Published on Oct. 24, 2018
Updated on Nov. 15, 2021
Here at the MU Career Center, we are continuously updating our materials to ensure we are always providing students with the most accurate information possible. We recently did just that with our “Cover Letter” and “Thank You Letter” handouts, combining them to create the brand new “Guide to Employer Communication” handout. This handout covers both of those topics, as well as contains material on communicating professionally through email and LinkedIn.
Each of these resources is unique in their purpose but equal in importance:
Cover Letters are meant to complement your résumé; they should look like they come together as a package deal. They also provide you with the ability to express yourself and add some of your personality into the application.
Thank You Letters are intended to be sent after an interview, shadowing experience, or networking event. They don’t have to be handwritten either it’s acceptable to email them as well. If possible, they should be sent within a 24 hour period after your interaction with the person, so they can more easily remember you.
LinkedIn communication allows you to network with people all around the world from all different corporations. It is an excellent resource for not only making connections but requesting informational interviews to gain an inside look at what a potential profession might look like.
Email communication is used regularly and for a vast amount of reasons. Through email, you can ask an employer or representative if any positions are opening up or follow up on a past interview to reiterate your interest in the position.
This past summer I was applying for Journalism related internships. To my excitement and slight surprise, I received more than one offer for the summer! Later in the summer, I was speaking with my employer, and he communicated with me the process through which I was hired. After my first interview, which took place over the phone, he said they took me off the list because they thought I was too formal. That night I wrote him a Thank You Letter, and he said upon reading it he enjoyed my overall style of writing and put me back on their hiring list for the round two in-person interviews! He told me after that interview I was his by far his favorite candidate and ended up receiving the position.
I share this example to show that knowing the proper way to communicate with potential employers could in fact be the one thing that sets you apart from other candidates and gets you hired.