Letters and Email
|You will send a number of letters during your job search campaign – perhaps a large number.|
You will probably be answering ads, contacting recruiters, contacting old friends, making new networking contacts, confirming appointments and, in the end, thanking everyone who has helped.
In this chapter we will concentrate on the most common types of letters and give you pointers on how to best accomplish the objectives of these types of letters you will be writing during your search.
A later chapter deals with networking, and the reasons for writing these letters the way we suggest will become more apparent when we get into that material.
The best way to present your resume to a company is individually, not in a tall stack of resumes. You are in a very competitive process when you answer an ad – that is why only answering ads is a slow way to obtaining your next position. It is far better to network your way in or at least get your resume on the hiring manager’s desk by itself instead of in a large stack. But many times you may also want to answer an ad, perhaps as an additional step or because the ad is blind.
Ad Response Letter outline
The first paragraph should clearly state the advertised position title
and where you saw the ad (publication name and date). Express your
interest in the position and mention that the position closely matches
The second Paragraph should present your qualifications as they match the requirements for the position. Since the initial screener may be less than qualified to evaluate your resume, the “T” style paragraph works well. Set up two columns headed “Your Requirements” and “My Qualifications.” Then list each requirement and next to it state your matching qualification. This process leads the inept screener to quickly discover that you should be kept in the “keeper” stack.
The third paragraph should again express your interest in the position and request an interview or meeting. State when you will follow up (if it is not a blind ad) and put it on your calendar. Following up will greatly increase your chances of being considered further.
Thank you / follow up letters
Always follow up any networking meeting, interview or rejection letter with another letter of your own.
After a networking meeting, send a letter to thank the contact for their time and the information they provided. Restate any information or contacts they gave you and state what you will be doing to follow up on that information. Close by letting them know you will get back to them later and let them know what happens in this follow up and that you will also let them know when you conclude your search.
When sending email, be as careful in its construction as you would a
letter. Email tends to be less formal but don’t allow yours to become
When you add an attachment keep in mind that many people do not open attachments unless they believe it is safe to do so. Therefore, do not use attachments in an email to someone you do not know. Instead you can paste your resume into the body of an email as a text file.
When you do attach your resume to your email, a Rich Text Format (RTF) file is an effective format. You can save your resume in an RTF file with the “Save As” option under “File” on the MS Word Menu bar.