Exercise 5 Dear Sir or Madam?

If you are not sure whether the receiver is male or female, the salutation 'Dear Sir or Madam' is used. Consider the following table:


Dear Sir or Madam Dear Sir Dear Madam Man or woman, name not known Man, name not known Woman, name not known
Dear Miss Smith Dear Mrs. Smith Dear Ms Smith   Alternative salutations for women. If not sure, use 'Ms'


Now chose the correct salutation and complimentary close for the following:

a) The Manager, Lady Fair Fashions Ltd.

b) The Secretary, Pitton Miner's Club.

c) Lobelia Jones, Gaunton Women's Guild

d) The Foreman, Brick's Construction Co.

e) Mrs. Lydia Lang, Cromby & Son Solicitors.


Exercise 6 Addresses

What does the letter address consist of?

1. The Public Relations Officer

2. Wrourhtown Manufacturing Ltd.

3. 28-34 Lord Street

4. Huddersfield

5. HD2 8UJ

A business address consists of at least five parts six if you add the country at the end, although this is not necessary if you are writing from within Britain.


Put the parts of an address given below into the correct order:

the number and street

the postcode

the addressee

the town or city

the name of the company



Exercise 7. Reasons for writing

Why are you writing?

When you write first, you will probably use the first sentence of your letter to say why you are writing. There are several ways of doing this:

I am aiming to ask (a) .

confirm (b) .

complain (c) .

inform (d) .

thank (e) .


Here is a slightly more 'polite' formulation:

I would like to inquire (f) .

apply (g) .

request (h) .

invite (i) .

apologize (j) .


a) Which word comes next?

From the list below, choose the correct word to follow (a) - (j) opposite:

About that you for


b)For each of the ten verbs((a) -(j) opposite), choose a suitable complement from the following:

(a) for your position advised ...

(b) for your misunderstanding...

(c) you for the high equality of services...

(d) you that the arrangements have been made...

(e) you to visit our establishment...

(f) for some information on certain matters...

(g) the dates which we agreed...

(h) about the offer advertised ...

(i) about the low standard of services...

(j) your assistance in certain matters...


Exercise 8. 'On behalf of.'

If you are writing as a secretary or organiser, you may wish to write 'on behalf of' you members. Practice this opening by thinking of a name for each of the following:

On behalf of the Society







Exercise 9. Wanting to get a relpy

If you write first, you will probably expect some kind of reply to your letter. In that case, the closing sentence will be to that effect, e.g.:

I look forward to hearing from you.

If you expect more than a letter, for example a visit or extra information, what might you write in place of 'hearing'?

I look forward to (a) you next Thursday

(b) your brochure

(c) your factory

(e) your representative.



Unit 4 Cover(ing) Letters/Application Letters


Answer the following questions.

1. What is a cover letter?

2. Why is it important?

3. Who needs a cover letter?

4. What information should be included in it?

5. What is a format of a cover letter?

6. What makes a good cover letter?

Now read the given information and find the answers.


What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter / covering letter or an application letter is a letter of introduction attached to, or accompanying another document such as a résumé or curriculum vitae.


Why is it important?

Your cover letter is as important as your résumé because it is read first! Its purpose is to interest the reader in you as a prospective employee, and therefore it should be a very positive presentation. The cover letter gives you another chance to emphasize what you have to contribute to the company or organization.


Who needs a Cover Letter?

Everyone who sends out a résumé resume does! Even if the cover letter never "came up" in conversation or wasn't mentioned in an advertisement, it's expected that you will write one.


What information should be included in a Cover Letter?

Include the following information:

  • Position you are applying for and how you learned of the opening.
  • Why you are applying for the position, level of interest.
  • Explanation of your qualifications and how you can contribute to the organization.
  • Make reference to your résumé; but don't repeat the same information.
  • State what action you want from them: an interview.
  • Indicate what follow-up action you will take.

Remember: as well as a résumé, your cover letter should be tailored to the specific company.


What is a format of a Cover Letter?

As all types of business letters, cover letters have the same template, the only difference is its body. Read the outline and a sample cover letter.

Outline of a Cover Letter


Your Address (house, street, apartment) Your City, Zip Code   (Date )   Contacts Name Contacts Title Contacts Department Company Name Company Address Company City, State, Zip Code   (Date )   Dear Mr./Ms. last name of contact person: Opening Paragraph: Tell why you are writing; name the position for which you are applying, and tell how you heard of this opening. State why you are interested in working for this employer. If you have lived in the area or know it well, mention this. Specify your interests in the type of work the firm does. Describe what is particularly appealing to you about the employer. (The goal: demonstrating that you are a worthy applicant, and enticing them to read further.) Middle Paragraph(s): Tell more about yourself. If you have had experience, courses, publications or clinic experience, be sure to point out what particular achievements you have accomplished in the employer's field or type of work. Indicate why you are qualified for the job. Emphasize pertinent items on your resume; add information that is not specifically mentioned on your résumé. Include information that is pertinent to the job for which you are applying. Closing Paragraph:Have an appropriate closing to pave the way for an interview. Indicate your willingness to interview personally by stating when you will be in the area or by offering to make yourself available at the employer's convenience. You may wish to indicate that you will call the employer's office within a specific week to try and schedule an interview. Thank the employer for his/her consideration/time.   Sincerely, (leave 4 blank lines for signature)   Your Name (typed)   Enclosure


Sample Cover Letter


123 Main Street Indianapolis, IN 46202 December 1, 1998 Ms. Marilyn C. Employer Hammer, Wrench & Saw 150 Market Street Indianapolis, IN 46204 Dear Ms. Employer: Please consider the enclosed copy of my resume an application for the position of law clerk with your firm. I learned from the Career Services Office that you plan to hire a first-year law student next summer. I was pleased to discover that your firm practices in the area of construction law because that area is of particular interest to me. As the assistant office manager for Longfellow Construction Company, I was involved with some construction law issues. I find this practice area fascinating and would like to learn more about it, as well as the other practice areas of your firm. I enjoy researching and writing, as evidenced by my involvement with the school newspaper. I feel this trait would be an asset to your firm. I am extremely interested in the summer law clerk position with your firm and would appreciate the opportunity to further discuss this matter during an interview. I can interview at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Fredrick Firstyear   Enclosure: resume



REMEMBER! There is no one perfect cover letter. The advice and examples of cover letters suggested here should only be used as guides. It is extremely important that you individualize the letter to highlight your unique qualifications; as they relate to the specific requirements sought by the employer.


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