8C339FD0-C535-4E66-D0C64B63C37F036A
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Career and Life Outcomes Center

 @HCCareerCtr

Maurice Horowitch Career
and Life Outcomes Center
315-859-4346
315-859-4332 (fax)

WRITE: Resumes & Professional Correspondence

Cover & Exploratory Letters

Cover letters and exploratory emails are the two primary types of correspondence you will use when applying for jobs and internships. While a cover letter is expected when applying for a specific position, an exploratory email is used when you are reaching out to an organization to inquire about potential opportunities, especially for informal career-related experiences.

Exploratory Emails:
  • Use an exploratory email when seeking internship, volunteer, or shadowing opportunities that are not listed.
  • The major difference between exploratory and networking emails is your request at the end of the email. A networking email is a request for a conversation, while an exploratory email is a CRE inquiry.
  • An excellent exploratory email:
    • Articulates skills, interests, and experiences
    • Demonstrates knowledge of the organization
    • Inquires about the possibility of a career-related experience
Cover Letters:
  • An excellent cover letter is personalized and targeted to the employer and the job. Never try to use a template, it will be obvious.
  • Be sure that you are targeting your letter to the specific job, not just the company.
  • Use business format (includes dates, address, and is formal in tone) even in an email.
  • Establish “fit” in the 1st paragraph of the letter: What makes you a good fit for this company?
  • Relay how your skills and experiences will benefit the employer.
  • Ask for an interview at the close of the letter.