1 JOB SEARCH LETTERS 1. COVER LETTER Accompanies your resume when you are applying for a specific position. The key purpose is to engage the reader, so that he/ she will read your resume; therefore, it should be customized to the position you are applying for. The most effective cover letters are addressed to a specific person; if the listing does not include contact information, do some research to find out who you should send it to LETTER OF INQUIRY Sent to a company of interest when the type of position you are interested in is not advertised. Your focus should be on the key skills and qualifications you have that directly relate to the company s current needs, emerging challenges, specific products/ services, and/ or customers. It is similar to a cover letter and you should enclose your resume REQUEST FOR AN INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW Used for the purpose of expanding your network and learning more about your field of in terest, this letter briefly describes your background and goals; the main point, however, is to outline the type of information or advice you are seeking. In this type of letter, it is inappropriate to request a meeting about job openings or opportunities; therefore, you should not enclose your resume THANK YOU / FOLLOW UP LETTER This letter, which comes after an interview, is welcomed and expected by employers. Much more than a simple thanks, it is used to p lace yourself at the forefront of your interviewer s mind by: thanking the person for his/ her time, remind ing him/ her of your key qualifications, and re -stating your sincere interest in both the position and the company. Make sure you get the interviewer s business card to ensure proper spelling of their name and accuracy of their title. is an appropriate method; as a subject line use Interview Follow -up.... Career Services & Cooperative Education Center, University of Massachusetts Lowell 450 University Crossing O Leary Library : : Web:
2 DO S AND DON TS DO Use the samples on the following pages as guidelines Customize your letters to the company / position of interest Make your best effort to address your letters to specific people ( Dear Mr./ Ms. : ) If necessary, address your letter Dear Recruiter or Dear Hiring Manager rather than To Whom it May Concern Use proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and letter format Open with a compelling statement designed to grab the reader s attention Have a Career Counselor review your letter when writing one for the first time Follow up; call the person within a week of sending your letter* DON T Don t forget to attach your resume if you ve referenced it in your Don t address a letter to Dear Sir or To Whom it May Concern Don t assume that all you need to do is send a resume; persistence and follow -up are key Don t send the exact same thank you letter to every person you interviewed with Don t send a hard copy of your letter / resume when the printing quality is poor or difficult to read Don t your letter / resume from your work account Don t forget to get your interviewer s business card before leaving an interview Don t neglect to update anyone who referred you to a company on your progress * When calling an employer to follow up on a resume sent, be conscious of their time and make sure to state your purpose for calling early in th e conversation; try something like, Hello Ms. Jones, my name is Sam Student and I m calling to follow up on a resume that I ed to you last Friday for the Systems Administrator position that was recently posted on the UMass Lowell CareerLINK website. The role looked like an excellent fit to my background and I was hoping to speak with you about it further. Do you have a couple of minutes now, or would it be possible to schedule some time in the near future?
3 COVER LETTER OUTLINE Your name (optional) Your return address Date Name of the contact person Title Name of organization/ company Address Dear Mr. or Ms. (last name): First paragraph: reason for writing the letter How did you learn about this job opening? If you have been referred by a contact, include the person s name. What is the title of position and the reference number (if listed)? Why do you want to work for this organization? Briefly convey your knowledge of their products, services, and/ or projects. Second paragraph: an overview of your skills What 3-4 key skills do you have that relate to this position? Match your experience to the job description. Make it easy for the employer to see how you are qualified for the job. Draw on skills from work experience, volunteer experience, internships or co-ops, and classes. Third paragraph: specific accomplishments / examples of how you ve used your skills* What projects did you work on either at a job or as part of a class? Use the PAR formula Problem-Action-Result. *If your experience is limited, you might not need this third paragraph. Fourth paragraph: closing What action will you take? Where can they reach you? If you list a cell phone number, be prepared to answer a call from an employer at any time. Make sure that your outgoing voic greeting is professional. State that you look forward to an interview. Thank the person for their consideration of your application. sample cover letter Recent MIS graduate with on-campus, internship, and project experience
4 June 10, 2012 Employer Title Dear Ms. [Last Name]: Enclosed is my resume for the position of Systems Analyst, advertised on CareerLINK at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I was interested to read about your new partnership with S. A. Industries and believe that my proficiency in Spanish would be an added asset to your work in Latin American markets. The Systems Analyst position requires experience in financial applications software, end -user consulting, and database management. I recently graduated in the top 10% of my class with a B.S. in Management Information Systems. This degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell afforded me training on a variety of systems and software applications. My specific relevant work experience: Programmer and help desk assistant at the UML Centers for Learning, where I gained valuable exposure to complex compu ter operations, and provided telephone assistance to hundreds of staff and faculty throughout the university. Systems analyst at Eastern Bank, working in a department of six people to support financial operations (6-month internship). Technical support analyst, assisting a local nonprofit to identify emerging technology needs and evaluate current equipment/ systems (course project). I look forward to an opportunity to meet with you to discuss your needs, my qualifications and how I can contribute to the success of . You can reach me at (978) 934-xxxx or via at Thank you for your consideration.
5 sample cover letter Criminal Justice major looking for a position in human services August 12, 2012 Employer Title Dear Mr. [Last Name]: Attached is my resume for the Direct Care Counselor position posted on idealist.org. Through my work at YMCA programs, I have become familiar with the array of services that you provide to children and youth throughout Massachusetts. Please consider me an enthusiastic candidate! For the past two years I have worked with children and youth of different age groups in a variety of YMCA programs. I easily establish relationships with children and their parents. I have good communication skills, am fluent in Spanish, and am approachable and trustworthy. Most of my work has involved organizing activities and motivating youth to participate to build relationships, as well as self-esteem and confidence. I have an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice and am completing my B.S. in Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I am dedicated to this field and believe that my interests and skills are a match for this position and the overall mission of the organization. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss your needs and my qualifications. You can reach me at (978) 934-xxxx or via at Thank you for your consideration.
6 sample cover letter Mechanical Engineering student inquiring about internship/co-op opportunities (no posting) July 1, 2012 Employer Title Dear Ms. [Last Name]: I am writing to inquire about the possibility of a Mechanical Engineering internship or co-op at [Company]. As I enter my third year of mechanical engineering coursework at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, I find the opportunities to apply my skills and gain engineering experience at [Company] very exciting. A musician myself, I grew up with [Company] s unique sound products and have always found them fascinating. I have enjoyed witnessing the introduction of important technologies such as the Wave music system, wireless surround sound, and noise cancelling headphones. It is [Company] s commitment to diverse research and innovation that initially inspired me to study engineering. Having worked in residential home development for several years, I have learned that few things come easily and thus have always maintained a strong work ethic and desire to succeed. I am a committed student eager to learn and grow as a professional. To date I have completed several relevant courses that include the study of materials behavior, 3D CAD modeling, and electronics. Additionally, I believe that my personal interest in your company and outstanding academic record make me an ideal applicant for an internship or co-op at [Company]. Please see my attached resume which contains additional details regarding my qualifications. I d appreciate an opportunity to speak with you further about any position for which you believe I may be a suitable fit. I can be reached at (978) 934-xxxx or Thank you for your time and consideration.
7 sample cover letter Undeclared first-year student seeking a Science-related position June 3, 2012 Employer Title Dear Mr. [Last Name]: Please accept my resume for the [Title] position, recently posted on [Site]. I am excited about the opportunity, and believe that it would be an excellent fit to my educational background and professional interests. I am currently an undeclared Science Major, planning to complete my Bachelor s Degree in One of the career possibilities that I am actively exploring is the [insert] field, in which I would hope to leverage the following skills, experiences and interests: Relevant skill, experience or interest Relevant skill, experience or interest Relevant skill, experience or interest I would welcome an opportunity to discuss your needs for this position and my qualifications. Please feel free to contact me at (978) 934-xxxx or via at Thank you for your consideration.
8 sample cover letter Computer Science major with relevant hands-on skills August 15, 2012 Employer Title Dear Ms. [Last Name]: I am interested in applying for the Web Developer position which was recently posted on the University of Massachusetts Lowell CareerLINK site. The position seems to fit very well with my education, experience, and professional interests. Your position requires skills in various types of programming and software used in web development. My Computer Science degree program at UMass Lowell emphasizes C, C++,.NET, PHP, Visual Basic, Assembler, Java, and MSSQL. In addition, I have experience using several software programs in web development including Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I have worked with both PC and Mac platforms, and I have gained knowledge of e-commerce applications and content management systems through my academic coursework and professional interests. My background and career goals seem to match your job requirements well. I am confident that I can perform the job effectively; furthermore, I am genuinely interested in the position and in working for . Your firm has an excellent reputation for training Developers on the latest software languages and technologies, and bringing reliable products to market. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your needs and my qualifications. I can be reached at (978) 934-xxxx or via at Thank you in advance for your time and consideration; I look forward to speaking with you.
9 sample cover letter Plastics Engineering major seeking co-op or internship June 20, 2012 Employer Title Dear Mr. [Last Name]: I am writing to apply for your Plastics Engineering Internship, which was recently posted on the Career & Co-op Center s website at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. This position requires product design and process development experience, both of which I have been exposed to in my Bachelor s program in Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell. In addition, I have gained an understanding of the following engineering technologies and techniques: Insert skill, technology or technique Insert skill, technology or technique Insert skill, technology or technique I noticed that you are also seeking someone who is detail oriented and has excellent communication skills. For the past four years, I have worked as a Customer Service Associate for Shaws Supermarket; in this role, I have been recognized for providing accurate and timely information to customers and supervisors, and have managed my tasks with strong detail and follow-through skills. Throughout my academic career at the UMass Lowell, I have needed to effectively utilize time management, prioritization, reporting, documentation and organization skills to successfully complete all assignments and projects. I believe that these skills will help me to succeed in this position, and allow me to contribute to the continued success of . I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person, to discuss my qualifications for this role in greater detail. I have attached my resume for your review. Please feel free to contact me at (978) 934-xxxx or via at Thank you in advance for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.
10 sample cover letter Art major / Psychology minor seeking a position in an art studio June 15, 2012 Employer Title Dear Ms. [Last Name]: The description that you recently posted on Monster.com for a Studio Assistant appears to be a perfect match to my interests and qualifications. With my academic background in art and psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, I am confident that I would make a very successful and creative Studio Assistant. Having worked as an Intern for the non-profit organization , I have been exposed to a number of business and operational aspects of the art world. My experience as a Library Assistant at UMass Lowell demonstrates my capability of working with others and providing useful information in a timely and professional manner. In addition, my education in psychology has provided me with the ability to listen attentively to customer requests and make appropriate recommendations. I would appreciate the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to your firm, and would welcome a conversation with you to further discuss my candidacy. I will contact you next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak. In the meantime, please feel free to visit my online portfolio at Thank you for your time and consideration.
11 sample letter of inquiry February 23, 2012 Dear Mr. / Ms. [Last Name]: In last week s issue of The Boston Business Journal, I read with great interest about your organization receiving the contract for expansion and renovation of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Congratulations! I completed my B.S. in Civil Engineering in December and am interested in civil engineering or architectural drafting design opportunities with . My semester-long co-op experience at the Guggenheim Museum in Las Vegas, as well as additional skills gained through a variety of summer internships, would allow me to make an immediate contribution to this project, or others being handled by your firm. Throughout my employment, I established a reputation as a detail-oriented and goal-directed team player. Enclosed is my resume outlining my academic and work experience in more detail. I would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss any openings that might be a match to my qualifications. I can be reached at (978) 934-xxxx or via at Thank you for your consideration.
12 request for an informational interview June 15, 2012 Dear Mr. / Ms. [Last Name]: Maria Walker, our neighbor for the past five years, suggested that I contact you. She highly recommended you as a key source of information about the plastics industry in Massachusetts and said that you might be able to give me some useful advice. I am beginning my final year of study in the B.S. program in Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I want to refine my career focus and would appreciate any information and advice you might be able to share with me regarding current and emerging challenges in the industry. Given your expertise, your perspective and thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I will give you a call next week to see when your schedule might permit minutes of time for a telephone or in-person appointment. I look forward to talking with you.
13 sample thank you letter August 22, 2012 Dear Mr. / Ms. [Last Name]: Thank you very much for interviewing me yesterday for the Associate Engineer position. I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your research and design work. My enthusiasm for the position and my interest in working for [Company] were strengthened as a result of this interview. Your department s newest project using emerging technologies would allow me to contribute immediately with knowledge gained in my advanced-level coursework. Overall, I believe that skills gained through my employment and cooperative education experiences are closely aligned with your needs. I would greatly welcome the opportunity to work with you and your staff. Please feel free to call me at (978) 463-xxxx if I can provide you with additional information to further support my candidacy.
14 sample thank you letter January 22, 2012 Dear Mr. / Ms. [Last Name]: Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Marketing Assistant position. I very much enjoyed meeting with you and hearing about Marco s and Gloria s perspectives as recent hires from UMass Lowell. The new projects that you mentioned are of particular interest to me. I believe the skills gained at my summer internship would allow me to make an immediate contribution to the successful launch of these projects. Since you are going to reach a decision quickly, I would like to highlight the key personal skills that I feel qualify me for the position beyond my marketing experience: Ability to juggle many projects simultaneously A flexible and creative work attitude Articulate, personable and easily approachable Goal directed and dependable I am, of course, looking forward to hearing from you in a positive way and am ready for any start date you select. Again, thank you for meeting with me and considering my qualifications.
15 sample thank you letter July 8, 2012 Dear Mr. / Ms. [Last Name]: I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the interview Wednesday morning, and to confirm my strong interest in an entry-level manufacturing engineer/technician position at [Company]. As we discussed, I believe that my academic background projects and courses has provided me with a solid foundation in the plastics industry. Additionally, my two years of experience using AutoCAD, as well as sensor testing and maintenance of production text fixtures/equipment will allow me to hit the ground running. You might also be interested to know that I recently joined the North Central MA Plastics Council, as a volunteer mentor to junior high school students. I am dedicated to working in this industry. Again, thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
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