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How do I Write an Unsolicited Cover Letter?

By Tara Barnett
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Writing an unsolicited cover letter can be difficult because the letter must be extremely compelling in order to generate interest in your qualifications. An unsolicited cover letter must include all the parts of a normal cover letter, but it must also explain why you are sending an application before a job advertisement has been posted. Sometimes, devotion and interest can be enough to make an applicant stand out before a job is even created. It is important, however, to make an unsolicited cover letter as professionally impressive as possible, because interest is secondary to talent.

When writing an unsolicited cover letter, it is important to first ensure that the letter will reach the appropriate person within the company. This often involves doing research or asking around. If the cover letter is addressed incorrectly or generically, it may be thrown away.

The content of an unsolicited cover letter is very similar to that of a cover letter for any other job. Letters always begin with a formal salutation directly addressing the person considering the application. They typically then move directly into your interest in the job being applied for, but because this type of cover letter is unsolicited, it is better to start with why you are sending the application or resume. Expressing interest in the company is not sufficient unless your qualifications and reputation speak for themselves. Personal reasons, relations to the company, and other highly individual information can often make this section more compelling.

Once you have written a paragraph to get the reader's attention, the next step is to entice the reader with your qualifications. This section must be tailored specifically to the company to which you are applying. If you have ever been awarded any special recognition or if you have been recognized by the company in the past in some way, those are particularly important things to include in a cover letter.

As this type of cover letter is often read more quickly than other cover letters, it is important to be concise and direct. Your skills should be explained precisely and with only those relevant to the job highlighted. An unsolicited cover letter benefits from being short and as impressive as possible. Arrogance, however, will likely get your letter discarded, so bragging is not a good idea. Factual statements and information that is easily verifiable, such as winning a prestigious scholarship, are often the best way to go with impressive qualifications.

An unsolicited cover letter should end with extreme gratitude, but should make clear how useful you would be for a company without begging for a position. It should also end with a formal closing and should be signed by hand and include all appropriate contact information. When writing this type of cover letter, the most important thing to keep in mind is that every sentence should pull the reader forward and create more interest in your personal qualifications. Every sentence is an opportunity to express a new and unique reason that you deserve to work for the particular company in question.

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