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How to Contact an Employer for a Job

by Helen Holzer

The art of contacting an employer when you are looking for work can be tricky. Your approach depends if the job was advertised, if you are following up on a recommendation from a company contact, or if you are cold calling to see if there are any job openings. Each approach demands a different way of communicating with the employer. Generally, you should write a company before making phone calls.

Advertised Job

Read the job advertisement carefully. Compare your qualifications to the specifications required in the ad. Pick out key words from the job requirements and add them to your resume.

Write a cover letter specific to the job. Pull out the key words from the advertisement and also add them to your cover letter. Stress that you have the necessary qualifications and describe how many years of related experience you have. You can also provide examples of how you accomplished related duties.

Follow the directions in the ad on how to submit your cover letter and resume. Usually, this involves sending an email with attachments, but the ad could call for your information to be sent via regular mail or by other means. Be sure to meet any deadlines and be specific on how the employer can reach you.

Include any information requested in the advertisement, such as your salary requirements, availability date and references.

Send your information to the person or department listed in the ad and address your cover letter to that person or department. Be formal in all your communications and address the contact’s name preceded by Mr. or Ms.

Request a meeting so you can discuss your qualifications in person.

Job Recommendation

Call the company recommended by your contact and ask for human resources or for the department in which you would like to work. Mention your contact’s name and title, using his recommendation to get your foot in the door.

Inquire about any openings in your field and how you should apply. Get names and contact information, and send out your cover letter and resume promptly. Mention your contact’s name in the opening sentence of your cover letter.

Follow up to see if there are any positions available. Ask when you should check back if there aren't any current openings.

Cold Calling

Call the companies you are interested in working for and ask if there are any openings in your field. You can also search the Internet and send an email to the HR department of a company you are interested in.

Request the name, job title and contact information of the person to whom you should write.

Send the company representative your cover letter and resume. If there are no job openings at the present, ask him to please consider you for future opportunities.

Ask when you should check back and make sure to follow up on your application.

About the Author

Helen Holzer is a veteran journalist who began writing in 1972 and has lived all over the country. She has written and edited on nearly every topic for major daily newspapers and other publications. She has also been a book reviewer and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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