Job Search Correspondence Letters
There are various types of job correspondence letters such as a thank you letter, follow-up letter, prospecting letter, withdrawal letter, acceptance letter, and rejection letter. The most common correspondence is a cover letter.
Thank you Letter
Thank you letters are commonly written after any and every interaction with a prospective employer. The letter should cover some of the important points from your conversation. Send the letter within 48 hours. Electronic thank you letters are acceptable if most of the communicating has been conducted over e-mail. However, a handwritten note is still always a nice touch. Either way, a thank you letter should be sent.
A follow-up letter is sent to an employer with whom you have already made contact. The goals are to keep your name salient in the recruiter’s mind, the demonstrate initiative, and/or to simply keep in touch for future interactions.
A prospecting letter is used to inquire/prospect about vacancies at an organization. The aim of this letter is NOT to gather information about different job opportunities. Rather, this letter states “Here are my qualifications.” If there is a vacancy in which you are a good match, your letter with “catch his/her eye.” Follow-up is essential!
One of the easiest letters to write, the acceptance letter is very succinct. With the excitement of a job offer try to contain your enthusiasm as you develop a short, simple letter of confirmation.
The withdrawal letter is used to inform an employer that they should no longer consider you a candidate. This letter is written to acknowledge the employer’s efforts as well as decline an offer in a professional manner.
The rejection letter is used when an offer has been extended to you and the decision to decline the offer is made. Generally, this letter is very brief (1-2 paragraphs) and is done in a constructive manner so as to help keep the door open.
Tips for Letters and Correspondence
- Try not to sound too formal or distant in your writing style. Strike a balance between professional crispness and personal warmth when you write your letter. But do NOT use conversational wording.
- If you feel you are lacking specific qualifications for a position, do NOT apologize for what you perceive as a deficiency. Stress your strengths and sound positive and confident.
- Tailor your letter to the needs of the company and the requirements of the position. How will the employer benefit by hiring you?
- Form letters will more than likely not be read. Be sure your original is prepared on the same size and color paper of your résumé.
- Be certain that you use a letter quality printer with a visually appealing typeface. Make certain the font does not look like your cover letter or résumé was typed on a typewriter.
- Try to not use abbreviations in your cover letter except for Mr., Ms., Dr., or Mrs.
- Avoid the temptation to write conversationally, especially in thank you letters.
- Make sure to keep in contact with your network and companies of great interest to you.
- Keep a copy of each letter for your file.
- Proofread your letters!! Be certain that the letter is clean, attractive, and accurate.