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Career Corner: Beyond the cover letter - important job search correspondence

Wendy Lycett, Career Services Consultant | Career Services Consultant, Fanshawe Career Services | News | October 26th, 2009



In addition to the cover letter that accompanies a resume, there are several types of letters used in correspondence with prospective employers. Every written communication you have with an employer is one more opportunity for you to demonstrate your motivation, communication skills and professionalism. The following are tips on content for several of these types of letters.

Thank you letter: Everybody likes to be thanked. This is a letter you should send immediately after each job, field placement or informational interview. A few minutes of your time to thank an employer can reap huge rewards for your future career. This is a short and direct letter expressing your appreciation for their time, information and any feedback they provided. It is also an opportunity for you to once more express your enthusiasm for the position. Make sure that you write and send a thank you letter as soon as you get home from the interview. Do not send a cute card. Type the letter on professional 8 1/2 by 11 paper.

Letters of withdrawal or refusal: If you are no longer interested in continuing your candidacy for a job within a particular company, or you have accepted employment with another company, it is polite to send a withdrawal letter. Specify what position you had applied for and tell them your decision, your reasons to withdraw, and express appreciation for their consideration and time to this point. If you are refusing a job offer, the process is the same but reassure them that you gave it serious consideration. Remember, you may not be interested in a particular position right now, but you do want to keep the goodwill of this employer for the future.

Acceptance letter: When writing a letter accepting a job offer, state the job title and confirm details about the job offer (salary, hours, duties, start date and time). Express your appreciation for the offer and your eagerness to start work.

All of the above should be positive, to the point business letters and should be carefully typed and presented, preferably on the same paper you used for your resume and cover letter.

If you require assistance with this, or any part of your search for employment, contact the Fanshawe College Career Services office in Room F2010, or call 452-4294 to ask to speak to the consultant responsible for your program.
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