How to write employment prospecting letters

Written by lisa f. wilson
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If you feel as though you have exhausted the want ads and still have been unable to find a job, a well-crafted prospect letter can open the door to future employment even if the business you are contacting is not actively seeking new employees.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Current resume

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  1. 1

    Assess your abilities. Before you contact any prospective employer you need to honestly evaluate your skills, knowledge, interests and goals. There is no point in writing to a company that develops medical equipment if your passions lie in making toys.

  2. 2

    Research the companies that suit your capabilities and objectives. For your letter to be effective, you need to do a bit of homework; find out the history of the company, their current achievements and their present struggles. Make a special note of any problems that fall within your sphere of experience.

  3. 3

    Open your letter with the reason why you have chosen to contact this specific company. Use the information you found when you investigated the business to demonstrate how your skills would benefit their company. For example: "I have been following your company since its inception in 2000. I read in the January issue of Toy Magazine that you are having trouble breaking into the preschool toy market. As a former developer for Widget Toys, I designed two of the top ten toddler toys for 2009."

  4. 4

    Expand on why you would be a good fit for their business. In one or two short paragraphs describe your specific skills and how those abilities could be an asset to their company. Be precise; name the department in which you desire to work, and exactly what kind of position you want. Emphasise your previous achievements and connect them to the job you are seeking.

  5. 5

    Close your letter by reiterating your interest in working for the company, and a request to speak to the addressee. Let them know when you plan to follow-up on your communication---"I hope you will take my call at 11 am on Monday the 14th"---and also give them your contact information.

  6. 6

    Enclose an updated copy of your resume.

  7. 7

    Follow-up your letters with a phone call.

Tips and warnings

  • Even if a company accepts unsolicited e-mails, send a hardcopy letter; it makes you stand out.
  • If someone referred you to the company, state that fact in your letter.
  • After the follow-up send a thank-you note, regardless of the outcome.
  • Always address your letter to a specific person.
  • Never send photocopied letters. Each letter should be an original and hand-signed.
  • Keep your missive as brief as possible. This lets the reader know you respect her time.
  • Avoid overuse of technical jargon.

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