Communicating with potential employers can be intimidating. But here are some rules and how-to's to guide your writing.
Above all, always make sure you’re professional and respectful. And don’t forget to proofread before you send.
A professional e-mail: Although e-mail is an informal form of communication, you must be professional.
- Write a short introduction (no more than two sentences). What is your point in contacting the person?
- Only discuss one point per paragraph—it is easier to read short paragraphs.
- Include a subject line.
- Include an e-signature (first and last name, phone number, e-mail address).
- Follow proper punctuation/grammar rules.
- Use a colon after addressing someone—John Doe:
- Include appropriate salutation (Respectfully, Sincerely, Thank you, etc.).
A thank you note: Send a handwritten note to people you interview with.
- Address them professionally.
- Thank them for interviewing you.
- Be polite and sincere.
- Reiterate your interest in the position.
A cover letter: Write an official business letter of interest.
- Create a personalized letterhead (we can show you how).
- Address a person (e.g. Dear John Doe:).
- Include person's name, title, address.
- Tell what position you're applying for and how you learned about it.
- Highlight your qualifications (refer to job description).
- Request action.
- Thank person for his/her consideration.
- Include salutation (Respectfully or Sincerely).
- Follow all current rules for writing a business letter (may not be what you learned in high school).
Some other things to think about:
- Your phone number: give them your cell phone number (or the most convenient number where they can reach you). In case they get your voicemail, make sure it is appropriate and professional.
- E-mail: provide your e-mail address—make sure it is appropriate to share with potential employers. It is best to use your Ohio State address even if you have it forwarded to another account. Also be sure to add a signature to your personal e-mail account that provides your contact information.
- Mail: make sure the mailing address you’re sending a resume to is up to date. Remember, this form of communication is slower than a phone call or an e-mail and sometimes businesses will toss something out if they think it is junk mail. Make sure you address your mail to a person, not just a company.
- Face-to-face: Dress appropriately, turn off cell phones, make eye contact, be sincere, etc.