Ruth Mayhew reports:
"Also called a letter of inquiry, an unsolicited cover letter with attached resume may prove effective in your job search because the majority of jobs are never advertised in newspapers nor on Internet job boards or professional networking and social media [websites]. The more unsolicited cover letters and resumes you send, the better your chances are for possibly landing your ideal job that you would have never known existed...Explain the purpose of your letter in the first paragraph. Tell the reader why you're writing and include a brief statement about your skills, background and interest in the company. Because this is an unsolicited cover letter, you needn't reference where you saw a job advertisement. However, it's wise to include a sentence or two about why you chose to write to that particular company...Write a second paragraph that provides more details about your credentials and skills, but doesn't pigeonhole you into a certain field, position or rank. Give the reader an opportunity to judge where your qualifications best fit. Use one to two sentences to highlight your professional expertise, giving a broad picture of your capabilities...Construct your third paragraph as a synopsis of your achievements. Stick to accomplishments above and beyond your typical job duties. For instance, if your missile testing unit had 100 percent pass rate with zero failures post-release, state that in your third paragraph. Toot your horn in the third paragraph as you close the sale on your work skills and convince the reader that you're suitable for a job that's not even posted. End your third paragraph with a sentence restating your reason for writing...Close your letter with your contact information. If you're available at any time for an interview or if you're traveling to the city where the company is located, indicate that in your final paragraph. If you have the contact information for the person to whom you're writing, note your plans to call soon...You will [achieve] better results if you address your letter to the person who has the authority to hire you. If you don't know the name and title of that person, call the HR department and explain the information you are seeking...If you don't know the name and title of the person to whom you want to address your letter, call the HR department and ask, 'Hello, my name is John Smith. I'm very interested in working for ABC Company and would like to send a personal letter to your hiring manager in the business unit that produces missiles. Would you please give the name and title of the person responsible for hiring staff in that department?' Don't be reluctant to call HR for that information; some job seekers lose out just because they fear HR won't release information. If you can't obtain the full name and title, search for names of employees with the business unit in which you're interested. Find out the format for the company's email addresses by looking at the investor relations page for publicly traded companies. This is the page most likely to have a company email address because publicly traded companies must make their information available. Generally, if you find the email address format for one employee, you can figure out the format for your addressee."
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