Correspondence with Potential Employers
Although most of your job search letters will be written to seek out employment opportunities, there will be occasions that will require other forms of correspondence. These too should be prepared carefully and professionally.
See the Career and Internship Center Handout for How to Write a Stellar Thank You Letter.
This letter is designed to generate informational interviews - not job interviews. During informational interviews you can meet with individuals who may be able to give you information about your intended career. Informational interviewing is a valuable way to research job markets, define career goals, and possibly uncover vacancy information.
A resume is not typically attached to a networking letter - again your goal with informational interviewing is not to interview for a job, but to gain information that may help you in your job search. However, during your informational interview, you may want to bring your resume in order to assist the interviewer in helping you answer questions or further clarify goals.
Thank You Letters
This is one of the most important, yet least used forms of correspondence. It is used to establish goodwill, express appreciation, and strengthen your candidacy. Make sure that everyone who helps you in your job search receives a thank you letter. When used to follow up a job interview, try to send your thank you letter (or email) within 24 hours.
This letter should be brief and concise. Make sure to restate your interest in the position, reemphasizing your qualifications and expressing your sincere appreciation for the interview.
This letter is used to accept a job and confirm the terms of your employment (salary, starting date, etc.). Most often this letter follows a telephone conversation during which details of the offer and terms of employment are discussed. Some employers will specifically request that you respond in writing. Even when this is not the case, write a formal letter of acceptance to project your professionalism and avoid any confusion about your employment.
Once you accept a position, you have the obligation to inform all other employers of your decision, and to withdraw your application from consideration. Express appreciation for the employer's consideration and state simply and cordially that you have accepted other employment.
Letter of Decline
Employers aren't the only ones who send rejection letters. You may decide to decline job offers that don't fit your personal objectives and interests. Rejecting an offer should be done tactfully and thoughtfully. Indicate that you have given the offer careful consideration and have decided not to accept it. Be sure to thank the employer for the offer and for considering you as a candidate.