Cover and Correspondence Letters
The job search process begins and ends with professional letters.
Letters in the job search process include:
- Cover Letters
- Inquiry Letters
- Thank You Letters
- Acceptance Letters
- Letters of Regret
Cover Letter and E-Mail Writing Tips
- Write it yourself, in your own words. Use sample letters only as a guide.
- Decide your purpose in writing and plan accordingly.
- State your intent in the first paragraph, then use facts to support your interest giving value to your request.
- Keep your letters warm, but professional. Avoid being overly familiar in tone. Remember that business letters are formal.
- Write clearly and simply. Keep your thoughts focused and concise.
- Be positive in content, tone, word choice and expectations.
- Use an active voice and action verbs in your writing.
- Keep the font standard and always check for errors prior to sending.
Candidate Skills and Qualities
Employers rate the importance of candidate skills/qualities:
5-point scale: 1=Not important; 2=Not very important; 3=Somewhat important;
4=Very important; and 5=Extremely important
• Strong work ethic 4.61
• Teamwork skills (works well with others) 4.59
• Analytical skills 4.56
• Initiative 4.50
• Problem-solving skills 4.48
• Communication skills (written) 4.48
• Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 4.40
• Computer skills 4.38
• Flexibility/adaptability 4.37
• Detail-oriented 4.18
• Technical skills 4.16
• Organizational skills 4.05
• Leadership skills 4.04
• Self-confidence 3.96
• Tactfulness 3.84
• Friendly/outgoing personality 3.72
• Creativity 3.70
• Strategic planning skills 3.35
• Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker 3.19
• Sense of humor 2.99
Survey done by NACE, The National Association of Colleges and Employers
For examples of professional correspondence letters go to the Penn State Career Guide