Wednesday, 7. September 2011
Students have just finished the last shifts of their summer jobs, while their teachers are, more than likely, begrudgingly ending their summer vacations. Here at ResumeMag we are doing a round-up of all our top summer posts.
In previous posts we’ve supplied you with tips on how to handle an interview, from a list of 79 sample job interview questions to advice on how to answer the 10 most popular ‘about you’, job specific and even situational type interview questions.
We’ve provided you with some key tips on how to perform a successful job search, as well as explaining the significance that networking will play on your ability to get an interview.
Today’s post will go one step further, where we will not only teach you the importance of writing an inquiry letter, but will also provide you with some tips on how to write a letter that will give you access to the most sought after jewel of any job hunter. The unadvertised open position.
Why write an inquiry letter?
Simply put, your job searching skills can only get you so far. Not all companies advertise each and every open position they have available. This is one reason why we’ve tried to stress the importance of networking. Knowing someone in the company, even Bob from Accounting, may open some hidden doors for you.
If there is a company that you have set your sights on, but have yet to build any networks, all is not lost. This is where the inquiry letter comes in. A well-written and professional letter will help you to gleam some information about the company that may be otherwise unavailable to the general public, such as unadvertised open positions that are currently available.
Tips on writing an inquiry letter:
An unsolicited letter of inquiry, sent to a company that you have targeted as your next career move, can go a long way to getting your foot in the door. If done properly, your letter of inquiry will help you to establish a relationship with the hiring manager, which will greatly increase your success rate of being invited in for an interview.
As with all correspondence you have with any hiring manager, formal business writing should be maintained. Your inquiry letter should in no way duplicate your cover letter or your professionally written resume.
Your inquiry letter should do the following:
- Be able to not only grab, but also retain, the reader’s attention immediately
- Clearly specify your intentions in language that is simple and direct
- Identify your strengths and how they match the company’s requirements
- Accurately describe your accomplishments and how they would benefit the company
- Close strongly with a request for a further discussion or meeting
Additional things to include in your letter
It might go without saying, but it is extremely important to sign your letter of inquiry, and in ink. You also should include as much contact information as you feel comfortable divulging, be that your mailing address, a contact number, email address, or a combination of all three. Finally including a self-addressed, stamped envelope, may increase the odds of getting a response, be it a positive one or simply to send you a PFO letter.
When it comes time to follow-up your letter of inquiry, the general rule is that you allow the hiring manager at least two-week to respond to your initial request before sending a follow-up letter, phone call or email.