What are job inquiry letters, and why and when should you send them if you're job hunting? A job inquiry letter, also known as a prospecting letter, cold-conduct letter, or letter of interest, is sent to companies that may be hiring but haven't advertised job openings.
This type of letter is a way for you to get your resume in front of a hiring manager and possibly be considered for employment even before a job is listed.
A well-written inquiry letter can help you get noticed by an employer who may not be actively recruiting.
Review the following information on how to write a letter or email inquiring about jobs, with examples of mailed and email inquiry letters.
Why Write a Letter of Inquiry
A letter of inquiry is a good way to connect with a company. Because the letter is unsolicited, sending it shows that you're proactive and have a genuine interest in the company. As well as inquiring about open or upcoming positions, a letter of inquiry can also be used to set up an informational interview with human resources or high-level employees.
While the company may not be hiring currently, or may not have a job posted that is appropriate for you, a letter of inquiry will help you be on the company's radar when opportunities that are suitable for you arise.
How to Find a Contact Person
Whenever possible, it's best to be able to address your letter of inquiry to someone specific, rather than having a generic greeting such as "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern." Check with your friends, family, and professional network to see whether they know anyone at the company.
LinkedIn can be helpful for tracking down connections, as well as providing you with a communication channel. See more tips for how to find contacts at a company.
You can also send a letter of inquiry to people in the human resources department, or to a manager-level contact in the department you'd ideally like to work in.
What to Include in Your Job Inquiry Letter
Inquiry letters should contain information on why the company interests you, and detail how and why your skills and experience would be an asset to the company.
Politeness and brevity are key when it comes to writing a letter of inquiry—remember, you're aiming to make a good impression, and to show that you'd be an asset to the company. Follow the same tone and guidelines you'd use if you were writing a cover letter for an advertised job.
Unlike a cover letter, though, you can't use the job description to determine which qualifications and experience to highlight. Instead, emphasize how your skills and experience would be helpful to the company overall.
Use the letter of inquiry to sell yourself, putting a spotlight on the strengths you'd offer the company, and why the company's mission and goals appeal to you.
Inquiry Letter Sample
When writing the letter, follow these professional letter writing guidelines to make sure your request will be considered. Include a copy of your resume. Also, provide information on how you will follow up and where you may be contacted. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.
Printed Inquiry Letter Sample (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2021
123 Business Road
Huntington, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee,
Thank you for taking the time to review my resume. I have recently graduated from University College, and I am currently looking for a position in the Huntington area.
I am interested in an entry-level role with ABCD Company’s Accounting department, hoping to leverage my knowledge of corporate accounting and GAAP best practices to contribute to your operations. I have heard that ABCD is a wonderful company to work for, and I hope that I can be considered for the team.
If you have questions regarding my credentials and qualifications, please feel free to call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, thank you for reviewing my resume. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Job Inquiry Email Message Example
Follow these guidelines for sending professional email messages when you write an email inquiry letter. If you include a copy of your resume, mention it in the message and attach it to the email.
Subject: Introduction — Nanette Applicant
Dear Ms. Tallen,
For the past ten years, I have followed your career through news events, interviews, and web research.
Your dedication to the media and your understanding of the important role journalists play in today's fast-paced information highway, coupled with your belief in the power of the press, is exemplary.
I have had the privilege of honing my journalistic abilities on three widely different publications. When I left college, I immediately went to work for the typical small town newspaper and learned all aspects of getting the paper to the people in a timely manner. I then moved to become Regional Manager for a media corporation composed of small- to mid-sized newspapers in the Midwest. In my current position, I am Chief Correspondent for one of the largest newspapers in the Southwest.
I would like an opportunity to visit with you to get your insight and suggestions on where my skills and abilities would be of the greatest value to the ABD Company, and to inquire about possible job openings with the company.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.
How to Send a Job Inquiry Letter
Inquiry letters can be sent via mail or email. However, because you are asking about employment opportunities with a company rather than for a specific job opening, a mailed paper letter can make a much better impression than an email message which may not be opened or read.