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Grab Their Attention With a Winning Letter or Email

Whether you are following up after a career fair or applying for an internship/job, your correspondence with employers creates an impression and illustrates your communication skills. Always use a professional tone and polished language. Adhere to the 3 Cs Rule: all correspondence must be clear, concise, and compelling. You must state very clearly who you are and why you are writing. Your goal is to compel your reader to take further action, such as arranging an interview or extending a job offer.

Networking/Canvassing Emails

The goal of a networking/canvassing email is to help you build a network of professional contacts.  A well written networking/canvassing email will be used to initiate a conversation directly with an employer, alumni, or key contact within an organization. See below for sample email subject lines, introductions, and closings. 

Sample Email Subject Lines:

  • Potential Internship Opportunities at ________________
  • Strong Applicant for your ________________ department
  • I met you at ________________

Sample Introduction:

  • I am writing to explore internship opportunities with your firm. I am in my junior year at Rutgers University majoring in ________________ and am interested in learning more about the field from a reputable industry leader.
  • If you are seeking an intern with a strong work ethic, hands-on training and real-world business experience, then please review the attached resume.
  • I was referred to you by our mutual acquaintance, ________________. He/she thought you would be an excellent resource for me to find out more about the field and seek advice about my job search strategy.
  • I received your name through the Rutgers University Student Alumni Career Connect database and would like to speak with you regarding your experience in the ________________ field.

Sample Closing:
I welcome the opportunity to elaborate on how I could make a meaningful contribution to your organization. Thank you for your consideration.  
Thank you for your assistance in forwarding my resume to others within your organization who may have a need for someone with my education and background.

Sample Request for Informational Interview:
I would like to speak with you to ask your advice and learn about the field of [insert industry area]. Based on your knowledge and experience, I believe you would offer unique insight that may help me refine my career goals. Would you be available to speak with me for 15 or 20 minutes sometime in the next few weeks so that I may ask you some questions?

Cover Letters and Emails

The goal of the cover letter is to persuade the reader to review your resume and to prove how you meet the employer’s qualifications. When sending your resume via email, the body of your email message is your cover letter. Generally speaking, your cover letter can include three paragraphs.

Sample Email Subject Lines:

  • Your post for a ________________
  • Job Posting on Rutgers Handshake ________________
  • Qualified Applicant for ________________ Position

Sample Lead in Sentence for 1st Paragraph:

  • I am a ________________ major in my ________________ year at Rutgers University and am writing in response to your job posting on Rutgers Handshake for a ________________.
  • I am very interested in the ________________ position you have advertised on LinkedIn and have attached my resume for your review. The position matches my background, experience and career interests perfectly.

Sample Lead in Sentence for 2nd Paragraph (follow with a comparison of your qualifications/selling points and their requirements):

  • I possess many of the qualifications mentioned in your job post, including:
  • As the attached resume indicates, my background is particularly well suited for the position.  Please consider the following brief comparison:
  • Please allow me to draw your attention to a few of the ways my background meets your requirements:
  • I have completed extensive coursework and laboratory experiments in many of the areas discussed in your job post including:
  • The attached resume provides a detailed outline of the skills I have acquired through my education and work experience. Those that may be of particular interest to you include:
  • I believe the combination of my education and experience make me an ideal candidate for this position. Please take note of the following in reviewing my resume:

Sample Final Paragraph Closing:

  • I would like to meet personally to discuss the ways I can contribute to your organization’s needs.  I can be reached at ________________ .  Thank you for your time and consideration.
  • I look forward to meeting you to discuss the needs of your _______department and how my background can accommodate them.  I can be reached at ________________ to arrange an interview at your earliest convenience