Not all companies advertise job openings. Some companies get plenty of applicants without advertising. Other companies may not be in hiring mode, but will consider applications from qualified candidates if they anticipate an opening in the near future.
When You Know There is a Job Opening
If you know the company is hiring, but hasn't advertised, write a traditional cover letter expressing your interest in open positions at the company. Be sure to specifically relate your qualifications to the job.
When You Don't Know if the Company is Hiring
Writing a cover letter for an unadvertised opening (also known as a cold contact cover letter or letter of interest) is a little different than writing a cover letter for a job that you know is available.
In either case, with this type of letter you will need to make a pitch for yourself and how you can help the company. If you know someone at the organization, it's a good idea to mention that, as well.
You can send your letter via paper mail or email. Either way, include a copy of your resume for the reader to review. Sending an old-fashioned paper letter works well for this type of letter, because it may have a better chance of being read than an email which could be deleted without even being opened.
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Unadvertised Job
Here's what to include in your letter:
Your Contact Information
City, State, Zip Code
If you can find a contact person at the company direct your letter or email message to them. Here's how to find contacts at companies. If you can't, address your letter to "Dear Hiring Manager" or leave out this section and start with the first paragraph of your letter.
Writing Your Letter
Body of Cover Letter
The goal of your letter is to get noticed as a prospective employee even if the company isn't hiring immediately. Your letter should explain the reason for your interest in the organization, and identify your most relevant skills or experiences and explain why you would be an asset to the organization.
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. If you know someone at the company mention it now. Be specific as to why you are interested in this particular company.
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Again, be specific as to how you can help the organization.
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for employment.
Best Regards, (or choose another closing from the examples below)
Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)
When you are sending an email letter, be sure to include all your contact information in your signature.
How to Send Your Letter
When sending your letter via email, write your letter in the email message and attach your resume to the message. It will be more likely to be read than if you send both as attachments. Put your name and the reason for writing (Your Name - Introduction) for example.
How to Send Your Resume With Your Cover Letter
Here's how to send your resume with your cover letter:
- How to Email Your Resume
- How to Send Your Resume as an Attachment
- How to Mail a Resume and Cover Letter
Proofread Your Documents
Carefully proofread both your resume and cover letter before you send them. Here are proofreading tips for job seekers.