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How to Write an Email Asking for a Job

Three Parts:

First impressions do matter. Especially when we are presenting ourselves through a written letter, our words are the only window a hiring manager has into who we are and whether they’d like to give us a job. In order to give yourself the best opportunity in a competitive job market, it is important to focus on how to construct the best job request email possible that will distinguish you from your competition.


Writing a Job Request Email

  1. Find a current job advertisement.Although eventually, you may draft a personalized template that can be customized as needed, you want to direct your letter toward an actual job opening.
    • Linkedin, Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder have generalized job listings that will return results for nearly anything. Use a basic keyword search to see what turns up.
    • Some professional fields have their own devoted job lists (e.g. for careers in technology; MLA job list for university positions in language arts). Do research on what the best option is for you while, at the same time, searching as many different options as you can.
    • If you list a resume on websites like Linkedin or Monster, often recruiters will contact you with open jobs.
  2. Create a rough draft of the letter.Draft a letter that describes your career aspirations as well as the skills you bring to the existing role.
    • Stay in the present. Avoid words like “hope” or speaking in the future tense. Write in terms of what you have done, not what you will do.
    • Research key terminology from the job advertisement. Different companies use different terms to describe the same roles. By researching key terms, you can translate between what they want and the tasks you’ve previously performed, showing how your skills and experience model the skills of the desired candidate in the job ad.
    • Use key words when possible. One way to create brevity is to rely on nuanced key-words that are specific to the industry or job you are applying for.
  3. Begin with a greeting.“To Whom it May Concern” is traditional but a little formal for most jobs. Something like “Hello Hiring Manager,” or “Greetings Internship Selection Committee Members,” is appropriate.
    • Avoid exclamation marks. Although it is customary in informal correspondence to indicate excitement or enthusiasm with an exclamation mark after a greeting, this is non-typical of professional discourse. Let your enthusiasm show through your writing, not how you punctuate it.
  4. First paragraph:Indicate your interest in the company and what job you are applying for. Offer specific details as to why this company appeals to you.
    • It is also helpful to tell the hiring manager where you found the advertisement, especially if it was from a person already working for the company.
  5. Second paragraph:This is an introduction to who you are professionally.
    • Present your working history. This doesn’t mean listing every job you’ve had since your paper route in 4th grade. It does however mean mentioning those jobs or responsibilities that you completed successfully and which align with the desired skills in the advertisement.
    • Briefly describe your role at each company. Include your job title and a brief soundbite about your duties. Be sure to include roles that involved trust in you as an employee, like key-holding, scheduling, management, or payroll.
  6. Third paragraph:Highlight your strengths and specialties.
    • Have you had extensive training in a specific software suite? Are you familiar with the codes common to medical writing? Have you won awards for leadership or excellence? Are you good with people and communication? These are all items that could be included in this portion of your letter.
    • Don’t brag, but be sure the hiring manager is aware that you have been an asset to other companies.
  7. Fourth Paragraph:Summary and closure. Get to the point as soon as possible without neglecting to revisit key details.
    • Remind your reader regarding the position you are applying for.
    • Gloss the key attributes you bring as a job candidate.
    • Revisit your interest in the company, using detail if possible.
    • Include phone number, email, and even a link to a personal professional page.
    • Close by thanking the reader for his or her time and consideration.
  8. Signature:Be warm, but formal. Something like “Best Regards,” or “With Respect,” is the right way to go.
    • Signatures like “Love” or “Hugs” are appropriate for people you are well acquainted with,nota future employer.
  9. Keep things concise.Remember that there could be hundreds of candidates applying for the position you want. For this reason, you generally want your job letter, including header, greeting, signature, and contact information, to stay within a single type-written page.
    • Verify word count and length by cutting and pasting your letter into a word processing document. If a single-spaced version goes over a single page, your letter needs to be cut by at least a quarter of its length.
  10. Ensure correct spelling and grammar.Stories abound of the hiring committees who eliminate candidates because of a comma splice or typo. You don’t want to miss out on an employment opportunity just because your letter is poorly proofread.
    • Check with your word processor. MS Word and other programs have spelling and grammar checking functionality. Simply open a file, copy and paste your letter to the file, and enable the check functions.
    • Remember that these checks are not full-proof and should only be relied upon to catch careless errors, not to compensate for poor language skills.
  11. Use correct formatting conventions.You template should offer suggestions for formatting; however, conventions vary depending on industry.
    • Job application websites often have a response field where you can copy and paste a letter in. The main thing to look for in these with regard to formatting is sufficient space between paragraphs and proper indenting if possible.
    • If you have relevant links that illustrate your work or a professional page, they can be hyperlinked into the appropriate position within the letter. Look at the top or bottom of the email field for a command bar and look for the button that resembles links in a chain. Select the text to link and clink on the button. A box will appear with a field for the link. Cut and paste the link into the field then click the “OK” button. The text will appear blue in the email, indicating that it is linked to an outside source.
  12. Look for a template online.Templates are a good way to prompt good organization and can act as a checklist after drafting to ensure a letter is complete and informative. Additionally, in order to expedite the hiring process, managers appreciate when letters follow a conventional format when presenting information.
    • If you do use a pre-fabricated online template, look for templates that are directed toward your specific recipient (internship committee, company hiring manager, etc.)
    • Some want you to pay a fee; however, the free options are generally good ones, if generic. Look for templates published through university-based job preparatory websites or recognized job search engines.
  13. Get someone else read it.When we write something, it is easy to miss careless errors.
    • Having a fresh set of eyes to review our work ensures quality and also that someone outside our own perspective can understand and be persuaded by what we’ve said.
  14. Include a resume.When submitting a job letter, it is usually customary to include a resume. Even if not requested, if someone reads you letter and finds it compelling, having the resume on hand can cement their interest and provide the opportunity for an interview.

Having Professional Writing Skills

  1. Speak plainly but not informally.Slang, informal language or “texting speak” are completely inappropriate for job materials. That said, academic language and or creative writing is not the way to go either.
    • You want your voice to come across as motivated, respectful, and approachable.
    • You want to target a general audience, independent of gender, background, or any other defining characteristic.
  2. Use precise vocabulary.Wordiness clouds meaning and frustrates readers. Instead, try to choose words that reflect the nuance of what you are attempting to say.
    • Avoid "SAT words": Being precise doesn't mean using a three-syllable synonym for "productivity" that you will never hear again in your life. It also doesn't mean finding a way to jargonize your job to sound more complex than it is (e.g. a "garbage person" is not a "waste management artisan"). Instead, be specific and try to use common, transparent, recognizable words correctly, which increases readability of your letter.
    • Value brevity. Hiring managers have limited time when reviewing job candidates, so you'll want to get to the point as soon as possible to ensure the best chance for an interview. One trick for doing this is, while you are writing, pretend that each word will cost you to use. Would you use worth of words when you can get your point across with ?
  3. Use effective and varied sentence structure.Think of writing paragraphs as constructing a salad. No one enjoys a salad made of lettuce as much as a salad with some lettuce, but also radishes, carrots and celery.
    • Varied sentence structure provides variety that maintains the interest of readers. It is also much easier to read that a paragraph containing only sentences of the same structure.
  4. Use well-constructed paragraphs.Paragraphs, like essays and longer writings, have an intrinsic structure that the mind responds to. When we use logical, well-crafted paragraphs, it is easier for the reader the understand and improves their response to what we are saying.
    • Begin with a main idea that echoes the main point of the entire writing. Think of the topic sentence of a paragraph as being a helpful mini-thesis statement that guides your paragraph.
    • Offer examples. You’ll need evidence to support your topic sentence. Offer examples that demonstrate its validity and logic. Try to focus on things that you can independently verify, as opposed to purely anecdotal evidence.
    • Explain relevance. While the connection between the topic sentence and evidence might make sense to you, it’s important to be explicit when constructing an argument of any kind so your audience can follow your logic. Be sure to explain to the person reading why and how the examples you’ve mentioned support that topic sentence.
    • Transition to the next paragraph while also offering closure to the current one. This ensures that your reader doesn’t get left behind in your argument, and also offers them clues as to what to expect next.

Researching the Job Advertisement

  1. Understand how job ads work.Think of job advertisements as a kind of coded communication, written by hiring managers, directed toward the kind of candidates they think are right for the job.
    • Consider who is writing the job ad. Job ads are written to market the job. They want it to sound as appealing as possible so that they can catch the eye of many quality candidates. This can, however, be an attempt to compensate for a boring, poorly paid, or high turn-over job.
    • Know who the target audience is. Job ads want a sizable candidate pool, but not too many because it would mean increased work just to process hiring. For this reason, job ads often drop in jargon, niche keywords, or very specific types of certifications needs to "scare off" weaker candidates.
  2. Identify the advertiser.Is hiring being done within the company or by a recruitment firm.
    • When the company does their own hiring, that means that, by the time you reach the interview stage, you've already been vetted by people within the company and are likely part of a smaller pool of candidates.
    • If it is through a recruitment company, it is possible that other recruitment companies are also promoting candidates for the same job, so the interview pool is likely to be wider.
  3. Note the company.How big is it? What kind of reputation does it have? Is it a start-up?
    • Larger companies often provide greater access to perks and benefits; however they are less personal than smaller ones.
    • Start-ups may necessitate "scope creep," which is where the expectations of your job change and grow as the needs of the start-up change.
    • If a company has a reputation of cut-throat promotion practices and a lack of work-life balance, you need to the know the risk you take by considering a position.
  4. Review the job title and expectations.Do the duties fit with the title?
    • Sometimes a company will list a position as an "entry level" or "junior" with salary to match but have a job description that far exceeds a junior-level position or pay scale.
    • Vague descriptions mean that this is a new position or a re-invention of an old one and the company isn't sure entirely what filling this job will entail.
  5. Pay attention to words like "must" or "need." Often positions will ask for a long list of desirable qualities but have far fewer actual qualification requirements.
    • Think of the desirable qualities as the extra perks a potential employee can bring to the job and focus primarily on requirements indicated to be essential.
  6. Look for special instructions.Does the ad request samples right away? Do they want submissions in PDF? Are they only conducting communication via email? Avoid your letter getting lost in the hiring void because you didn't follow submission instructions.
  7. Make a note of salary or benefits information.Make a note of any pay or benefits information included in the job ad. This lets you determine early whether applying for a position is worth your time.
  8. Go to the company webpage.Companies want employees who are aware of their core values and whose own values align with the company.
    • From the company’s website, look for a “FAQ” or “About” tab somewhere on the main page (usually top of bottom).
    • When writing your letter, if possible, find way to subtly demonstrate how the values demonstrated by your own career echo those in the company masthead.
  9. Look for the recruiter or hiring manager on Linked in.If you can find the name of the hiring manager, it can be helpful to view their Linkedin profile to get a sense of who they are.
    • Did they work for another company in the past that you are familiar with? Do they have a BA from the same school you graduated from? Keep these things in mind as fodder for small talk in an interview, but also as a way to familiarize yourself to the hiring manager in your letter and distinguish yourself as a candidate.
  10. Look for reviews or comments on the job.Websites like Glassdoor have a review function where they ask users to anonymously rate and review current and prior employers.
    • This can be a good way to get insight into the sort of job you are looking at, as well as company culture, upward mobility, and even salary.
  11. Look for people currently in the job on Linkedin.You can better understand your job prospects when you can get a sense of who already has the job you want.
    • Under the “People” tab on Linkedin, do a key word search for the job title you are applying for.
    • View public profiles for people who have the job you want. It doesn’t necessarily have to be at the company you are applying to, but get a sense of who you might be competing against. Pay attention to any skills or certifications they list. Note their educational and work background. See how it stacks up compared to your own, and keep in mind similarities when you are writing your letter.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How should I reply to a rejection email?
    Dahlia Gillespie
    Community Answer
    You do not need to reply to rejection emails, but if you wish, you can just write something on the lines of: Dear Sir or Madame (or name of the Employer). Thanks for your email. I am sorry that this time I was not eligible to work at (name of the company). Nevertheless I appreciate your time looking into my experience and studies. If any job opportunity opens up in the future I would appreciate you letting me know. Kind regards, (your name).
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  • How should I reply to a rejection email?
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Quick Summary

To write an email asking for a job, start with a greeting like, "To Whom it May Concern ”or “Hello Hiring Manager." Indicate your interest in the company and what job you're applying for, then present your work history.

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Date: 05.12.2018, 05:44 / Views: 72345