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Cover Letters and Other Job Search Correspondence
In addition to your resume, two other forms of business correspondence are necessary during your job
search: cover letters and thank you notes.
9 Cover letters serve to introduce you to a potential employer. Take this opportunity to state your
specific interest in a particular firm or organization and to highlight aspects of your background which
make you the best candidate for the job. This is your chance to direct the employer's attention to your
specific skills and abilities and to encourage a thorough reading of your resume. A well written cover
letter can result in a phone call for a personal interview.
9 Thank you notes are not only a matter of protocol and politeness, but also an opportunity to reiterate
your interest in the job. It is a second opportunity to highlight how you could contribute to the firm and
specific ways you would be of benefit to them. Send thank you notes within a few days of your
interview, via the postal service or email.
Some Basic Guidelines for all of Your Written Correspondence
• Personalize each letter as much as possible. Never send out a photocopied form letter. It can
be easier to prepare a template and then customize from there.
• Keep the letter brief and to the point, preferably three paragraphs. Remember that the reader
might just want to scan for important points.
• Address letters to individual people by name whenever possible (ensuring you have the
correct spelling). Take the time to call and find out the full name and title of the appropriate
person. Avoid "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern". If more than one person has
interviewed you, write separate thank you letters to each person. Send thank you letters by postal
mail or email.
• Avoid too many sentences beginning with the word "I". The focus should be on the firm or
organization. What skills and experiences do you have that will be of value?