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What Is the Difference Between a Solicited Application Letter & an Unsolicited Letter?

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Job seekers create application letters, also called cover letters, to send to prospective employers in an attempt to get an interview. If a job is advertised and available, the person sends a solicited application letter. If the job was not announced, the person sends an unsolicited letter hoping there might be an open position within a company.


The main difference between a solicited application letter and an unsolicited one is whether a company receiving the letter announced a job opening or not. If a company announced an opening, the letter is considered solicited because it was requested. However, if a company had not asked for applications, the letter is considered unsolicited.


The goal of a solicited application letter is to obtain an interview for a specific job position which the writer mentions in the letter. For example, the writer states that she is applying for the accounts payable clerk position that is open. When a person writes an unsolicited letter, she hopes that the company has any position, within a certain area, available. This letter is more general and the writer states that she is applying, for example, to any type of managerial position within the company.


A person writing a solicited application letter often includes where he heard about the opening. A person writing an unsolicited letter often states where he heard about the company. Both types of letters are used to state details about the writer’s qualifications, background and skill. An unsolicited letter should also include some company information, such as an interesting fact or two the writer has learned about the company.


When writing a solicited letter, address the main point of the letter immediately without spending too much time on unnecessary details. An unsolicited letter must immediately catch the reader’s interest. Employers expect solicited letters when a job opening was announced, however, if no opening was posted, employers generally are not expecting to receive application letters. Therefore, an unsolicited letter must focus on benefiting the reader and the company. An unsolicited letter must also take action by the writer stating his intentions to call the company for a follow-up discussion regarding the application.


Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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