Getting a Job

How to Write a Job Inquiry

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A properly written job inquiry can give your career a boost. There are many essential items that need to be included in this type of inquiry. Learning to write this letter of interest effectively can provide several professional advantages. This article discusses the key features of a job inquiry and shows you how to write an effective one.  

What is a job inquiry?

A job inquiry, which is also called a letter of interest or a prospecting letter, is communication that you send to an employer about an employment opportunity before a job opening is advertised. This query expresses your genuine interest in working for a company, summarizes your professional profile and makes a polite request for information about any future vacancies.

Why write a job inquiry? 

There are several reasons why writing a job inquiry is important, such as: 

  • It can get hiring managers to notice you. Although the position you are inquiring about is unavailable, a job inquiry communicates your interest in working for the company. Making a good impression through an inquiry can capture the attention of the hiring manager, which can lead to a job opportunity in the future.
  • It can develop your professional network. Making a job inquiry can give you opportunities to make new contacts with decision-makers in the company. For example, you can use the response you receive to your inquiry to start building a relationship with an influential decision-maker by continuing the conversation or keeping your contact updated with your progress.
  • It can help you to get an informational interview. A company that is not currently hiring could invite you for an informational interview to learn about the opportunities it offers. This type of interview can give you a great opportunity to gain an insider’s view of the company. 
  • It can help you to access the hidden job market. There are many great job openings that are not advertised by employers for many reasons, such as the need to reduce the costs of the recruitment process and the need to keep the hiring process private. Writing a job inquiry is one of the ways in which you can access these hidden jobs.

How to write a job inquiry

To write an effective job inquiry, consider using the following steps:

1. First, research the companies you are interested in

While a job inquiry does not require an advertised job opening, you should address it to a company in which you can realistically expect a job opening in the immediate future, so avoid sending it to companies that are unlikely to have vacancies such as firms that are affected by serious financial setbacks or those that are downsizing in your career field. 

2. Next, find the right contact person

Once you have identified your preferred company or companies, you need to find the right contact person for each of your job inquiries. Keep in mind that your inquiry is likely to be more successful if you have already begun to build a relationship with your contact before you send it. Consider the following practical tips to find the right contact: 

  • Read industry news. You can use the local and international news about your industry to identify the companies that interest you. Make a list of your preferred companies and their key decision-makers.
  • Use professional networking. You can use the online professional networking platforms to learn about the influential employees, such as department heads, in the companies you want to work in. Consider using a news alert service to find out about these professionals and their progress.
  • Make contact. Once you have some background information about potential contacts, seek opportunities to meet them in person. For example, if you see an interview of a decision-maker in your preferred company, send a note expressing your interest in that person’s ideas with an invitation to meet to discuss them further.
  • Visit industry events. Go to industry events, such as job fairs and conferences, and use your background research to make a good impression on hiring managers. Develop a personalized strategy to approach each contact before you attend an industry event. 

3. Third, develop an outline

Write an outline for your job inquiry before writing it. Your outline should contain the following essential items: 

  • A salutation with the name of your contact, such as, ‘Dear Mr. Talley’
  • An expression of interest in the career achievements of your contact
  • A statement of why working in the company interests you
  • A summary of your skill set and experience 
  • A statement of how your abilities could complement the company
  • A request for an interview
  • A formal closing

4. Then, write the inquiry

Use your outline to write your job inquiry. Be sure to include all the relevant details and the essential items, yet keep your communication brief.

5. Finally, check your work

In order for you to benefit from writing a job inquiry, it should be well-written. Proofread your inquiry the day after you write it to benefit from a fresh perspective and correct any errors. Double-check the address and send it to your contact.

Job inquiry example

Consider using the following job inquiry sample as a guide to writing an effective query:

Dear Ms. Talbot, 

I have followed your career in the advertising industry through your contributions to the success of Creatives Inc. and Richfield Marketing. Meeting you in person at the Insight convention in July was the realization of a long-term goal. Due to its socially-aware and innovative work, I am an ardent follower of Richfield, and its Instagram. I am writing to inquire whether you are planning on hiring a new designer for your team at Richfield.

Having honed my design skills in Adobe Creative Suite and HTML5 at SmartMinds and Web Traffic Inc., where I am a Senior Graphic Designer, I am eager to find an employment opportunity in which I can leverage my communication, customer service and time management skills as well as my expertise in developing campaigns that trigger social change. I believe that I can put my skills and experience to work at Richfield.

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and get your insights on where my abilities could be utilized in your department, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards, 
Fred O’Malley