Job Search Management
Top 10 Tips
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Letters: Top 10 Tips

  1. Promote Yourself: Highlight your qualifications for the position and for the company. To do this well, you should research the company and describe how well you would fit in that company.
  2. Give a Friendly Reminder: Begin the letter with a reminder about prior contacts and the reason for this letter.
  3. Be Personal: Address every letter to a specific person. If necessary, call the company to get a name and title.
  4. Be Professional: Maintain a courteous tone. Make sure each letter appears professional in format, organization, style, and grammar.
  5. Be Correct: From typographical mishaps to erroneous employer information, all mistakes have a negative impact on the application process.
  6. Be Succinct: Within four paragraphs, describe: (1) why you are writing, (2) how unique you are, (3) what you will do next, and (4) how appreciative you are.
  7. Customize: Make each letter unique, but avoid having it look like you filled in some blanks. Demonstrate knowledge of the company, and give readers some insight into you as an individual.
  8. Visualize: Write about yourself in such a way that the readers can easily visualize you in their organization, actively engaged at work.
  9. List Actions: At the end of the letter, state clearly what you will do next. Don't say, "You can call me between the hours of ..." Instead say, "I will call you tomorrow at 2 PM ..." Don't show sloth; instead show enthusiasm.
  10. Don't Obsess over Format: Any standard business correspondence format is acceptable. Read our examples for ideas. Make it long enough to show your qualifications and sincerity, but not so long as to annoy readers. An ideal length is about 4 paragraphs.

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