Professional Communication

As you research career fields, network with companies and apply for positions you will certainly contact employers to ask questions, inquire about interviews or thank them for their time. While the most frequently used documents are your resume and cover letter, here are a few additional documents you might find useful.

Reference List

Throughout the application process you might be asked to submit a list of references. Your references should be persons in positions of authority who have direct knowledge of your work or study habits, such as former supervisors from internships, summer jobs or volunteer work or professors, advisors or mentors you have here at Wake Forest. Before submitting your reference list, make sure to contact your references and ask if they’re willing to serve as your reference and send each of your references an updated copy of your resume so that they will be aware of your accomplishments and have something to refresh their memory while talking to a future employer about your skills and qualifications.

Download Reference List Sample

After you’ve determined who will serve as your references, format your list like this sample.

Job Inquiry/Direct Contact Letter

As you search for open positions for an internship or full-time job you might need to reach out to an employer with a job inquiry or direct contact letter. These letters are frequently used when there are no open positions listed on the company’s website or if you can’t find the company’s employment page. In this letter you “inquire about employment opportunities” and explain why you’re interested in working for that company or in that industry. A job inquiry letter is less direct than a cover letter but you should still highlight at least one of your relevant experiences.

Download Sample Inquiry Letter

Before you write your job inquiry letter review this example.

Thank You Letter

Whether you meet with an employer over the phone or in person for a general meeting, informational interview or internship or job interview, make sure you follow up with a thank you letter no more than 48 hours after you meet. As you draft your thank you letter think back to the conversation you had or look back at the notes you took and include specific examples from your discussion. Reminding the employer of specific details from the conversation shows your interest in the position and your eagerness to learn.

Download Sample Thank You Letter

Here’s an example of a thank you letter written after an information interview.

Letter to Accept or Decline a Job Offer

Even if you have accepted a job or internship offer over the phone, it is a good idea to write a letter to the employer to formally accept the offer. Address the letter to the person who offered you the position and confirm the details of the job or internship offer such as location, salary, benefits, and start date.

If you decide to reject a job or internship offer, write a letter to the employer to thank them for their consideration and decline the offer. Keep the letter brief and polite. It is not necessary to include details about why you are declining the offer.

Networking Email

Networking is crucial as you research industries and companies and search for opportunities for an internship or full-time job. To learn more about how to best correspond with contacts in your professional network visit our “Connect With a Contact” page.