Format of a Standard Business Letter

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Format of a Standard Business Letter Powered By Docstoc
					Application Letters

     Presented by
    Career Services
   Clarion University
  Purpose of a Cover Letter
• Catch the reader’s attention
• Focus on the employer’s needs
• Persuade the reader of your benefits or
• Convince the reader with evidence
• Move the reader to follow-up with you
  …interview you!
Before you begin to write….
• What are the needs of my audience?
  – Research the employer and position
  – Analyze the job description for knowledge,
    skills, abilities, and experiences required
  – Make a table
    • Employer’s needs vs. your qualifications
Before you begin to write…
• What benefits will my audience gain
  from me?
  – Create a list of your knowledge,
    accomplishments, skills, and experience
  – Select the qualifications that relate to the
    needs of the job to emphasize in your
    cover letter
 Targeting Employer Needs
• Employer needs            • Your qualifications

  – Budget experience         – Treasurer, Accounting Club

  – Accounting coursework     – Accounting major

  – Computer literacy         – Specific software

  – Community service         – Volunteer for Special
     Types of Cover Letters
•   Letters responding to existing
•   Letters mentioning a name or
    – Networking or referral letters)
•   Letters inquiring about possible
    – As a result of research of organization
       Letter Writing Tips
• Address your letters to individuals. Use
• Mention your contacts or connections
• State your objective in the first
  – Employer: “Why are you writing to me?”
• Emphasize your skills
         Tips (continued)
• Quantify your accomplishments
  – In numbers, dollars, or percentages
• Focus on the employer’s needs
• Research the organization and exhibit
  your knowledge in the letter
• Use jargon or terms from your career
  field or “industry”
            Tips (cont.)
• Mention something that sets you apart
  from others
• Accent your strengths…don’t apologize
  for limitations
• Don’t oversell or fib about your
• Be professional
• Show intent to follow up.
• Limit your letter to one page
• Make your letter easy to read
  – One-inch margins
  – Simple fonts
  – Good visual organization
• Use business stationery matching your
  resume paper
           Format (cont.)
• Organize your information
  – Opening paragraph
  – “Qualifications” paragraph/s
  – Closing paragraph
• Use standard business-letter format
• Proofread…proofread…proofread!
   Content –         1st   paragraph
• Tell the reader why you are writing
  – Are you applying to an advertised or
    existing opening?
  – Are you writing to inquire about available
  – Did someone refer you to the reader or
• Indicate how your learned of the
  position and/or organization
              Example 1

I am applying for the analytical chemist
position that was advertised in the March issue
of the American Chemical Society newsletter.
I am interested in research and development
and would like to relocate to the Philadelphia
              Example 2

I noticed your school’s listing in the AAEE
Directory of Public School Systems. I am
interested in moving to the Richmond area,
and I am seeking employment with school
systems there. I hope you can assist me.
   Content –        2nd   paragraph
• Explain why you have targeted this
  particular organization
• Stress what your have to offer
• Identify the parts of your experience
  (paid or non-paid) that relate to position
  – Course work or special class projects
  – Campus activities
  – Internships or field experiences
     2nd   paragraph (cont.)
• Demonstrate your understanding of the
  position’s duties
• State how your qualifications fit the
   Content – 3rd paragraph
• Request an interview appointment, or
  tell the reader that you will contact
  him/her soon in order to see if you can
  schedule a mutually convenient
• Indicate when you would be available
  for an interview.
     3rd paragraph (cont.)
• Include information on how the reader
  can easily contact you.
• Thank the reader for his/her time and
          Letter “Do’s”
• Write an original letter for each
  employer and position
• Proofread for typos
• Run Spell Check on your computer
  before you print your final copy
• Have someone else proof read your
           “Do’s” (cont.)
• Type or computer print envelopes
• Keep photocopies of all materials for
  your records
• Use standard 8.5” x 11” paper
• Select 20 lb. bond paper in white or ivory to
  match your resume
• Follow standard business letter format
• Limit your letter to one page
• Keep a one-inch margin on all four sides
  of the page
• Single space between paragraphs
• A free handout on cover letter writing
  – Online at
• Books with sample cover letters
• A three-ring binder with sample cover letters
  written by Clarion graduates
• Staff members who can review a rough draft
  of your application letter
• Computers with Microsoft Word and a laser
  – Please bring your own paper
     Additional questions?
• The Career Services staff will be happy to
  respond to your application or cover letter
• Contact us at 814-393-2323 or visit
  114 Egbert Hall to schedule an appointment.

Description: Format of a Standard Business Letter document sample