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Business correspondence serves a variety of purposes throughout the career cycle, but most of all it reflects professional courtesy during the job search.
It can be quite time-consuming to correspond personally with everyone you encounter during a job hunt, but each person has the potential to play a role in your job-hunting network. While generally not required, correspondence through formal letters, memos, or email also provides an opportunity to remind the company and the people you have contacted of your interest.
Keep the letter to a few brief paragraphs. Avoid generalizations, even when you send out a mass mailing. Be clear about where you are, what you have to offer, what you want, and when you want it.
Mention only positive things. For example, instead of stating: "Even though I only have two years experience in the industry,?" leave out the negative clause and write: "I doubled my experience in the industry by spending two years in a highly competitive company."
Be formal, yet friendly and open. Use statistics, highlighted statements, or bullets. Because recruiters often skim, make sure vital information can be easily spotted.
Vary your approach
Say why you fit
Use the cover letter to show how and why you are a perfect match. Highlight a couple of skills from your resume. Get specific. If you are answering an ad, respond directly to the points raised in the job description.
Keep an eye on the industry and the companies you are looking at to spot trends or developments. Mention a company's recent media exposure or incorporate relevant industry news into your cover letter. Be creative.
Start the communication ball rolling
Say thank you
Respond to rejection
Decline with finesse
- Leslie Tebbe, Salary.com contributor
Copyright 2000-2004 © Salary.com, Inc.
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