Write more than a postcard this summer.

postcardThere’s a common theme that summer is the time to give yourself that well-deserved break from all things deemed “academic.” For a few months, you’re not a just a student. You’re the lifeguard, babysitter, dishwasher, coach, camp counselor, waiter, hostess, lawn guy/girl, or intern. So, unless you’re taking a summer class (or have an awesome* internship or strange dreams), you probably aren’t worrying about formal writing projects.

But what if you didn’t take a break from writing this summer? I’m dedicating the next few entries to suggestions to your flex your skills and expand your opportunities.

Today’s suggestion is geared to those who haven’t yet landed an internship and don’t have many connections in their field of interest. What can you do? Write a networking letter! This type of communication can also go by the names of prospecting letter and letter of interest. Whatever you name it, it is professional correspondence to advance your knowledge and networking in a field and company.

Such a letter gives you the opportunity to share your goals and the reasons for your particular interest in the company. The goal of the letter should be securing an informational interview. An informational interview will allow you to meet your letter’s recipient and learn more about the company and career.  Such a letter can, but not always, open doors for a job shadow, networking, or unadvertised internships. I’m not a career development expert (see the great staff in the Bellarmine Career Development office for that), but I found an excellent example of a networking letter here  (sample 3).

Is anyone experienced in writing networking letters? If so, we’d love to see what you wrote and how it turned out for you!

Cassie Book, Writing Center Director

*Any internship that let’s you write is, in the humble opinion of the Bellarmine Writing Center, awesome.

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