A letter of inquiry may be used to investigate open positions for employment, gather information regarding products or services, or for family history or genealogy. Here are some helpful tips for writing an inquiry letter that will be opened, read and responded to.
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Package your letter or envelope in a way that will ensure the letter is read. If sending to a company, be sure the letter is addressed to the appropriate person to avoid a shuffle in the mail room.
Grab the attention of the reader early in your inquiry letter.
Specify your intentions through words that are simple but direct. If you are writing an inquiry about employment, identify your strengths or how you may meet their needs.
Clarify that you are not soliciting or trying to sell them anything. People are wary of unsolicited mail especially if asking for personal information in the case of genealogy requests.
Give truthful information. If you are looking for a connection between ancestors, provide specific names and dates. If you are looking for information regarding a product, explain why. If you are looking for employment opportunities, be honest about your accomplishments.
Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to increase the chances of a response.
Make sure your letter includes personal information and contact number. Make it easy on the recipient of the letter to contact you without making them search for your information online or somewhere that may be inaccurate or out-of-date.
Consider a follow-up letter if you do not receive an initial response.
Tips and warnings
- For employment inquiries, a formal letter that does not duplicate your resume is in order. This should be typed and on high-quality paper that matches the envelope.
- You may personalize other inquiries with a handwritten letter, but make sure it is legible.
- Be sure to sign all inquiry letters whether typed or printed.