How to Approach Job Inquiries in a Professional Manner
To help you navigate the professional landscape of job inquiries, we’ve gathered eight insightful strategies from experts in the field. With advice from a certified HR professional and a physician assistant, among others, this article provides a comprehensive guide from demonstrating expertise and tailoring outreach to leveraging your network for personal connections. Dive in to discover the best approach for your career advancement.
- Demonstrate Expertise and Tailor Outreach
- Focus on the Company, Not Yourself
- Craft a Professional Letter of Interest
- Employ the “3R Approach”
- Reference, Share, and Express Eagerness
- Self-Assess for Job-to-Candidate Chemistry
- Tailor Responses for Genuine Interaction
- Leverage Your Network for Personal Connections
Demonstrate Expertise and Tailor Outreach
Three years ago, at MaxCash, we received an unexpected job inquiry from a cybersecurity specialist. Although we weren’t actively hiring for that role, he caught our attention immediately. Instead of a generic email, he sent us a Loom video analyzing MaxCash.com, pinpointing potential vulnerabilities.
More impressively, he proposed actionable strategies to address those threats. His approach worked for two reasons: first, he showed his expertise and value to MaxCash directly; second, by taking the time to research our specific needs and tailor his outreach, he showed genuine interest in our company.
Such dedication stands out, proving that thorough research can be the key to unlocking unforeseen opportunities.
Focus on the Company, Not Yourself
In my opinion, the best way to approach a job inquiry in a professional manner is to focus on the company, rather than on yourself or a particular hiring manager. In other words, do not try to brown-nose the recipient or oversell yourself. Hiring managers have seen it all at this point and can see right through all the fluff.
Instead, if you conduct a little bit of research about the company and trends within its industry, and convey that in the job inquiry, you will have a much better chance of standing out. This will signal to the recipient that you know the industry and are thinking about how you can positively impact the company. This will ultimately be much more attractive than simply touting your resume or accomplishments.
Craft a Professional Letter of Interest
Writing a letter of interest for a job is a professional approach. It is concise and to-the-point for the role. However, it’s important to focus on all the points while crafting the message. The letter should appear professional to the company and its HR team.
- A clear and specific subject line indicates the purpose of the letter.
- A proper salutation is crucial to make a letter professional. If the recipient’s name is unknown, use generic terms. However, it should be professional, like “Dear Hiring Manager.”
- In the beginning, introduce yourself and provide the reason for writing this letter in the first paragraph.
- Discuss the specific job and role you are interested in within the company.
- Don’t forget to express your excitement about the opportunity.
- Showcase your value by writing about your skills, qualifications, and achievements. However, only include those skills and achievements relevant to the company.
Employ the “3R Approach”
Over the years, I’ve honed a strategy that’s served me well, and I’d love to share it with you.
I call it the “3R Approach: Research, Relate, and Respond.” Before even drafting a reply, I dive deep into researching the company. Not just the basics, but their values, recent achievements, and market positioning. This isn’t just MBA 101; it’s about genuinely understanding where they’re coming from.
Next, I relate. In my response, I always draw parallels between my experiences as a Sales Manager and their needs. For instance, if they’re looking for someone to boost sales in a new territory, I’d mention how I spearheaded a similar initiative, leading to a 20% increase in revenue.
Finally, the response. I keep it concise, respectful, and tailored. No generic templates! I address the person by name, thank them for considering me, and express genuine enthusiasm about the potential collaboration.
This shows you’ve not only done your homework but understand their needs as well.
Reference, Share, and Express Eagerness
From my experience as a leader in the podcasting niche, this is how I’d like to be approached by candidates to pique my interest. Begin by referencing a recent project or episode that resonated with you to capture attention and signal passion.
Then, share a concise overview of your experience in podcasting (or the niche you’re a part of), mentioning specific roles or achievements that align with the company’s needs. Emphasize your passions! For us, we look for candidates who are passionate about storytelling, audio editing, or any other relevant aspect of podcast production.
And finally, express your eagerness to contribute to their team and inquire about potential opportunities. This approach shows your knowledge of the field and your commitment to contributing meaningfully.
Self-Assess for Job-to-Candidate Chemistry
When approaching job inquiries, one key factor to note is your eligibility for the said role. Many candidates tend to forget this, and often the first instinct is to measure what this job can give you. What’s to gain? But this is not a professional way to go about it; you have to think beyond quid-pro-quo. Are you a right fit, or are you the perfect fit?
This answer will help you understand the job-to-candidate chemistry, which is very important. Because if you have great chemistry, you are an ideal candidate, but if you don’t, then your time may be best served elsewhere.
This is why I believe the best strategy is to create a self-grading assessment where you rank your eligibility based on the criteria set by the recruiter. This will not only help you understand how suitable you are for the said role but also add a professional element to how you approach job inquiries.
Tailor Responses for Genuine Interaction
When I co-founded our gaming and esports knowledge hub, I received a myriad of job inquiries, each unique in its content and aspirations. One strategy I’ve always employed is tailoring my responses to each individual query.
For instance, once I received an inquiry from a passionate card game enthusiast who had specific insights on “Magic: The Gathering.” Rather than sending a generic reply, I addressed his specific expertise and shared my own experience of playing the game during my college days. This not only made our interaction more genuine but also laid the groundwork for a deeper professional connection.
Leverage Your Network for Personal Connections
My best advice is to make a personal connection, if you’re able. One way to do this is to leverage your network.
If you know anyone who already works for that company, you can reach out to them to find out if there are openings that would suit your skills. As a bonus, this person can also serve as a reference or refer you if the organization has an employee-referral program, which can sometimes be a win-win if they get a referral bonus.
If there’s no one in your network at the company, check whether anyone from the company is scheduled to attend any job fairs, trade shows, conferences, or other industry events. Meeting someone face-to-face at this kind of event first can give you an “in” to send them a message asking about job openings and have it feel more professional and targeted than if you call or email out of the blue.