this section
so that the recruiter will know how to treat your application. Simply saying that you are interested in
working for Walt Disney, for example, doesnt give the recruiter much to go on considering the large
number of divisions and positions at the firm. This paragraph is also the appropriate and ideal time to
mention why you are specifically interested in the firm. If your interest was piqued by a recent article you
read or you have been referred to the reader by another person, it should be stated here.
Middle Paragraph: The middle paragraph (sometimes -- but only with discretion-- two paragraphs) is the
bulk of a cover letter. This is the section in which you sell yourself and where you link your past
experiences to your future performance. It is important to not simply repeat the information that you have
on your resume, but to synthesize the information and introduce experiences and skills that make you
qualified for the particular job for which you are applying. Sometimes this means going into detail about
projects which gave you applicable experience but are not detailed enough on your resume to make that
clear. This section can be in paragraph form, in bullet points or presented as a skills summary.
Conclusion: This part of the letter usually reiterates your interest in the firm and indicates the action you
are expecting or that the recruiter should expect. If you are truly interested in a position, you should never
leave the ball in their court. End the letter thanking the recruiter for his or her consideration and indicate
that you will call in a few days to discuss employment opportunities. If you are seeking employment in a
city in which you do not currently live and you are planning a trip there, make sure you mention this here.
Sincerely,
Joe Job Seeker
Enclosure
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A GOOD COVER LETTER ....
Is addressed to a specific person, preferably a person in the department in which you want to
work. Letters addressed to 'Dear Sir', 'Dear Madam', or 'Dear Gentle Person' are very likely to
end up in the circular file. If you are applying for a job and no contact name has been given, go
out of your way to find out to whom you should write. Call the firm and ask for the name of the
head of the department in which the position is located. If that doesnt work, see if the firm has
a Web Page that lists department heads or find an article about the firm in which senior people
are mentioned. Dont forget about Wharton alumni. Alumni who work at the firm are an
essential source of information. Even if they dont work in the area of interest to you, they have
inside information about the culture of the firm and can, usually, at the very least, tell you to
whom you should write about opportunities in a particular department. Also, remember that
there are associations for almost everything and their directories often include the names of their
members. These can be useful in finding contact names within firms. If you are responding to an
ad that does not give the name of the firm, much less the name of a contact, your best bet is to
address the letter to Dear Hiring Officer or Human Resources Professional. If you are applying
for a specific position, and Human Resources is listed as the contact, still make every effort to
find a person you can write to within the department. Then, write to both HR and directly to the
person within the department.

Is one page. Clear, concise cover letters indicate your ability to be so in other business situations.
If you are applying for a specific job and you feel that a detailed discussion of highly related work
experience will increase your chances of being hired, a page and a half cover letter may be used
judiciously.
Is not simply a repeat of the information in your resume. A good cover letter synthesizes
the information on your resume, draws on applicable experiences, and provides detail that the
resume does not. As you can see from my resume is an overused and unnecessary phrase
that is doomed to providing information that the reader already has.
Repeat from resume Better synthesis from resume
As you can see from the enclosed resume, While at XYZ Bank I was chosen to
I worked at XYZ bank for three years and participate in a committee charged with
am currently a Consulting Manager at Little reengineering our 75 member department.
Rock Consulting firm. Both of this This was an invaluable experience that
experience has given me the involved high-level strategic as well as
opportunity to hone my analytical operational decision making. The committees
and managerial skills and would allow findings led to a completely new
me to contribute immediately to your firm. organizational structure which I assisted
in implementing. I truly enjoyed the strategic and
problem solving nature of this position, and this
led me to a change of careers into consulting.
.
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Does not overuse personal pronouns. Its hard to write a cover letter discussing YOUR
qualifications and YOUR experiences without overusing the words I or my. However, no
more than 50%, and 25% is much better, of your sentences should begin with a personal
pronoun. Fixing this can be as simple as restructuring your sentences.
Overused personal pronouns Better phrasing
I have eight years experience in business While at Ximex Corp., I have increased
development in which I increased my the companys client base by 50% as
companies client base by 50%. I have Manager of Business Development.
led multiple projects for which I had The multiple projects that I have led
P& L responsibility and managed up to twenty included P&L responsibility as well
people. I also have expertise in as managing up to twenty people.
accounting systems which I believe will Additionally, several of the projects
be useful to your department as you I worked on at my previous employer
undergo the change in systems that Ms. involved implementing accounting
Dilworth and I discussed over the phone. systems, which I understand from Ms.
Dilbert, your department is about to
undergo.
Emphasizes your strengths. It does not point out your weaknesses. Job descriptions are
written for ideal candidates who rarely, if ever, actually exist. Dont get hung up on the
qualifications you dont have, and for goodness sake, dont point them out!
Emphasizing the weakness Emphasizing the strength
Although I do not have any consumer Through completion of a two-year
products marketing experience, I have field sales program, I gained first
many of the other qualifications you hand knowledge of the intricate
seek. Through completion of a two year links between sales functions and
field sales training program I gained those of brand management. This
first-hand knowledge of.. experience .
Is tailored to your reader. One of the most important rules in creating an effective
marketing campaign is "know your audience". The cover letter is no exception. The more
evident it is that you know about the firm, the job and the industry, the more seriously you
will be taken as a candidate. Additionally, the more you know, the easier it will be able to
determine which parts of your experience you should highlight.
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Does not tell the reader what he or she already knows. Be careful of tone in cover letters.
Often writers, in an attempt to show knowledge about an area, come across as know-it-alls or
preaching to the choir. Use the knowledge you have to convince the reader of your fit with
the firm rather than trying to display your knowledge through factoids. By all means avoid
ending a paragraph with.'and this is why I feel I am a good fit with the firm'. Let the reader
decide that.
Example of ineffectively using what Example of using what you know to compel
you know.
The consulting industry is one of the I have been most successful in high
fastest growing service industries in the growth and fast-paced environments.
country and good consultants need to This is one of the reasons that I am
be quick on their feet and require strong interested in the consulting industry.
analytical and problem solving skills. I During the take-over of my most
have demonstrated these skills through recent employer, I was selected to solve
several strategic problems involving
Is well-written, free of grammatical and typographical error, and makes a professional
presentation. The cover letter is a representation of your professionalism and attention to
detail. Most people are not good at proofing their own work -- have at least one other person
review your document. ("Spell check" does not count as another person!)

Indicates how and when you will follow up. Never leave the ball in the employers court.
Always indicate when you plan to follow-up and do so without fail. You should make at least
three phone calls before you even begin to feel as though you have followed-up diligently.
LETTERS TO EXECUTIVE SEARCH FIRMS
Letters to executive search firms do not necessarily need to be tailored the way other cover letters
do. You should do some preliminary research to find the firms that specialize in the level of
position you are seeking and in the industries in which you are interested. Once you have done
this you can send a general broadcast letter. This letter should indicate the level of the position
that you are seeking, the type of position you are interested in, and a brief summary of your
experience or outline of your most impressive accomplishments. If you are 100% positive that
you will only accept positions in a certain geographical area or within a particular salary range,
you can indicate your preference in this letter. It is best not to do this, however, if you are not
certain as it will naturally limit the number of opportunities for which you will be considered.
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REQUESTS FOR AN INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW
At the heart of any networking effort is the information interview (also called networking
meetings) as discussed in the Market Research chapter (Chapter Three) of this guide. Letters
regarding informational interviewing can be correspondence requesting a meeting or can simply
inform the reader that you will be contacting him or her and why. The emphasis of this type of
letter should be a discussion of your Market Research efforts, your desire for an exchange of
information, and how you came to be aware of this person as a contact. You can include some
brief information about yourself but this is NOT a sell letter. Resumes do not belong in this type
of correspondence. Remember, the end result of networking is good, substantive information.
This, in turn, if done properly, substantially increases the likelihood of job offers but this is the
desired byproduct of an informational interview, NOT the actual purpose of the event.
THANK-YOU LETTERS
People often question the necessity and appropriateness of thank you letters. Of course, a thank
you letter is always appropriate. Whether or not it is a necessity can be debated, but do not
overlook the impact that a thoughtful, timely thank you letter can have. The most common
question asked about "thank you" letters is whether they should be typed or hand-written. This is
partially dependent on the industry in which you are seeking a position; however, it is almost
always best to err on the side of doing what is typical for business transactions. It is highly
unlikely that a person will find a typed letter inappropriate, especially if the text is personalized,
but some may feel that a handwritten letter lacks professionalism. If you are thanking a contact
that has been particularly helpful to you along the way or someone with whom you have made a
personal connection, you may wish to hand write your thank you letters; this is really a matter of
personal style.
If you met with multiple people during a visit to a firm, you should thank everyone who took time
out of their day to meet with you. Do not ask the most senior level person to thank his or her
staff for you and definitely do not write thank you letters to senior people and ignore the more
junior people. Never make assumptions about how much power a person has in the decision to
hire you.
Make a point, whenever possible, to make notes right after each interview about the topics you
discussed with your interviewer. This will help you personalize your letters. Make sure to keep
these notes because often the wait between your interviews and job offer can be lengthy. Keeping
up a correspondence with the people you met is a great way to keep you in their thoughts. For
example, send a brief note along with a copy of an article about a topic you and your interviewer
discussed.
E-mail is a standard part of everyday business life, and is an appropriate way to send a "thank
you" letter. It is recommended that if you send an electronic "thank you" letter that you follow up
with a hard copy letter as well. As always, one must take cues from the company. To a high tech
firm, email might be the only way to correspond. More important, in a quick turnaround
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situation, a well placed "thank you" e-mail immediately following the interview can make a
difference.
Timely and personal "thank-you" letters indicate your enthusiasm for the position and say
something about your ability to follow-up. While this is unlikely to be enough to convince
someone to hire you if your interview didnt go well, it can differentiate you if you are one of the
top few candidates.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JOB SEARCH LETTERS
Below is a list of the most common questions about cover letters and recommendations on how to
handle them. The list is provided in hopes of easing some of your nagging concerns. Please keep
in mind, however, that many of these questions are the result of putting an emphasis on the wrong
piece of the cover letter campaign. It is easy to obsess over the color of the paper or the format
of the cover letter instead of putting time into the research and writing that make a cover letter
truly effective. It is hoped that these responses to some of the more common issues will help you
spend more time on creating a quality written document. Additionally, there is a fine line between
appropriateness and expressing personal style. Just like most things in life, cover letters are open
to interpretation and for every person you find that believes you should do something one way,
you will find another who believes the opposite. The most important factor is that you know
what is acceptable within the industries to which you are applying and that you feel comfortable
with your presentation.
What type of paper should I use? You should use a high quality paper that fits into your
budget and that you find appealing. Watermarked paper is not necessary - in fact, keep in mind
the capability of your printer when you are choosing the thickness of the paper. Matching
envelopes, resume, and cover letter paper make a professional presentation. It is almost always a
good idea to err on the conservative side and use white, cream, or a light gray stationery.
If presentation is so important, doesnt it make sense for me to send my resume in an 8.5 x
11 envelope so it doesnt arrive with creases? You may do this if you wish. However, hiring
managers are used to receiving correspondence in a traditional letter envelope, and it is unlikely
that creases will be a differentiating factor.
If my printer doesnt do envelopes, is it OK if I hand-write the address on the envelope?
Typed is always better as this is standard operating business practice. However, it is likely that
the person to whom you addressed your letter will not be the person who opens the envelope. If
you REALLY have no way to access a printer that will print on envelopes (most copy shops
could probably help you out) then print out the address on a paper that is the same color as the
envelope and tape it neatly to the envelope.
In what format should my cover letter be? A quick look at any cover letter manual will show
you that there is a diversity of acceptable styles and formats. Business letter format is typically
block rather than indented paragraph, and unless you are writing a letter to a personal contact, it
is better to stick with business letter format. In the last decade or so it has become acceptable to
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put your return address on the bottom underneath your name or as a header as you would on your
resume. Some people prefer to have all address information on the left, some on the right. Pick a
format you are most comfortable with and stick to it. It is appropriate to indicate that you have
included other documents with the letter by printing Enclosure at the bottom of the cover letter
underneath your name.
What do I do if an advertisement requests salary requirements? There is a calculated risk
you take with either option to this dilemma. Until you have had the opportunity to ask specific
questions about the position, it is unlikely that you have enough information to know the market
value of the job or how much your experience is worth to the firm. Unless you are absolutely
unwilling to entertain an employment offer that is less than a certain salary, it is not a good idea to
provide employers with salary requirements at this stage. In some cases, however, you might be
pulled from consideration if you do not provide the requested information. You have to decide
what the safer risk is: taking yourself out of the running by pricing yourself out of the job or low-
balling yourself, or not providing the information and being omitted from consideration. The
more experience you have that is directly related to the job, the more likely you are to get away
with not providing the information. Another option for handling this issue is to reiterate your
strong interest in the position and indicating that salary is negotiable. If you feel compelled to at
least partially comply, provide a salary range and make it a wide one.
CONCLUSION
The time commitment involved in developing tailored, thoughtful cover letters is significant, but it really
does pay off. Good resumes, cover letters, and follow-through are bound to get results -- interviews.
The next chapter will provide an in-depth look at the interview process.
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SAMPLE LETTERS
The following letters have been provided to you as a guide. They are especially helpful in
providing a sense of appropriate flow and tone. Obviously, borrowing liberally from the text of
any of these letters is counter-productive and inappropriate. Additionally, tone and form in cover
letters are highly related to your own personal style. A number of samples have been provided to
get you started, but these are not meant to be taken as the way to approach cover letter writing.
There are myriad of other resources in which you can find letters suited to your particular job
search situation. Additional resources are listed at the end of this section.
Please note that the cover letters provided here represent the American style of cover letter
writing. It would be impossible to provide examples of letters representing the norm for all the
cultures in which Wharton students and alumni seek jobs. Knowing what is appropriate for the
culture in which you are seeking a job is an imperative part of your Market Research efforts.
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Sample Cover Letter - First Contact
Date
Ms. Jane Nick
V.P., Recruiting
Bear, Steams & Co., Inc.
300 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10167
Dear Ms. Nick:
I am very interested in becoming a member of the team at Bear Steams. Before obtaining my
MBA from Wharton, I worked my way through college selling books door-to-door with the
Southwestern Company. During my five years with Southwestern, I consistently placed as a top
salesperson in the nation and successfully managed large sales organizations. In order to prepare
for a career in investment banking, in 1992 I moved to Chicago and earned a position with
Houlipan Lowkey & Zufin through a self-initiated job search. My two years with Houlipan
Lowkey provided me with first-hand experience in the financial advisory business. In addition, by
following a self-initiated study schedule, I passed both the CPA exam and the first two levels of
the CFA exams.
I would like to pursue my interests at Bear Steams in sales and trading and feel confident that my
perseverance, sales skills, and financial expertise will make me a contributor. At the end of the
month I will be in New York City and would appreciate being able to meet with you at that time.
I will call you on Tuesday to see if there is a convenient time for us to meet. Thank you for your
time. I look forward to meeting you.
Sincerely,
Joe Knows
Enclosure
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Sample Cover Letter - First Contact
Date
Ms. Diane Recruiter
10 Palm Lane
India, FL 78652
Dear Ms. Recruiter:
After nine years of experience in the real estate industry, I have come to appreciate the essential
role financing plays in each stage of a complete business cycle, and the tremendous opportunities
that are available to those with access to capital. I plan to work for a firm that has the resources
to take advantage of these opportunities. I believe that BNK is one of these firms.
I will bring the following skills to your company:
Extensive experience in financial analysis, debt, and equity financing
Understanding of value and operation of real estate through hands-on experience.
Work experience as a broker, developer, contractor, consultant and owner.
Experience writing investment packages and leading project teams.
I am eager to discuss my interest in your firm with you and will call your assistant early next week
to determine a convenient time for me to call you. I look forward to our discussion.
Sincerely,
Lou Talles
Enclosure
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Sample Cover Letter - First Contact
Date
Ms. Diane Sharp
Fluke Investments
Domestic Equity Services
82 Devon Street
Boston, MA 02109
Dear Ms. Sharp:
I have a tremendous passion for equity markets. In the past, I have invested in First Investments
because it is the most renowned mutual fund organization in the world with the finest managed
portfolio funds. Now, I would like to join the best and am confident that I can convince you that
I can make an immediate contribution to Fluke.
My refined analytical and communication skills and enthusiasm for and fascination with the
market make me an ideal candidate for this position. At Blook Bank, I analyzed the mortgage
industry and valued our competitors business to convince management to further invest in the
division. In my previous experience at Priceless Water, I developed numerous client presentations
and regularly interacted with client management. Since I began actively investing in my own
portfolio, I have been intrigued by the stock market. Through these activities I have confirmed
that I want to make a career out of what has been a serious hobby.
With my distinct interest in equity research and related experience, I am certain that I can make an
immediate impact at Fluke. I would appreciate the opportunity to further discuss my
qualifications with you. I will be in Boston at the end of the month and would most appreciate a
short meeting. I will call you next week to schedule a time that is convenient for you.
Sincerely,
Jake Nook
Enclosure
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Sample Cover Letter - Request for On-Campus Interview
Date
Mr. Hector Fahrquarson
Dewey, Cheatum and Howe
123 45
th
Street
New York, NY 10001
Dear Mr. Fahrquarson:
I am a First Year MBA student at The Wharton School who would like to be considered for your
Investment Trading interview schedule on February 2, 2000. Having had the chance to learn
more about DC&H through your presentations and 'brown bag' lunches this semester really
piqued my interest in the firm. Your growing presence in the emerging debt equity market is
exciting to me because it is a field in which I would like to work.
My experience in sales strengthened my powers of observation and communication, as well as
teaching me the value of anticipation and decisiveness. These are all attributes I have learned that
a good Investment Trader possesses. I feel that I am honing my quantitative and analytical skills
in the coursework at Wharton. I find it challenging and most enjoyable. I look forward to a long
career as an Investment Trader.
I would appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the team at Dewey, Cheatum and Howe next
summer. I look forward to speaking with you or your representative on February 2. In the
interim, please feel free to call me with any questions.
Sincerely,
Lester L. Price
Enclosure
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Sample Cover Letter - Following up on a Referral
3514 Lancaster Avenue, #318
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Date
Ms. Rachel Brown
Coordinator University Relations
Nabco, Incorporated
2 Forest Avenue
Hanover, NJ 07936
Dear Ms. Brown:
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to discuss opportunities at Nabco with Shelia June, a fellow
alumna of the Wharton School. I sought Ms. June out because for some time I have been
impressed with your firms products and its aggressive marketing techniques. I wanted to know
more about what it is like to work at Nabco. What I found most appealing about the information
Ms. June shared with me is that Nabco offers significant responsibility while also providing a very
team-oriented, education-rich environment. I am very interested in being a part of Nabco and feel
that I have a great deal to offer you.
My four years of work experience in marketing and operations has allowed me to refine my
leadership and analytical skills, along with my abilities to think strategically. In my current position
as Brand Manager at Priggle & Gobbie, I have managed multiple product launches and have been
rewarded for my ability to meet deadlines and supervise cross-functional groups. I have been
promoted four times in five years. I am interested in applying my marketing expertise to Nabcos
products.
I feel that my combination of experiences will allow me to be immediately productive and to make
a significant long-term contribution at Nabco. I would be pleased to have an opportunity to
further discuss my qualification with you in person. I will call you next week to arrange a mutually
convenient time to meet. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Betty Lou Broom
Enclosure
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Sample Cover Letter - Following up on a Referral
Zeek Drambuie
19 Oak Lane
Cincinnati, OH 34543

Date
Ms. Pat Stilles
Partner
HC Consulting
21 Yells Dr.
Chicago, IL 23453
Dear Ms. Stilles:
I was given your name by Charles Schrabner, an acquaintance of mine, who suggested I write to
you regarding my interest in the healthcare consulting division of your firm. During my four years
providing and managing health care delivery, I have gained insights into how hospitals, like many
businesses, attempt to deal with changes, such as adverse regulation, increasing costs, and
consolidation pressures. I would like to use this expertise in a consultants role. I am attracted to
consulting because I thrive on problem solving, insist on new challenges on a regular basis, love to
travel and have a true passion for helping multiple healthcare organizations run more efficiently. I
am specifically interested in your firm because of its sterling reputation in the healthcare industry.
I have the analytic, creative problem solving talents, and interpersonal skills essential to an
effective consultant. For example, as a team leader of several health care research teams, I
creatively enhanced research efficacy by improving accuracy (20% percent increase) through
implementation of new administrative procedures and written guidelines. I managed a great deal
of change within my department while establishing productive and satisfying relationships with
department heads, as well as with peers and technicians. I have a broad based healthcare
background that would allow me to contribute immediately to your clients projects.
I am sincerely interested in becoming a member of your team. I will call you on Wednesday to
arrange a time when it would be convenient for us to further discuss my qualifications.
Sincerely,
Zeek Drambuie
Enclosure
Sample Cover Letter - Following Up After Meeting
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2 Bark Lane
Embarcadaro, CA 19874
Date
Mr. Dean Fells
Senior Vice President
Deffo Company
234 High Street
San Francisco, CA 19876
Dear Mr. Fells:
I enjoyed meeting you at the National Marketing Association Conference and
discussing our views concerning the people skills required to successfully handle
clients and address their needs. We spoke about challenging opportunities offered in
your Marketing Division, and I would like to reiterate my interest in working for you.
As a founder of the Marketing and Client Service Department for Deffo Company, I
created a marketing strategy for the firm, directed administrative procedures, and
designed new services for our customers. In carrying out these activities, I
demonstrated the innovativeness which exemplifies Deffo. Furthermore, these
responsibilities sharpened my skills in dealing with clients needs, personalities, and
specific demands. I understand the vital role sensitivity to the marketplace has played
in Deffos ability to acquire and maintain its leadership position in its Middle Market and
I feel my background displays the skills you are looking for.
May I take you up on your kind offer to visit you? I would welcome the opportunity to
further discuss my interest and experience in greater detail. I will call you at the end of
the week to determine when a meeting would be most convenient for you.
Sincerely,
Anita Jobs
Enclosure
Cover Letter - Responding to an Advertisement / Job Posting
83
Date
Ms. Gabriele Greene
Vice President, Investment Banking
FBS Corporation
Park Plaza
New York, NY 1055
Dear Ms. Greene:
I read with great interest your advertisement for a new member of your investment
banking team in the December 1, xxxx Wall Street Journal. I am impressed with FBS
Corporations leadership position in the Global Investment Banking industry and would
like to pursue a career with your organization.
As a business engineer who has been fascinated with and involved in advising clients
and structuring financial solutions that satisfy their needs, an organization such as FBS
would provide a rich and fertile environment for my diverse skills. My various
professional and academic experiences have prepared me well for an active role in an
Investment Banking team. My engineering background provided me with strong
quantitative and analytical skills. By founding a company, I have honed my
entrepreneurial skills and have gotten sound and concrete experience in risk analysis.
I am intrigued by the many innovative financial solutions that continue to drive the
industry, and am excited about being involved in tackling challenging projects in a team
environment.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my experience and interest in FBS in
greater detail. I plan to be in New York City in January. I will call you at the beginning
of the month to arrange a meeting. I wish you a pleasant and healthy holiday season
and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Estelle Star
Enclosure
Cover Letter - Responding to an Advertisement / Job Posting
84
Date
Mr. Allan Driek
Vice President
Dake Company
112 Lake Street
Detroit, MI 23453
Dear Mr. Driek:
I am replying to your advertisement for a Senior Consultant in your transportation
practice. As the following highlights, my experience matches this positions
requirements:
YOUR REQUIREMENTS MY QUALIFICATIONS
2-6 years experience in the transportation 4 years experience at
or related field. the second largest shipping
company in the U.S.
Functional experience in strategic planning, Completed 3 year rotational
logistics, finance, operations, marketing. program covering all of these
areas. Since completion of
program, spent 1 year
specializing in Financial Planning
and 3 in Logistics/Operations.
Strong analytical, communication and MBA in Finance from Wharton,
computer skills. extensive experience in client
relationship/development,
knowledge of multiple computer
speadsheet packages.
I have greatly enjoyed my years at FBS Shipping but find the idea of using what I have
learned about this dynamic industry in an ever-changing client environment appealing.
The enclosed resume outlines my experience to date. I believe that there is a terrific
match between my qualifications and your needs. Id like to take the opportunity to
discuss this with you in person and will call you in a few days to set up a meeting.
Sincerely,
John Doe
Enclosure
Sample Cover Letter - Requesting an Informational Interview
85
Date
Mr. Smith
Title
Address
Dear Mr. Smith:
During my research about the effectiveness of direct mailing I came across your name as a leader in
assisting companies with direct mail marketing. Currently I work at a small cosmetics firm. One of
my recent projects was assisting in the development of a direct mail system to potential customers.
This project piqued my interest in direct mail and I would like to apply my previous marketing
experience to helping firms better utilize this dynamic marketing tool.
As I begin my job search in this area, I am gathering as much information and advice, as possible
and I know I could greatly benefit from your experience and knowledge. I will be in Connecticut in
the next two weeks; perhaps we could meet briefly. I would value any advice you can give me on
resume development and firms that might be interested in my qualifications and appreciate any
amount of time you can give me. I will call your office next week to see if there is a convenient
time for us to meet.
Sincerely,
Joan Carter
Enclosure
86
Sample Cover Letter to an Executive Search Firm
Date
Ms. Executive Recruiter
Spindel, Way and Likey
Address
Dear Ms. Recruiter:
I am seeking a senior management level position in finance. I understand that your firm
specializes in placing executives in the financial arena. Perhaps one of your clients has a need for
an executive with the following to offer:
Twelve years experience in finance, with expertise in acquisition analysis, corporate
accounting, financial reporting systems and broad-based financial management
Eight years of management experience, leading groups of up to 45 and supervising up to 30
employees
Experience in the financial management of down-sizing and mergers
An MBA in finance from the Wharton School
I currently report to the CFO at DFR Corporation and there is little upward movement. I enjoy
working for DFR but I am ready for new challenges and am prepared to be a CFO or the
equivalent. If one of your current or future clients has a need for someone with my experience it
would be my pleasure to hear from you. I can be reached confidentially through my voice mail at
(222) 111-1111.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Jill Waters
Enclosure
87
Thank - You Letter - After Interview
Date
Mr. Bill Bob
BYOB Company
1234 Nob Rd.
Dear Mr. Bob:
Thank you for the time you took to meet with me on Monday. I was truly energized by our
conversation. The people that I met during my visit and your description of the firm and the
position have convinced me that BYOB Company is the place for me. I hope that I also left you
convinced that I can make an immediate contribution.
In addition to my six years of marketing experience that we discussed in detail, I did not have an
opportunity to mention that I received an award for implementing Didbob Companys first direct
mail campaign that is credited with a 25% increase in the companys sales. I know that BYOB
does not currently engage in direct mail marketing but after our conversation about the firm I
think it is an excellent candidate for this venue. I would love the opportunity to share my
knowledge with you.
As you can tell, I am very interested in this position, and would like to be a member of the BYOB
team. If I can provide you with any further information about my candidacy, please do not
hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Joan Tell
Enclosure
88
RESOURCES
Job Search Letters That Get Results, Ronald and Caryl Krannich. 1995
Cover Letters That Knock em Dead, Martin Yate. 1992
Knock em Dead: The Ultimate Job Seekers Handbook, Martin Yate. 1995
The Perfect Cover Letter, Richard Beatty. 1989
Cover Letters That Will Get You the Job You Want, Stan Wynett, 1993
201 Killer Cover Letters, Sandra Podesta & Andrea Paxton, 1996
http://www.golden.net/~archeus/covlet.htm#Guide Archeus Cover Letter Resources. On-line
advice and sample cover letters.