Sample Inquiry Letters to Ask About Available Jobs

Some tips to make sure your letter gets noticed

Man at desk in home office
••• PM Images / Getty Images

Not every job opening appears on a jobs board or search engine. Some of the best opportunities are filled internally or through referrals, so you might have to get proactive to find your dream job at a company you'd love to work for.

One of the best ways to get noticed is to ask about job openings before they’re advertised. Even if the organization isn't hiring, you might be able to capture someone's attention for future reference if you submit a well-written inquiry letter.

Knowing what to say and what not to say in the letter can be critical to your success.

What to Say

  • Tell the company that you're interested and why, explaining what it is about this business that caught your attention.

  • Summarize your skills, education, and experience.

  • Ask for an interview and let the reader know you'll follow up by phone within a certain period of time.

What Not to Say

  • Don't go overboard with your skills, education, and experience—stick to the highlights and leave the details for the resume included with your letter.

  • Don't embellish and run the risk you'll be tripped up by not-quite-accurate facts when you're questioned during an interview.

  • Don't beg—present yourself like you're giving the company a priceless opportunity to speak with you before you look elsewhere.

What to Include in Your Letter

The bottom line is that an inquiry letter is a sales pitch.

You must sell your expertise to the reader and get her 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 right away in the first paragraph. The second paragraph should include a brief synopsis of your experience, education, and qualifications—"brief" being the operative word. Focus on the highlights.

Use the third paragraph to ask for a meeting to discuss a possible career with the company. You might also mention that you'll follow up by telephone in a few days or a week.

Options for Addressing the Letter

If you already know someone at the organization, you can write directly to that individual. Otherwise, who you address your letter to can depend on the size of the company.

Address it to the CEO or the president of a smaller employer because the person who runs the company will most likely be involved in hiring decisions. For a large company, try to locate someone on the management team that's responsible for the department in which you want to work.

This is one time when bypassing human resources or a hiring manager can make sense because you aren't applying for a job that's been posted.

Mail or Email?

Most hiring takes place online these days, but an inquiry letter sent by mail has a better chance of being read than an email message when you're inquiring about unadvertised openings.

Sample Inquiry Letters Asking About Possible Job Openings

You can use these samples as models to write an inquiry letter asking about job opportunities. Download the template—it's compatible with Google Docs and Word Online—or read the text version below.

inquiry letter about job opportunity
 ©TheBalance 2018

Inquiry Letter Asking About Possible Job Openings (Text Version)

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

Inquiry Letter for a Recent College Graduate

This second example is good to use as a model when you're sending an inquiry to a company as a 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

Letter Asking About Jobs at a Networking Contact’s Employer

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. Hiring Manager,

My former co-worker, [insert ’s name], suggested that I write to you to inquire about job openings in your graphic design department.

I’m a passionate fan of [insert company’s name] going back to the days of the Brand X campaign. I’m always excited when something new pops up on your Instagram, and I feel like I can identify [company name’s] work when I encounter it out in the wild. (Bring me in for an interview, and you can test me!)

In my current job as Lead Graphic Designer for [insert employer’s name], I manage a team of five or six designers as well as act as point person for all our projects. I have extensive experience with Adobe Creative Suite, HTML5, and CSS. I’ve attached my resume and a few samples from my portfolio, so that you can see my work for yourself.

I’d love a chance to put my skills to work for you. Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you.

Best Regards,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name

Before You Send the Letter

Include a copy of your resume to provide more details about your credentials and background. Take the time to review your resume before you share it with a prospective employer.

Making a few changes can help your resume get a closer look. For example, you might change your font to something classic and professional, like Arial or Calibri, or add bullets to make it easier to read. In any case, it’s essential to keep your style choices clean and consistent.

Don’t change fonts midway through or overuse formatting like bold and italics. Make sure your resume is easy to scan.

It’s also important to customize your resume for each and every job opening. Employers want to hire candidates who are excited about this job, not just any job.

A Few More Steps

In most cases, just sending a letter isn't going to get you hired. It's a good first step, but you can help yourself get hired by a company you'd love to work for by connecting on social media and LinkedIn, signing up for job alerts, and looking for opportunities to connect with company recruiters.

  • Person carrying a box of belongings with a letter of resignation on the top.

    Sample Resignation Letters for Contractors and Clients

  • man with laptop and document

    Best Cover Letter Tips for Unadvertised Jobs

  • Lettered cubes on a laptop spelling QUIT

    Use These Basic Resignation Letters to Quit Your Job

  • Senior man working on a computer in the office

    Sample Resignation Letters to Use if You're Retiring

  • Give Two Weeks Notice With These Resignation Examples

  • Business people discussing blueprints in conference room

    Consultant Cover Letter Samples and Writing Tips

  • Portrait of a mature man working online in his office

    Looking for a New Job? How to Write an Inquiry Letter

  • Young businesswoman working on laptop in cafe

    Formal Resignation Letter Sample

  • woman nursing a cold at home

    Here Are Sample Excuse Letters and Email for Sickness and Absent Days

  • woman typing on laptop

    General All-Purpose Cover Letter Sample & Writing Tips

  • Do You Need a Resume?

    Example Thank You Letter for a Social Work Job Interview and Tips

  • volunteers helping with kitchen service

    Sample Resignation Letter for a Volunteer Position

  • Man opening mail in home office

    Tips on How to Address a Business or Professional Letter

  • Female teacher with her pupils in classroom

    Review Cover Letter Samples for Teaching Assistants and Tutors

  • Sample Resignation Letter for Quitting Your Job

  • Businessmen shaking hands after sharing a job referral

    Sample Thank You Letters for Job Referrals