JOB SEARCH

CORRESPONDENCE

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I am a senior at the University of Houston) and should explain why you are contacting them. The rules for communicating with employers via email in a job search will also be presented. How you communicate with an employer may have an impact on your job search. knowing how to send correspondence via e-mail or through an online application system is just as important. First Paragraph: Serves to identify yourself (i. whether it was from a friend. whether hard copy or e-mail. you should draft a one page cover letter with the same creativity as the effort put into your resume. It is considered professional business practice to use e-mail etiquette when communicating with business professionals. serves many purposes in a job search. When writing to employers who have indicated specific job openings.” The cover letter serves as a forum to communicate your enthusiasm and professional strengths and to highlight those experiences and interests that make you a unique applicant.”) Display genuine enthusiasm for the position highlighting relevant work experience. address your cover letter to the particular person doing the hiring. education and experiences most relevant to the position without merely rehashing the description in your resume (i.e. an article in the newspaper. job acceptance and/or rejection letters. TYPES OF LETTERS WITH SAMPLES Cover Letters T he cardinal rule in sending out cover letters is very simple: whenever possible. Examples of these letters are illustrated in the accompanying pages. Use good quality stationery and matching envelopes. In addition.. I feel that my experience and academic preparation in _______ will enable me to make an important contribution to the future of “company name. along with explanations of their style and format. An effective job campaign may require a variety of correspondence: cover letters for resumes. Mention how you learned about the organization or the specific job opening. Second Paragraph: Highlights your qualifications.e. a professor or a job posting. Avoid addressing a letter “to whom it may concern.. letters requesting information.JOB SEARCH CORRESPONDENCE INTRODUCTION W ritten communication. make sure to spell-check your letter and proof it for any grammatical errors. 1 . In addition. thank you letters. networking letters. Your cover letter may consist of three to four paragraphs and always should be under one page in length. Focus on how your skills fulfill the employer’s needs.

Third Paragraph: Serves to thank the employer for his/her consideration of you. Cover letters generally fall into two categories: 1. – that show persuasively how well you fit the position. Paragraph 4: Suggest an action plan.) Paragraph 2: Outline your strongest qualifications that match the position requirements. Your strategy is to demonstrate that your qualifications match the requirements of the position. Study the position description carefully and decide on one or more themes – education.This paragraph should also include a sentence or two about why you seek work with this particular employer or organization. as well as the active voice. responsibility. Indicate why the position appeals to you. Show appreciation to the reader for his/her time and consideration. Paragraph 3: Convince the employer that you have the personal qualities and motivation to perform well in the position. Refer to your enclosed resume. Avoid jargon and the passive voice. Identify the position and source of information (placement office. as well as your future value. Repeat terms the employer uses. 2 . Use this type of letter in response to specific job advertisements and vacancy announcements.        Keep the cover letter short and to the point. Use action verbs. Link major job dimensions with your related past performance and experience. experience. As much as possible. etc. Sell yourself. and indicate that you will be calling within the next week regarding the possibility of arranging an interview. newspaper ad. give the employer your telephone number. etc. Always be positive by stressing your past accomplishments and skills. Request an interview and indicate that you will call during a specific time period to discuss interview possibilities. STRUCTURE FOR APPLICATION LETTERS: Paragraph 1: Reveal your purpose and interest. provide evidence of your related experiences and accomplishments. Application Letters – The purpose of the application letter is to get your enclosed resume read and to generate interviews. interests. faculty referral. Don’t try to be cute or too aggressive. Use appropriate language.

2010 Ms. experience. Laura Paige Laura Paige 3 . financial applications software. I am genuinely interested in the position and in working for Atlantic Coast Industries. Virginia Beach. Additionally. I look forward to meeting with you.SAMPLE 1: LETTER OF APPLICATION 1225 Hampton Drive Houston. and career interests. and microcomputers as well as with a variety of software programs and applications. Should you need to contact me. or by e-mail: lpaige@hom.pc. Thank you for your consideration. I understand that the position requires experience in computer systems. Doe: I am applying for the position of systems analyst which was listed with University Career Services at the University of Houston. I shall call you next week to see if a meeting can be arranged. Sincerely. and end-user consulting. I have training on mainframes. With a major in Management Information Systems. TX 77299 June 27. Furthermore. Jane Doe Manager of Human Resources Atlantic Coast Industries. My background and career goals seem to match your job requirements. My practical experience in the University’s computer center as a programmer and student consultant for systems users gave me valuable exposure to complex computer operations. and I am confident that I can perform the job effectively. I worked as a cooperative education student in computing operations for a large bank where I gained knowledge of financial systems. VA 23444 Dear Ms. please feel free to call me at (713) 684-0000. Please consider my request for a personal interview to discuss further qualifications and learn more about this opportunity. The position seems to fit very well with my education. minicomputers. Inc. My enclosed resume provides more details as to my qualifications.

sincerity. a resume is not attached to a networking letter. and to generate interviews. but it remains a viable way to conduct job market research. but your reasons for wanting to meet with a contact person must be genuine and sincere. etc. Letters of Inquiry – The purpose of this letter is to look for possible vacancies in your field.  Please see Sample 3: Networking Letter 4 . it requires solid preparation. e. but instead of using position information.. alumnus of your school. and much effort. to get your resume read.” has been tainted in recent years by job seekers who misuse this approach. Explain your situation briefly. Normally. Information interviewing. mutual acquaintance.which allow you to meet individuals who can give you specific information about your intended career. Information interviewing is not a magic shortcut to employment.g. to refine career goals and to uncover vacancy information in an industry or a specific geographic region. Paragraph 3: Request a meeting at a mutually convenient time and indicate that you will call to make arrangements. Your purpose in seeking information interviews may vary. The networking letter is the first step in the information interviewing process.  Please see Sample 2: Letter of Inquiry Networking Letters T his letter is designed to generate information interviews – not job interviews. or “networking. STRUCTURE FOR NETWORKING LETTERS: Paragraph 1: Make a connection between you and the reader.2. but it may be presented during the interview itself to help the interviewer address your questions. Structure this letter similarly to the application letter. similar interest or background. Paragraph 2: State your purpose without pressuring the reader. Letters of inquiry are used extensively for long-distance searches and to target specific individuals in specific organizations. focus on broader occupational and/or organizational dimensions to describe how qualifications match the work environment.

educ. Watson Enclosure 5 . 2010 Mr. W. I will receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Business this May. Midwest Mercantile emerged as having a strong market position. if you need to contact me. but they don’t tell the whole story. Brown Director of College Recruiting Midwest Mercantile Company 4500 Rankin Road Chicago. Also. and developed further through a variety of sales and retail positions during college. Craig. IL 60601 Dear Mr. My internship with a large department store convinced me to pursue a career in retailing. Brown: I read your company’s description on the CD-ROM program Companies International and would like to inquire about employment opportunities in your management training program. an excellent training program. My education and experience match the qualifications you seek in your management trainees. In the meantime. I would appreciate a few minutes of your time. My interest in business started in Junior Achievement while in high school. In short. by e-mail. I want to work in retail management and would like to relocate to the Chicago area after graduation. Enclosed is my resume for your consideration.SAMPLE 2: LETTER OF INQUIRY 829 Baldwin Avenue Houston. cwatson@pc. my relatively extensive experience gives me confidence in my career direction and in my abilities to perform competently. I realize how busy you must be during this time of year. Timothy S. Sincerely. I know from customer and supervisor feedback that I have the interpersonal skills and motivation needed to build a successful career in retail management. you provide the kind of professional retail environment I am seeking. Thank you for your time and consideration. TX 77067 January 1. When I researched the top retailers in Chicago. however. I will call you during the week of January 22 to discuss employment possibilities. Watson Craig W. and a reputation for excellent customer service. my telephone number is (713) 6268888 or.

English 6 . Sincerely. Paul Hunsaker Jones. Houston. professor of accounting at the University of Houston. suggested that I contact you. James Phillips. 2010 Mr. TX 77000 June 30. He thought that you would be in an excellent position as a UH alumnus to assist me with questions concerning career direction. Hunsaker: Dr. 1400 World Trade Center Houston. English Janis K. however. Smith and Doe. I want to go into my campus interviews next semester with a clear sense of direction. Public accounting. I would like to get your advice on the long-term career implications of each path. I will call you next week to see if we can arrange a brief meeting at your convenience. As an accounting student. and IRS work all sound interesting to me at this point. P. I am exploring which career path to pursue.C. TX 77088 Dear Mr. as well as a better handle on the day-to-day activities of a CPA.SAMPLE 3: NETWORKING LETTER 545 Kenlock St. Janis K. Thank you for considering my request. management accounting.

Diane Doss Diane Doss 7 . send a thank you letter to your host/team leader with a request that your appreciation be conveyed to others who interviewed you. Clark: Your advice was most helpful in clarifying my questions on careers in finance. to express appreciation. I will keep in contact and follow through on your suggestion to see Sara Cook about opportunities with the Evans Finance Corporation. and/or to strengthen your candidacy. In following up a second interview at the plant or office. Brent Clark Evans Finance Corporation 2122 Fountain View Circle Dallas. Thank you very much for taking time from your busy schedule to see me. TX 75222 Dear Mr. I am now reworking my resume and have included many of your thoughtful suggestions. TX 77099 June 1. It is used to establish goodwill. Sincerely. 2010 Mr.Thank You Letters T his is one of the most important yet least used tools in a job search. I will fax you a copy next week. Express your sincere appreciation SAMPLE 4: THANK YOU LETTER (After Informational Interview) 9999 Thompson Lane Houston. Use the letter as an opportunity to: Reiterate your interest in a position Provide supplemental information not previously given Draw attention to the good match between your qualifications and the job requirements.

TX 77030 February 10.SAMPLE 5: THANK YOU LETTER (After a Job Interview or Plant Visit) 2130 Baxter Rd. Frederick Blackburn Frederick Blackburn 8 . Inc. Houston.adm. TX 77001 Dear Dr. Inc. Sincerely. Please feel free to call me at (713) 666-9999 or by E-mail. if you need additional information. I enjoyed meeting with you and learning more about your research and design work. 1220 Main Street. My enthusiasm for the position and my interest in working for Texas Engineering Systems. Julia Edmonds. 2010 Dr. Edmonds: Thank you very much for interviewing me yesterday for the associate engineer position. thank you for the interview and your consideration. I want to reiterate my strong interest in the position and in working with you and your staff. were strengthened as a result of the interview. Again. fblackburn@hm. I think my education and cooperative education experiences fit nicely with the job requirements. Suite 2200 Houston. You provide the kind of opportunity I seek. Director Technical Design Group Texas Engineering Systems. and I’m sure that I could make a significant contribution to the firm.

Diamond Jones Data International Corporation 1212 Corporate Lane Houston.). starting date. Sincerely. 2010 Mr. and will have completed the medical examination and drug testing by the start date. I look forward to working with you and your fine team. and positively reinforces the employer’s decision to hire you.Acceptance Letters U se this letter to accept a job offer and to confirm the terms of your employment (salary. I will report to work at 8:00 a. The position is exactly what I have prepared for and hoped to do. medical examination. I shall complete all employment and insurance forms for the new employee orientation on June 2. Jones: I am writing to confirm my acceptance of your employment offer of May 18. Marc McNeese Marc McNeese 9 . As we discussed. an acceptance letter follows a telephone conversation during which the details of the offer and the terms of employment are discussed. TX 77002 Dear Mr. and I am grateful for the opportunity you have given me. etc.m. Most often. The letter confirms your acceptance of the offer. expresses your appreciation for the opportunity. on June 1. TX 77001 May 20. I feel confident that I can make a significant contribution to the corporation. Houston. SAMPLE 6: ACCEPTANCE LETTER 777 North Shore Dr. Additionally. I appreciate your confidence in me and am very happy to be joining your staff. and to tell you how delighted I am to be joining Data International in Houston.

Melissa Anderson Executive Director New York School of Performing Arts 1 Rockefeller Square New York. I have been exploring several employment possibilities. Thank you very much for interviewing and considering me for your position. I enjoyed meeting you and learning about the innovative community programs you are planning. NY 20001 Dear Ms. It may be appropriate to state that your decision to go with another organization was based on having better person-job fit for this stage in your career. Do not say that you obtained a better job. TX 77777 June 5. Peggy Ware Peggy Ware 10 . Anderson: I am writing to inform you that I am withdrawing my application for the program coordinator position with the New York School of Performing Arts. 2010 Ms. Your withdrawal letter should express appreciation for the employer’s consideration and courtesy. You have a fine school.Withdrawal Letters O nce you accept a position. Sincerely. This week I was offered an administrative position that provides a very good match for my interests at this point in my career. and I wish you and your staff well. you have an ethical obligation to inform all other employers of your decision and to withdraw your employment application from consideration. SAMPLE 7: WITHDRAWAL LETTER 4300 Chester Lane Houston. As I indicated in my interview with you.

MA 02022 Dear Ms. 1801 Boston Avenue Boston. Indicate that you have carefully considered the offer and have decided not to accept it. You should also let the company know if you are not going to accept their offer of a plant visit. but I believe it is the appropriate one for my career at this time. Gordon 11 . I appreciate your discussing the details of the position with me and giving me time to consider your offer. Not to do so may reflect poorly on your university and the opportunities of other UH graduates with that employer. 2010 Ms. It was a pleasure meeting you and your fine staff. Rejecting an employment offer should be done thoughtfully. Also. Candidates may have to decline employment offers that do not fit their career objectives and interests. SAMPLE 8: REJECTION LETTER 3000 Lees Road Apartment 555 Houston. I believe it is in our mutual best interest that I decline your offer. In addition. James L. I want to thank you for the consideration and courtesy given to me. you may at some future time want to go to work for that employer which may not be possible if they have a record that you did not respond to a previous offer. Employers consider it very important that you let them know if you are declining their offer – either of a job or a plant visit. Lorraine Taft Sales and Marketing Division Colonial Properties. However. Sincerely.Rejection Letters E mployers are not the only ones to send rejection letters. be sure to thank the employer for the offer and for consideration of you as a candidate. Taft: Thank you very much for offering me the position of commercial leasing agent with Colonial Properties. This has been a difficult decision for me. TX 77089 May 30. Ltd. You have a fine organization and there are many aspects of the position which are very appealing to me. Gordon James L.

SAMPLE 9: REJECTION LETTER (Response to a Job Rejection) 90001 Gears Road Pasadena. Jarmon Ullman. TX 78701 Dear Mr. I felt particularly good about the professional manner in which you conducted the interview. I believe we would work well together. President Doodlittle Corporation Red River Drive Austin. I will be closely following the progress of your company over the coming months. Ullman: I appreciate your consideration for the research associate position. you may want to consider sending a “thank you and please consider me in the future” letter. Best wishes. Sarah Jane Moore Sarah Jane Moore 12 .If you are rejected by a company in which you are very interested. Sincerely. I learned a great deal about your corporation. and I enjoyed meeting with you and your staff. TX 77556 July 1. Please keep me in mind for future consideration. 2010 Mr. While I am disappointed in not being selected. I have a strong interest in your company.

If an employer e-mails you. and an employer should always follow up a verbal employment offer with a written offer. accept a job offer – it’s important to follow up in writing.TIPS FOR USING E-MAIL IN YOUR JOB SEARCH Follow Instructions Following instructions is crucial when contacting employers for the first time. For example.” Putting information in writing creates a record and can (if worded clearly) protect everyone from confusion and misunderstanding. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday. It won’t help to shoot off a response to someone who just happened to forward the e-mail but isn’t the actual employer. and an e-mail can serve that purpose. Follow the Employers’ Lead If an employer has been communicating with you. but instruct you to e-mail your resume and cover letter to Melissa Peters of ABC Technology. If he/she clearly prefers the phone and there’s no problem reaching each other. make sure to note to whom and how you should respond. The advantage is that you can send your letter out immediately. or other reliable advice. Another option is to do both. But if the employer doesn’t. follow suit. March 7th at 8:00 a. might send you the e-mail. Thank You Letters Via E-mail In most cases. Send an e-mail only when an employer specifically invites or instructs you to do so. may still prefer the more traditional hard copy letter or hand written note because they see it as more personal. you can. Chris Johnson of ABC Technology. Maintain a Written Record If you do something important verbally – like agree upon an interview date and time. Some companies however. Usually an employer will confirm an interview time in writing. verbal conversation. e-mailing a thank you letter to an employer after an interview is appropriate and welcomed. Instructions on how to contact the employer can be found through an employer’s website. then use the phone. If the employer is making a quick hiring decision then an e-mail will be seen sooner than hard copy. following the employers’ instructions. If he or she uses e-mail. otherwise. take your cues from the employer. When reading the e-mail. If time is not an issue you can e-mail a brief thank you and follow up with a hand written note. you are safer sending a resume and cover letter via hard copy. Try to send it within 24 hours after the interview. you can probably respond via e-mail. Example: “Thank you so much for the offer of an interview at your office. job posting.m. 13 . E-mails that have been forwarded to you and or have gone through lots of forwarding may take more time for you to interpret. Read the details so you do the right thing.

you can include something that identifies you (as a job title would) like Finance major at UH. Your signature block: For e-mail letters. Your subject line should be clear and specific. 14 .doc so the employer and the employer’s computer know it’s a Microsoft Word document. The employer will not likely read it or will delete your e-mail." or "Thank you for the Interview 10/4. include the extension . Myresume3. For example: "Application for catering manager position listing 43713.doc works fine. Use the format the employer requests. Using a personal e-mail alias that does not include your name.). JoeSmithResume. Keeping your letter brief and to the point is even more important when corresponding via e-mail. do it. checking for spelling. Ms. An employer may not have time to read through a wordy and lengthy letter. Remember this is still a formal correspondence so be sure to use the appropriate title or salutation (e. e-mail address and phone number(s). again check any instructions the employer has given. like your name and who you are.” Your content: Always use standard business letter protocols. Be sure to proofread. Dr. When attaching an MS Word document. Don’t assume that your reader will open attachments to get basic information that should appear in your e-mail. Mr. Sending and naming attachments: If you’re e-mailing an employer because the employer instructed applicants to do so.Suggestions for Composing Letters in E-Mail Your e-mail alias: For your e-mail alias.. do it (and in your e-mail give a short explanation of what’s attached. Don’t send a . not you. and who it’s from).PDF file to an employer unless you are instructed to do so by the employer. Your subject line: Don’t ever leave your subject line blank. include your first and last name or your first initial and last name. including mailing address.doc might work for you. typos and grammatical errors. Mrs. instead of at the top of the page. but it won’t mean anything or be helpful to the employer. include your address and contact information in a signature block. Name your attachments logically for the recipient. If the employer said to attach a resume.g. why. After your name. Using your UH e-mail address is a good option. If an employer said to attach a cover letter. for example “superfly26” is not appropriate. It should give your full name and full contact information.

A well written e-mail can quickly impress an employer and the reverse is also true. E-mail. Ask a counselor or other qualified person to critique your written materials.uh.english. and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Students. tan. Responsibility for effective communication rests with the writer. or light gray.edu/writecen/  http://www. Use quality rag bond paper. Proofread each letter for content by reading it slowly aloud. and provides these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Retain copies of the e-mail you send and receive.  http://owl. like other forms of written correspondence.purdue. One spelling error is a professional disaster. SUGGESTIONS FOR COMPOSING LETTERS IN HARD COPY U se high-quality stationery and envelopes. Paper may be white. doesn’t reveal your tone of voice.  http://www.php June 2010 15 .Final considerations: Be aware that e-mail is a form of written communication and it creates a written record. Choose your words carefully. RESOURCES The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material. off -white. Don’t let the speed and ease of sending e-mail blind you to the fact that you will be judged on what you say and how you say it. Any student may make an appointment to bring their paper to the Writing Center and receive a consultation.uh. you may need to do more work in clarifying your career direction and in articulating your value to employers.edu/owl/ The Writing Center offers one-on-one consultations where our writing consultants (peer tutors) assist students with their writing assignments.edu/writecen/Resources/index. If you are struggling with your written communications. members of the community. Letters should be typed with a computer or word processor. use spellcheck to identify misspelled words. beige.