Solicited Cover Letter Vs Unsolicited Letter

A job seeker may desire employment with a particular company that has not posted open job requisitions. In this case, an unsolicited application letter is used as an inquiry about possible openings and to gain a hiring managers attention. The letter may be addressed to the head of the Human Resource department or to the manager of a particular division. The letter is most likely to be read when it is addressed to a particular person rather than the generic to ‘whom it may concern’ salutation.

Format and Content

Write the letter so that it immediately captures the reader’s interest by explaining how you could benefit the company. Keep the content broad in scope, especially if you want the manager to consider you for any position in the company that utilizes your specific skills and abilities.The unsolicited application letter format is much like the solicited letter format: the first paragraph serves as an introduction, the body of the letter makes an argument as to why you are the best job candidate and the closing paragraph contains a request for an interview and your contact information.

Sample

This unsolicited application letter sample is written by a job seeker who was advised of possible unadvertised job openings by an employee of the organization. She communicates her value by using specific examples of her accomplishments. She expresses a preference for a particular area but indicates her willingness to consider other openings.

August 28, 2013
Ms. Agnes Stevens
123 Kentucky Avenue
Papago, Arizona 28925

To:

Mr. David Jones
Global Accommodation Services
Human Resources Manager
25 Hill Drive
Papago, Arizona 28925

Dear Mr. Jones,

I am writing to express my interest in acquiring a position at Global Accommodation Services. I am very familiar with the company’s excellent reputation for supplying high quality consultation services to the hotel and special event convention industries. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Mike Jefferies, the head of marketing at your company, and he suggested that I contact you about possible job openings in your sales division.I am currently seeking a position where I can utilize my superior sales abilities for the benefit of a company who specializes in the international marketplace.

My sales experience encompasses 5 years in the entertainment and promotion industry as well as 7 years in the accommodation and special event industries. As a senior sales consultant for Brandiff Services, I managed multimillion-dollar accounts with clients located in Europe, China and the United States. At Leonard Enterprises, I averaged annual sales upward of 7 million. I am a published author and my book, Best Practices in Effective Sales Communications, is now used by universities across the United States as part of their business curriculum.

I possess excellent persuasive communication skills and I am able to communicate with people at all job levels. I am experienced in both national and international customer presentations and negotiations. I hold a master’s degree in Corporate Communications with a minor in Foreign Business Management and certifications for Intercultural Communication and Persuasive Communication. I am extremely detail orientated, highly motivated and my work ethic is second to none.

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person and to discuss any job openings within your organization. I prefer to handle international contracts but am willing to work national accounts as well. Please call me at 215-890-3465 or contact me by email at [email] to arrange an appointment time that is mutually agreeable. I am enclosing a copy of my resume for your consideration. I look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,

Agnes Stevens

Ms. Agnes Stevens

Enclosure: Resume


Cover letters are a staple of your job search, serving as a vehicle for showing off your skills and personality as a prelude to the resume you present to a prospective employer. There's a bit of a difference, however, between how you write cover letters you initiate yourself, and how you write cover letters in response to a direct request from an employer.

Solicited Cover Letters

A solicited cover letter is something you draft when you're applying for a posted job opening or responding to an employment ad. Start off the letter by introducing yourself and stating why you're writing. For example, "I'm writing in regard to the open marketing manager position posted on your website. In my enclosed resume, you'll see I have 10 years experience in marketing and communications, and I've worked in a variety of capacities for both large and medium-sized employers."

Unsolicited Cover Letters

Just because an employer hasn't asked you for your resume doesn't mean he won’t be interested in seeing it -- you just have to make the first move. An unsolicited cover letter is used to pitch yourself to a potential employer, either for an existing job opening, or as a way of introducing yourself to a company you’d like to work with. The former is known as "prospecting," and is used to let an employer know who you are and what kind of job you're looking for. The letter should introduce you, highlight your skills and credentials, and provide a brief explanation of why you're writing. Note why you think you're a good fit for the company, either for an existing job or a future opening. “I've always admired your company’s customer service levels, and I'm very interested in joining your stellar customer retention team."

Cover Letter Elements

All cover letters, whether solicited or unsolicited, should be written on high-quality letterhead. Follow the traditional business letter writing format by including the date, the name and title of the person the letter is addressed to, followed by the body of the letter. End the correspondence with the word, “Sincerely,” followed by your signature and printed name. Use the same format for email correspondence, and always include your contact information in your letter.

Cover Letter Follow-Up

Regardless of whether the cover letter you send is solicited or unsolicited, it's wise to follow-up with the recipient within several days of sending it. Contact the individual by phone, introduce yourself, and say you are calling to verify receipt of your mail. Based on the employer’s response, you might ask more about the position or press for an in-person interview.

 

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

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