Unsolicited Letters Requesting an Interview or Other Assistance

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We want to discourage you from sending out unsolicited letters as a primary technique. Even though many job search books recommend sending out lots of unsolicited resumes and cover letters, the evidence is overwhelming that this method does not work for most people. Doing the same thing on the Internet often results in the same outcome. The rare exception is if your skills are very much in demand.

We do think that sending a letter or e-mail to people with whom you share a common bond, such as alumni or members of a professional group, can be reasonably effective. This is particularly so if you are looking for a job in another city or region and you send a letter asking someone to help you by providing names of contacts there. Several of the sample cover letters provide examples of this very technique, and it does work, particularly if you follow up by phone and e-mail.

Here is an example of a "broadcast" letter that was sent to members of an alumni group.

Figure 4-12: An Example Broadcast Letter

Shawna Taylor

[email protected]

4540 Riverview Terrace, Covington, KY 41016 Home 859-245-0290 - Mobile 859-304-2094

March 30, 2005

Larry Anderson VP Sales & Marketing Sensational Software 259-A Research Boulevard Raleigh, NC 27603

Dear Larry:

May I ask your advice and assistance? I was given your name by the Fuqua alumni office and am hoping to tap into your local network as I seek to return to the Raleigh area.

Since graduating from Fuqua, and completing a 16-month MBA Enterprise Corps assignment in Ghana, I've spent an enjoyable five years in software marketing—developing strategy, evaluating marketing channels, and building strategic alliances.

Now I'm looking for a new challenge, where my proven strengths in strategic market planning can add value to a dynamic organization.

If you know of:

An opportunity... in strategic marketing for a technology company... A company. that has aggressive growth plans and needs marketing leadership. An individual. at a technology or other high-growth company who would be interested in my background.

I'd greatly appreciate hearing your ideas and referrals.

My resume (enclosed) gives a comprehensive synopsis of my experience and accomplishments. I welcome your advice and value your expertise as I look for the next exciting career opportunity.

Many thanks. I'll phone in a few days to hear your thoughts.

Best regards,

Shawna Taylor enclosure

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