Job search letter remains a necessity when seeking for a job. Effective communication is one of the major reasons why securing an appropriate position in a work place is difficult.
Job search letter should be legible. And you must communicate your compatibilities to a prospective employer in an understandable form. Be brief and positive.
Guidelines to writing a job search letter:
- Job search letter should be work centred and employer centred, not self centred. Remember job search letter is supposed to market the tools that you’ve got to address the need of an employer.
- Do not delegate duties of writing job search letter to anyone. Write it yourself and follow it up.
- Address your letter to a specific person with their title and business address not home address.
- Use high quality stationeries for hard copy letters when writing a job search letter.
- Ideally, job search letter should be kept to one page
- Produce error free, clean work
- Produce letters for each situation. Don’t mass produce letters because they are ineffective.
- Send in appreciation letter to the employer for considering your application, for granting you an interview and so forth.
- Make your job search letter easy to read and attractive
- Always back your claims with evidence and specific examples from your experience.
- Be timely, show that you know how to do business for yourself and, by implication for others.
-The Art Of Writing (JSL)-
One of the greatest challenges you may face when writing a job search letter could be deciding both what to say and how to say it for a number of important, unfamiliar situations, such as applying for positions, showing appreciation and accepting or rejecting offers. There is no single formula or model which can fit well into every occasion.
Job search letter shouldn’t be written in a vacuum. Effective letters are only one component in a longer system of interrelated tasks and activities designed to advance your career. Ideally, your job search letter should flow from, and be linked to the following career development tasks.
Assessing your abilities, knowledge, interest, skills, precedences, values and motivation
- Researching and evaluating occupations, job and employers
- Defining your work objectives and career goals
- Writing a professional level resume
- Planning and implementing your job search campaign
- choosing appropriate work
- Interviewing for job opportunities
If you’re struggling with your written communications, you really need to do more foundational work in clarifying your career direction and articulating your value to employers.
Most business writers follow this basic writing method:
- Define your purpose of writing, then make a plan, place the most important thing first, then support with facts.
- Group similar items together in a paragraph, then put the paragraph in logical relationship to the others. Organise the information for the reader.
- Keep your letter warm, personal and professional. Remember that business letters as well as job search letter are formal and not informal documents.
- Show that you understand the value of the reader’s time by being as brief as possible.
- Write clearly and simply. Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences.
- Use active voice and action verbs in writing varying sentence structure and length
- Stress benefit for the reader
If these guidelines are correctly followed, you should be able to improve the clarity and positive impact of your message. These rules apply to both paper letters and email correspondence.
There are basically seven (7) letters you will probably use during job search
- Application letter
- Prospecting letter
- Networking letter
- Thank you letter
- Acceptance letter
- Withdrawal letter
- Rejection letter
Be sure to sign the original hard copy letters and to keep copies of all your paper and electronic correspondence.
The purpose of this letter is to get your attached resume ready and to generate interviews. Your strategy is to demonstrate that your qualifications fit the requirements of the position.
This letter is designed to generate information, and interview- not job interview, which allows you to meet individuals who can give you specific information about your intended career. Your purpose in seeking to meet with a contact person must be genuine and sincere.
The purpose of this letter is to prospect for possible vacancies in your occupation. Get your resume ready and generate interviews. Prospecting letters are used extensively for long distance searches.
-Thank you letter-
This one is the most important yet least used tools in a job search, it comes after a job search letter. It is used to establish good will, express appreciation and/ or strengthen your candidacy. The basic rule of this is that everyone who helps you in any way gets a thank you letter. When used to follow up an employment interviews, thank you letter should be sent within 24 hours to everyone who interviewed you.
Use this letter to accept a job after confirming the terms of your employment (salary starting date, medical examinations etc) and to positively reinforce the employer’s decision to employ you.
Once you accept a position, you have an ethical obligation to inform all other employers of your decision and to withdraw your employment application from consideration. Your withdrawal letter should express appreciation for the employer’s consideration and courtesy.
Employers aren’t the only ones to send rejection letters. Candidates may have to decline employment offers that do not fit their career objectives and interests. Rejecting an employment offer should be done thoughtfully.
Finally, please remember that you and tour situation are unique. Strive to allow your individuality to be expressed through your writing. With a little practice, you will develop life long business writing skills that will support and enhance your career.