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Loyola University Chicago

Career Development Center

Cover Letters, E-Mails & Other Correspondence

In addition to your resume, several forms of correspondence are important during your job search. While your resume is your primary marketing tool, these documents are key supporting materials and create an overall picture of who you are. They convey your professionalism and can make the difference in your job search. Whether in traditional letter form or transmitted via e-mail, all correspondence should be professional in language and tone, using traditional business letter formatting. Use the same font as on your resume in a size large enough to be easily read – at least 10 pt.

Correspondence Types

You may use some or all of the following types of correspondence in your job search. Letters should be individually written, not “form” letters. The correspondence includes:

Professional E-mails

Whenever contacting a prospective employer via e-mail, communicate with the same care as you would in a typed letter or other professional document. E-mail to a prospective employer is not casual and should never just say “see attached resume,” although you may want to be briefer than you would be in a letter. Format an email with appropriate headings, salutations, proper spelling and grammar and a professional signature line.

Some additional rules for using e-mail in your job search:

Cover Letter

The cover letter introduces you and your resume and is a vital part of the application process. It should be one page long – a letter that is much shorter or longer runs the risk of not being read. A well developed cover letter can get your resume read; conversely, a poorly written or missing cover letter may hinder your consideration for a position. It is important to write in a way that communicates your enthusiasm for the position and the employer. Each letter should therefore be personalized for the organization, individual, and position. Do not use a template that has not been properly tailored to the specific job.

A cover letter should be addressed to an individual by name, including correct title, company name, and address. Whenever possible, avoid using Dear Sir/Madam or To Whom It May Concern. You may want to visit the company’s website to find the specific contact name. It is also appropriate to call the organization’s human resources department to inquire to whom you should direct your letter or the name of the position supervisor. Going this extra step is an easy way of demonstrating your sincere interest in the position.

The body of a cover letter should include the following:

It is a good idea to keep copies of all the application materials you send out. If you hear nothing after a couple of weeks, you can follow up with the employer to inquire if any further information is needed and to reiterate your interest.

Keep in mind that just as with resume writing, there is more than one right way to write a cover letter. Solicit feedback from as many people as possible to gain a clearer sense of how you would like to approach yours.

Cover Letter Sample for Full-time Job
Cover Letter Sample for Internship

Prospecting Letter/Letter of Inquiry

A prospecting letter can be an effective way to explore possibilities and gain information about an organization or even uncover hidden job opportunities. A prospecting letter should outline your strongest qualifications. Within the letter be sure to indicate your source of information and do some personal marketing. You can request an interview and should express appreciation for the reader’s consideration.

A prospecting letter should include the following:


Thank You Letter

It is important to express your gratitude for consideration in a job opening or for the opportunity to learn more about an organization. Always send a thank you letter to individuals who have given you their time and attention. While a typed letter is preferable, a thank you letter can be handwritten (if your handwriting is legible and neat) or emailed. If emailing a thank you letter, format the email just as you would a typed letter with initial caps, proper grammar, and appropriate salutation and signature line. Regardless, this letter should be sent within 24 hours of your contact with the individual – the sooner, the better!

A thank you letter should include the following:

Thank you letter sample

Acceptance, Withdrawal, and Rejection Correspondence

These types of correspondence share in common the fact that they are written after you have procured an offer of employment. It is acceptable to send such correspondence via e-mail, but be sure to retain a professional tone in all communication.

Acceptance Letter

An acceptance letter should include the following:

Withdrawal Letter

A withdrawal letter should include the following:

Rejection Letter

A rejection letter should include the following:


Career Development Center · Sullivan Center for Student Services · 6339 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660
Mailing Address: 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773.508.7716 · E-mail: CareerCenter@luc.edu

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy