Job Inquiry Letter Samples and Writing Tips
A job inquiry letter, also known as a prospecting letter or letter of interest, is sent to companies that may be hiring but haven't advertised job openings. A well-written inquiry letter can help you get noticed by an employer who may not be actively recruiting. It's 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.
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 higher 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 if they know anyone at the company.
LinkedIn can be helpful for tracking down connections, as well as providing you with a communication method. See more tips for how to find contacts at a company.
You can 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 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, as well as 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.
Printed 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.
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Contact,
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 (for 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 Line of Email Message: Introduction — Your Name
Dear Contact Name,
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.
Read More: Letter of Interest/Prospecting Letter | Sample Letter of Interest | Value Proposition Letter
A well-written letter of inquiry can be your ticket to securing funding for your project. Many foundations now prefer that funding requests be submitted first in letter format instead of a full proposal. Others are using preliminary letters of inquiry to see if they have an interest in a project before accepting a full proposal.
An effective letter of inquiry is often more difficult to write than a full proposal. The letter of inquiry should be brief—no more than three pages—and must be a short but thorough presentation of the need or problem you have identified, the proposed solution, and your organization's qualifications for implementing that solution. The letter of inquiry should be addressed to the appropriate contact person at a foundation or to its CEO and should be sent by regular mail.
Like a grant proposal, the letter of inquiry should include the following sections:
The introduction serves as the executive summary for the letter of inquiry and includes the name of your organization, the amount needed or requested, and a description of the project. The qualifications of project staff, a brief description of evaluative methodology, and a timetable are also included here.
The organization description should be short and focus on the ability of your organization to meet the stated need. Provide a very brief history and description of your current programs while demonstrating a direct connection between what you do now and what you want to do with the requested funding. You will expand on this in greater detail if you are invited to submit a full proposal.
The statement of need must convince the reader that there is an important need that can be met by your project. The statement of need includes: a description of the target population and geographical area, appropriate statistical data in abbreviated form, and several concrete examples.
The methodology should be appropriate to your statement of need and present a clear, logical, and achievable solution to the stated need. Describe the project briefly, including major activities, names and titles of key project staff, and your desired objectives. As with the organization description, this will be presented in far greater detail in a full proposal.
Other funding sources being approached for support of this project should be listed in a brief sentence or paragraph.
The final summary restates the intent of the project, offers to answer further questions, and thanks the potential funder for its consideration. Note: Only include attachments if the funder asks for them, and be sure to follow any guidelines for attachments.
Sample Letters of Inquiry
Samples of actual letters of inquiry are usually hard to find because the donor and applicant may be very protective of these documents. Also, they usually are very specific to the project, organization, and funder.
However, our Sample Documents section is a searchable collection of proposals, cover letters, letters of inquiry, and proposal budgets that were actually funded. Each proposal includes a critique by the decision-maker who awarded the grant.
These sample documents come from our book, Grantseeker's Guide to Winning Proposals, which you can buy at our Marketplace or use at our libraries and Funding Information Network locations.
You also might check if anyone in your professional networks would be willing to share sample letters of inquiry, proposals, and similar documents.
See also our related resources:
- How do I write a grant proposal?
- Our extensive resources on developing proposals
More articles about proposal writing»
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