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The Art of Writing Job-Search Letters

Posted by | April 20, 2013 | Application letter articles

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Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of finding a job that you’ll face is writing appropriate job search letters. The job search may be the first time you’ll have to compose and produce professional-level correspondence

You face the challenge of deciding both what to say and how to say if for a number of important, unfamiliar situations, such as applying for positions, showing appreciation, and accepting or rejecting offers. Because there is no single formula or model letter that will work well for every occasion, you should give as much careful consideration to your letter writing as you do to other job-search activities

This article introduces you to the art of writing job-search correspondence. The information applies to both paper (hard copy) and e-mail letters

Job-search letters in context

Letters can enhance your employability, but they first must be connected to your most important job search too-your brain! The purposes and impact of every letter should be considered carefully. Generic, impersonal letters simply don’t work. It’s important that you craft your letters to reflect what is appropriate for your audience, your objectives, and the requirements of the situation

Effective letters are only one component in a large system of interrelated tasks and activities. Ideally, your letter should flow from, and be linked to, the follow career development tasks:

  • Assessing your abilities, skills, knowledge, interests, preferences, values and motivations
  • Researching and evaluating occupations, jobs and employers
  • Writing a professional-level resume
  • Planning and implementing your job-search campaign
  • Interviewing for job opportunities, and
  • Choosing appropriate work

Most often, letter writing supports the last three tasks, but the key point to remember is that effective letters are part of a larger process. If you’re struggling unduly with your written communications, perhaps you need to do more work in clarifying your career direction and articulating your value to employers

Writing Style

As an act of communication, your letters say something important about you as a professional and as a prospective employee. To create a positive impact, analyse your audience by considering his or her problems and requirements, then plan your letters accordingly

Audience analysis is a process of introspection by which you put yourself in the reader’s situation in order to understand his or her needs and problems. After such analysis, you can then compose your letters to show how your background and talents can meet the reader’s needs convince the reader for your value as a prospective employee; and persuade the reader to take action in your favor

You and your situation are unique; strive to allow your individuality to be expressed through your writing. A key point to remember is that responsibility for effective communication rests with the writer, not with the reader

By: Williams J. Banis