How to Write a Job Inquiry Letter (With Examples)
Updated March 10, 2023
If you are seeking a job with a specific employer, there may be ways to find positions in addition to just looking at public job postings. You can be proactive in your job search by sending a job inquiry letter to relevant individuals to express your interest in joining their team. This is a great way to network with other professionals in your field and create a positive rapport with companies you are interested in working with. In this article, we’ll define job inquiry letters and give you tips and examples for writing your own.
What is a job inquiry letter?
A job inquiry letter—also known as a letter of interest—is a method of contacting employers that may be hiring, but do not have active job postings for your field. Write a letter of inquiry to directly contact a prospective employer to explain how your skills can benefit their company and ask if they have an opening. These letters allow you to network and be considered for employment as soon as a job opening arises.
The letter of inquiry is different from a cover letter because a cover letter is for a job that is already posted. Cover letters are written when applying for an open position to connect your skills with the requirements in the job description and are submitted with your resume. A job inquiry letter is for a role that is not posted with the company in which you are interested in gaining employment.
How to write a job inquiry letter
A strong job inquiry letter is memorable and catches the recipient’s attention. Carefully executing each of these steps can help you create a short, effective letter of interest to submit to prospective employers. Here are the steps to follow to write an effective job inquiry letter:
1. Find a contact person
Addressing a letter of inquiry to a specific individual at the company will help ensure the letter reaches the right person. Finding a relevant contact person shows your research skills and dedication to the employer. The individual at the company will be impressed to receive a letter addressed to them, instead of a generic "To whom it may concern" opening.
To find a good contact person, ask your friends, family and professional network if they know anyone who works at the company. If it is a smaller company, you can call their general phone number and ask for the name of individuals who work in the department in which you are seeking employment. A letter to a small company can also be addressed directly to the CEO, as they will likely be involved in any hiring decisions.
If you have no other way to find a contact at the company, a web search for the company name and the job field you are seeking can give you some names of individuals who work there.
Related: How To Address a Cover Letter
2. Create a memorable introduction
Once you have determined who to address your job inquiry letter to, you are ready to start writing it. Begin by writing an introduction that will establish a connection with your contact at the company. If you don’t know the individual, briefly explain how you found them and why you are writing.
If someone you know gave you their contact, state your mutual connection to build an instant rapport. If you have been following this contact or company for a while, be sure to mention that to demonstrate your knowledge and passion for this particular company.
Example 1: “As a recent honors graduate in finance, I am eager to find a position where I can learn and grow with the best in the finance industry. I have been following your company for some time and am impressed with your team’s ability to maintain a steady financial portfolio growth and provide stellar trading advice to your clients. I am highly motivated and ready to join your team as a financial analyst when the opportunity arises.”
Example 2: “I have been following the recent growth of your organization after the launch of your new product line. This product has a phenomenal ability to enhance your customer’s lives and continue to grow your consumer base. I am writing to ask you to consider adding a strategist role to your marketing team. I have a proven record of implementing marketing strategies to reach new consumers who will love the product. I believe my innovative marketing skills would be a good fit for your team.”
Example 3: “I am at an early stage in my design career and I was recently mentored by Jane Applicant, who gave me your contact information. I am passionate about designing functional, high-performance activewear for athletes and would be honored to join a team of the best at your brand. I would love to connect with you regarding future opportunities on your design team.”
3. Highlight your skills
In your second paragraph, write about your skills, qualifications and experience that make you a strong candidate for this company. Explain how your skill set would be an asset to the employer. This should be a brief summary to get their attention and encourage them to request further information about you.
Research the company to understand their needs, strengths and weaknesses. If you identify an area where they could improve, politely state this in your letter and elaborate on how you would improve this area. Avoid giving away too much information, so that they will need to hire you to gain full access to the strategy.
Example 1: “During college, I completed two internships at a financial institution and a bank where I honed my financial accounting, auditing, investment banking and trading skills. I dedicated my senior project to studying the stock market and determining the optimal time to trade, buy or sell. I have a meticulous attention to detail, especially in logging accurate accounting books, and I’m proactive in completing high-quality work ahead of deadlines.”
Example 2: “I have five years of experience as a senior marketing strategist with a local brand, where I lead a team of four junior marketing analysts and the company’s highest gross profit segment. During my first year in this role, I increased website page views by 130% and continued to grow views by 5% each year since. I led our company’s social media marketing campaign, where we saw an average of 10,000 re-directs to our website from the social media posting. Additionally, the sales revenue of my segment increased by 50% over the five years I have been a part of the team.”
Example 3: “While in college, I was awarded best in show for my active collection in the annual fashion show. Last summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the Mary Brown brand, where I used my Adobe Illustrator and InDesign skills to assist the team in designing the summer 2020 collection. I was responsible for designing three original tops, two pairs of compression leggings and an athleisure dress. One of the tops, one pair of leggings and the dress were chosen to be a part of the final collection.”
4. Write a brief conclusion
After establishing a connection and covering your relevant skills, briefly conclude your job inquiry letter by letting the employer know you would like to meet with them and thanking them for their time. You can also include the best way for them to contact you, if desired, but your contact information should also be at the top of the page in your header. After writing a strong final statement, choose a professional and polite closing. A few appropriate closings to consider are:
I hope we can set up a time to meet to discuss how my qualifications can be a benefit to your company. If you have any questions regarding my skills, please call or e-mail me at the contacts listed at the top of the letter. Thanks again for reviewing my resume. I look forward to hearing from you.
“I would be grateful if you could add my name to your list of potential candidates for future design roles. My resume and work samples are attached, please let me know if I can provide any additional references. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding a design career with XYZ brand. Thank you for your time and consideration.
5. Send the letter
Once your letter is complete, determine how you will send it to your target recipient. The letter can be sent via email or printed and mailed to the company. As the job you are inquiring about is not yet posted, it is less time-sensitive, so a mailed paper letter can leave a stronger impression. If the recipient of your letter handles a lot of email communications, an emailed letter could be missed in their busy workday. If you mail your letter, fold it neatly in a plain, white envelope and neatly write the recipient’s name and address along with your return address.
An emailed job inquiry letter could be better perceived by a technology company or tech-savvy recruiters, who may file your letter in a digital folder that they can easily perform a computer keyword search when they have a job opening. Since the content of the email will be your job inquiry letter, you may choose to remove your header so the recipient sees your letter right away when they open the email. You can also attach the letter in its original format to the email.
The research you do on the employer and recipient of your letter will help you determine the best method for sending your job inquiry letter to them. Whichever format you choose, be sure to include your resume, either by printing it and putting it in the envelope with your job inquiry letter or by attaching it to your email.
Tips for writing a job inquiry letter
Building strong relationships with potential employers can help you grow your professional network and gain future employment. A letter of inquiry is a great way to contact individuals at your desired employer and share how you can benefit their business. Make sure to proofread the letter carefully. Here are some tips to remember as you finalize your letter:
Be professional: This letter is likely your first point of contact with your prospective employer. Start the relationship on a strong, professional note by using appropriate greetings and closings, polite language and including relevant information.
Explain why you are interested in this employer: Show the employer your knowledge of and dedication to this company in your first paragraph by briefly explaining a favorite product, feature or why this company stands out to you.
Highlight your qualifications: Briefly emphasis your accomplishments with high-quality keywords and then explain how you will be an asset to the employer. This is a short introduction to you and your skills; the employer can follow up with you to learn more details on your qualifications after you have their attention.
Ask for an interview: Conclude your letter by asking to set up a time to meet or talk over the phone with the employer. You can use this time to build a rapport and elaborate on your job inquiry letter.
Include your contact information: The employer needs to know how to get in touch with you. A professional email address and phone number are sufficient. Using your standard resume and cover letter header on the job inquiry letter is a good way to include your contact information.
Use coordinating templates for your letters and resume: If you have a header template for your resume and cover letters, use that for your job inquiry letter, too. This creates a consistent, personal brand and can be memorable if they see the same header on a job application in the future.
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