Inquiry Cover Letter Examples

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What are Cover Letters and Letters of Inquiry?

Cover letters: When mailing your resume to prospective employers, it should always be accompanied by a cover letter. Your letter should capture the interest of the employer and communicate a personalized message about what you can contribute to that particular organization. Make sure to tailor your letters for each employer, because letters that are mass produced and generic are unappealing.

Letters of Inquiry: A letter of inquiry is similar to a cover letter, but it asks about possible job opportunities rather than responding to a specific job announcement.

What to Include

Begin by addressing your letter to a specific person. This may involve some research on your part, such as a call to the organization to find out the correct name and title of the person to whom you should write. "Dear Sir/Madam" is very impersonal and indicates a lack of real interest in the organization and the person to whom you should write.

In the body of the letter, make it short and to the point. Throughout the letter, avoid the use of flowery language and cliches. Identify who you are, why you are writing, and where you learned of the opening. Relate your qualifications and skills to the position or organization to which you are applying. This demonstrates your knowledge of the organization and illustrates how you can be an asset to them. Refer to your resume without restating it word for word. Your cover letter is supposed to highlight your resume. The goal is to emphasize a few strong, specific examples that highlight your experience, skills, passion, and qualifications. This is your time to communicate your passion, interest, and enthusiasm – utilize the time! To conclude the letter, indicate what you want to happen next. If you want an interview, ask for it.

Format and Style

Any business-style letter format is appropriate (e.g. full-block format, modified-block format). Always indicate whether there are enclosures included (e.g. resume, writing sample, transcript).

When writing your letter, keep in mind the reader's perspective. The most effective cover letters are clear, concise, and convey messages in three to five paragraphs. Your letter should not exceed one page in length.

Use paper that matches the paper of your printed resume. You may use matching envelopes or plain manila envelopes. Like the resume, your letter must be neat and typed with no spelling or grammar errors.

Examples

Read through our three paragraph model for writing cover letters, or click the images below for sample cover letters:

How We Can Help

Career & Academic Planning staff can review and provide feedback on your cover letter or other job search correspondence during a 30-minute individual meeting. At minimum, you need to have a first draft written to schedule an appointment. You can schedule an appointment online, or schedule an appointment by calling us at 540-568-6555.

Sample Inquiry Letter to Ask About Available Jobs

Do you know of a company you would love to work for? Even if the organization isn't hiring, you may be able to capture their attention with a well-written inquiry letter.

What to Include in the Letter

The most important thing to know about an inquiry letter is that it needs to be a sales pitch. You need to sell your expertise to the reader and get them thinking about the possibility of hiring you. Your letter should be written in a professional business letter format.

Introduce yourself and your interest in the company in the first paragraph. The second paragraph should include a brief synopsis of your experience, education, and qualifications. Use the third paragraph to ask for a meeting to discuss a possible career with the company.

Also, include a copy of your resume to provide more details about your credentials and background.

Options for Addressing the Letter

Who should you address the letter to? There are a few different options. If you know someone at the organization, you can write directly to them. If not, who you contact depends on the size of the company. For smaller employers, address your letter to the CEO or the President. The person running the company will likely be involved in hiring decisions.

For a large company, try to locate someone on the management team responsible for the department in which you're interested in working. It is one time when bypassing human resources, or a hiring manager can make sense because you aren't applying for a job that has been posted.

Mail vs. Email

Even though most hiring takes place online, when you're inquiring about unadvertised openings or even the possibility of a job being created just for you, an inquiry letter sent by mail has a better chance of getting read than an email message. 

The following letter queries an individual about available jobs at an employer.

Inquiry Letter Asking About Possible Job Openings at a Small Company

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

Date

Contact Name
Title
Company
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Contact,

For the past ten years, I have followed your career and the success of [Insert name of Employer / Organization] through news events, interviews, and web research. Your dedication to the news 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 a position as a regional manager for a media corporation composed of small to mid-size 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 your company.

I will call your office to set a convenient time. I do look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name

This second example is good to use as a model when sending an inquiry to a company as a recent college graduate.

Inquiry Letter Asking About Possible Job Openings at a Company (Recent College Graduate)

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

Date

Contact Name
Title
Company
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Contact,

As a recent honors graduate in Accounting at the [insert name of university], I am eager to find a position with a Top Ten accounting firm. Since almost the beginning of my academic major studies, I have researched national accounting firms to determine which might provide challenging career opportunities.

[Insert name of firm] is at the top of my list of “dream employers.”

I am thus writing to inquire if you are anticipating needing either intern or entry-level accountants in the near future. Eager to gain “real world” experience, I am willing to work my way up within your organization.

The talents that I can bring to the table include a strong aptitude (as proven by my 4.0 GPA) in the areas of financial accounting, auditing, corporate accounting, management accounting, and business tax accounting. Possessed of a strong attention to detail, I meticulously check and double-check my work to ensure that all reports are correct and ready for submission well ahead of deadlines.

I would be grateful if you would add my name to your pool of potential job candidates; a copy of my resume is attached. Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information – I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you to learn more about career opportunities at [insert name of firm]. Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response.

Sincerely,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name

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