Sample Letter Requesting Career Advice

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When you begin a job search, or even if you are simply considering beginning a search, it’s a good idea to get career advice from an expert. You might want to request career advice from someone in your network who has expertise in your industry, or someone who works for a company you are interested in.

Best Practices for Writing a Letter Requesting Career Advice

One way to request career advice is to write a letter. 

  • Explain who you are: At the beginning of your letter, explain who you are. If you are friends or close acquaintances, you obviously do not need to do this. However, if you are not close acquaintances, remind the person of who you are and how you met (for example, “It was a pleasure meeting you last month at the sales conference in Boston”). If you were put in touch with this person through a mutual acquaintance, explain the connection (for example, “Our mutual friend Linda Smith suggested I get in touch with you.”).
  • State your request: After a brief introduction, clearly state why you are writing. If you are looking for information about specific careers within an industry, say so. If you are moving and looking for advice about jobs within a particular city, explain this. Also, state if you are hoping for an in-person meeting or informational interview. Make it clear, so the person can best answer you.
  • Provide any materials: You should briefly state your level of work experience within whatever industry you are in. However, don’t go into great detail. Instead, simply provide a copy of your resume, or even a portfolio, to give the person a sense of your work.
  • Follow up: Towards the end of the letter, explain how you will follow up. You might say that you will call them within a couple days or a week. However you plan to get in touch, state it in the letter.
  • Keep it short: Even though it is important to include all this information, you want to keep the letter short. This person is probably very busy and will be more likely to read and respond to a concise letter.
  • Edit, edit, edit: This is a business letter, and might even be your first impression with this person. Therefore, be sure to reread your letter before sending it, watching out for errors. You might even ask a friend or career counselor to edit the letter too.

    How to Use Letter Samples

    A letter example helps you with the layout of your letter. Examples also show you what elements you need to include, such as introductions and body paragraphs.

    Along with helping with your layout, letter samples can help you see what kind of content you should include in your documents, such as a description of your job search or a brief introduction of yourself.

    While examples are a great starting point to your letter, you should always be flexible. You should tailor a letter example to fit your own job search, and your relationship with the person you’re writing to.

    Sample Letter Requesting Career Advice

    Dear Ms. Rowe,

    I am a friend of Emily Little, and she encouraged me to get in touch with you. I know Emily through a local children’s theater, for which I was a lighting assistant this past semester. I also see her at college music performances, as I am in the orchestra.

    I am graduating from XYZ College this spring, and am looking for jobs in the Boston area. I am looking for any positions available within the performing arts, specifically theater tech. I would appreciate any recommendations you can offer regarding this job search.

    I have attached my resume. Most of my theatrical experience is in lighting and TD; however, I have done everything, from props to stage management.

    Thank you for your time. I will call tomorrow to see when you might be available for a brief conversation. I look forward to speaking with you.

    Sincerely,

    Susan Sharp
    123 Main Street
    XYZ Town, NY 11111
    Cell: 555-555-5555
    susansharp@XYZ.com