Writing an Inquiry Letter: Writer’s Advice

what is a letter of inquiry

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Writing inquiry letter and business order letter in a perfect way is one of the most crucial and essential things you can do if you want a project or business to be possible. With nowadays easiness of communication, the purpose of a letter of inquiry falls mainly on organizations or companies that ask for this kind of letter in order to know if they are interested or not on a certain project.

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Even so, this kind of letter is also used while looking for a job as a form of a job application that delivers the benefits and skills that the applicant counts with. However, a well-written and effective inquiry letter can be really hard to write. That’s why we’ve decided to make an article about the importance and different features of inquiry letters.

If you want to know more about what is a letter of inquiry, about its importance, about an inquiry letter format and some tips that will help you write a perfect one, take a look further and find out!

What Is an Inquiry Letter and When to Use It

The main purpose of writing a letter of inquiry is to ask or collect information about any kind of business-related matters. Even so, job applicants tend to use this kind of letters to shoe employers their abilities and skills, working as application letters but actually working as a letter that offers services or products.

Even though it can be used by applicants, it is mainly used by employers to ask for information about the applicants and referees on a job posting. This type of letter is used by employers in order to ask for information about skills, abilities, persona background, values, performance, suitability, flexibility and even about interests.

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Saying this, there’s no really a rule to use this kind of letter, but as you’ve seen, it has a predefined main purpose and that is to ask for information. However, there are actually two types of inquiry letter depending on the main purpose, and these are:

Personal status inquiry letter

These are the kind of letters that are written by employers in order to know more about the personal details of an applicant in the job search. This kind of letter is used by the employer in order to get to know more about the skills, abilities and relevant information about the person as a worker in order to find out if the applicant meets with the necessities of the job. After this first inquiry letter, applicants tend to send a response with all information required by the employer plus a little detail about themselves.

Business status inquiry letter

This kind of letter is written when a company or enterprise wants to know more about another enterprise or company. This is especially used to ask for information about a customer or a plan or work. However, it can also be used for the purpose of asking for financial capabilities, assurance, honesty, responsibility and the way of doing business from one company to another in order to find out if a business relationship is necessary or can be fruitful.

How to Write an Inquiry Letter

letter of inquiry sample

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The importance of writing an effective inquiry letter falls in two things, the structure and the inquiry letter format. However, it is important that you know how to write an inquiry letter perfectly, not only depending on the type of letter or the purpose but actually giving the perfect format, structure, and style. This is done in order to avoid being rejected, as Marilyn Dickey from The Chronicle of Philanthropy has confirmed in her article Grant Makers Reveal the Most Common Reasons Grant Proposals Get Rejected, “Eighty percent of the grant applications that cross Debbie Rey’s desk are immediately rejected.”

Take a look at the following tips on how to write the perfect inquiry letter:

  • A letter of inquiry should always be brief, informative, and specific in its purpose. However, some people like to use much more information, like using details and specifics of a job posting or further information about an agreement or business.
  • As a business letter, the structure of an inquiry letter is the same as others. With the first part of the address of the sender and its name, and in the second part of the initial paragraph and the information that is going to be talked about, plus a little conclusion about the purpose of the letter in the final to be completed.
  • The first part of the inquiry should be totally concise, direct and clear for the recipient. As this part is the main part and most important thing on an inquiry letter, it should both capture the attention and inspire the recipient to keep reading and feel compelled by the information, independently on the purpose and type of inquiry letter it is.
  • If it is a letter asking for funding on a certain project or activity, you should explain what this project is about and a little description about the quantitative details of the project. It is recommended to insert and use statistical facts and examples of how it can work as a support for the ideas.
  • Have clear objectives and never hesitate in making them be heard. If you have a plan for the project, independently of what it is for, state it on the letter in a way that the recipient knows that you actually care about it.
  • If you are doing the same type of inquiry for various sources, you may also state it on the letter as this can give reason to a company or person to support your project or ideas thanks to the influence it had on others.
  • Summarize the goal of the project and state a final conclusion or inquiry in the letter, reminding the recipient the objective of the inquiry letter.
  • You can also add any kind of information you think is necessary to make the recipient more aware of what you want to do in case he needs more approval and security in the business.
  • At the end, remember to take into account writing guidelines and make a perfect proofread in order to avoid failings in credibility and lack of detail due to grammar or spelling mistakes.
  • Also, send a friendly salutation that makes the recipient know that you care and that you are interested in the business agreement.

If you want the essential tips and recommendations on how to write inquiry letters, plus an inquiry letter sample, take a look at this article on How to Write a Job Inquiry Letter or Email.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing an Inquiry Letter

There are some common mistakes most people make when writing an inquiry letter, and these mistakes can affect not only the way recipients read them but can actually change the whole purpose of writing a letter of inquiry.

inquiry letter structure

So, if you want to know which are these common mistakes and how to avoid them – take a look at the following list:

  • Spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes

These mistakes must be avoided at all costs. If you have this kind of mistake, anyone can say that you don’t have the necessary skill for writing correctly, making you a lot less capable and important than those who actually take care in writing perfectly without errors. In a business letter like an inquiry one, these mistakes can be fatal.

  • Cliché phrases, repetitive words, and jargon

Most people already know which the words that are most used in both business proposals and grant letters are. So avoiding words like “high performance”, “cutting edge”, “innovative” or “great opportunity” is always a good recommendation. Even so, it is important to avoid those words that will be hard to understand, especially when it comes to jargon of a specific subject or field, making it impossible in some cases to decipher what was meant to say in the first place.

  • Forgetting about the recipient

There’s a common mistake most people tend to make while writing an inquiry letter. It falls on writing without taking into account what the recipient wants to read with structure and detail, thus failing to be compelling and appealable. This can make the whole letter to fail and be boring, making the recipient forget about it or just ignore it.

  • Complex sentences

Complex sentences are also a common mistake most people make when writing this kind of letter. Especially when they use hard-to-understand tenses like Past Perfect Progressive or Past Participle with the use of passive voice and similar. This makes ideas to get blurry and sometimes hard to understand or even impossible to decipher. Avoid them at all costs by writing clear and concise.

  • Poor planning

We all know that planning is of utmost importance in almost everything we do, and when it comes to writing an inquiry letter it also has a lot of importance. That’s why it is important to plan with enough time in order to know which information is important to put in the letter and which information is not. Plus, planning helps at taking into account the recipient’s needs before writing, making it easier to grab his attention.

  • Failing to be appealable

This is something very important when it comes to writing an inquiry letter. As it is an actual form of asking for information, you will have to make a good impression in order to make the recipient actually help you with your request. To do this you will have to create a perfect introduction explaining your ideas and projects, and a wonderful conclusion summarizing every objective and goal.

  • Unimportant text

It is known that writing too much can actually make people stay away from reading something. A letter of inquiry must have the perfect balance between blank space and text. This is done by avoiding writing unimportant information and making everything be more concise, clear and easy to read. Also, the font, structure, and composition of the text are of utmost importance.

  • Abbreviations, acronyms and unacceptable language

When it comes to writing a business letter, avoiding the use of acronyms, abbreviations and inappropriate language is really important. In these letters, the language should be totally professional, making use of a perfect spelling and avoiding words that are not known or not used in business jargon are not necessary.

An Inquiry Letter Is Necessary

Depending on the subject and the purpose, writing an inquiry letter can be of total necessity and importance. This kind of letter gives enough information and at the same time asks for more, making it a really wonderful opportunity for anyone to achieve an effective communication, especially if the sender is looking for a job or to raise funds for a project.

That’s why it is important to know the basics of what is a letter of inquiry, the process of writing an inquiry letter and which common mistakes you can avoid while doing it, same with other types of letters f.e. letter of explanation for mortgage. As the purpose of a letter of inquiry is to basically ask for more information and support, you will want to write a perfect one if you eventually desire to achieve a proper outcome.

That’s why you can count on us if you are failing at writing an inquiry letter. Feel free to contact us and we will happily help you to achieve the results you want!

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