Correspondence for the Job Search

Letter writing is an important way of communicating with potential employers during a job search. By corresponding directly with an employer over time, you demonstrate a sustained interest in the job and reveal something about your personality and professionalism. The letters you send out during your job search are critical because they differentiate you from other candidates. [Glencoe - Career City]

Letter of Inquiry (Prospecting)

Sometimes a letter of inquiry can produce an invitation for an interview. The company may be contemplating hiring for a particular position or may be planning a new position. At the very least, the company will keep the applicant's letter on file for a few months to review should an opening occur. In this type of letter, the applicant should explain his or her background and describe why he or she is interested in working for the company. Finally, the letter should close with a positive comment about the company and a reaffirmation of interest. [Glencoe]

  • Indicate your interest and reveal your source of information
  • Outline your strongest qualifications
  • Focus on broader occupational and/or organizational dimensions
  • Describe how your qualifications match the work environment
  • Do some personal marketing
  • Convince the employer that you have the personal qualities and motivation to contribute to the organization
  • Suggest an action plan
  • Request an interview
  • Indicate that you will call during a specific time period to discuss interview possibilities
  • Express appreciation to the reader for his or her time and consideration


This letter is designed to generate informational interviews-not job interviews - which allow you to meet individuals who can give you specific information about your intended career. Make a connection between you and the reader - e.g., alumnus/alumna of your school, mutual acquaintance, similar interest or background, etc. State your purpose without pressuring the reader. Explain your situation briefly. Request a meeting at a mutually convenient time, and indicate that you will call to make arrangements. [Evergreen College Career Center]

Letter of Application

The letter of application is usually the first impression a company has of an applicant. In an application letter, an applicant should identify the position being applied for and how the applicant heard of the opening. The next paragraph should present a brief overview of the applicant's background, emphasizing education and experience and explaining how those factors will help the applicant function effectively in the position. In the final paragraph, the applicant should restate interest in the position and request an interview. [Glencoe]

  • Come to the point
  • Introduce your themes
  • Reveal your purpose and interest
  • Identify the position and your source of information
  • As much as possible, provide evidence of your related experiences and accomplishments
  • Outline your strongest qualifications that match the position requirements based on the themes you selected
  • Convince the employer that you have the personal qualities and motivation to perform well in the position
  • Request an interview, and indicate you will call during a specific time period to discuss interview possibilities
  • Show appreciation to the reader for his or her time and consideration
  • Make reference to your enclosed resume
  • Suggest an action plan
  • Sell yourself

Cover Letter

Upon completion of this lesson, participants will be able to:

You-Tube Videos:

Cover Letters Information Sheet [FEFE 1.1.4]
Cover Letters Assignment:
  You will apply for a position at Merit Corporation. Merit Corporation is a large fictional national corporation
  headquartered in Washington, DC. Company benefits include paid holidays and vacations, sick leave, a
  retirement plan, and health insurance.  Salary will be commensurate with experience and education. Merit
  Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.  Each person must apply for a business-related job at Merit
  Corporation. The job must be one for which you are now qualified or for which you will be qualified at the
  completion of the current school year.
  Examples:  Working in/running the in-house espresso store, working in the in-house daycare, office assistant
  Cover letters should be sent to:
    Dr. Terry E. Johnson
    Director of Human Resources
    Merit Corporation
    1640 Franklin Place
    Washington, DC 20041
Cover Letter Rubric



Thank You


This is one of the most important, yet least used, tools in a job search. It is used to establish goodwill, to express appreciation, and/or to strengthen your candidacy. [Evergreen College Career Center]

Although many people neglect to follow-up an interview with a letter, a follow-up letter is a sure-fire way to leave a prospective employer with a good impression and reaffirm a candidate's interest and abilities. The follow-up letter should be addressed to the interviewer and should thank that person for his or her time and the interview. The letter should address some point of importance discussed in the interview, such as a specific job requirement, indicating how the applicant's skills fit the requirement. The letter should express the applicant's confidence in his or her ability to perform the responsibilities of the job. [Glencoe]

  • Express sincere appreciation
  • Reemphasize your strongest qualifications
  • Draw attention to the good match between your qualifications and the job requirements
  • Use the opportunity to provide or offer supplemental information not previously given
  • Reiterate your interest in the position
  • Restate your appreciation

Acceptance Letter

Job offers often come via a phone call, rather than a formal letter, however, even in an informal setting, a letter of acceptance shows that an applicant understands professional business practices. In an acceptance letter, the applicant should restate when he or she expect to start work, what position he or she will be filling, the agreed-upon wage, and any other known terms of employment. [Glencoe]

Use this letter to accept a job offer, to confirm the terms of your employment, and to positively reinforce the employer's decision to hire you. [Evergreen College Career Center]

  • Confirm, accept, and reaffirm your employment decision
  • Confirm logistics
  • Express your appreciation for the opportunity


Once you accept a position, you have an ethical obligation to inform other employers with whom you have applied of your decision and to withdraw your employment application from consideration. [Evergreen College Career Center]

  • State your decision, and provide an explanation
  • Express appreciation for the employer's consideration and courtesy


Employers aren't the only ones to send rejection letters. Candidates may have to decline employment offers that do not fit their career objectives and interests. [Evergreen College Career Center]

  • Acknowledge the offer
  • Show thoughtful consideration
  • Express appreciation