How To Write a Cold Call Cover Letter (With Tips and Sample)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 17, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you are looking for a job, the typical approach is to search for advertised jobs on reputable job sites such as Indeed.ca and apply. Alternatively, you can send a cold call cover letter for an unadvertised position. Knowing how to craft a compelling unsolicited cover letter is essential to catch the attention of the hiring manager. In this article, we explain what a cold call cover letter is, show you how to write a cold cover letter, give you tips to write an unsolicited cover letter, and share a sample letter to help you write your own.

Related: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

What is a cold call cover letter?

A cold call cover letter is a cover letter you send with your resume when applying for a job that is yet to be advertised. Sending a cold cover letter gives you a chance to be considered by the company for employment. Unlike the traditional cover letter that responds to an advertised position, an unsolicited cover letter doesn't provide an opportunity to answer a job ad. If you are thinking of sending this kind of cover letter, you need to know what to include to increase your chances of getting an interview invitation.

Related: What Is Cold Calling? (With Benefits and Tips for Success)

A well-written cold cover letter has several advantages for both the candidate and the company. The candidate gets an early consideration for the job before everyone else. If no immediate position exists, they may consider you when openings become available in the future. For the company, receiving an unsolicited cover letter might provide an opportunity to create a new role suitable for the candidate's skills and experience. If your letter impresses the hiring manager, the company can capture the talent before its competitors.

Related: How To Address a Business Letter Professionally

How to write a cold cover letter

Here are the steps you can take to craft a compelling cold cover letter:

1. Research the company

The first step before sending a cold call letter is to research the company. Visit the company's website to learn more about what the company does, its leadership, history, market size, contact details, and any other relevant information. If you know someone working with the company, you can request them to provide insights into the company culture and how the company recruits. The more information you gather about a company, the better you can tailor your letter. In-depth research also shows your level of commitment and interest in working for the business.

2. Determine your career goal

The second step is to determine whether the company fits into your career goals. Working for a company that supports your career goals is likely to result in better performance. You are also likely to stay with the company for longer. Factors to look for include whether the company supports personal development for its employees, for example.

Related: 11 Tips for Goal Setting in Your Career (With an Example)

3. Evaluate your strength

Having gathered significant information about the company, you may then determine your strengths and how they would fit into the company. Perform a skills audit to determine how these skills would align with the role you hope to fill. Make sure to write them down, as they would be key in drafting the cold letter.

4. Write a strong subject line

Craft a strong subject line that mentions your name and why you're writing the letter. You can also mention the role you are seeking to fill to grab the interest of the hiring manager. Be as straightforward as possible to maintain the interest of the reviewer.

Related: 70 Cold E-Mail Subject Line Examples (Definition and Tips)

5. Write a compelling introduction

Use the first sentences of your cold letter to introduce yourself. Mention the role you'd like to fill in the company and why you believe you're a proper fit. Give the reviewer a better idea of who you are to encourage them to read your letter to the end.

6. State why you are interested in the company

After the brief introduction, state why you're interested in working for the company. Draw ideas from your research findings (from step one above). For instance, you can mention how you have always wanted to work with the market leader, how much you like the company's culture, or why you would like to be associated with such an ethical company. Mentioning positive attributes about the company shows your interest in the company—something hiring managers would like to hear from potential employees.

7. Tailor your qualifications to the company's needs

Show your skills, experience, qualifications, and notable achievements and how they match the role you would like to fill. Detail previous responsibilities and how they have prepared you for the role. Show tangible results you helped the previous employer achieve to help the reviewer determine your suitability. When describing your qualifications, make them relevant to the company. For instance, you can explain specific projects you have taken part in that match the company's niche or needs.

Related: Summary of Qualifications (With Examples)

8. Demonstrate your value

Show what value you would bring to the position. Since it's a non-advertised position, demonstrate clearly why the company needs to create the position or consider you for an equivalent role. You can do this by stating figures such as percentages and raw numbers to show the contribution you would bring to the company. You can also provide suggestions about projects you would undertake or offer ideas about how you would help the company grow. Including a link to your online portfolio may also provide crucial evidence of your potential.

9. Request a meeting

As you near the end of the letter, dedicate a few lines to detail the next steps. Unlike in the conventional job application where the employer informs the candidates, the cold letter approach gives responsibility to follow up on the candidate. You can request a physical meeting with the reviewer, a phone interview, a tour of the office, or a promise to call on a particular day. Detailing the next steps you would take shows you are really interested in working with the company. It also encourages them to contact you regarding your application.

10. Close the letter formally

End the letter with a formal closing such as Sincerely, Regards, or Cordially. If you are sending a hard copy, adding your handwritten signature beneath the salutation can be a great, professional touch.

Related: 4 Steps To Closing Letters Appropriately (With Tips)

11. Proofread the letter

Proofread your letter before sending it, reviewing it for grammatical, formatting, or spelling errors. Ensure the letter has no informalities and that the paragraphs aren't too long, for example. A well-formatted and error-free cold letter impresses the reader and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

Read more: How To Address A Cover Letter (With Examples)

Tips for writing an unsolicited cover letter

Here are tips to help you craft an excellent cold cover letter:

  • Mention mutual connections. Mention any connections you have with the company, such as a previous meeting you had with the company manager at a career fair or a referral you got from someone known to the company. Mentioning such connections may increase your chances of getting an interview invitation.

  • Address it to the right person. Unlike the traditional cover letter where you know whom to address, an unsolicited cover letter potentially requires a longer search for the recipient. Address your cold letter to the right person to increase the chances of getting a response.

  • Proper timing is key. The success of the cold cover letter depends on how persuasive you are and also on the timing of your application. Time your letter to coincide with a company's key milestone, if you can, such as expansion plans or at the start of a financial year.

Related: How To End an Email

Cold cover letter sample

Here is a sample of an email cold cover letter you can use to inspire you in crafting your own:

Subject: Samson Madison-Experienced marketer

Dear Mr. Nesbitt,

I have enjoyed using your company's products for a long time, and after listening to your CEO speak at the annual marketers' gala awards, I became interested in joining your company. It is for this reason that I am writing to inquire about a potential opening in the marketing department to complement your talented team.

I have extensive marketing experience in fast-moving consumer goods. For the last five years, I have worked with Wavewood Inc.'s marketing department specializing in market research, product testing, and product launch. Last year, I was instrumental in the company's successful launch into the North American market, increasing profitability by 15% over the previous years' numbers. If you were to hire me, I would bring the same zeal and experience to improve your company's market size and product awareness.

I have attached my resume and would love to further discuss this opportunity with you. I will call next week on Tuesday to follow up on this inquiry. You can also reach me at 333-333-3333, or reply to this email. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Samson Madison

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

Explore more articles