How to Write a Letter of Interest (Expert Method)

how to write a letter of interest

Wanting to know how to write a letter of interest? Feel like it could benefit you in your job hunt? In this writeup, we’re going to show you the traditional method for writing a letter of interest and a new method which can bring more results.

Before we begin, it’s imperative that you understand what a letter of interest is. Covering this is going to ensure that you know this is the right vehicle and strategy for you in your job hunt.

What is a Letter of Interest?

A letter of interest is a business letter that job seekers send to prospective employers. It states the interest in working for the business. There are two other names for this type of letter, an “inquiry letter” or a “cold contact letter.”

These letters are often sent by email, LinkedIn, or less frequently through postal mail. They are normally sent directly to hiring managers or department managers.

What Goes in a Traditional Letter of Interest?

There are a few talking points that go inside of a traditional letter of interest. Let’s break those down.

Your understanding of the company values

You might express what makes the company great and why you respect the company. This is a way of providing reassurance to the reader that you know what the company values.

Your proposal of a job placement

In the letter you might propose to the manager that you have a certain set of skills and expertise that align with a specific job title. Asking if that job title has openings or availability.

Your request to speak with a manager

Towards the end of the letter you might propose wanting to speak with a manager regarding any job openings, opportunities, or simply wanting to network with the company.

Aside from these talking points, you would include a formal business header (your contact information, date, and the business contact information). But a majority of your letter is going to be surrounding your request to meet with someone regarding a job opportunity.

What Does a Letter of Interest Look Like?

Here is what your letter of interest may look like:

Sam Smith
444 Street Lane,
Sometown, CA 94112
sam@smith.com

May 1st, 2020

Mr. Burgess
XYZ Company
222 Street Lane,
Business City, LA 94112

Dear Mr. Burgess —

XYZ Company has stood out as one of the companies with the highest caliber of engineering teams. Your world-class environment clearly embraces collaboration, creativity, respectfulness and business results.

My prior software engineering history fits in perfectly with your organization. I would be able to bring to the table QA testing experience, dev-ops experience, as well as train new employees on our programming languages.

I would love to sit down with you and discuss the opportunity of working with you. And understand if there are any roles that would be a good fit for myself.

Thank you so much,
Sam Smith

This is a traditional letter of interest. It covers all three areas of discussion mentioned: your understanding of the company values, your proposal for job placement, your request to speak with a manager, and all packaged under a business letter.

But is this the best method for receiving employment? Or networking in general? No. Here’s why.

This letter doesn’t propose an opportunity for the business. It is seeking an opportunity for yourself, which is nice. But not effective. If you were to be sending a letter to a manager, you would want the letter to say to the manager, “This is an opportunity for you.”

That’s where we introduce the bullet-style method for writing a letter of interest.

Bullet-Style Method for Writing a Letter of Interest

When writing a bullet-style letter of interest, you should take the time to scan your resume or sit down and think through significant business achievements. This can be achievements that you’ve made within any prior job you’ve had.

Were you able to work with multiple employees? Were you part of the hiring process? Did you increase sales? Did you increase efficiency? Were you pivotal in the development of the office culture?

Write down four to five significant achievements. And use them as a proposal to the manager for why they should hire you.

The method is simple:

Here is an example of what that should look like:

Sam Smith
444 Street Lane,
Sometown, CA 94112
sam@smith.com

May 1st, 2020

Mr. Burgess
XYZ Company
222 Street Lane,
Business City, LA 94112

Dear Mr. Burgess —

XYZ Company has stood out as one of the companies with the highest caliber of engineering teams. Your world-class environment clearly embraces collaboration, creativity, respectfulness and business results.

Here are some prior work achievements that I’d like to speak with you about and find out if there’s opportunity to bring these skills to XYZ Company:

  • Increased net sales 23% by deploying a CRM system for the sales team and customer support team at ZZZ Company.
  • Decreased inbound support tickets 45% by deploying an FAQ page on our public-facing site at ZZZ Company.
  • Played a pivotal role in office culture development and hiring software engineers are part of ZZZ Companies CEO vision.
I’d love to speak with you regarding the opportunity to drive success within your organization. I’m flexible about the type of role that you feel I’m the best fit for. My desire and passion is to be with your organization and culture.

Thank you so much,
Sam Smith

How To Know What to Propose in Your Letter of Interest

In this method, you are proposing an opportunity for the business. So how do you propose this opportunity in a targeted way? The answer is simple, research. There are two methods for performing research that helps you understand talking points in your letter of interest.

The first method is to look at the company's recent news, financial reports (quarterly earnings), or about page. In these documents the company will normally discuss not only what's important to them, but what they're working on as well. It can be insightful to the highest degree.

The second method is to perform research using LinkedIn. Find the company page on LinkedIn, then search for the manager's name for the department you're aiming to work in. When you found their name, Google them. They may have a blog, speak on a podcast, or be part of recent news that gives you some idea to what that manager values. From there, you can speak to the manager through your letter of interest in a targeted way. For them, it will feel as though you know them. A very personalized letter. And that can be vastly more effective than a generic message.

Letter of Interest Related Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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