Professional CommunicationsMyrna RudderDan Solarek
*Communication ModesBusiness LettersCover lettersSimilar lettersThank You lettersProfessional eMailTelephone Basics
Business LettersEspecially Cover Letters
*Isnt it just a throwaway?When do I need to write a cover letter?Cover Letter / Letter of Application
*Cover LettersWhen you send a resume, you always include a cover letter.The cover letter should be addressed to a specific person.The cover letter should be targeted toward the job or opportunity. It is NEVER generic.Cover letters should be one page.
*Express your intent, interest, and enthusiasm in positionto connect yourself with the jobto connect with the recipientto demonstrate youve done your homeworkDemonstrate your personality and writing abilityto impress with your style and clarityComplement and emphasize highlights of your resumto flesh out the resum as it relates to the jobCover Letter Goals
*Fit the Argument to the Context
1. If youre well qualified for the job,convince with your experience
e.g.: My record as an engineer at ABC manufacturing is excellent, and I am excited at the possibility of contributing to the success of your company.Strategies
*Fit the Argument to the Context
2. If your general background fits, but the job description doesnt really,convince with related skills
e.g.: The education and experience Ive gained as an engineering technology student have prepared me for the co-op position.Strategies
*Fit the Argument to the Context
3. If your skills and experience dont fit,persuade with your interest
e.g. Although Ive worked in the fashion industry for ten years, Ive always wanted to be an engineer.Strategies
*PurposeRefer to job advertisementMention company contactPreview qualificationsSupporting DetailsProve claims with examplesTie qualifications to the requirements of the positionQuantify evidenceDetail your experienceGoodwill ClosingOffer to meet for an interviewRefer to resumMake your final pitchStructure
*Some Writers Prefer the Me-You-We Model:
Me (paragraph 1) Im very interested in this job, and here are my related qualifications.You (paragraph 2) This is what interests me in your organization and this is how I fit the company/job.We (paragraph 3) We will work well together, and you should give me the job.Structure
*StructureOpening ParagraphState which position you are applying for, and how you found out about the organization and/or positionExpress what is attracting you to work for this organization and in this positionArouse the readers interest in reading more about your qualifications
*StructureMiddle Paragraph(s)Give detailed information about how your qualifications fit with the positions responsibilitiesUse key words from the job description to make the connection between the employers needs and your skillsInclude information about academics, job experience, and/or personal attributes relevant to the position
*StructureClosing ParagraphSummarize your qualificationsRefer the reader to your enclosed resumeMention your interest in an interviewState when and how you will contact themNote: Follow up exactly when you say you will follow up!
Dont overuse I try me/my or burying the I in mid-sentencee.g., When working in the engineering department, I accomplished.Negative commentsVague form lettersTypos!Common Errors
*SummaryGood cover letters have the following qualities:formatted as a professional business letterwell written with no grammatical or spelling errorswritten to a specific company or organization for a specific position NO MASS MAILINGS PLEASEcontains detail that makes the reader want to read your resume more closely and interview you
*FormatThe 3-paragraph style for a cover letter is shown at right:
*FormatThe figure at right shows the basic template for a full-block style cover letter:
Your street address
City, State Zip Code
October 14, 2002
Ms. Michele Smith (name of the person if you have it)
General Mills Resume Processing Center
P.O. Box 549240
Waltham, MA 02545
Dear Ms. Smith: (if you do not have the name of the person use Hiring Manager, Human Resources Representative, or Search Committee)
It is with great interest that I am applying for the co-op position at General Mills which was posted with the College of Engineerings Co-op Office. I look forward to using my knowledge and experiences within Mechanical Engineering Technology to make a significant contribution to the efficiency of the department and the building of solid relationships throughout General Mills.
As a self-starter, Ive been recognized as someone with sound judgment and the ability to lead a team toward its goals. With my coursework in project management and process control, I have gained valuable knowledge about the field and have developed effective communication skills by leading several team projects to successful completion. As a co-op engineer at Dana, my strong leadership and negotiation skills led to developing solid working relationships with nine suppliers I help introduce to that organization.
In addition to communication, negotiation, and leadership skills, the various customer interaction opportunities Ive developed my problem solving and decision-making skills, increasing the overall efficiency of the department. My experiences and skill level will ensure the continued quality of the system at General Mills.
I look forward to a meeting with you to discuss my qualifications in more detail. I will call you the week of October 22, to set up a time convenient for you. If you need any additional information, please call me at (419)-XXX-XXXX.
*Cover Letter ChecklistOne page only and limited to three targeted paragraphstype written or word processor, with full spell check and proofingWritten to someone specific, with the name and title spelled correctlyCompany name and address are correct and completeQuality bond paper, 8x11 inches, ideally the same as your resumeThree focused paragraphs (focused on the reader's need, not yours)Closes with "Sincerely (anything else can be too chummy) Signed with a blue or black penPlace the resume behind and fold in a tri-fold, with no staplesType or neatly print address on envelopeSeal the envelopeConservative stamp on the envelopeFinal step: do not forget to follow up, or all the other steps will be in vain!
*Other Business LettersThank-youNetworkingProspecting / Inquiry AcceptanceNon-acceptance
*Thank You LettersGenerally, a thank you letter has three basic parts:Start by thanking the interviewer for taking the time to talk with you. It is generally a good idea to include the actual date on which the interview occurred. Reaffirm your interest in the firm by pointing out particular issues brought during the interview that appeal to you. Try to personalize the letter by referring to some topic or common interest you discussed during the interview. Close the letter with another word of appreciation, an offer to provide more information and a statement that you look forward to hearing from them. Resist the temptation to sell yourself by reiterating your resume strengths. Keep it short and to the point. If you receive a call back interview, you should send another thank you letter.
Business eMailIt isnt IM or a chat room
*Professional eMail AddressUse a professional email addressUniversityfirstname.email@example.comEngineeringfirstname.firstname.lastname@example.org@eng.utoledo.eduRefer back to Lesson 1
*Business eMail AddressUse the company-provided addressbusiness purposes onlykeep personal email messages separate, use a separate account from UT or Co-op email@example.com
*Business eMail PurposeWhat is a Good Business eMail?A good business email is one that can clearly and effectively deliver your intention, meaning, background/or reason without ambiguity.
ToneAvoid terseness, which can be misinterpretedUse face-to-face communication if issue is sensitiveRead your emails aloud, looking for ambiguity*
Tone: Example One
To: Female employees From: H. HonchoRe: Dress codeDate: 4 July 2010
Clients will be visiting next week. Halter tops and jeans will not make the right impression. Its time you started dressing for the office instead of the beach. Leave your flip-flops at home!
Tone: Example Two
To: All staffFrom: H. HonchoRe: Reminder about what to wear to work Date: 4 July 2010
During the summer, our dress code is business casual. We think business casual means clothes that feel comfortable and look professional.
MenWomenkhaki pants casual pants and skirtsleather shoes leather or fabric shoes
*Business eMail ContentGeneral Business eMail communication tips it is not the same as talking in a chat room or informally with friendsinclude full name in body of emailprovide a Subject/Description that is clear and specificpay attention to coherence, stay on topic
Four Parts of Business eMailThe Openingtells the reader why you are writingThe Focustells the details about the topicThe Actiontells what you want to happen and gives a time frameThe Closingthank the reader and mention future communication
No Blank Subject LinesNever, ever have a blank subject line
People are unlikely to read it thinking the email may contain a virusIt wont stand out to the