A cover letter is sent to an employer upon applying for job, but with technology there is often a pre-step that allows you to introduce yourself via e-mail and show interest in a position. An inquiry is best to send when the application process is unclear or you want more information on the job before applying. Though some of the information is the same, there is a distinct difference between a cover letter and inquiry. A cover letter showcases your talent while an inquiry briefly addresses your skills while focusing on your interest in the position.
Address the email letter like a cover letter to a specific person within the company such as the human resource director or manager. Use professional language and address with a title such as "Dear Mr. John Smith." Addressing the letter to the appropriate department head shows that you have researched the job position your are interested in.
Introduce yourself and explain where you found the job advertisement (such as listed on a job board or in a newsletter). Explain why you are interested in the job with clear, precise language. For example, you could write, "I am writing to inquire about the administrative assistant position advertised on Craigslist. I am a good candidate for this position because I have three years experience with J. Smith Interiors, but would like more information on the candidate you seek."
Explain why you want to work for the company. Before writing an e-mail of interest, research the company so you can include that information in your e-mail. Demonstrating your interest in the company shows you are interested in working for the company. For example, you could say, "Not only do I demonstrate the ability to complete clerical work, but I also have an interest in interior design. I understand the basic concepts and feel this will help when working one-on-one with your clients through e-mail and telephone conversations."
Conclude the letter with a "thank you for your time" and inquire where you can send your cover letter, resume and references to be considered for the position.
Spell check to assure there are no spelling errors. Keep the letter short and direct because the cover letter and resume should further explain your qualifications.