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Are you starting a job search? To job search effectively, you'll need to use a variety of communications. Whether it's writing a cover letter to send with your resume, inquiring if an employer you'd love to work for is hiring, or sending a quick email or LinkedIn message to a networking content, it's easier to start with an example or template than it is to write a brand new letter from scratch.
Review the most frequently used job search and career-related letters, including application letters, cover letters, inquiry letters, referral cover letters, prospecting letters, and other types of letters used to apply for jobs or inquire about jobs, plus examples of each type of letter and when to use them.
01Career Networking Letters
Networking letters are used to request job search advice and assistance from your business or personal connections. These include introductions, referrals, meeting requests, and requests for career advice. These letters can be sent to people you know or to people to whom you were referred. They may be sent by mail, email, or via networking sites such as LinkedIn.
Cover letters typically provide detailed information on why are you are qualified for the job you are applying for. Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. Cover letters are sent or uploaded with a resume when applying for jobs. Use these examples of professionally written cover letters to get ideas for your job search correspondence.
03Email Cover Letters
When you're sending an email cover letter, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume and to make sure that your email cover letters are written as well as any other correspondence you send.
An inquiry letter is sent to companies that may be hiring, but haven't advertised job openings. Inquiry letters should contain information on why the company interests you and why your skills and experience would be an asset to the company. Also, provide information on how you will follow-up and your contact information.
05Job Application Letters
An application letter is sent or uploaded with your resume when applying for jobs. The job application letters you send explain to the employer why you are qualified for the position and why you should be selected for an interview. Writing a letter with your job application is a way to highlight your most relevant qualifications for the job and bring them to the attention of the hiring manager.
06Letters Asking for Job Search Assistance
Your friends, family, former colleagues, alumni from your alma mater, and your professional and personal connections can all help with a job search. Here are examples of letters to ask for job search help, including letters announcing a job search, networking letters and letters to request assistance with a job hun
07Letters of Interest / Prospecting Letters
A letter of interest, also known as a prospecting letter, is sent to companies to let them know you are interested in jobs that may be currently open or become available in the future. Sending one is an excellent way to reach out to companies you have an interest in working for but haven't advertised job openings.
This is one type of letter that may make more of an impact if it's printed and mailed than if it's sent as an email which may never get read.
08LinkedIn Invitations and Messages
LinkedIn makes it very easy to invite people to connect with you and to message your connections to request job or career advice, or to ask them to write you a recommendation. Even though it's simple to do, your LinkedIn communications should be polished and professional, so you leave the reader with the best possible impression.
09Referral Cover Letters
When you are applying for jobs, a referral can go a long way. Hiring managers and recruiters are more likely to take a closer look at candidates who were referred by someone they know. When you mention a referral in your cover letter, be sure to mention the individual who referred you by name and also indicates your connection with the person.
10Summer Job / Internship Cover Letters
When you're writing a cover letter for a summer job or internship, your cover letters should reflect why you are qualified and interested in the position. It's also a good idea to mention your availability if the job posting mentions a start and end date for the position.
11Select the Right Type of Cover Letter
Be sure to choose a type of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search assistance you are requesting. Your cover letter should be designed specifically for the purpose you are writing and customized for each position you seek.
Three excellent cover letter examples - read this article along with other Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look.
I have been researching your company with great interest and would be very keen to learn of any opportunities for employment with you. I believe my skills and experience could be a great match with your organisation’s initiatives and culture. [In your opening, if you can draw any personal connection, such as a personal recommendation, recently attending one of their events or talks, or even reading about their company in the news, do so.]
As a [insert your role title/function] with [number] years of experience in the sector, I believe I could make a valuable contribution to furthering your company’s success and goals. [Briefly outline your experience and emphasise any skills and strengths that would benefit the company. Mention any projects you’ve worked on that relate to what the company does.]
My career highlights include:
I have been very excited to learn about [cite some development, project or aspect of the company that appeals to you and demonstrates your knowledge of the company. Now explain how you would contribute to the company’s projects, put forward an idea or demonstrate how you can help the company grow.]
I believe that my experience would make me an ideal fit for [company name]. I have attached my resume to provide more information about my background and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss how I may be able to contribute to your organisation. I will call you next week to arrange a time to meet at your convenience, but please do not hesitate to contact me at [insert email address and mobile number].
When you are writing cover letters to apply for jobs, it's a good idea to review examples of cover letters that are relevant to the job you are applying for. These sample letters will give you ideas for how to convince the employer that you are a good match for the position.
Don't just copy the sample cover letters listed below. Rather, use these samples for inspiration. Scroll through the sections that follow and find the type of cover letter that matches the type of job you're applying for (the different jobs are categorized by industry).
Then, read the letter. Keep an eye out for the letter's structure. How is information presented in the sample letter? The body of a cover letter is divided into three sections:
As you read through the sample letters below, pay attention to how they follow this structure, using their format, specific details, and quantifiable examples to provide evidence for the letter writer's candidacy.
Think about how you will highlight your own skills and use the limited space available within your cover letter to share the most important information about your work history and accomplishments.
Notice the word choices and voice used in the example letter you're reading. Look for how the letter writer conveys personality and passion for the position, as well as the use of common cover letter phrases, such as "Thank you for your consideration," "I look forward to hearing from you," and "Because of XYZ, I'm a strong candidate for the position." Use these phrases yourself, as necessary, but always aim to keep your letter personalized and genuine.
You can use this template as a model to write a cover letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below. Also see below for more examples listed by industry and job.
Download the Word Template
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname:
I’m writing to you because I’m interested in applying for your open Software Developer position as posted on the careers page of your website, TravelTime.com. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and I have worked with OOP programming languages and PHP/MySQL for the past three years.
I believe I will be an asset to your software development team. I enjoy a challenge and although I can work alone, I prefer to work in a team, which is one reason why I want to apply to your company. In addition, while I was in college, I worked for a travel agency, so I have a good understanding of what a travel industry website site needs. Your requirements match my skills. For example:
• Experience in Laravel framework
• Experienced with XML, JS, JQUERY, HTML, CSS, Linux Command Line, Apache/Nginx
• Experience developing REST APIs
• Problem-solver with excellent trouble-shooting skills
I’ve attached my resume, so you can see the projects I worked on as well as more details on my experience in software development and a list of my certifications. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 or send me an email at email@example.com. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I would be thrilled to be a part of your team, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Review this list of cover letters for a variety of different professions and types of jobs to use as a starting point for writing your own personalized cover letters.
Building Trades: When writing a cover letter for a building trade, it can be quite effective to mention a few key construction projects that you’ve contributed to.
Business Administration: For any administrative, business or legal position, your cover letter will be your strongest demonstration that you possess the writing and organizational talents employers are looking for.
Communications / Marketing: Showcasing your own personal “tone” or “voice” is particularly vital for job candidates in this sector, since most employers will be interested in how you can use language to present a “brand.”
Creative Arts: If you are an artist or photographer, remember to include a link in your cover letter to an online portfolio of your creative work.
Customer / Personal Services: Here is how to write a dynamic cover letter that will catch the interest of employers seeking engaging customer service or personal service providers.
Education: Both cover letters and resumes for people in education and academia tend to be more conservative than those for other industry sectors. In addition to detailing your education and credentials, take the time in your cover letter to comment upon your passion for teaching and learning.
Financial Services: If you are seeking a job in financial services, show off your math and analytical skills by providing a few quantifiable examples (using numbers, percentages, or dollar figures) demonstrating how you’ve structured successful financial portfolios or increased productivity.
Food Services: Here are a few creative examples of cover letters written for both front- and back-of-house roles.
Healthcare / Medical Research: Items to include on healthcare cover letters include training and certifications, technical and procedural competencies, and knowledge of governing regulations.
Information Technology: If you are an IT professional, make sure that your cover letter mentions any and all software and hardware listed as a “qualification” in the job announcement you’re applying for.
Legal / Government / Social Services: Like cover letters in the education sector, those written for jobs in the legal, government, and social service sectors tend to be quite conservative. If you are an attorney or paralegal, stick to a “narrative only” cover letter instead of including bulleted achievements (which works well for other professions but is frowned upon by many legal professionals).
Management / HR: Cover letters for those in management and human resources need to focus upon one’s leadership and organizational talents. Include details about the number of employees you’ve managed, process improvements you’ve implemented, and any specialized Kaizen or other training you’ve completed.
Retail / Sales: As a sales representative, your cover letter is your primary (and best) sales pitch to a potential employer. Use it to demonstrate your enthusiasm, charisma, persuasiveness, and consultative selling skills.
Seasonal / Temp Jobs: Even people seeking summer or temporary work need a well-crafted resume in order to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few examples of how it’s done.
The aspects you highlight in your cover letter should reflect the qualifications listed in the job description — this helps demonstrate that you're a good fit for the position.
Whether it's writing a cover letter to send with your resume, inquiring if Hiring managers and recruiters are more likely to take a closer look at.
A job inquiry letter, also known as a prospecting letter or letter of interest, is sent to companies that may be hiring but haven't advertised job openings. A well-written inquiry letter can help you get noticed by an employer who may not be actively recruiting. It's a way for you to get your resume in front of a hiring manager and possibly be considered for employment even before a job is listed.
Review the following information on how to write a letter or email inquiring about jobs, with examples of mailed and email inquiry letters.
A letter of inquiry is a good way to connect with a company. Because the letter is unsolicited, sending it shows that you're proactive and have a genuine interest in the company. As well as inquiring about open or upcoming positions, a letter of inquiry can also be used to set up an informational interview with human resources or higher level employees.
While the company may not be hiring currently, or may not have a job posted that is appropriate for you, a letter of inquiry will help you be on the company's radar when opportunities that are suitable for you arise.
Whenever possible, it's best to be able to address your letter of inquiry to someone specific, rather than having a generic greeting such as "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern." Check with your friends, family, and professional network to see if they know anyone at the company.
LinkedIn can be helpful for tracking down connections, as well as providing you with a communication method. See more tips for how to find contacts at a company.
You can send a letter of inquiry to people in the human resources department, or to a manager-level contact in the department you'd ideally like to work in.
Inquiry letters should contain information on why the company interests you, and how and why your skills and experience would be an asset to the company.
Politeness and brevity are key when it comes to writing a letter of inquiry — remember, you're aiming to make a good impression, as well as to show that you'd be an asset to the company. Follow the same tone and guidelines you'd use if you were writing a cover letter for an advertised job.
Unlike a cover letter, though, you can't use the job description to determine which qualifications and experience to highlight. Instead, emphasize how your skills and experience would be helpful to the company overall. Use the letter of inquiry to sell yourself, putting a spotlight on the strengths you'd offer the company, and why the company's mission and goals appeal to you.
When writing the letter, follow these professional letter writing guidelines to make sure your request will be considered. Include a copy of your resume. Also, provide information on how you will follow up and where you may be contacted. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.
Download the Word Template
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Contact,
Thank you for taking the time to review my resume. I have recently graduated from University College, and I am currently looking for a position in the Huntington area.
I am interested in an entry-level role with ABCD Company’s Accounting department, hoping to leverage my knowledge of corporate accounting and GAAP best practices to contribute to your operations. I have heard that ABCD is a wonderful company to work for, and I hope that I can be considered for the team.
If you have questions regarding my credentials and qualifications, please feel free to call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, thank you for reviewing my resume. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Signature (for hard copy letter)
Inquiry letters can be sent via mail or email. However, because you are asking about employment opportunities with a company rather than for a specific job opening, a mailed paper letter can make a much better impression than an email message which may not be opened or read.
Subject: Introduction — Your Name
Dear Contact Name,
For the past ten years, I have followed your career through news events, interviews, and web research.
Your dedication to the media and your understanding of the important role journalists play in today's fast-paced information highway, coupled with your belief in the power of the press, is exemplary.
I have had the privilege of honing my journalistic abilities on three widely different publications. When I left college, I immediately went to work for the typical small town newspaper and learned all aspects of getting the paper to the people in a timely manner. I then moved to become Regional Manager for a media corporation composed of small- to mid-sized newspapers in the Midwest. In my current position, I am Chief Correspondent for one of the largest newspapers in the Southwest.
I would like an opportunity to visit with you to get your insight and suggestions on where my skills and abilities would be of the greatest value to the ABD Company, and to inquire about possible job openings with the company.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.
City, State Zip Code
LinkedIn or website URL
Smart tips to help you format and write a cover letter. Struggling to write And we 've also got you covered if you're looking for a cover letter in a specific industry.