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Types of Letters of Employment

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Letters of employment are typically supplementary to a resume and cover letter, often used in gaining employment. Explore the contents of several types of letters: recommendation requests, inquiries, follow-ups, refusals/rejections, and acceptances. Updated: 11/15/2021

Letters of Employment

Looking for work often involves different types of written communication beyond the standard resume and cover letter. Some of the letters may not be directed to a prospective employer at all. In this lesson, we'll take a look at some of the different letters of employment.

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  • 0:00 Letters Of Employment
  • 0:15 Recommendation…
  • 1:30 Letters Of Inquiry
  • 2:20 Follow-Up Letters
  • 3:05 Refusal And Rejection Letters
  • 3:45 Acceptance Letters
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Recommendation Request Letters

One of the first letters a job searcher will prepare is to a prospective reference. When you compose a recommendation request letter, you are writing to a potential reference, such as a college professor, a co-worker, or supervisor, seeking a written recommendation that you can use in your job search.

When composing your request for a recommendation, there are some important things to consider. First, while you can't and shouldn't tell your potential reference what to put in the letter of reference, it's a good idea to include some details about your professional accomplishments and other facts to help your potential reference compose a letter of recommendation. In providing the details, you should focus on professional interactions with the reference. If your reference doesn't have any direct knowledge of a skill or ability, it's not ethical or fair to ask a reference to talk about it in a letter of recommendation.

Second, you should make sure that you note any pertinent timelines if you have a deadline to meet. Third, remember to include your contact information, including address, phone number, and email address. Fourth, be sure to offer to discuss the matter in full detail. Finally, don't forget to thank your reference prospect for considering your request, but don't be presumptuous and assume in your letter that a recommendation will be forthcoming.

Letters of Inquiry

Sometimes being proactive can reap rewards, and a letter of inquiry is a tool that allows you to do just that. A letter of inquiry is an unsolicited letter to a prospective employer presenting yourself as a potential candidate for positions with the employer that match your interests and qualifications. The letter will usually demonstrate some knowledge and interest in the organization and the work it does.

Like a cover letter, it will provide a brief snapshot of your relevant qualifications for the types of positions of which you have an interest. A resume is often included with the letter of inquiry. While it may seem to be a waste of time to write to employers with no advertised positions, employers sometimes do not advertise positions but rather pursue other avenues, such as recruiters or referrals. So a targeted campaign to those employers you want to work for may strike gold.

Follow-Up Letters

Your job-seeking composition isn't done after the interview because it's a best practice to compose a brief follow-up letter, which is sent to a prospective employer after an interview to demonstrate continued interest. Your follow-up letter should be no more than one page. A three-paragraph structure works well.

In the first paragraph, you'll want to remind the reader of the position you interviewed for and thank the reader for the opportunity of the interview. In the second paragraph, you can briefly summarize your qualifications for the position. Your final paragraph should restate your interest in the position and your appreciation for the interview.

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