Career-Related Correspondence

Job search correspondence includes more than just cover letters. This type of communication may include documents such as thank you letters, apology letters, or emails you send to accompany a cover letter and resume.  Each piece of correspondence should be carefully written and reviewed. The following is a list of items considered to be job search correspondence:


Cover Letters

The cover letter is an important part of the job search process.  A cover letter (when requested) always accompanies the resume when it is sent to a potential employer.  The most effective letters are interesting, informative, and concise.

Letter of Application:  This is the most common type of cover  letter.  When an employer lists a job opening and requests a cover letter, they are really asking for a letter of application.  This type of letter is sent to “apply” for a position that has been advertised and that the employer is seeking to fill.  When writing letters of application, it’s important to connect your experiences to the position and describe how you fulfill the job requirements.

Letter of Introduction: Sent to an employer to “inquire” about the possibility of available positions or to ask for information about the organization.  This type of letter can be used to inquire about job or internship possibilities, to request company information, or to request a meeting to discuss future opportunities within the organization.  When writing letters of inquiry, include details about your qualifications that will prompt the employer to decide that a discussion with you would be worthwhile.


Other Correspondence

Letter of Acceptance:  Sent to acknowledge an offer of employment and to restate the terms of employment, such as starting date and salary offer.

Letter of Withdrawal: Sent to an employer to withdraw from consideration, usually after an interview.

Letter of Apology: Sent to an employer within 24 hours of when a candidate has missed a scheduled job interview, information interview or meeting.

Letter of Thanks:  Sent to express gratitude to an employer, usually for the opportunity interview. A handwritten note always makes a positive impression, although an email is also appropriate, especially if a hiring decision will be made quickly.  It is important to send thank you notes immediately after your interview and try to individually thank each person who interviewed you, including the administrative staff who greeted you.

Please note that due to the interest of time, it may not always be possible to send a formal letter.  In some situations, it is suitable to send an email so that your message arrives promptly. Click here for tips for properly formatting an email.