Suppose you have your eye on a particular company. You have the skills and expertise to work in a position at the company; however, the only problem is that it is not hiring. Rather than waiting for the company to advertise an open position which can take a long time, you can set yourself up to get the position using a letter of interest. This will give you an advantage as you are able to cut the line by applying in advance. However, to use a letter of interest, you must first understand what it is and how to write it.
The letter of interest is a formal document to express your desire to work for a company even though it has not advertised a specific job opening. It outlines your skills, experiences, and qualification to a recruiter. The aim of writing a letter of interest is to introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in working in the target company. It is also referred to as a letter of inquiry, prospecting letter, letter of intent or statement of interest.
Letter of Interest VS. Cover Letter
There are several apparent differences between a letter of interest and a cover letter. First, a letter of interest is an unsolicited document. In contrast, a cover letter is sent in response to an advertised job opening by the company and is therefore expected by the recruiter. The cover letter must be sent along with other application documents such as your resume or CV, whereas a letter of interest can be sent as an independent document.
A cover letter is only used when applying for a specific position. It explains why you believe you’re the best candidate for the job advertised. On the other hand, the letter of interest is not tailored to any specific position within the company as it mainly focuses on expressing interest in working for the organization. It can be written by anyone at any level, whereas a cover letter is usually written by individuals who have the experiences, skills, and qualifications required for the position.
Before you can begin writing a letter of interest, there are a few considerations you should make. The following pre-considerations will help ensure that you compose a compelling letter. They will also help in easing the writing process.
Research the company
It would be best to start by researching the company using various means such as visiting their website, reviewing their mission statement, social media, current press release, or company news. Next, find out the company’s goals and values to help make your letter more relevant to the hiring manager. Finally, show how your core values tie into the reasons for your interest in working for the target company.
Next, you should look for connections within the target company who can help you with an informational letter of interest. This will help you learn more about the company and the position you may be interested in occupying. It will also help you tailor your letter to the target company, therefore, ensuring that it stands out.
Learn your recipient’s name
Finally, learn the name of the recipient of your letter of interest. Addressing the recipient by name is a clear sign that you have taken time to learn about the target company. You can find the name on the company website or even your connections. You may address the recipient as ‘Dear Hiring Manager” if you are unsure or unable to find their name.
How to Write a Letter of Interest
A well-written letter of interest can lead to rewarding results, enabling the hiring manager to see your potential. Therefore, you must understand how to write a compelling letter. Each element of the letter plays a crucial role in ensuring that your interest is appropriately conveyed.
You can use the following guidelines when writing a letter of interest:
The header should begin by outlining your full name and contact details, the date of writing, and the employer’s name and contact information. These details help ensure that the letter follows the appropriate business format. It also gives the letter a professional look.
The letter of interest should address the hiring manager by name and must therefore avoid ineffective greetings like ‘To whom it may concern or ‘Dear Sir/madam.’ The hiring manager’s name can be obtained from the company’s website, LinkedIn, or Google. You can also call the company to request the hiring manager’s name politely.
You should then begin the letter with a brief introduction. The introduction provides the hiring manager with basic information about who you are and the letter’s purpose.
The following elements should be highlighted in your introductory paragraph:
Start the introduction by outlining who you are. You should also state where and how you heard about the company. The self-introduction should be straightforward.
Why are you writing
Next, outline your reason for writing the letter of interest. Express enthusiasm about the possibility of working for the target company. You can relate the reason to the company’s goals, products, policies, among other qualities that have attracted you to it.
Find a hook
The hiring manager is not expecting your letter; therefore, it is crucial to grab their attention to ensure that they get your message across. You can hook the hiring manager by outlining how much you know about the company and the value you can contribute. These details help ensure that your introduction makes an excellent first impression.
Body of the letter
The body of the letter of interest outlines the skills and experiences that the company may find valuable. It would help clarify what area you’re interested in pursuing within the company.
These details can be broken down into the following elements:
Include recent skills you’ve developed
The body should outline the skills you have developed from recently held positions. These skills should be broken down into both hard and soft skills. Indicate these details in a list to make them more noticeable and impactful.
Write about your strengths
Showcase your strengths by outlining your qualifications and key accomplishments. Provide quantifiable data when outlining your achievements. You should also combine the data indicated with a compelling story to help strengthen your message.
Describe your employment background
Briefly describe your employment history to show you have experience. While describing your background, you can highlight how your experience positively impacted past companies or projects you worked on. It would be best to include any experiences that may be of value to the company.
Explain why this job is the right fit
You should explain why you are the right fit for the job by linking relevant skills and values to the company. The statements used should convey your confidence in yourself. Be specific when demonstrating how you may fit into the organization.
The letter’s conclusion should include a call to action that highlights your interest in further discussion about the company and the possibility of having an informational interview. You can also indicate that you are willing to send your CV or resume upon request by the hiring manager. Finally, it would be best to express gratitude for the hiring manager’s time and consideration.
Sign off the letter with an appropriate word or phrase such as ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Kind Regards.’ Below it indicates your signature. Finally, end the letter of interest by indicating your full name.
When to Write a Letter of Interest?
Several occasions may warrant the need to write a letter of interest. For instance, if you read about a company that you believe can be a good fit for your skillset, then you should write the letter. You can also write a letter of interest if you see or hear about a new business opening or expansion that you would be interested in working at.
You may also consider writing it if your contact informs you of a job opening that is yet to be advertised to the public or in the event you’re looking to specialize in a particular area. Finally, you should consider writing a letter of interest if you find a company with appealing work culture, location, mission statement, or values that you admire.
Template and Samples
Let’s take a look on the given template and samples that you can use to include appropriate information in your letter of interest.
[Hiring manger’s name]
Dear Mr. Ms. Mrs. [ Hiring manager’s Last Name],
My name is [indicate your name]. I am a [state you line of work]. I want to inquire about working for [name of the company] is one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. For the last [period] I have been following your company’s growth. The thought of working for a company that [outline information about the company] fills me with joy.
I have acquired [ indicate time] experience in [name of the industry]. During this time, I have honed my [ outline skills and relate them to the company]. In addition, [outline achievement or specific experience]
I admire the [ outline of what I admire about the company]. I believe that my willingness to subject my work to open criticism from my superiors and team members makes me the right fit for a job in your company. I would be glad to have a one-on-one discussion about the company and what I have to offer your organization. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your time and consideration.
April 3, 20xx
Dear Mr. Green,
My name is Mathew Price. I am a Creative Director at XYZ company. I am honoured to be writing this letter to express my interest in working at ABC company. ABC is one of the fastest-growing company in the country. For the last six years, I have been following its progress. The idea of working for a company that is dedicated to create work that is engaging and impactful brings me joy and excitement.
I have spent ten years in the creative industry. During this time, I have honoured my leadership and interpersonal skills, in line with your company’s open, approachable attitude. In addition, I have experience working with L& M Retails, which is renowned for its luxury custom items. Some of which have been created by my team and me.
I admire your company’s commitment to its work and its clients. I believe that my willingness to subject my work to open criticism from my superiors and team members makes me a good fit for a position in your company’s creative department. I would love to speak with you in person about ABC company and what I have to offer it to you. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your time and consideration.
July 09, 20xx
Mr. Johnson Stephens
Dear Ms. Johnson,
I recently came across an article about how XYZ, Inc. is expanding into the field of robotics. My name is Joe Smith, and I’m a mechanical engineer with 10+ years of experience working with AI and machine learning. So I had to reach out when I learned you’re opening offices in Atlanta.
When my company decided to invest in machine learning structures, they put me in charge of implementing this. Now, with over 100 different neural networks working and the company expanding into the field of AI, I’ve managed to drive growth to major scales. I also want to move into a more robotics focus, and being a technician to set this up for you is very pleasing.
I know XYZ Inc. is committed to the same values and goals that I have. I would love to discuss this new venture with you and how I could help your company. Below are the links to my LinkedIn and website, where you can see a few of the recent projects I contributed to.
I would love to arrange an informational interview with you to discuss my skills and interest in joining your team.
January 11, 20xx
Director, human resources
123 forth street
Dear Graham Smith,
I am writing to apply for the position of business development manager at Axis industries. I am confident that my skills are well-aligned with the role and that I would be an excellent fit for your organization.
Studying business at the University of London allowed me to gain skills in marketing management. I have a strong believe that my knowledge of advertising would make me a perfect addition to the Axis industries.
During my time at the University Of London I served as the secretary of the marketing studies association. I eagerly want to take my marketing skills to the next level and apply them in a professional setting. My undergraduate studies and my extracurricular activities at college have given me deep insight on advertising techniques and skills that include design and copyrighting.
I believe that my experience and track record make me an excellent fit in you industries. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
June 05, 20xx
Mr. Johnson Stephens
703 Mill St Ste B
Dear Mr. Johnson Stephens,
For the past two years, I have been observing the work of XYZ Company and I have been motivated by the company’s devotion to sustainability. I have been moved by the focus to make sure that the development process of your product is always aimed at creating sustainable and user-friendly products, as I’m a passionate advocate of eco-friendly solutions.
I graduated as a digital developer five years ago and I joined some of the leading climate scientist since then. Among my greatest achievement is launching two successful projects, where one of them won a local award for the sustainable practice of the year. I would love to take my skill much further and I’m showing my interest of getting an opportunity at XYZ Company.
I believe that I am a perfect match and my skills and experience would push the development of solar energy to the next level.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
March 05, 20xx
Director, human resources
123 forth street
Dear Mr Alice,
I’m writing to express my interest in a practicum replacement at ABC Psychiatric Hospital Eating Disorder Program. I have been volunteering and working with several institutions with my goal being to work with adolescents diagnosed with eating disorders.
I feel like I will not only be of great use in your institution but also be a very successful leader to my coworkers. I am currently a second year graduate student working on my master’s degree in community counselling with an emphasis on child and adolescence counselling at University of Denver. I am a hardworking and motivated individual.
I believe that my interest, skills, experience and psychological academic background make me an ideal candidate for this position.
I look forward to speaking with you about this exciting opportunity. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Your typed name
Templates and Examples
A letter of interest template is a fillable document that after filling serves the same purpose as a handwritten/typed LOI does. Below-provided are free templates that can be edited as per needs:
Do’s and Don’ts
When writing a letter of interest, there are several do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind. Knowing and understanding them will help you compose a more compelling letter.
The do’s and don’ts of writing a letter of interest include:
Note down a list of considerations that you should make when writing a letter of interest:
Include versatile skills
The letter of interest should contain a versatile set of your skills, experiences, and qualifications because, unlike a cover letter, you are not responding to a specific job description. Instead, it provides an overview of what your abilities are. Indicating versatile skills also helps set you apart from other peers in the industry.
The letter of interest should contain specific experiences that help showcase your ability to use your skills. They help show what you have to offer. The hiring manager can also form a picture of how you would fit into the company.
Personalize the letter of interest by directly addressing the individual responsible for receiving the letter in the organization. It enables you to establish a personal connection with the recipient. It also shows that you put effort into writing the letter.
Keep it concise
Your letter should be concise so as not to deter the recipient. It also helps your letter stay focused on key attributes that the company may value. The letter of interest should have at least three paragraphs.
There are a few mistakes that can render your letter of interest ineffective. They include the following:
Avoid writing a generic letter. The recruiter may think that you’re not taking the opportunity seriously. This can result in the letter being discarded.
Do not indicate statements that demonstrate overconfidence. They can sound demanding and unprofessional. You should instead show your confidence in your skills and abilities with a statement such as, ‘I believe that my skills and experiences make me a good fit for your company.’
Use of humor to stand out
The letter of interest is a formal document that should not contain humor. Though humor can help you stand out, it can make the letter seem unprofessional. It may also be offensive if thought is not put into the expression indicated.
You must proofread the letter of interest upon completion. It helps you identify both grammatical and typographical errors. It also ensures that your letter is polished.
No follow up
If a significant period has passed without a response, you should be reaching out to the recipient. It will help show that you are proactive. For example, you can make a phone call to the company or write a follow-up letter.
The letter of interest is a document that conveys your desire to work for a company even though it has not advertised an open job position. It aims to compel the hiring manager or employer that the company requires your skillset.
Though some elements of a letter of interest are similar to those of a cover letter, there are apparent differences, such as that a cover letter is written in response to a job posting, whereas the letter of interest is unsolicited. When writing a letter of interest, ensure you introduce yourself, outline your skills and qualifications and explain why you are interested in the company.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mention you are interested, how you learned about the company, and how their new and innovative changes interested you.Simply mention, “I came across your company, and upon researching, I noticed it matches my values. I would love to discuss this further in an informational interview.”
Mention your name, your education, your skills, and also your employment background.
Minimally why you wrote the letter, who you are, your skills, your education, employment, how your skills assisted the company, and interest in an informational interview or further discussing employment.
Always strongly. Mention you’d like to discuss how you can help the company, ask for an informational interview, and include links to your site and work.
While writing a letter of interest, make sure to add the following essential information in your letter:
2. The Greeting, mentioning the person’s name if possible
3. Why you’re writing this (include maybe you found out about the company through an article or through reading their mission statement)
4. Tell them who you are and your skills, education, and employment, and why it could benefit their company
5. Ask for an informational interview or a chance to discuss this further
7. Your links to your LinkedIn, email, and pertinent websites