The letters that are written for collecting information about job seekers, prices, products, and services before awarding jobs, granting credit, making contracts and giving promotions are known as letters of inquiry. These letters are written to a third party seeking information about either a job or a company that wishes to make business relationship.
Quible and others defined, “Letters of inquiry are a type of business message that asks the recipient for information or assistance.”
Prospective employers and business organizations usually write inquiry letters for obtaining desired information. Prospective employers write this letter to the referees mentioned in the job application to obtain information about the applicant’s personal and family background, ability, skills, honesty, character, integrity, quality of performance, fitness for job etc. on the other hand, business enterprises write inquiry letters to third parties referred by the customers to know about their business dealings, financial capabilities and goodwill to determine whether to establish business relationships with those enterprises.
Types of inquiry letter
Based on purpose, there are two most common types of inquiry letters such as (1) personal status inquiry letter and (2) business status inquiry letter.
- Personal status inquiry letter: The letters that are written by prospective employers for obtaining information about job applicants are called personal status inquiry letter. Employers write this letter to obtain information relating to the applicant’s personal and family background, ability, skills, honesty, character, integrity, quality of performance, fitness for job etc. generally this letter is written to the referees mentioned by the concerned applicant. In response to this letter, the referees write a reply letter to the employer. This response letter may be favorable, unfavorable or neutral to the applicant.
- Business status inquiry letter: When a business enterprise writes letter to another business enterprise for collecting information about a prospective customer, it is known as business status inquiry letter. This letter is usually written for collecting information about financial capability, goodwill, nature of business dealings, honesty etc. of a business enterprise to determine whether to establish business transactions with it. Responses of this letter may be either favorable or unfavorable.