When you write to an employer to ask if there is work available, there are some things you can do to make the letter stand out in the mind of the reader.
There are two main things to consider when writing to an employer:
- formatting—the way the letter or email is set out
- content—what you actually want to say to or ask the employer.
Formatting or setting out
Formatting is important so that the reader can easily find the information on the page.
There is more than one correct way to set out a letter and the Write 101.com site (see Related links) gives several examples of how to set out the items listed below.
More detailed information about letter writing can be found at the Trinity College site (see Related links). This contains links to sites with detailed information about writing for various purposes, including writing emails which are usually less formal than letters.
Every letter should have the following features:
- your name and address
- the date
details of the person you are writing to including
- their name. You can usually find this out by phoning the business and asking who you should write to in order to ask about available work
- their title (such as Manager, Recruitment Manager etc)
- the name of the business and the postal address
- the greeting (such as Dear Ms/Mr …….)
- the body of the letter where you explain why you are writing (see below for ‘content’ details).
the closing which includes the final words to your reader. This part sums up what you would like to happen as a result of your letter and may say something like:
- 'Thank you very much for considering this letter and my interest in working for your organisation. I look forward to hearing from your business in the near future'.
- the sign off which is usually ‘Yours sincerely’ for a business letter, followed by your signature.
When you write a letter enquiring about work opportunities it is important to be very clear about what you are saying or asking. Simple language is better than big words and long complicated sentences.
After indicating that you are writing to look for work, you might begin with:
- details about why you have chosen to look for work with that particular business. This will show that you already know about the business. This might be followed with information about your own skills, qualities and experience and why you would be an valuable employee for that business.
- a description of your own abilities, qualities and experience followed by why you think they would make you a valuable employee for that business. (This will show that you know about their work).
If you have a resume, it is useful to include a copy with your letter. See how to build a resume here:
It is important that you have someone else proof read your letter. No matter how good we are at writing, it is easy for anyone to miss small errors. A letter with no spelling mistakes and clear sentences always makes a good impression on an employer.
The quality of the letter will give the employer extra information about the sort of person you are. If you have paid attention to the quality of the letter you are more likely to pay attention to the details in your job. An employer may be keener to employ you than another person who has written a poor letter.
Our online checklist
The following checklist will help you prepare when writing to an employer: