Cover Letters

The Career Center has a number of valuable resources that can help you write cover letters and other employment-related letters. Our Career Resource Library has a number of excellent books on the subject, and trained staff are available to critique your cover letter on an appointment basis. (Call (207) 581-1359 to make an appointment for a resume or cover letter review.) In addition, check out these on-line guides for helpful hints:

Thank You Letters and Other Employment Letters

Thank You Letters

Thank you letters should follow every interview as a professional courtesy. Use this protocol to your advantage, keeping in mind the following potential elements of such letters:

  • To express genuine appreciation for the employer’s time and consideration.
  • To reaffirm your interest in the position and to cite additional qualifications you may not have discussed thoroughly in the interview.
  • To clarify information that may not have been positively conveyed.
  • To confirm your understanding of the next step in the application process.
  • To include your expense statement and any other details of your visit.

In some instances, thank you letters serve another purpose. Some employers fail to respond expeditiously to job candidates and need a nudge. A polite way to nudge the employer to act is to enclose an updated resume or to comment about any new developments since the initial interview. Another approach is to say that another employer is pressing and a decision is necessary.

‘Thank You’ Letter Format

Street Address
City, State, Zip
Date of writing

Street Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Mr./Ms.:

It was a pleasure to visit you and to meet the members of your staff. I was pleased with the opportunity to get a closer look at (name of organization) and to hear of the many ventures being undertaken.

2nd paragraph-(See suggestions below for possible applicable paragraphs.)

I was most impressed with your organization, especially in the area of quality control. As I understand, you will contact me within a month regarding further consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you again for the interview.

(Handwritten sig.)

Your name, typed

Paragraph to add information not covered in the interview:

In reviewing the interview, I was aware that we did not discuss the area of ___________________. I would like to add that my summer employment provided an opportunity for development of some expertise in the _____________ aspect of ______________.

Paragraph to cover information unsatisfactorily presented in the interview:

In reviewing the interview, I feel that I did not accurately answer your question about travel, schedule requirements, etc. I may have conveyed hesitancy about travel, or extra working hours or other special considerations. Your subsequent explanations and descriptions of the job helped me realize that I would find the situations mentioned to be acceptable.

Other Employment Letters

I. Accepting Invitation

  • Express appreciation for opportunity to visit facilities
  • Suggest time convenient for your visit or confirm any already agreed upon date.
  • Note whether overnight accommodations are necessary
  • Advise employer regarding travel arrangements and arrival time
    • NOTE: Call employer if any doubt about who will pay and for what

II. Reaffirming Interest/Thank You

  • Express thanks and appreciation
  • Reiterate interest and basis of interest
  • Include information that would support application that did not come out in the interview. Be brief.
  • Attach copy of expense records if letter is in response to second interview

III. Acknowledging Offer

  • Acknowledge your receipt of offer
  • Establish your understanding of the particulars of the offer: salary, job title, starting date, etc.
  • Indicate whether acceptance date is reasonable or if an extension is needed. (extension can also be requested at a later date)

IV. Accepting an Offer

  • Acceptance is a binding commitment to employer
  • Establish your understanding of the details of the offer, salary, etc.
  • Discuss physical exam, if required, and starting date

V. Declining Offer or Invitation

  • Clearly decline offer
  • Express appreciation for offer and company’s interest in you
  • Note difficulty of decision

Summary of Correspondence Tips

  • Use a standard business style format and 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper.
  • Type all letters. Employers type even personal notes, so follow suit
  • Address letters to a particular individual, and use his/her correct title.
  • Never duplicate a letter; each must be an original.
  • Make paragraphs average in length.
  • Always send a letter with a resume, never a resume alone.
  • Check your work carefully for grammar and spelling. It is a good idea to have someone else proofread it.
  • Be wary of suggestions to use gimmicky attention-getters, overzealous or desperate sounding phrases, and exaggerated praise of the employer.