An effective business letter example is just as important as an resume in your job search. A effective business letter example provides an opportunity for you to elaborate on your career objective, demonstrate your knowledge of the employer, further emphasize your special qualifications, and describe some of the unique or unusual personal qualities you bring to the position.
Always send a effective business letter example with your resume.
Like the resume, the cover letter should attract attention,stimulate interest, create desire, and generate action. Consider the following principles when writing your letters.
- Personalize : Each letter needs to be addressed to a specific individual. Write the person’s name and title in the address. If unknown, check online for a company/organization directory, on alternative social media sites like LinkedIn or contact the company/organization and ask them the name of the person(s) who will be doing the interviewing. Confirm you have the correct spelling and check for the proper title to be used in the salutation, e.g., “Vice President Smith” when gender is unknown. If it is not possible to obtain the name of the interviewer(s), use “Dear Hiring Manager” or Dear Search (or Selection) Committee.” Never use “To Whom it May Concern.”
- Individualize : Each letter needs to be original; tell the employer the position for which you are applying and be a good example of your writing skills. Form or generic letters will not have the impact you need. Tailor each letter to the specific requirements listed in the job announcement or vacancy notice. Be relevant and focused for which position you are applying, demonstrating specific examples of how your skills and qualifications meet or exceed their specific needs. You should also demonstrate that you know something about their company/organization, perhaps something brief that you read on their website in the mission statement or elsewhere. In addition, reflect your attitude, personality, motivation, interest, and enthusiasm for the specific position. Close by thanking them for their time and consideration and referring to an opportunity to interview.
- Proper English : Follow the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Proofread the letter, not just spell check! Use a standard business letter format.
- Format : Keep the cover letter to one page. The content of the letter is generally three to four short paragraphs. Make sure the letter is centered on the page and make adjustments as needed.
- Types : Several different types of letters exist depending upon the reason you are writing. A letter of application accompanies resumes for job listings or other vacancies. A referral letter is used when an intermediary recommends you to a colleague or associate. A letter of inquiry is sent when you are conducting a proactive job search. One major difference between them is the information contained in the opening paragraph. Regardless of type, do not forget to send a thank you letter / card after each telephone conversation, meeting, or interview.
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In addition to these principles for effective business letter example, remember to keep a copy or computer file of your job search correspondence. This is essential for your follow-up.