Query letters are an important part of seeking a new job, especially if one is aiming to work for a large company or overseas. A query letter is a sort of introduction, as well as a marketing tool for the job-seeker. In addition, a person that sends a query letter, (and makes sure it is delivered), gives the impression that they are more eager and willing to work than a person that just hands in a resume or an application. In my personal experience, they are four key points to remember when writing query letters.
1. Do your research- This is the most important part of writing a query letter. Do research, on the company, its mission, its latest performance, its working seasons (dont send a query letter to a summer resort in the middle of winter) and most importantly, WHO you can contact about a possible job. This is key, because there is no point in writing a query letter and addressing it with "Dear Sir/Madam". The worst thing you can do, next to miss-spelling the person's name is not put it at all! The best bet is to find the contacts of the Human Resources director and send your query letter to them. However, if you are applying for a management position or anything higher than a regular job, it would also be wise to send it to the director of you branch (ex. If you are applying to be a housekeeping supervisor in a very large hotel, send your query to the director of housekeeping).
2. Proper Grammar and Spelling- The majority of people shoot themselves in the foot before they even get a job by miss-spelling words, (especially the names of the person the letter is addressed to. Yikes, that letter is going straight into the trash bin) and using improper grammar. Although writing is not everyone's favourite subject, you must be absolutely sure that your letter is perfect, from a spelling and grammar perspective. If you must, double or even triple check the query letter for errors. Then, ask someone else to do the same. Two sets of eye's are always better than one...
3. Display knowledge of the company/position- Although this article wont provide an example of a query letter, i will give a brief overview of what the body of the query letter should include. After a brief introduction, include the reason you would like employment with the company. In this section, mention things such as past achievements or awards, be they in employee relations, environmental sustainability or anything of note. This will show that you have done some background research on the company. The next section of the query letter should be based around linking your experience to the position you are seeking, and why you would be a perfect fit (make sure to include relevant schooling or training. This is a must. Employeers look for numbers, years of experience and school. Make sure this is included in the query letter if you want them to be interested in you). Finally, finish off with a sentence saying how you will follow up in a few days time. This is key because it demonstrates drive and initiative, and the worst they can say is no. Oh, and you must follow up! Be sure to do that!
4. Deliver the letter personally if possible- Make sure to place the letter directly into the hands of the person it is meant to! Too many a great letter get lost on the way to their destination. Prevent this by making sure you deliver it yourself. If this is not possible, send it and then make sure to follow up, because if it hasn't reached its destination you will know, and will most likely be able to send another one, that the person will now be on the lookout for.
This is a brief outline of how to write a proper query letter. I encourage you to find example's on the internet, but do not copy them word for word. Rather, use them and this article for inspiration and create your own query letter. Make sure that it comes from the heart, because a good employer will know that, and they will take more interest in you if you write them a good letter, instead of a canned, scripted message.