Using a letter to request a face-to-face interview is an assertive self-marketing move, and it could lead to a job offer. Employers usually initiate interviews after screening resumes. However, some job seekers try for an advantage by seeking so-called informational interviews. Informational interviews allow you to introduce yourself to an employer in a session lasting about 15 to 30 minutes, although some sessions last longer.
Contact friends and tap into your social networks to identify a hiring manager at a company you want to work for. Also visit company websites for employee information. Obtain the full name, title and work address for the hiring manager. Face-to-face interviews are valuable even when there isn't an opening. The interviews are major networking opportunities, as they allow you inside a company or organization for a scheduled visit.
Write the letter using a professional style. Write in short, complete sentences. Do not use exclamation points, abbreviation or slang language. Get to the point in the first paragraph by introducing yourself. For example, write that you are a recent college graduate with a degree in accounting, and you are seeking a challenging position in financial management.Add that you have a deep interest in the hiring manager's company and would love to meet for an informational interview -- even if there are no openings.
Sell yourself in the second paragraph by using two or three sentences to discuss your educational accomplishments or relevant work experience and awards, if applicable.
Express admiration for the company in the next paragraph while pointing out that your skills and backgrounds are a perfect match for the type of employee the company seeks.
Close the letter by suggesting dates for a face-to-face meeting. Give the hiring manager a range of dates to consider, such as over a two-week period. Tell the hiring manager you will follow up by telephone in a few days to confirm the meeting. Also note that you are enclosing your resume for the hiring manager's perusal.
Obtaining a face-to-face interview requires assertiveness. One letter probably won't be enough. Hiring managers are inundated with letters and resumes, and cannot respond to everyone. That's why following up by telephone is essential, but don't be a pest.