Writing to a potential employer

With the rise of using websites to seek employment, writing to employers is more common than ever. You may be writing through a contact form on a company website to ask if any work is available. At other times, you may need to write a more formal letter to enquire about a particular job.

Either way, there are some things you need to consider to make your email or letter get the attention it deserves. You should think about your content. This is what you actually want to say to the employer. If you are writing a letter, you also need to make sure it is clearly set out.


When you write an email or letter asking about work opportunities, be very clear about what you are saying or asking. Simple language and short sentences are better than big words and long complicated sentences.

Tell the employer straight away that you are writing to look for work. Include details about why you would like to work for their business. Show that you already know some things about their company or industry. Include brief details about your skills, qualities and experience.

Outline why you would be a valuable employee for their business.

If you have a résumé, attach it to your email or enclose it with your letter. This website has advice on creating a good résumé.

Setting out your letter

If you are writing a formal letter, allow the reader to easily find the information on the page. Every letter should have the following features:

  • your name and address
  • the date when you are writing
  • the name of the person you are writing to
  • the title of the person you are writing to
    (You can usually find out these details by phoning the business and asking who you should write to)
  • the name of the business
  • the postal address of the business
  • a greeting such as “Dear Ms/Mr…”
  • the body of the letter (three or four paragraphs covering why you are writing, things you know about the business, your skills and experience, and so on)
  • some closing words to sum up what you would like to happen as a result of your letter, such as “Thank you very much for considering my interest in working for your organisation. I look forward to hearing from your business in the near future.”
  • a sign-off such as “Yours sincerely” followed by your signature.

Before sending your email or posting your letter

It’s a good idea to have someone else proofread your letter. This person may pick up small errors or have suggestions to improve your letter. A letter with no spelling mistakes and clear sentences always makes a good impression on an employer.

Some handy hints for sending your email or letter

If you have to post or email your letter by a certain date, make sure you send it with a few days to spare. This shows a potential employer that you are well organised and don’t leave tasks to the last minute.

If you are emailing your letter, make sure the subject line of the email clearly states that it is about looking for work or a particular job. Be sure to check that you have correctly typed the email address of the person you are sending your letter to.

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