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How to Write a Job Request

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People write job requests for a number of reasons. They may be requesting a job interview, asking for a raise or asking a former boss or colleague to write a letter of recommendation. When writing a job request letter, be brief, courteous and professional. In some cases, it may be more efficient to send your request by email, but still maintain a formal and professional tone. Be sure you are addressing your request to the appropriate person. Be direct and straightforward, and only make requests that are reasonable.

Be sure you know the name of the person to whom you are writing. "Dear Mr. Smith" is much more effective than "To Whom it May Concern." Also make sure you know the gender of that person. If you are responding to a job ad, for example, and it says, "Address cover letter to J.R. Smith," don't assume J.R. is a man. If you do not know who will be reading your letter, call the company and ask.

At the top of the letter, include your name and address, followed by the date. Below that, write the name and address of the addressee. Open the letter with “Dear,” followed by the reader’s name (Dear Mr. Smith or Dear Ms. Smith).

Introduce yourself. Depending on the type of letter, your introduction may be quite brief or it may be a whole paragraph. If the request is for a job interview, the reader probably does not know you, so it will require a longer introduction. If it is asking the reader for a letter of recommendation, a brief introduction is better.

State the purpose of the letter. If you are requesting a job interview, for example, say that you heard about a job opening and are requesting an interview. Be straightforward when making your request so the reader can quickly understand the precise purpose of the letter.

Ask the question. After describing the purpose of the letter, ask for the action you desire in a direct, yet courteous manner. Make your request short and clear so the reader can quickly decided whether to agree to your request or deny it.

Include your reasons. Your reasons may vary depending on the type of request you are making. If you are writing for prior employment records, explain why you need them. If you are requesting a letter of recommendation, explain that you need it to accompany a job application.

Close the letter. End the letter by asking the reader to contact you if he has any questions about your request. Thank him for considering your request, and end with “Sincerely,” followed by your name.


Sound confident when making your request. Make the request easy for the person to respond to or accomplish. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you are asking the reader to send something back to you. If you don't get a response after a reasonable amount of time, follow up with a phone call, an email or another letter.