When applying for an unadvertised position, you will need to include a cover letter with your resume to state your interest as well as to start selling yourself. The cover letter should highlight some of your most relevant qualifications and experiences, enhance your resume, and (hopefully) increase your chances of being called for an interview. Use examples from volunteer work and educational and work experiences which are relevant to the types of positions that interest you.
Here's an example of a cover letter written for unadvertised development/administration positions at a museum.
Your Contact Information
City, State, Zip Code
Cell Phone Number
Employer Contact Information
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName
I am submitting my resume for your consideration with regard to future openings within the development department of The Science Museum.
My past experiences have prepared me well for a variety of development and administrative duties. As a Supervisor for my university's Annual Fund, I maintain and report on a broad spectrum of donor-related information for over 100,000 alumni. This necessitates my familiarity with a diverse staff of both students and administrators, and an awareness of new and continuing initiatives. Additionally, as an intern at a premier clinic for science research, I developed databases for a vast number of patient records, which required self-initiation and excellent time-management.
Furthermore, as a Residential Advisor, I facilitate the planning and implementation of dozens of events in a variety of settings for 700 residents. Moreover, my degree in Biology emphasizes attention to detail, problem solving, written and oral skills, and information analysis. These abilities would greatly add to my effectiveness as a member of a development team.
I am drawn to The Science Museum because I am committed to working in a field that promotes civic education, demonstrated by my past volunteerism and employment in university development. Combined with my background in the sciences, I admire the contribution that The Science Museum makes to scientific exploration, and I would be honored to be a part of the development department.
My salary requirements are negotiable. I am looking forward to learning more about employment opportunities, and can be reached via email at Joe_Applicant@school.edu or by telephone at 555-555-5555.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
If you're sending a cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.
Dear Mr. Josephson,
I was excited to read about the opening for an art curator at the Langley Museum of Fine Arts. I have been working as a curator for Hallowell Art Gallery for the past six years and would enjoy moving to a similar role in a museum. I have a Ph.D. in Museum Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.
I have specialized in Western and Asian collections. My work includes designing specific exhibits and procuring pieces. I am skilled with grant writing and have secured funding for multiple projects through the National Endowment of the Arts. I have lectured about and researched art collections.
I am highly creative, technologically proficient and am an effective communicator. I am skilled with handling difficult patrons and good at resolving conflicts and issues. My experience includes conducting public workshops and storing, maintaining, inventorying and acquiring art pieces for exhibits.
I would love to join the Langley Museum of Fine Arts as the new art curator and know I have the skills and knowledge to succeed. I am requesting an interview and I look forward to meeting with you to further discuss my qualifications and have attached my resume. Please call me to schedule an interview.