This letter is designed to generate information interview – not job interviews- which allow you to meet individuals who can give you specific information about your intended career. Your purposes in seeking information interviews may vary, but your reasons for wanting to meet with a contact person must be genuine and sincere. Information interviewing, or "networking" has been tainted in recent years by job seekers who misuse this approach, but it remains a viable way to conduct job market research, to refine career goals, and to uncover vacancy information on an organization or geographical region. Information interviewing isn’t a magic short cut to employment; it requires solid preparation, sincerity, and much effort. The networking letter is the first step in the information process.
Normally, a resume is not attached to a networking letter, but it may be presented during the interview itself to help the interviewer address your questions.
Structure this letter as follows:
Paragraph one: Make a connection between you and the reader – e.g. alumnus/alumna of your school, mutual acquaintance, similar interest or background, etc.
Paragraph two: State your purpose without pressuring the reader. Explain your situation briefly.
Paragraph three: Request a meeting at a mutually convenient time, and indicate that you will call to make arrangements.
Closing…show appreciation for the readers’ time and consideration.
Here is a sample one...click on the link to download or look at it.
Taken from 2011 Job Choices magazine
Revised by Michelle B. Gjerde, Career Center