Miami University � Career Development Series � Office of Career Services
Cover Letters &
Throughout the course of your job search, you will be
in constant contact with prospective employers. You
will be evaluated on your ability to present yourself as
a good communicator who is capable of contributing
your skills to an employing organization.
Presenting yourself effectively “on paper” is an
important and ongoing process during the job search.
While this is accomplished in part with a well-written
resume, a variety of correspondence is also necessary
in virtually all job-search campaigns. Whether
you are asking for an interview or accepting a job
offer, appropriate and effective correspondence will
significantly enhance your likelihood of success.
Cover letters are similar in purpose to resumes: they
are designed to generate interviews and, ultimately, job
offers. Your letters must command the favorable attention
and positive response of prospective employers. With
this in mind, it is important from the outset to understand
the importance of preparing “original” correspondence
for each prospective employer. Mass-produced letters
are simply unacceptable. True, individually-typed
correspondence is more time-consuming, but it is well
worth the effort. Personalize your correspondence
as much as possible, and avoid sending photocopied
form letters. In some cases, a telephone call or personal
visit may be made in addition to correspondence. While
these methods may be effective, they do not, and should
not, take the place of writing individual letters. The time
and effort you take to personalize your correspondence
will pay substantial dividends.
STRUCTURE OF CORRESPONDENCE
Your letter-writing should follow the principles of proper
English usage and effective business correspondence.
Generally, it is best to use simple and straightforward
language in communicating your message. Be direct