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One of the most effective ways to get a job is through networking. Most job seekers actually find more jobs by contacting colleagues and network contacts they have built through the years and discovering what jobs might be available before they are posted to the public. In these situations you will need to use a different style of cover letter to introduce yourself.
When writing a cover letter in response to a direct lead, it is important to include the name of your network contact for the job position with their permission. For example, you may have a colleague that currently works for the company and has suggested that you send the company your resume.
What to include in the cover letter:
1. Your name and contact information at the top of the cover letter. It is ideal to use the same heading as the resume for purposes of consistency.
2. Today's date and the name of the contact person at the company and their job title, if this information is available.
3. The name of the company and company address
The greeting should be Dear Mr./Ms. XXXXXXX:
It is imperative in this type of cover letter that you address the letter to the specific individual. If you do not know the name of the contact, then you should either find the name or use the cold cover letter approach.
The main difference in this style of cover letter is the introduction. The rest of the cover letter should still include the same information as the cold cover letter. An example of a typical introduction paragraph:
"I was recently discussing my desire to seek a new career challenge with my former colleague, Mike Randolph. Mike had informed me that there may be software development opportunities available at IBM and suggested that I contact you to discuss my availability for possible job openings. My resume is attached for your review, which demonstrates how my strengths and experience can benefit your organization."
This introduction is very basic and makes the assumption that the reader will know Mike Randolph, so it is unnecessary to describe Mike's relationship with the company. To enhance this introduction, you can include more information about your direct skills or abilities associated with possible positions as you gain more information about the job openings. Cover Letter Resource Tip: Also be sure to inform your contact that you are preparing a cover letter in this manner, as you will be relying on them to help you generate an interview.
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