Letters to Employers listings both types of cover letters

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Letters to Employers listings both types of cover letters Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                      Simmons College
                                                                                                      Career Education
Letters to                                                                                                 Center

 When applying for a job, don’t rely solely on your resume. A well-written letter can significantly increase your
 success in securing a position by allowing you to emphasize which of your skills will match an individual
 employer’s needs.

TYPES OF LETTERS                             listings, both types of cover letters       TIPS ON WRITING STYLE
USED IN A JOB SEARCH                         should become an integral part of your
                                             job search strategy. The letter of          Cover Letters that demonstrate a
                                                                                         focused job interest are the most suc-
       COVER LETTER                          application will serve you well in
                                             following up on a confirmed opening,        cessful. Employers will be convinced
A cover letter should accompany every
                                             while the letter of inquiry will provide    to interview you by how well you
resume, whether mailed, faxed, or
                                             an excellent method of unearthing           prove you have the skills
emailed. It serves to introduce and
                                             unlisted positions and/or making            for the job.
highlight aspects of your experience
and skills that match an employers’          contacts before openings arise.             The introductory paragraph of your
interests. A cover letter should stimulate      THANK YOU LETTER                         cover letter should identify the job
an employer to read your resume and          An expression of your appreciation for      you seek and your purpose for
invite you for an interview. Recruiters      an employer’s time is a matter of           writing.
verify that the most impressive letters      courtesy. Surprisingly few job seekers      The middle portion of your letter is
are those that indicate a knowledge of       actually follow-up an interview,            the “sales pitch.” You might include
their organization and detail the contri-    information session or other job search     statements that address:
butions that the                             assistance with a thank you letter.         A) Why I really want to work for you.
candidate could offer.                       Those that do, not only impress             B) Why I’m the right choice for the
Do your homework! Researching                employers with their manners, but take          position.
employers before writing letters will        advantage of an opportunity to remind       Both are important, but the bulk of
result in more impressive, individually      an employer of their contact, keeping       your focus should be on “What I can
tailored correspondence. Based on your       their name fresh in that employer’s         do for you,” rather than “What can
knowledge of the employers, you will         mind.                                       you do for me.”
also be able to focus your energies on
those that interest you the most and
                                                  LETTERS OF                             The cover letter should draw attention
eliminate those that look less
                                               ACKNOWLEDGEMENT,                          to your resume without using valuable
promising. The success of a mass mail-
                                                ACCEPTANCE AND                           marketing space to merely repeat it.
ing campaign will pale in
                                                    DECLINE                              The cover letter should expand on
comparison to a well-targeted approach       It is important to put into writing the     important points.
to carefully selected organizations.         terms of your employment decisions.         Highlight your past success with
A cover letter may be written for two        When you have received an offer,            EXAMPLES. Most employers are more
basic reasons:                               confirm in writing the date you agreed      impressed by factual statements than
1. A LETTER OF APPLICATION -                 to reply with a decision. When you          philosophical ideas.
  to respond to a known job                  have accepted an offer, state your          Refrain from using “I” too often.
  opportunity.                               decision in writing along with the terms    Once you have finished your draft,
2. A LETTER OF INQUIRY -                     of acceptance you have agreed on.           read it out loud to check for overused
  to request informational interviews        Even if you decline a job offer, a polite   pronouns and any awkward passages.
  and to investigate potential jobs that     and appreciative letter will maintain the
  interest you.                                                                          Remember that your letter will be
                                             contact you’ve made, leaving the door       viewed as an example of your writing
Since only about 20% of job                  open to future opportunities with that      skills. Carefully check for errors in
seekers obtain positions through posted      organization.                               grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
 PRESENTATION                                                                                     Business Correspondence Format
 Match the font of your resume with            Your Street Address
 that of your cover letter. Although           City, State, Zip Code
                                               Date of Letter
 not required, it creates a visually
 appealing package. Otherwise, print
                                               Employer’s Name and Title
 each letter individually on good
                                               Employer’s Organization
 quality 8 fi” x 11” bond paper.                Employer’s Street Address
 Photocopies and handwritten letters           City, State, Zip Code
 on notepaper are red lights to
 employers. Consider buying paper              Dear Mr./Ms./Dr.________: (Make sure you have the correct spelling)
 and business envelopes (9 fi”) to
                                               IDENTIFICATION: The opening paragraph should state why you are writing. In
 match your resume.                            an application letter, identify the position for which you are applying and mention
 Use proper business correspondence            how you heard of the opening. If you are inquiring about potential openings,
 format. Follow either the letter              indicate the type of jobs you are investigating and why. In a thank you letter, be
 outline on this page, or sample letters       sure to mention the date and nature of your contact with the employer.
 in the CEC, for examples.                     EXPLANATION: The middle paragraph(s) is your chance to sell yourself. Point
 Proofread carefully for typing errors.        out the match between your background and the needs/interests of the organiza-
                                               tion. Use examples from your education and experience to substantiate your
 Your correspondence should be
                                               claims. Be enthusiastic, and confident in your approach. In a letter of
 letter perfect!
                                               application, emphasize skills that are mentioned in the job description. In a letter
 Use a one-page format, with a                 of inquiry, you’ll need to decide which skills to highlight. In a letter of thanks,
 “picture frame” effect, and margins           briefly reemphasize your strengths, cover an important point you may have missed
 of at least one inch.                         in the interview or remind the employer of a topic you discussed together.
 Make sure you have signed your                ACTION: In the final paragraph, wrap up the loose ends through a summary
 name, and have spelled the                    statement or by referring the employer to your resume, then explain what action
 employer’s name correctly!                    you will take next. For a letter of application, indicate your desire for an interview.
                                               In a letter of inquiry, you might ask for a brief meeting, either face-to-face or a
 Sample cover letters are available in         telephone conference. Put yourself in the position of control by suggesting that
 the Career Education Center                   within ten days to two weeks you will phone to make arrangements. Then you can
 MCB, W-109 and at                             call at your convenience when you are prepared for the professional contact.
 www.simmons.edu/resources/career              During an interview you might ask the employer what the next step in the process
                                               would be, so that your closing statement in a thank you letter can follow her/his
 TIPS ON PROFESSIONAL                          lead. Finish the letter by thanking the employer for her/his time and
 ETIQUETTE                                     consideration.
 Address each letter to a specific             CLOSING:
 individual.                                   Sincerely,
 Keep a copy of everything you                 (leave four lines for your signature)
 write.                                        Your named typed
 Take enough time to write letters             (skip a space)
 you can be proud of. A rush job               Enclosure (if enclosing a resume or other supporting documents)
 rarely results in a quality product.

                                                                                                 Simmons College
   The Simmons College Career Education Center                                                   Career Education Center
   is available to students and alumnae/i throughout their careers. Our services include, but    300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115
   are not limited to, workshops on resume writing, interviewing skills, and                     Phone: 617-521-2488
   networking, self-assessment tools, job search strategies, on-campus recruiting,               Fax: 617-521 3172
   career fairs, and private consultations.                                                      Email: careers@simmons.edu
July 2000

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