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Cover Letters

Tips For Writing And Producing Job-Search Correspondence

Job-Search letters should reflect sound writing practices and promote your candidacy. You must communicate your value to a prospective employer in an understandable, brief, and positive way. The following guidelines should help you achieve those goals:


1. Design your letters to be work-centered and employer-centered, not self-centered. Your letters are marketing tools that should address the needs of employers and evoke a desire to learn more about you.
2. Never delegate responsibility for your job search to anyone else. Do all the writing yourself, and take responsibility for following through with employers.
3. Always address your letters to a specific individual with his or her correct title and business address.
4. Use high-quality stationary and envelopes.
5. Keep the letter to one page. Eliminate extraneous words and avoid rehashing material from your resume.
6. Produce error-free, clean copy.
7. Tailor your letters for each situation. Generic, mass-produced letters are unprofessional.
8. Show appreciation to the employer for considering your application, for granting you an interview, and so forth.
9. Always keep your reader in mind. Make your letters easy to read and attractive.
10. Be timely. Demonstrate that you know how to do business for yourself and, by implication, for others.
11. Be honest. Always be able to back up your claims with evidence and specific examples from your experience.

When reflected in your writing, these job-search guidelines should communicate that you are a responsible person with a positive attitude who knows how to operate in a professional environment.

Taken from "Planning Job Choices 2000 43rd Edition"
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