Writing Your Cover Letter
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What is Job Search Correspondence?
It's simple. Job search correspondence is any type of letter you write and send to a prospective employer when you are looking for a job. It is one way of communicating with the employer, usually in the early stages of your job search . The types of job search correspondence vary.
Your search for a full-time, part-time, summer job or internship will be greatly enhanced by the use of professionally prepared job search correspondence. Here is a guide to the likelihood that you will need to prepare job search correspondence according to the type of job you might be looking for:
|Type of Job||Use of Correspondence|
Since job search correspondence is considered "business correspondence," you may have to learn a few rules before attempting to prepare such a letter, especially if you have little experience with this type of correspondence. On the other hand, if you have had to prepare business correspondence at some time in your life, you may already know the rules. In either case, review these rules before you begin writing.
A business letter is often your first point of contact with an employer. As such, it needs to represent you in a positive light, set the tone for future contacts, and be consistent with standard business practices.
Tips for Presenting Yourself Positively
You will be judged on the format, content and appearance of your letter. Gain the extra "points" this will earn you toward landing the job you want.
- Use language that is grammatically correct. Have your letter proofread if you have any doubts.
- Ensure correct spelling. Always spell check your letters; then read them over for words that are spelled correctly, but used inappropriately (i.e. "there" instead of "their").
- Adopt a businesslike tone. Avoid the use of contractions (i.e. use "she is" instead of "she's"). Avoid slang (i.e. "It would be way cool to work for your company.")
- In planning your correspondence, it is to your advantage to learn as much as possible about the position and the organization. To do so you should read the organization's recruiting literature, annual reports and job descriptions. Good sources for you to explore in completing your research are your local library (look for newspaper or magazine articles about the organization), employees or former employees of the organization, and the organization's website.
- Produce a visually appealing business formatted letter that is error-free.
- Laser print your letter on your original resume quality paper. Use a matching envelope and type the address.
- Individually write each cover letter to show a sincere and specific interest in the organization. Your goal is to show the employer that you are the best candidate for the job. A form letter implies a lack of interest.
- Address your cover letter to a specific person. If you don't know who this person is, find out. Call the switchboard operator or receptionist at the organization and ask for the name, correct spelling, and the title of the appropriate person. Many readers take offense to standardized greetings such as "Dear Sir/Madame."
- If you are responding to an advertised opening, be sure to use the language and qualifications listed in the advertisement. Comparing the skills you already possess with those that appear in the advertisement can be a persuasive and effective technique for getting the reader's attention.
- Be optimistic and energetic in your tone and support your claims with specific examples.
- Use active voice and action verbs. (Check out the list of action words in the CCS resume webpage.)
- Keep the reader's interest by varying sentence structure and length.
- Each paragraph should have a minimum of two sentences.
- Continually revise your draft until you are satisfied that this is the best statement you can make.
- Keep a copy of your letters for future reference.
Types of Letters
Used to apply for an advertised opening; identifies the opening and describes the skills and abilities you possess in relation to the job duties. Sample
Used to present your qualifications to an employer you would like to work for but who has not advertised an opening; allows you to make your qualifications known to someone who may have a future opening. Sample
Necessary when using a referral source to introduce yourself to a prospective employer; the type of letter you would use if your uncle suggests you write to his cousin who is a recruiting manager at a company in which you have an interest. Sample
Confirming in writing the time, date and place of an upcoming interview.
Interview Thank You/Interest
Expresses your appreciation for a recent employment interview and stresses your continued interest.
Interview Thank You/Decline
Expresses your appreciation for a recent employment interview and removes yourself from further consideration. Sample
Confirms in writing that you intend to accept a job offer made to you by an employer; also confirms your start date and salary. Sample
Confirms in writing that you decline to accept a job offer made to you by an employer; often such a letter leaves the door open for future jobs. Sample
There are various types of prompt letters; they are usually used to stimulate action or a decision on the part of the employer after you have in initiated contact. Sample
Cover Letter Example
Formatted in modified block style
Admissions Counselor Cover Letter and Resume Examples
Here's an example of a cover letter for an admissions counselor position. Also, see below for a resume for the same position.
Admissions Counselor Cover Letter Example
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,
I would like to express my strong interest in the admissions counselor position at ABC University’s School of Business, as listed on highereducationjobs.com. I am confident that my experience as an admissions counselor and my abilities as a project manager make me an ideal candidate for the position.
I have been working in admissions for the past five years and am therefore extremely confident in my ability to meet your requirements. As an admissions counselor for XYZ College, I recruit, process, and evaluate over 8,500 applicants each year. By thoroughly analyzing candidates and conducting dozens of informational sessions and seminars, I successfully contributed to the rise in student retention by over 15% this past year. I am also particularly familiar with MBA admissions and recruiting, having worked as a graduate assistant in the Greenfield University Business School. I am thus a skilled admissions counselor who is familiar with your particular needs.
I also have the project management experience that you request in your job application. For example, I am currently responsible for organizing and overseeing XYZ College’s annual Welcome Accepted Candidates Day. This job involves selecting and managing caterers, event spaces, professors, and student volunteers.
I have successfully run this event for the past two years, and therefore know I have the attention to detail and commitment to quality that you require in an admissions counselor.
I am confident that my years of experience in admissions (particularly business school admissions) and my skill as a project manager would make me an asset to your fine admissions team at ABC University’s School of Business.
I have enclosed my resume and will contact you next week to see if we might find a time to speak together. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Admissions Counselor Resume Example
4179 Allen Rd, Apt 7, Wilmington, DE 01887
Detail-oriented Admissions Counselor with a record of success in recruiting, evaluating, and accepting applicants for a competitive liberal arts college with over 8,500 applicants. Experienced in using strong oral and written communication skills to develop and lead presentations, information sessions, and training seminars.
Admissions Counselor, ABC College, May 20XX - present
- Recognized along with admissions team for increasing retention rates among freshman by 10% in 2008 due to thorough analysis of applicant materials and follow-up with accepted candidates.
- Develop and present seminars about ABC College at over 50 high school and community college events.
- Conduct dozens of informational sessions with parents, students, and counselors on the admissions process.
- Plan and implement training programs for internal and external staff members related to Admissions initiatives.
Registrar Assistant, ABC College, August 20XX – May 20XX
- Maintain student academic records for over 4,000 students.
- Manage all OCICU registration and correspondence.
- Resolve student and faculty issues regarding records and registration.
- Recruit, hire, and train 10 college interns annually.
Bachelor of Arts, Spanish, ABC College, 20XX
Magna Cum Laude
- Experience with SIS and Campus Vue, and proficient in Microsoft Office, (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
- Fluent in Spanish
Sending an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message:
Subject: Admissions Counselor Position - Your Name
Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information.
Start your email message with the salutation. Here's an example of a formatted email cover letter.
More Sample Cover Letters
Cover letter samples and templates for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including entry-level, targeted and email cover letters for many different jobs.
Please Note: This sample is provided for guidance only. The provided information, including samples and examples, is not guaranteed for accuracy or legality. Letters and other correspondence should be edited to fit your personal situation.