Even the standard, “Give me a job!”, letter can be improved upon, and so increase positive results.
The spread-shot letter is designed to hit nothing and everything at the same time.
Think of a barn door with a red dot painted in the middle. Point a shotgun at the door, fire a load of buckshot at it, you’ll hit the door fine and, just possibly, you’ll hit the red dot.
The spread-shot letter works like that, send out enough of them and you’re bound to hit a company with vacancy sooner or later. A standard (not very good) letter, addressed to the personnel manager, might read:-
Dear Sir or Madam.
I have just been made redundant from my current job with ABC Ltd and I am looking for a new position.
In the hope that you might have a vacancy for me, I am enclosing my CV for your attention.
I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
And you sit and wait, and wait (and wait) for an answer. Oh dear, any wonder why most of these letters go unanswered?
You need to do a bit of research before you send the letters out (before you start shouting at me about the benefits of email, take a look at the information in other parts of this web site). You will have found the company name and address from a directory, either paper or electronic. Add the company phone number to your list, also the name of the managing director and, if you can, the personnel manager. How can you find these? Some will be listed in the directories you’re looking at, failing that, get on the phone and ask!
Even adding the personnel manager’s name to the letter and addressing it to:
Dear Mrs Heggerty
will add to your presentation and gain you an extra brownie point.
More brownie points can be won by following up the letter by telephone, it means changing the final paragraph and having the bottle to ring:-
I will ring you within the next three days (or better) next Tuesday morning to see if you might have a current or future vacancy for which I might apply.
Contacting the company by phone might tell you something about the way they work. Speaking direct to the personnel manager (or officer) will tell you if there are vacancies. It will also show them how determined you are to find a job and how, if they were to employ you, they could be sure you would not need constant chivying to get things done.
If there are no vacancies, you can cross the company off the list and move quickly on to the next.
You could also improve the tone of the letter by avoiding the dreaded word “redundant”.