In the sample letters available in pdf form below, we trace the story of one particular job seeker from her query for company information to her thank you letter after her interview to a sample letter of acceptance (as well as a sample letter of decline) once she receives a job offer. Though these letters are hypothetical, they are modeled on real letters that I have worked on with students over the years, and they represent real scenarios and decisions that students are faced with—scenarios that must be responded to in writing.
In form, the letters are all professional and conventional, following the same overall format guidelines that apply to cover letters. In tone, the letters are increasingly warm and personal, especially as the writer develops a relationship with the company representative whom she has met. In content, the letters are specific to the circumstances (“‘Project Paradigm’ holds a special interest for me . . .”) and both efficient and purposeful, so that they can read quickly and comprehended easily. Note that even in the final example, which declines the job offer, the writer remains cordial, specific and explanatory, and hopeful that she may have further contact with the company in the future. In a word, she remains professional.