Employment Documents: Inquiry Letters

Job inquiry letters describe your strengths and explain your employment interest to potential employers. Sending these letters (sometimes called “broadcast” or “cold” letters) to the companies or employers you have targeted can help uncover unlisted or upcoming employment opportunities.

Tips for writing letters of inquiry:

  • Begin your letter by stating who you are and giving your status or position (such as student, researcher, interested consumer, etc.), and tell how you found out about the individual or entity you are writing to.
  • Be courteous and quick. This is an unsolicited inquiry, and you could be imposing on the reader’s time and/or resources.
  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm and energy with language and style appropriate to your field.
  • Use simple and direct wording whenever possible.
  • Appeal to the employer’s self-interest by demonstrating that you have researched the organization.
  • State how you (and perhaps only you) can fulfill their needs, needs of which they may not yet be aware.
  • Give positive, truthful accounts of accomplishments and skills that relate directly to the position.
  • Request to have a talk, discussion, or meeting, rather than an interview.
  • Inquiry letters can be fairly short but should be long enough to thoroughly explain what it is you are inquiring about and what you want the recipient to do in response.
  • Make it as easy as possible for the person to respond to your request. Consider reminding the recipient that he/she may reply to your request via email.

*NOTE: When the person responds to your inquiry, it is a good idea to send a quick note of thanks expressing your appreciation, especially if the letter is sent via email.

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Technical Writing for Technicians by Will Fleming is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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