From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

November 2021
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Letter Writing. Importance of tailored, precise and respectful letters
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:31 am

One of the leading skills that we take away from our
experience, education and learning from others is
“articulating thoughts” in letters.  Notice the specificity
at the end of the sentence.  [Many sources point out
that articulating relates to speech, lucid is more to
tuned to writing.]

Articulating thoughts in writing means that there is a
specific goal for your letter, whether  
  showing your 
interest in a specific position 
, stating the significance of a 
research paper
you wish to submit to a journal editor
, or filing an interest or complaint with an authority
Lindsey McMahon encapsulates barriers to lucid
writing identifying four hurdles:
 - cultural differences:  while it is easier to describe 
international professionals working in American 
enterprises, I have found manufacturing organizations
have “time critical” focus that is not present in R&D,
for example.
Observe and pay attention to words used and timeliness,
intent and action.
 - verbs, active/passive voice and word order:  
interpretations and meaning can vary from person to
 - finding the right term:  so often loss of specificity
can lead to undesired outcomes
 - anxiety can lead to including unrelated information
due to uncertainty.  Joining organizations like 
Toastmaster International may prove to be a growing
In most cases good letter writing open doors to many
opportunities as well as the goal for your writing.  
Keywords, knowing how letters are received and 
recorded (sometimes documents are screened by 
software before humans scan them), and who and
how letters are addressed (formal is more often
appropriate) are take-aways for good letter writing. 
See also.

2 Responses to “Letter Writing. Importance of tailored, precise and respectful letters”

  1. site admin Says:

    Al Sklover elaborates many significant pointers on writing letters.
    Look at his site for insights and direction. 
  2. site admin Says:

    Things to avoid in cover letters:
    1. “My skills and experience are an excellent fit for this position.”
    At the beginning of every cover letter, state the position you’re
    applying to. Then describe exactly how your skills and experience
    are a good fit.
    2. “I have been looking for an opportunity to work in this industry.”
    Employers want to hire someone who cares about their company,
    not someone who finds all companies in a particular industry
    interchangeable. Show you’ve done your homework.
     3. “Thank you for taking the time to read my resume.” Ending a
    cover letter with a request for an interview will lead to more job
    4. “I am an experienced, goal-oriented team player.” cover letters
    should show personal qualities, not tell about them.

     Always spell check and proofread your document first. Better
    yet, have a grammar-minded friend do it for you. Misspellings,
    typos and errors show your lack attention to detail.

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