General WritingResearch and CitationTeaching and TutoringSubject-Specific WritingJob Search WritingESL
OWL at Purdue Logo

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/). When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice at bottom.

How do I talk to insiders of the company?

Summary:

Before you start to write a cover letter, you should gather information about yourself, the company, and the job. This page will help you learn what kind of information to find, where to find it, and how and why to use that information to "sell yourself" in a cover letter.

Contributors:Angie Olson, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2010-04-25 08:57:25

Talking to actual employees ("insiders") of a company is an excellent way to learn what the company looks for in candidates. There are a couple of ways to go about this:

Start by explaining that you plan to apply for a job and would like to know more about the company. They may send you information in brochures and letters. Then, you can read these documents for key words, just as with job ads and corporate websites. If, however, the contact is willing to answer questions, here are some ideas on what to ask:

Once you have a list of the values and skills a company looks for, you will have a better idea of how to focus your own cover letter.

Copyright ©1995-2014 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.