Employment-related letters serve different purposes. A painstakingly composed letter can showcase your strengths to a potential employer, express your desire to accept a job offer or convey your gratitude for a career opportunity. The time and effort you invest in writing an employment-related letter can not only deliver the intended message, it also can allow a potential employer some insight into who you are as a professional.
A cover letter serves as an introduction to who you are and what you can offer a potential employer. A well-written cover letter has the power to motivate readers to take an interest in your resume. To help you write a compelling cover letter, do some research about your employer first. Dig deep to find details that aren’t readily available on their website. Write the first paragraph of the letter introducing yourself and your purpose for writing. Explain in another paragraph how your skills, abilities and knowledge make you a perfect fit for the position offered. Mention some details about the company you found through research in a third paragraph. Relate those details to yourself to explain how you and the company are compatible. Ask the reader for a meeting to discuss your qualifications and experience in detail. Mention your contact information. Finish with an appropriate and professional closing.
Thank-You or Follow-Up Letters
A thank-you or follow-up letter works best if you send it to your interviewer within two business days after the interview. Either snail mail or email is appropriate. Ensure that the letter is well written, free of errors and sincere. State in the letter that you appreciate the opportunity to interview for the position. Include a statement of interest in the job. List qualifications that make you a solid candidate for the position. Use bullets to help your qualifications stand out within the text. Also, state anything important about your knowledge, skills or abilities that you forgot to mention during the interview. Thank the interviewer once more for the opportunity, and convey your earnest desire to hear from him soon.
Once you decide to accept an offered position, write and submit a letter as your formal acceptance of the job. In the first line of the acceptance letter, mention your delight at being offered the specific position and state that you accept. Confirm the details of your start date, the annual salary amount and any other benefits offered. Also, include any additional information the employer has requested. It is appropriate to ask any questions you may have about the position or the benefits in the letter. Mention, in closing, that you are looking forward to becoming a member of the organization. Close the letter with an appropriate closing.
Other Employment-Related Letters
A former employee may ask you to write an employment reference letter. Before writing the letter, ask the former employee to provide you with written information about the person to whom you will write, such as full name and job title and business address. This will help you avoid typos. Also, request a copy of his resume to help you craft the letter. Present the person as positively as you can within the letter. If you believe you cannot present a positive image of the person, politely decline the request. Decline a job offer with a letter. State that you appreciate the job offer, but you must decline. Explain the specific reasons for your decision or choose to keep the details private. As long as you ensure that you politely state that you do not want the job, but you appreciate the opportunity, no specific explanation is necessary. Close with a professional and polite closing.
Instead of simply hoping for a job offer after your interview, put your best foot forward and keep your name out front by writing a well-crafted thank-you letter.
By reviewing the interview letter samples provided below, you can get a feel for the appropriate tone for your individual situation. The tips that follow will help you organize your thoughts and end your letter on a positive note.
How to Write an Interview Letter
- The first step in writing a first-rate interview thank-you letter is to write it within the 24 hours that follow your interview.
- If the company is conservative, your letter should be on the formal side. Other companies are informal or family-owned, in which case a handwritten note might be appreciated.
- Review the various interview letter samples for style and tone, and use the following tips to personalize your thank-you.
- Everyone gets their own letter. If you interviewed with more than one person, you owe them each their own letter. Courtesy copies won’t do.
- Try to maintain the level of formality or familiarity of the interview. If the interviewer was introduced as Mr. or Ms., they should be addressed that way in your letter as well. If it was first names all around, the salutation should be that informal as well.
- Say something at the beginning to help them remember you. Mention the position you interviewed for, the date and time you were there, and if there was something memorable that happened Ð like you and the interviewer sharing an alma mater.
- Reinforce your qualifications. Based on what you learned in the interview, you should be able to determine their primary needs. Emphasize your understanding of their requirements and your strength in those areas.
- Don’t get too sappy. Saying thank you is good manners and good business, but going overboard with praise makes you look fake. Don’t ruin your good standing by laying it on too thick.
How to Format an Interview Letter?
- An interview thank-you letter should be no longer than one page, four paragraphs at the most, and each paragraph should be only 3-4 sentences.
- If you were on a first-name basis in the interview, it’s okay for the letter as well.
- Use the first paragraph to identify yourself, name the job you interviewed for, and state your appreciation for their time and consideration.
- The next two paragraphs should focus on what you learned about the company that day that has made the job even more enticing and what you have to offer that they need.
- The last paragraph reiterates your gratitude and states your willingness to speak with them again at their convenience.
- You’ll want to make the letter your own, but by reviewing the interview letter samples provided, you can get in the flow as your own words come to the surface.