A broadcast letter is exactly what its name implies: a broad-ranging attempt to hook a prospective employer's interest with a letter. Broadcast letters are used to make first contact with organizations that have not advertised a hiring need, but that you feel would be a good match for your skill set. They are general, non-specific summaries of who you are and what you have to offer as an employee; consider them your way of announcing to companies that you are out of school and ready to work!
When using broadcast letters, keep the following tips in mind:
Do some research before you send your letters. Letters addressed to "Sir" or "Madame" in the general mailbox are less likely to be read than those addressed to a specific person involved in recruiting new employees. Take the time to call the company and find out the name, title and department of the appropriate person in charge of recruitment. Ensure that you have the correct spelling of the name.
Be specific about the position you are interested in applying for. Expressing an interest in "a job" tells the employer nothing about what your goals, skills and training may be. If you are not certain what position you would like to have with that company, at least specify a department so that your field of interest is evident.
Include a resume with your letter. Even if an employer is interested in your letter, odds are he or she will not bother to call you and request that you send further information about your skills.
Check, double check and triple check your spelling and grammar. This is of crucial importance and it is often over-looked, even by seasoned professionals. Nothing says "sloppy employee" like typos in your correspondence, and few employers will tolerate even a minor slip-up when considering applications.
For an example of a broadcast letter, click here.