Preparing a resume


Job Search Letters

Job search letters are used to communicate specific information to an employer. There are several types of job search letters.

Cover Letters

The cover letter is a standard business letter that accompanies a résumé. There are two basic types of cover letters:

  • A letter of inquiry is used to contact an employer where no known opening exists. It communicates an interest in the organization and requests an opportunity for an interview for an appropriate position. The letter of inquiry is valuable for developing contacts in organizations you have targeted as being of interest to you.
  • A letter of application expresses your interest in a specific position known to be open in an organization. It includes pertinent details about your qualifications for the position and requests an opportunity to interview for the position.

Other Job Search Letters

These letters are standard business letters that may or may not be accompanied by a résumé.

  • A networking letter is used to develop a contact in a field or organization that suits your career interests. It may be used to request an information interview, sources of job leads, or other contacts, or to help with preparing your job search materials.
  • An interview follow-up (thank you) letter is used to thank the employer for the time spent with you and to reiterates your interest in and enthusiasm for the position.
  • A letter of apology is used to express your regret for a missed interview. It conveys your continued interest in the position and organization, and your desire to meet to explain the circumstances and discuss your qualifications. (Please not that interviews should not be missed. This would occur only in the most unavoidable, serious circumstances.
  • An acceptance letter is an ethical contract between you and the employer after being offered a job. It restates the terms of employment, indicating position title, starting date, etc., and expresses appreciation for the job offer.
  • A rejection letter is used when declining a job offer. It expresses appreciation for the employer's time and the offer, is positive, and uses tact. It may indicate what position you did accept.
  • A withdrawal letter serves as notification to an employer that you no longer wish to be considered for a position with that organization. It may indicate new plans. It is considerate and positive in tone.
  • An offer acknowledgement letter is used to acknowledge a job offer, thanking the employer and letting him/her know you understand the terms offered. It could be used to clarify your phone conversation. It gives a date by which you will make a decision.


  • Keep length to one page; type or word process your letter.
  • Address the letter to a specific individual using Mr., Ms., Dr., and title, or "Dear Employer," if name is unavailable.
  • Target a specific job or organization; avoid an all-purpose letter.
  • Keep the letter free of errors; accurate spelling, punctuation, and grammar make a positive impression.


Preparing your resume

Job Hunting Mistakes

How to do well at an interview

How to write a good cover letter

How to conduct an effective job search

Negotiating Salary Packages

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