Networking letters are used to inform your network that you are job searching. Networking letters can also be used to reach out and introduce yourself to people or organizations that you would like to connect with.
A networking letter is similar to a cold calling script but it’s used when emailing instead of calling.
The focus of a networking letter is not to ask for a job but to request assistance, information, advice or referrals. The advice and referrals may ultimately produce leads that help you identify job openings before they are advertised.
Sending networking letters is a great way to be proactive in your job search. They show companies that you are motivated and want to work for them and increase the likelihood that you will be successful by taking control of your job search.
Networking Letter Checklist
Beginning the letter
- Start with the name and contact information of the person you are reaching out to.
- If you have met them before, remind the reader of that meeting; if you were referred, say by whom.
- Do not use the reader’s first name in the salutation unless you know them well. For example write To Mr. Eric Jones not just To Eric.
Middle of the letter
- Customize your letter for each recipient.
- Be specific in naming the kind of work you are looking for.
- Summarize your background and qualifications.
- Use quantified accomplishment statements (see SAR statements).
- Include what you can offer the employer.
- Make a clear request for action.
Ending the letter
- Thank the contact for his/her help.
- Set a time frame to follow-up and keep in touch.
- Be positive and polite.
- Do not write about your personal situation.
- Keep your message less than one page.
Example Opening Lines
Below are opening lines that you can use to begin your networking letter.
- John Smith of ABC Company recommended that I contact you concerning my interest in the field of Call Centre Management. May I ask for your advice and assistance?
- It was a pleasure talking to you during the Builder’s Trade Show last month. Our discussion regarding the upcoming legislative changes was very informative.
- It was very nice speaking to you yesterday and learning about the changes taking place at ABC Insurance Agency.
- After completing my internship with you at ABC Corporation, I realized that the field of marketing is truly my passion, and I am writing to you to ask for your assistance to reach this objective.
- I am currently interested in learning more about broadcasting; would you be available to share your expertise with me?
If you are reaching out to a new connection on LinkedIn, you could begin a message with
- Thank you for accepting my connection, your profile highlights your expertise within the marketing industry, would you be available to share some advice with me?
Networking Letter Examples and Suggestions
Please see The Centre tip sheet “Job Search – 5 Networking Letter Sample”
Sample networking emails – law.harvard.edu