How to Draft a Letter for Permanent Employment

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Accepting a temporary job with the company often is the best way to get your foot in the door. Working in a temporary role gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and potential. But when your temporary stint ends and your supervisor hasn't talked to you about joining the company as a full-time, permanent employee, show the initiative and ask for what you want, which is more than temporary work. Don't just stop by your supervisor's office and mention that you want to become a regular employee. Write a letter that explains the reason why you are a good fit for a larger role with the company.

Permanent Versus Regular or Full-Time Employment

The vast majority of companies are at-will employers, meaning that either you or the company can sever the employment relationship at will, with or without notice or reason, provided the employer doesn't act in a discriminatory manner when it terminates an employee. The term "permanent employment" generally means that you have an employment contract and that your tenure with the company isn't at will. Before you draft your letter requesting the company offer you a permanent job, make sure you're using the correct terminology.

Assuming you work for an at-will employer and that you aren't asking for an employment contract, ask the company to change your status from temporary employment to regular employment. Demonstrating your knowledge of temporary versus regular employment is an important factor when you are asking to change your employment status. Sometimes the difference between temporary employment and regular employment is work schedule, pay and benefits.

Set the Right Tone

In the first paragraph, explain why you are writing to the human resources department and your supervisor. Many companies give hiring authority to both the HR department and the hiring manager, who likely is your supervisor. For example, in your introductory paragraph, you could write, "Thank you for the opportunity to work in the ABC Company sales department during this holiday season. While I accepted a temporary position with the understanding that my employment would end when the busy shopping season comes to a close, the purpose of this letter is to request a change from temporary employment to a full-time, regular position."

Determine the Proper Way to Ask

Regardless of the reason why you want to move from temporary to regular employment, determine the proper way to ask and research the company's vacancies to ensure your request is appropriate and timely. If the company is recruiting for full-time, regular employees, you might have a good shot at moving out of your temporary role to a regular job. Begin your second paragraph by stating what you believe is the company's need for an additional regular employee. It could be an advertisement or what you have observed as an overwhelming need for staff in your department.

Example:

"During my time with ABC Company as a temporary employee, I have observed that the customers who started shopping here at the beginning of the holiday season have continued shopping well beyond the busy season, and there often are just a few employees available to assist those customers. For this reason, I would like your consideration for a full-time, regular position with ABC Company."

State Why the Company Should Hire You

Consider this much like a cover letter from an external applicant – describe your qualifications and skills, and articulate why you are a suitable candidate. Add to that how the company stands to benefit from hiring you. As a temporary employee, you acquired knowledge of company policies and practices, you have already completed job training for this role and you have been performing this job successfully for quite some time. The advantage you have over external applicants is that you understand how the company operates and you have the institutional knowledge that external applicants do not. Phrase it so that you explain how the company benefits from hiring you and don't make it all about you.

Example:

"In addition to my proven relationship-building skills with customers and my knowledge of ABC Company products, I have a thorough understanding of the company's policies, practices and processes. My orientation and ramp-up time would be minimal, which saves company time and money by hiring me instead of an external candidate."

The Emotional Appeal

The benefit of regular employment might be moving to the company's regular pay scale, as well as benefits such as health insurance coverage, paid time off and perhaps an opportunity for career advancement. Chances are that you want a regular position for more than just the benefits. Assuming that is true, explain how much you enjoy the company and being part of the team.

Example:

"In addition to my skills, qualifications and institutional knowledge, I truly enjoy my job with ABC Company. I get a great deal of satisfaction both from working with ABC customers and collaborating with my co-workers. Moreover, the company's principles and ethics are aligned with my own. I would be delighted if you would consider my request to become a regular, full-time employee."

Remember to Follow Up

Deliver original, signed copies of your letter to the HR department and to your supervisor. Follow up within a week to ask if they will schedule a meeting with you to talk about the possibility of coming onboard as a regular employee. Expect this meeting to be conducted as an interview, therefore, bring copies of your resume and your letter with you so you can articulate in a face-to-face meeting why you want to become a regular employee.

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About the Author

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.