Neal Kaplan Follow I'm a director of technical communications working for a data analysis startup in Redwood City. I started as a technical writer, and since then I've also been learning about information architecture, training, content strategy, and even something about customer support. I'm also passionate about cross-team collaboration and user communities.
November 11, 2021 3 min read
It can be exciting to find a job and employer that is an ideal fit for you, but they may not have any posted opportunities for your position.
Job seekers can build a professional network by receiving these letters. If you know someone who works at the organization, you can either email them or ask them for the manager’s contact information.
If you are writing to a small company, you could direct your email to the CEO or another senior executive, as they will likely be involved in the hiring process. If you don’t have any contacts at the larger company, you can conduct a web search to find people who work in the department you want. Emailing someone in your desired department will be more beneficial than reaching out to a human resources associate who may be busy filling vacancies because you are inquiring about a job that is not posted.
If you don’t know the person you’re sending the email to, you can conduct a web search to find out more about them. To help the employer build a connection between your correspondence and your cover letter and resume, your email should use the sameheader as your cover letter and resume. Your first paragraph should start with a brief introduction, including your current job title or professional description, how you got their contact information, and what role you are seeking with their business. In your second paragraph, briefly highlight your relevant experience, education and certifications, and explain how they will benefit your prospective employer.
Show initiative and reiterate your interest in working for their company by asking for time to talk over the phone or for a sit-down interview to further discuss how you can be an asset to their business. A letter asking for a job is commonly sent via email, as it reaches the intended recipient much faster and takes less time for them to open and read.
I am impressed by how you have led the way in online security for businesses and consumers, and I have been following your company’s software development from the launch of your cybersecurity technologies. I just graduated from MIT with a degree in software development and systems security, and am eager to join your team.
While at MIT, I discovered security flaws in the student exam portals and was able to develop a code to protect the university from improper testing conduct. I developed a coding extension for heightened security against foreign addresses during my internship at ABC. I have the skills and knowledge to be an asset to your cybersecurity division, with my strong skills and knowledge of systems security, software coding and preventing unsecured access to programs.
I have been a fan of your shop since I was a child, and the refined atmosphere of your store is what I want in a bakery.
If you can’t speak to the hiring manager, ask the nearest employee. Explain to them that you are interested in any open positions at the company. If the hiring manager isn’t available, ask when would be a better time to speak to them.
Your network of contacts can keep you informed when there are new opportunities, even if there are not currently available jobs. Showing interest in the position by asking for more information is often more effective than simply asking the person if they can get you a job or if they can “put in a good word” for you at the hiring company. Rather than bombarding the person with requests to secure you a position, ask the person for advice as to how you can go about getting the job you are after.
Similar to the previous example, you should try to build relationships during networking events or informational interviews instead of simply asking for jobs. Fostering relationships within your industry’s network can have many benefits and can also lead to securing a position without you having to ask for one. In your letter of interest, highlight one of the organization’s achievements or other well-known qualities and then let the hiring manager know how your own skills or experience would contribute to the company.
Be sure to include your most up-to-date resume and any additional documents such as a portfolio that clearly portray your abilities and qualifications for the position you are interested in. An online portfolio on a website dedicated to your accomplishments is an example of how you could take an original approach to how you introduce yourself in the initial correspondence. If you take the time to set yourself apart from other candidates, you will be more memorable to the hiring manager before they even interview you for the position.
If you’re having trouble locating vacancies in your field, you don’t have to wait until an ad matching your qualifications is posted.
The ability to get to the point quickly and show respect for the employer’s time is required for effective cold-calling. You can find the company’s website or call the receptionist in the department you want to work in to get the name and title of the hiring manager. If you want to work in the human resources department, don’t let anyone refer you to it. Specific about how you know the person who referred you, for example, if the two of you volunteer for the same local charity or if you met him at an industry conference or networking event.
Once the employer agrees to talk to you, give her a concise summary of your qualifications and what you can do for the company.