STRUCTURE OF LETTERS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Follow professional business style Align letters to the left justification setting (don’t indent paragraphs) Use three paragraph format (introduction, body, and closing) Always double space between paragraphs Do not use “to whom it may concern;” if you do not have a specific contact name, address your letter to the job title of the person receiving your application (Dear Hiring Manager:) When addressing a female, always use the title Ms. or Dr. (regardless of marital status) Always use a colon when addressing the person in the letter (Dear Mr. Jimenez:) Personalize letters to the recruiter and company/organization Use transitional phrases to help the letter flow (in addition to, however) Vary your sentence structure and avoid starting every sentence with the word “I” Use intentional phrasing (“I am confident that”) instead of phrases that imply feelings or opinions (“I think,” “I believe,” or “I feel”) Emphasize what you can offer the company/organization in your letters Sign your documents (manually or electronically) Proofread all letters for spelling, grammar, and clarity Learn the company culture to determine if letters by email are appropriate Create a system to track letters you send and make copies of all correspondence
Have your letters critiqued at walk-in advising and upload them to HireACane!
COVER LETTERS PURPOSE
FOLLOW UP Follow up your letters with a phone call to ensure the position is still open and your documents were received. If you sent your letter to a specific individual, call the following week. If you submitted your letter via an online application, call after the application deadline has passed.
E-MAIL SUBMISSIONS • Consider organizational culture to determine if it is appropriate to submit your documents via e-mail • Send your documents from a professional e-mail address • Include an appropriate e-mail subject (Application for Summer 2012 Marketing Internship) • It is not necessary to include mailing addresses when e-mailing a cover letter • Use the cover letter as the body of your e-mail and attach your resume
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to an employer and elaborate on your most significant and relevant experiences. Your cover letter should demonstrate a fit between your skills and strengths and those required to fulfill the position you are seeking. Avoid simply repeating items from your resume. Instead, use the cover letter as an opportunity to provide specific examples and expand upon experiences not listed on your resume.
PREPARATION You should always tailor your cover letter to a specific position or organization. For this reason, it is important to conduct company research before drafting your letter. • Attend employer information sessions at the Toppel Career Center to acquire contact names and learn more about available positions • Schedule an informational interview with an employee to gain an insider’s perspective of the organization • Review the job description and company website to identify relevant skills and strengths you should highlight in your cover letter • Scan your resume for experiences that can be elaborated on to best demonstrate these skills
IDENTIFYING A CONTACT Most job and internship listings do not provide a contact name. However, it is important to address your letter to a specific individual within the organization. Taking this extra step to personalize your letter can make a difference in setting yourself apart as a candidate. Below are some tips for acquiring a contact name. • Access employer contact names by logging into Career Shift via your HireACane account • Search the company website for a listing of employee names • Call the company and politely ask for the name of the hiring manager in charge of the position you are seeking • Reach out to individuals in your personal and professional network who could assist you in locating a contact • As a last resort, address your letter to “hiring manager” or “human resources representative”
LETTER OF INQUIRY If you are interested in working for a particular employer and would like information about available positions, you can submit a letter of inquiry. This letter is very similar to a cover letter except for a few minor changes in the introductory paragraph. (see Sample 3)
COVER LETTER TEMPLATE Your Street Address City, State and Zip Code > Date > > (4 spaces) > > Name of Contact His/Her Title Company/Organization Name Address City, State and Zip Code > Dear Mr., Ms., or Dr. (Contactâ€™s Name): > Write a statement that defines the purpose of your letter. This can include which position you are seeking and where you learned about it. Next, state something interesting you learned from your research about the company or make reference to a previous conversation, if you had one. Demonstrating that you have researched the company helps to sell you as a candidate. > In the second paragraph, emphasize 2-3 specific skills and strengths you possess that are necessary to be successful in this position. Provide a strong example to demonstrate every skill that you mention. Show how you would benefit the company and what you have to offer. You can also refer to additional information that may not be highlighted in your resume such as international, special, technical, or cultural experiences. > To conclude the cover letter, indicate that you are interested in action. Make every effort to maintain control of the process by indicating that you will follow up to ensure correspondence was received or set an interview date. List your phone number and e-mail address so that employers may contact you. Refer to your enclosed resume and thank the reader for his/her time and consideration. > Sincerely, > > Your signature here (4 spaces) > > Your name
COVER LETTER – SAMPLE 1 1234 Lake Osceola Drive Coral Gables, FL 33146 April 25, 2012
Mr. Thomas Smith Recruiting Supervisor Citi One City Plaza, 2nd Floor Miami, FL 33022 Dear Mr. Smith: Please accept this letter as an application for the Management Training position advertised on the University of Miami’s HireACane career management system. My interest was solidified after attending an information session at the Toppel Career Center last fall. During this event, I learned about Citi’s international distribution of financial services. I was particularly impressed to learn that Citi employees manage 200 million customer accounts in over 100 countries. The Management Training position is a great opportunity to join Citi and continue to develop skills in the field. Customers are the center of any organization and I know that my experience working in various customer service positions will allow me to provide positive interactions to your clientele. This past summer, I interned in the Marketing Division of Bloomingdale’s. My assignments ranged from market research to customer experience support, and I worked closely on a variety of projects with senior executives. For instance, we collaborated on a project utilizing social media to promote extended discounts for new Bloomingdale’s credit card holders. As a result, we achieved a 5% increase in Bloomingdale’s credit card applications. Overall, this internship allowed me to understand the inner workings of a large corporation by interacting with key players in the division and maintaining direct customer contact. I look forward to sharing more with you about how I can contribute to the success and growth of Citi, and am eager to learn more about the infrastructure of your organization. Please feel free to contact me at 305-284-5451 or email@example.com. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,
Diane Firestone Diane Firestone
COVER LETTER â€“ SAMPLE 2 1234 Lakeside Drive Coral Gables, FL 33146 November 4, 2012
Ms. Nilda Perez Human Resources Recruiting Associate Timely Magazine 120 Zephyr Drive New York, NY 12345 Dear Ms. Perez: Julie Lu mentioned a position in your company has recently become available, and suggested I contact you. Through my research on the marketing side of publishing, I have learned a great deal about Timely Magazine and its innovative web-based marketing approach. I would like to be considered as an applicant for the Coordinator Position, Number 12345, in your Marketing Department, as advertised on your website. Recently, I completed an independent research project comparing the costs and benefits of advertising via the internet versus more traditional methods and presented my findings at the annual American Marketing Association Convention. In addition to having a solid understanding of marketing practices and principles, I am a strong communicator and manager. Last summer, I assisted with organizing and coordinating the delivery of basic social services to indigent children. I was directly responsible for recruiting, training, and scheduling volunteer workers. As the primary point of contact for all 80 volunteers, I managed problems and responded to questions as they arose. I am confident that my leadership and problem-solving abilities make me a strong candidate for the Coordinator Position at Timely Magazine. The prospect of launching a marketing career in the publishing industry is exciting, and I hope to begin that journey at Timely Magazine. I will contact you in the following week regarding the possibility of meeting with you to discuss how my skills and experience can be of use to your organization. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at (305) 284-5451 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking with you soon. Sincerely,
Tom McRae Tom McRae
LETTER OF INQUIRY â€“ SAMPLE 3 552 Pavia Street Coral Gables, FL 33146 March 15, 2012
Ms. Jennifer Robinson Director of Human Resources Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts 1300 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL 33132 Dear Ms. Robinson: Last December, I attended The Million Dollar Quartet performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The Centerâ€™s ability to seamlessly host acclaimed musical performers and provide visitors with a memorable experience particularly impressed me. As a Music Business and Entertainment Industries major, I am eager to acquire relevant experience in the field. For this reason, I am writing to inquire about possible internship opportunities at the Adrienne Arsht Center. I am confident that my previous internship experience, relevant coursework, and involvement in on-campus organizations make me a strong candidate for a position at your organization. As Vice President of the Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA), I have developed strong leadership and communication skills by hosting weekly meetings and recruiting over forty group members. Furthermore, my strong interest in the music industry has been cultivated through my coursework at the University of Miami and my summer internship at The New World Symphony. In my internship, I created a social media campaign promoting upcoming performances to target audiences. I attended over twenty performances that summer and was granted The Most Valuable Intern award by the Toppel Career Center for my ability to go above and beyond as an intern. These experiences have equipped me with the skills necessary to excel as an intern at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. I look forward to meeting with you and learning more about how I may contribute to your organization. Please feel free to contact me at 305-555-2424 or email@example.com. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,
Allison Smith Allison Smith
NETWORKING LETTERS PURPOSE The purpose of a networking letter is to request an informational interview in order to explore a career or organization. This interview can also assist you in acquiring key contacts in the field you are pursuing. Remember, the purpose of this letter is not to ask for a job.
Preparation Think about people you may know who could provide valuable information about a specific career. These contacts can include friends, co-workers, family members, teachers, classmates, members of extracurricular organizations, clients, etc. Also, consider reaching out to professional contacts you may have met through online networking sites, associations, professional organizations, informational sessions, and conferences. These contacts can connect you with other individuals who may assist you in your career exploration.
ADDRESSING CONTACTS It is important to clarify your connection to the person receiving your letter. • If this contact is a referral, state the name of the person who gave you their information • If this contact is someone you met with briefly, describe where you met and what you discussed • If this contact is someone you do not know, note how you found their information and why you decided to contact him or her
Research Before your informational interview, research the contact’s employer and position so that you can prepare intelligent questions. Also, consider what you would like to know about this particular field or position in order to determine if it is a good fit for you.
• What is a typical work day like in this position? • What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect of your job? • What kinds of skills are necessary to be successful in this field? • What personality traits are helpful for this type of work? • How did you get your job? • Are there internship opportunities in this field? • What are the skills that you use most frequently in your job?
Follow-Up It is appropriate to call and follow-up with your contact 1-2 weeks after submitting your letter. After conducting your informational interview, be sure to send a thank you letter. Remember to stay in touch with these contacts, as they may be able to further assist you in the future.
THE NETWORKING LETTER TEMPLATE Your Street Address City, State and Zip Code > Date > > (4 spaces) > > Name of Contact His/Her Title Company/Organization Name Address City, State and Zip Code > Dear Mr., Ms., or Dr. (Contactâ€™s Name): > Use the opening paragraph to make a clear connection between you and the recipient of your letter. Highlight a similarity you share with your reader. For example, you may both be alumni of the same school or share specific interests, careers, and mutual acquaintances. > Because this is not a cover letter, your tone may be more relaxed. Remember, you are seeking an informational meeting instead of an interview with this type of letter. Rather than pressure your reader, simply state your desire to learn more about a specific career, school, or opportunity. Express why interviewing this particular person would help you explore these areas. Indicate where you are in the decision-making process so that the recipient knows what information he/she can provide. Also, be sure to share your goals and what you hope to gain from the meeting. It is critical that the recipient understand that you are not seeking a job but looking for advice, opinions, and information. > Close the letter with a statement of your intent to call and make arrangements for a brief meeting. Thank the person for his/her willingness to assist you. > Sincerely, > > Your signature here (4 spaces) > > Your name
NETWORKING LETTER SAMPLE 1306 Stanford Drive Coral Gables, FL 33124 September 18, 2012
Ms. Priya Patel Therapeutic Specialty Representative Pfizer Inc. 201 South Main Street Orlando, FL 32802 Dear Ms. Patel: My name is Eduardo Ruiz, and I am a senior at the University of Miami interested in pursuing a career in pharmaceutical sales. My father, Dr. Tomas Ruiz, gave me your contact information and suggested I contact you to learn more about this growing industry. I will be in Orlando from November 20 - 25 and would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you and discuss your successful career with Pfizer. My interest in the pharmaceutical sales industry was piqued while taking courses in sales and brand management. I will graduate in May of 2012 and am in the process of learning more about the industry, including its rewards and challenges. In addition, I will be taking biology in the upcoming semester to increase my scientific knowledge. Sales positions are competitive, and it would be a great opportunity if you could share your experiences and expertise. I will call you next week to see if we can schedule a convenient time to meet. If you would prefer to contact me, my contact information is 305-284-5451 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,
Eduardo Ruiz Eduardo Ruiz
THANK YOU LETTERS PURPOSE The purpose of a thank you letter is to show gratitude to someone who has assisted you in your career development. This assistance can include an interview, an informational meeting, a referral, or a reference. Sending thank you letters can help you achieve your career goals in the following ways: • Only a small percentage of candidates send a thank you letter after an interview; therefore, taking the time to do so can make you stand out • An employer is more likely to remember candidates who send a thank you letter • Thank you letters can also demonstrate that you are conscientious and have strong interpersonal skills
TIPS • Send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the meeting • Draft a different letter for each person who met with you, highlighting the specific information they
shared with you that you found helpful • Consider organizational culture if you want to use more informal correspondence (a hand-written thank you card versus an e-mail)
JOB OFFER ACCEPTANCE LETTER PURPOSE The purpose of a job offer acceptance letter is to formally accept a position and to reiterate the terms of your employment. Make sure that you accurately state the details of your offer. Even if you verbally accepted the position, it is important to send this letter in order to have written documentation of your agreement.
JOB OFFER REJECTION LETTER PURPOSE The purpose of a job offer rejection letter is to formally reject a position, while maintaining professionalism and leaving a positive impression on the employer. Sending a courteous rejection letter can leave the door open for you to pursue future career opportunities with this employer. Be sure to notify the employer immediately upon making your decision, allowing them ample time to extend offers to other candidates. Finally, verbal rejections should be confirmed in writing.
THE THANK YOU LETTER TEMPLATE Your Street Address City, State and Zip Code > Date > > (4 spaces) > > Name of Contact His/Her Title Company/Organization Name Address City, State and Zip Code > Dear Mr., Ms., or Dr. (Contactâ€™s Name): > The thank you letter should be brief and to the point. Emphasize your sincere appreciation to this person for taking the time to meet or interview you. Remind the recipient of your strong qualifications for the position and connect the requirements of the position directly with your skill set. > Next, focus on your interest in the position. Mention something particularly interesting that you learned from speaking with this person. Based on this knowledge, emphasize how you would be a strong fit for the organization or position. > Finally, each thank you letter should conclude with an appropriate statement of your appreciation for their help and a request for action. Offer your phone number and e-mail address in case the recipient should need any further information from you. > Sincerely, > > Your signature here (4 spaces) > > Your name
THANK YOU LETTER SAMPLE 1211 Dickinson Drive Coral Gables, FL 33146 September 18, 2012
Mr. Bob Bigham Group Campus Recruiter Target Corporation 1101 South Main Street, Suite 501 Orlando, FL 33150 Dear Mr. Bigham: Thank you for taking a few minutes to speak with me yesterday at the University of Miami’s Career Expo. After speaking with you and other Target representatives, I was impressed by Target’s commitment to the professional development of its employees. For this reason, I am interested in learning more about Target’s company culture and available internship positions. As you suggested, I will attend Target’s information session at the Toppel Career Center in October. As a junior majoring in Business Management and Organization, an internship in a Target store would allow me to see all areas of retail management and apply my classroom knowledge in a business setting. Additionally, this internship would grant me the opportunity to work closely with store managers, identifying effective leadership styles to maximize employee morale and productivity. Thank you again for sharing your insight with me about working at Target. I will submit my application for an internship on HireACane once the position is posted. I look forward to hearing from you and can be reached at 305-284-5451 or email@example.com. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,
Maria Jimenez Maria Jimenez
THE JOB OFFER ACCEPTANCE LETTER TEMPLATE Your Street Address City, State and Zip Code > Date > > (4 spaces) > > Name of Contact His/Her Title Company/Organization Name Address City, State and Zip Code > Dear Mr., Ms., or Dr. (Contactâ€™s Name): > The acceptance letter is a pleasure to write. In the first paragraph, thank the company/organization for the offer and directly accept the position. > In the second paragraph, restate the contract provisions as you understand them. These are the points that you and your contact at the company have discussed in relation to your employment. These may include salary, location, and benefits. You may also include the date you will begin working. It is important to reiterate these details because they provide documentation of an understanding between you and the organization before the contract is signed. > To conclude the letter, end with a statement that demonstrates your excitement at the opportunity to join the company. Remember to be thankful and courteous! > Sincerely, > > Your signature here (4 spaces) > > Your name
JOB OFFER ACCEPTANCE LETTER SAMPLE 1211 Dickinson Drive Coral Gables, FL 33146 January 18, 2012
Ms. Lisa Stein Human Resources Representative Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 Dear Ms. Stein: It is with great enthusiasm that I accept the Foreign Service Officer position with the Department of State. I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to the agency. As we negotiated, my starting salary will be $48,000 with the full range of benefits granted to government employees. I will report to work at 8:30 a.m. on June 1 and will have completed the medical examination and drug testing by May 5. Additionally, I shall complete all employment and insurance forms for the new employee orientation. Thank you for your assistance during this process. I look forward to working with you and joining the team at the State Department. Sincerely,
Diego Chen Diego Chen
THE JOB OFFER REJECTION LETTER TEMPLATE Your Street Address City, State and Zip Code > Date > > (4 spaces) > > Name of Contact His/Her Title Company/Organization Name Address City, State and Zip Code > Dear Mr., Ms., or Dr. (Contactâ€™s Name): > The rejection letter is difficult to write because it conveys bad news. In the first paragraph, indicate that while you appreciate the offer, you are unable to accept the position. > In the second paragraph, express your appreciation for the opportunity. Use your discretion when giving reasons for turning the offer down. You may indicate that you have accepted another opportunity. It is important to maintain professionalism in writing this type of letter. > To conclude the letter, end on a positive note. Refer to your positive experience during the interview process, and leave the door open in case you want to apply for another position with the organization in the future. > Sincerely, > > Your signature here (4 spaces) > > Your name
JOB OFFER REJECTION LETTER SAMPLE 1211 Dickinson Drive Coral Gables, FL 33146 May 1, 2012
Ms. Samantha Jarrod Vice President for Human Resources ABC Financial Services 1 Financial Plaza, Suite 150 New York, NY 20012 Dear Ms. Jarrod: Thank you for offering me the position of Financial Analyst with ABC Financial Services. I appreciate your willingness to discuss the details of the position with me and give me time to consider your offer. It was a difficult decision to make; however, I have accepted a position with another company. You have a great organization and many aspects of the position are very appealing. I appreciate your consideration throughout the interview process and also enjoyed learning more about ABC Financial Services. Thank you again for taking the time to consider my candidacy. It was a pleasure meeting you and your staff. Sincerely,
Donte Williams Donte Williams
Citi, the leading global financial services company, provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. With the most diverse array of products and the greatest distribution capacity of any financial firm in the world, our employees manage 200 million customer accounts across six continents in more than 100 countries.
For help with resumes and cover letters, come to WALK-IN ADVISING at the Toppel Career Center. Hours are Monday through Thursday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED Toppel Career Center 1306 Stanford Drive Coral Gables, FL 33142-6930 Phone: 305-284-5451 Fax: 305-284-3668 www.HireACane.com firstname.lastname@example.org