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Understanding an Inquiry Letter

Writing an inquiry letter is fairly similar to if you were writing a cover letter. The difference is that you will be sending it as a cold contact to your prospective employer. It is suitable to send this type of letter to a potential employer when they have not advertised a job opening and you are curious to find out if they have anything available for you. You should use your letter to help match your qualifications to the needs of the position and the employer. You may have several hints of the needs of the company, for example. You might find these based on employment advertisements, phone conversations, informational interviews, and position descriptions.

Your introduction should be respectful but get to the point. You want to introduce yourself and why you are contacting them, but you don’t want to phrase this in a way that’s too blatantly obvious. Try to be as polite as possible. You should use this moment to explain some of your qualifications so that your letter might be more likely to hold their attention for longer. You can mention how you heard about the position. If you’ve talked to someone who doesn’t mind being used as a reference, you may want to mention them at this point in your letter.

Of course, the inquiry letter should be able to include some of the basics. You want to feature a specific contact name and their title at the company when you contact them, so that they are aware that you know who they are and the employment power they may be able to wield. Following up with a request for a meeting or phone call is fine. At the end of the letter, you should provide a thank you to them for taking the time to read your letter. You can also send out a thank you note later on. Like cover letters, it’s a good idea to sign the page in blue ink so that they know that this is an original copy of your letter to them. Your resume should also be attached so they can browse your skills and qualifications.

More often than not, you’re going to end up writing a cover letter instead of an inquiry letter. It’s very rare to be in a position where you might need an inquiry letter. However, if you have had luck with an informational interview or if you have found hints that there may be a prospective position waiting for you at a company, there’s nothing wrong with sending in an inquiry letter to find out what is going on. You may not always get a reply, but even if you don’t, sending a thank you note can be a great way to show your respect for the individual and also remind them that you are still interested in the position if it ever becomes available.


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