A well written resume becomes the frame of reference for all the communicating you do during your job campaign. When you write a letter to a reference, a contact, or a prospective employer, keep your resume in mind. Often a copy of the resume will be included with your letter, but even if it is not, the letter should share the resume's positive tone and business-like approach.
Both resumes and letters are effective sales tools. Stress your strongest selling points in letters.
USES FOR LETTERS IN JOB CAMPAIGNS
Letters should be short and simple. Good letters set you apart from the ordinary job seeker and focus attention on your best assets; they help the reader see you as you want to be seen.
If at all possible letters should be personalized, i.e., addressed to
a person by name, not by title.
Select tasteful stationery and envelopes of high quality, with at least 25% rag content.
Use business-size stationery (8 1/2" x 11").
Sign your letters boldly in blue or black ink.
The greatest danger is sounding like a dry, dull form letter. Adopt a business-like approach, combined with a conversational tone. Your letter will be easier to read and give a better picture of you.
Avoid pat, meaningless phrases. When someone tells you he is "seeking an opportunity to utilize my experience," or she's "a people person," what have you learned about that candidate? NOT VERY MUCH. Be specific. Deal with concrete reasons the employer should be interested in you.
Do not try to impress the reader with your vocabulary or your ability to use professional jargon. Professional terms will naturally fit in to your discussions of your achievements.
Direct letter: when you are aware that an opening exists for which you may be a logical candidate, use a direct letter.
Semi-direct letters: addressed to executives or recruiters who are likely to employ people in your field, but who do not necessarily have a position open currently
Contact development letters