Types of Letters/Correspondence:
- Cover Letter: Accompanies your resume when you apply for a position.
- Acceptance Letter: Written to accept a job offer and confirm the terms of employment.
- Withdrawal Letter: Graciously informs an employer that you are withdrawing your application from further consideration.
- Informational Interviewing/Networking Letter: Attempts to expand your network and gain insight into a specific job function, industry, or company.
- Thank You Letter: Expresses appreciation to anyone who has helped you in connection with your job search. In the case of a job interview, it is an opportunity to reinforce your interest in the position, clarify something that you said during the interview, or highlight something that you failed to mention.
- Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose is sometimes requested for formal applications. A well-written statement will articulate your intent for applying, future aspirations, and learning objectives; it will also showcase your personality through its writing style.
Tip: Proofread Carefully - Errors can be “Deal-Breakers.”
Addressing the Letter
Address the letter to a specific person rather than “To Whom It May Concern.” If you do not have a name, call the organization to try to get one. Be sure you have the person’s full name, correct spelling of their name, and current title.
All letters require your return address, including telephone number and e-mail address, the date, and the full name, title and address of the recipient. Start each letter with a salutation (i.e., Dear Ms. Employer:). If you are unsure about the recipient’s gender, type out the full time (i.e., Dear Pat Pollen:). Close your letter with Sincerely, Yours truly, or Best regards, followed by four returned blank lines and your typed name. If you are submitting a hard copy use resume-quality paper, and sign each letter individually. Make sure the letter looks professional. Align all of your information to the left margin, and use a clear, easy to read font (Arial or Times New Roman).
In general, your letter should contain no more than three to four paragraphs, with double space between paragraphs. The introductory and concluding paragraphs should be between one and three sentences, and the body paragraphs should be between three and five sentences. Vary the sentence length and structure throughout your letter to ensure a smoother flow.