Difference Between Solicited And Unsolicited Cover Letter

Sample: Unsolicited Cover Letter
Michael Sikes, MSW, LCSW, C-SWHC5645 June Road
Chicago, IL 50220
March 7, 2009

Henry Adams, PhD, ACSW
Social Work Director
Brace Connections Hospital
2913 Plass Court
Dallas, Texas 66584

Dear Mr. Adams:

My name is Michael Sikes, and this May, I will complete my DSW degree. At this time, I plan to move to Dallas and am seeking an opportunity to use my medical social work experience in pediatric health care. Please consider me for any relevant positions you may have in your department.

My recent experience includes medical social work at Children’s Hospital in Chicago. As an intern, I worked on the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and handled backup services for all other units in the hospital. I thrived on the fast-paced team environment of a hospital and witnessed firsthand the complex ethical and managed care issues facing social workers today. At the hospital’s day treatment program, I provided therapy for at-risk youth and their families. Prior to this experience in Chicago, I worked for the Women’s Shelter in Dallas, coordinating an effective volunteer service and children’s program.

Brace Connections Hospital has an excellent reputation and is my first choice in work settings. I have heard that your social work department is well integrated with all services in the hospital and that your staff is respected for its advocacy and work on behalf of patients.

Would it be possible to meet briefly with you during my visit to Dallas the week of April 6? I will contact you soon to schedule an appointment; if you prefer to contact me, my phone number is 623-779-6998 and my email address is msikes@gmail.com.

I am attaching my résumé for your review. Thank you for your consideration.


Michael Sikes, MSW, LCSW, C-SWHC

Copyrighted material reprinted with permission from the NASW Press.

The Social Work Career Development: A Handbook for Job Hunting and Career Planning book is available through the NASW Press.

What's the Difference Between Solicited and Unsolicited Proposals?

A solicited proposal is when the customer asks for a proposal. They may ask verbally or they may issue a written Request for Proposals (RFP). An unsolicited proposal is when you send them a proposal they haven’t even asked for because you think they should buy from you or take some action.

Solicited proposals are usually sent to customers who issue an RFP. When a customer wants something that is too complicated to pick up at the store or order from a vendor, they often write down a description of it and issue it as an RFP. If it is a commodity, they may issue a Request for Quotations (RFQ). An RFQ usually requires minimal information and a price. An RFP may require an extensive description of your approach or offering, as well as its price.

A solicited proposal provides you with a description of what the customer wants. Many also provide you with formatting instructions for your proposal and the evaluation criteria that will be used to make a selection.

Sometimes you will make a suggestion to a potential customer and they will ask you to submit a proposal so that they can consider your suggestion. This counts as a solicited proposal because they are expecting it and you have a chance to talk to the customer and gain an understanding of their needs.

An unsolicited proposal is sent to a customer who has not requested it. Unsolicited proposals must be especially convincing since the customer has not anticipated, planned, or budgeted for the proposal. With an unsolicited proposal you run the risk that the customer won't even bother to read it, since they didn't ask for it. However, the lack of competitive pressure with an unsolicited proposal often makes up for the risk.

If you send the same unsolicited proposal to a bunch of customers, what you really have is a brochure and not a proposal. A proposal should take into consideration the customer's specific environment, needs, and concerns. Proposals have a much higher win rate than brochures, because they better align what you offer with what matters to the customer.

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By Carl Dickson,
Founder of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

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