Taking the initiative to request an interview with a potential employer indicates you’re interested in the job and might increase your chances of getting it. The letter should grab the reader’s attention and justify why he or she should meet with you. You must show what you have to offer and how interviewing you will benefit the company.
You may use the letter to request an informational interview, which lets you gather data from professionals in your field and helps you make sound career decisions. You might use it to respond to a job advertisement or because someone recommended you for the position. Aside from requesting the chance to schedule an interview, the letter serves as an introduction to your resume and qualifications.
Tell the reader why you’re writing. You might say, “I would like meet with you to discuss the paralegal position that was advertised on Employment News website.” Or, “I am presently an undergraduate student of Hills View College, majoring in Business Administration. I would like to schedule an informational interview with you to gain more insight into your company, Victor International.” Or, “One of my colleagues, Michael Turner, who used to work for your manufacturing company as a staff accountant, recommended I contact you to schedule an interview.”
In one or two paragraphs, describe how your qualifications or background match the employer’s needs. Refrain from copying your resume. Instead, give examples that highlight your skills, education and accomplishments. Show you’ve researched the company by linking your qualifications with the employer’s mission or needs. For example: “Your position requires various types of human resources skills, including new hire orientation, employee benefits and workplace laws. As an experienced HR Generalist, I have mastered the skills needed for this role. Staffing decisions I made in the past led to significant increases in company revenue.” You may also state your interests or an experience that influenced you into choosing this career.
Reiterate your purpose for writing the letter. To request an informational interview, you might say, “I hope you have some time to meet with me to discuss careers in government accounting.” Refer the reader to your enclosed resume, which includes details of your qualifications. Then say when you’ll be in touch. For example: “I will call you on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 to see if we can schedule an interview.” Thank the reader for considering your request and say you hope this is start of a mutually rewarding relationship.
If you don’t know whom to address the letter to, call the company and ask. Keep the tone of the letter positive, direct, conversational and professional and use active statements. Write in simple language and avoid jargon and complicated sentences. Make your point concisely and keep your expectations realistic. So the reader views you in a positive light, write the letter so it depicts you as a responsible, reasonable and industrious person. Restrict the letter to one page (see Reference 1).
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