Cover Letters and Other Job Search Letters

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Job search letters are used for all parts of the job search process.  Like the resume, there should be no spelling or grammatical errors. Develop each letter individually, and if sending by mail, use the same font on good quality bond paper used for your resume.

Application Cover Letter

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This letter is used when applying to an advertised job vacancy.

  • Tailor the letter for a job with a specific company or organization. Do not write a form letter. Keep the letter business-like, yet personal.
  • Address the letter to a specific person when possible.
  • Print each letter individually on good quality bond paper
  • Proofread to avoid any errors
  • Remember to sign the letter

Prospecting Cover Letter

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This letter is sent to companies or organizations to inquire if there are any vacancies in your area of interest.

  • The structure of the letter is similar to an application letter.
  • This letter should be sent to a specific person in the organization. Ideally, this letter should be sent to the person who has the power to hire. If this is not available send it to the Director of Human Resources.
  • Research the qualifications for the occupations you are interested in and highlight those in your letter. This can be done by reviewing advertised job vacancies or using sites like O'NET Online or the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Networking Cover Letter

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This letter is sent to a variety of individuals you know personally, or who are referred to you.

  • The structure of the letter is similar to an application letter.
  • The purpose is to let them know you are available for employment with their firm or, perhaps, they could pass your name on to another appropriate individual.

Requesting Informational Interview Letter

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Use this letter when requesting an informational interview.

  • Informational interviews are conducted with individuals, who are in jobs you are interested in, for advice on your job search and/or information about the career field.
  • Make sure you ask for only 10-15 minutes of their time and stick to it.
  • Click here for a list of informational interviewing questions.
  • Always send a thank you after the interview.

Thank You Letter

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A thank you letter is used to establish goodwill, to express appreciation and to strengthen your candidacy. 

  • The basic rule is to send a thank you letter to everyone who assists you in any way.
  • When used to follow up on employment interviews, thank you letters should be sent within two days to everyone who interviewed you.
  • Reiterate your interest in a position
  • Draw attention to the good match between your qualifications and the job requirements
  • Express sincere appreciation

Delay Decision Letter

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This correspondence is used to request a delay in making a decision regarding a job offer that was extended to you. There may be times when you will need more time to evaluate all your opportunities to make a more informed decision both for you and the organization.

  • Specify the date on when you wish to respond
  • Briefly explain why you need more time
  • Ask if extension date is convenient for the employer
  • Thank employer for the offer and the interest shown in you

Acceptance Letter

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This correspondence is used to accept a job offer. Terms and conditions of your employment should be stated such as:

  • Acceptance of offer
  • Starting date/time
  • Geographic location
  • Position and title
  • Starting salary

Withdrawal Letter

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If after an interview you decide you do not want to pursue the position, or you have accepted an offer from another company, you have the obligation to contact the employer, and other employers who are seriously considering you for employment, and withdraw your application. Briefly discuss the reason(s) why you are withdrawing your candidacy. It is appropriate to tell the employer that you have accepted a position with another organization. Keep it short and professional.

Rejecting Offer Letter

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Letters of rejection are sent to employers to decline a job offer. Be thoughtful and courteous thanking the employer for the offer, and consideration of you as a candidate.