Sample Job Letters
How to Write a Cold Cover Letter for an Unadvertised Job
The first step to writing the perfect letter is to choose the company you want to work for, and then write a list of reasons you want to be there. Unlike responding to a job advertisement that has been posted, you are cold contacting someone at a company with the intention to seek an informal interview. It’s time to bring your high school cyberstalking skills to the professional realm!
Research the company: Look around the company’s website to find the person to whom you would be reporting. Most hiring managers have some sort of presence online. Finding their email addresses should be easy.
Target your letter to a specific person or team: Unlike other cover letters, where you are unsure of whom you are writing to, this is different and should show the reader that you have done an excellent job at researching not only the company, but the individual. Use your research to determine who you want to read your letter.
Keep it professional: If, in your research, you found out a bit too much, understnad that this is not the time or place to make small talk. Letting your recipient know that you have a shared (and, perhaps, outdated) interest in Beanie Babies is unprofessional (and a little creepy). Remember, if all goes smoothly, this person could be your new boss.
But gain attention: This is a chance to grab the eyes of a potential employer, and hopefully secure a meeting with the hiring manager where you can pitch yourself Ñ should that position become available in the future. This meeting is very different than a formal interview. Think about the next steps as you write this.
How to Format a Cold Cover Letter for an Unadvertised Job
This cold cover letter is going to mimic a conventional letter for a job that is listed, but with slight differences.
Your first paragraph should include your reason for writing and what you hope to accomplish. Because the reader isn’t expecting a cover letter and resume, it’s imperative that you are short and concise.
The next paragraph should list three bullet points about your career and the results you have achieved. A company will always be concerned with their bottom line profits. If you have results to show them that you can bring in big revenues, this is the time to list actual figures. Avoid abstract ideas..
The last paragraph should ask the reader for an informal meeting.This will give the hiring manager a chance to learn more about you, the type of employee you would be, and could remain an invaluable contact for the future.
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Common Cold Cover Letter Mistakes
Suffering salutations: This is a cold cover letter, you need to find and address the person you want to meet with. If you’re going with a “To Whom It May Concern” salutation, you are wasting time.
Ghastly grammar: Grammar matters, especially in a cover letter. This is your first impression to meet with a company that isn’t advertising. Show them your best, and have someone proofread your cover letter before you hit “send.”
Fully unfocused: Focusing on your attributes and what you are looking for in a company is frowned upon by hiring managers Ñ especially in a cold cover letter.Remember to give real examples of what you can bring to them, not vice-versa.
You’ve Written Your Cold Cover Letter. Now What?
You may not hear back from the hiring manager for a while, but don’t be discouraged. Keep in touch and check in once a month or so to let them know you are still interested.
Sending a cold cover letter has the potential to give a future employer warm fuzzies. If you don’t hear back, at least you tried. But what if you do hear back and end up landing that job Ð all because you took the time to be proactive? Good luck!