How to Write a Letter of Interest (Samples)
Learn how to write a letter of interest. A letter of interest (interest letter, prospecting letter, or inquiry letter) is a formal letter written by job seekers. The purpose of the letter is to inquire about a job opportunity when there isn't one advertised. Meaning, the letter of interest tells the employer that the job seeker is hoping to secure a future position within the company. Usually, when one opens. Or sometimes, the employer opens an opportunity for the job seeker.
What is a Letter of Interest?
Sometimes referred to as a letter of intent. An expression of interest. Or a statement of interest. A letter of interest is a formal letter that states your interest in working with the company. Usually, when a job advertisement isn't listed.
A letter of interest is different from a cover letter for an internal position. Which is used to apply for a promotion or transfer within the company.
Letter of Interest vs. Cover Letter
There are many distinct differences between a cover letter and a letter of interest. Primarily, when writing a cover letter, the letter is targeted to a job description. Including skills, requirements, and relevant experience that the job description requests. The cover letter ensures the hiring manager sees the job application as relevant to the job advertisement.
A letter of interest can be produced by anyone, at any level of experience. A college graduate might send a letter of interest to a company inquiring about an internship. Or a professional inquiring about future job opportunities. The letter of interest is designed to show interest in the company, its culture, and more.
Here's a simple way to think about the difference between a cover letter and a letter of interest. A cover letter is a job application asset. And a letter of interest is an inquiry, seeing about the possibility of employment with the target company.
How to Write a Letter of Interest
Before writing a letter of interest, it's useful to research the company you're writing a letter for. Learn what the company is trying to achieve. Gather this information and keep it aside for the writing process.
Where to research the company
Use professional social media tools like Twitter and LinkedIn to start the research. Or tools like FinViz if the company is public. Earning calls can be useful in learning about the companies objectives. Having a deep understanding of the company and its goals can help write an effective letter of interest.
Search Google using smart searches. Or visit the company website, Facebook page, and LinkedIn page.
Find mutual connections
Start the process of discovering whether there are mutual connections to the company. Use professional networking tools like LinkedIn to search whether a friend is employed at the company. Mutual connections can provide great opportunities to share the letter with the right person.
And if there aren't any mutual professional connections available. Use LinkedIn to ask your network whether anyone has connections to the company that isn't listed through the social media tool.
Addressing your letter of interest
When starting the letter of interest, it is similar to a cover letter in this regard. Always personalize the beginning of the letter (the greeting). Avoid "to whom it may concern" or "dear sir or madam." These are generic greetings that assume the readers preferred gender. And are considered inappropriate.
Determine the appropriate hiring manager that should receive the letter. And address them by name. For example, "Dear Mr. Smith."
Knowing when to send a letter of interest
- When you read a piece of news about a company that is a good fit for your skill sets.
- You see an announcement for a new business. Or a business that's expanding.
- A friend informs you of a job opening that hasn’t been publicly announced yet.
- You’re looking for a specialized position. Or to work at a company with a specific work culture.
Send a letter of interest to any of the following professionals
- Recruiter: Someone within the company responsible for finding talent and placing talent.
- Hiring manager: Someone with the company responsible for hiring for certain departments, usually on the human resources team.
- Supervisor: The manager you’d like to work for. The one who can forward your letter to human resources and ask for a job to open up.
Tip: Get an informational interview before writing the letter. This can be a method of networking your way into a target company. An informational interview is not a formal job interview. It is a method of asking an employed person a series of questions to help get you employed. A letter of interest can be used to gain an informational interview, too.
Open your letter by mentioning something relevant to the company and why you’re reaching out. For example, you can say you want to learn more about future opportunities. Or looking for future job openings. This can be a piece of relevant news, the latest developments, new hires, cultural innovations, or something else that stands out to you. The first sentence should stand out to the reader.
Share why the environment is your “dream job” environment. And why you're the "real deal." This supports the reason you’re reaching out. Include relevant skills and experiences that will stand out to the company. Refer to the initial research performed about the company. And their objectives.
Make sure they know why you're reaching out. And what specific job you're interested in as a future candidate.
In your second paragraph, tell the person why you’re a good fit for the company. You don’t have to mention a particular job title. But it would be best if you mentioned what you could bring to the company. Use previous work accomplishments to support this. For example, “Raising 32% of net revenues, on average, across the companies you were previously employed at.”
Skills will naturally be presented when a job seeker uses previous work experiences. For recent graduates writing a letter of interest for an internship, use grades and honors. Spend time considering the right information to share. Use a short story or project if possible.
The goal is to impress the reader with your work or accolades. And to catch their attention. Include any experience, including volunteer work or extracurricular activities.
End the letter by making the person want to reach out to you. You can be casual here. And ask for a phone call to discuss the company. And see if there’s an opportunity for you. For example, "Is there any chance we can speak by phone this week?" Sometimes referred to as a call to action.
This is great for those who are seeking an internship opportunity. Include your contact information once more before ending the letter.
A letter of interest should receive a response in three to five business days. And if the letter writer doesn't receive a response in that time frame, they should send a follow-up note.
Tip: Don't attach a file to the letter or email. A manager probably won't open an attachment. The easier you make it to connect, the better the chances of receiving a response.
Letter of Interest Template & Format (Business Letter)
Letter of Interest Examples (Letters of Interest)
Below are letter of interest samples.
Sample letter of interest for a job
Teacher letter of interest
Letter of interest for an internship
A written letter isn't always the best format. Written letters should only be used in traditional industries, like law or wedding planning. If not in those industries, send the letter by email.
An email letter will encourage the letter recipient to respond quicker. And allows the letter writer to follow-up with the recipient if they don't respond.
Simple interest email
A simple interest email can be as effective as a letter. Sometimes referred to as a "cold email." When writing a cold email expressing interest in the company, be friendly. Use flattery and praise the company. And then justify the email by requesting information about future job opportunities.
Tip: When there are mutual professional connections to the letter recipient, use that as a way to start the email.
Paper letter tips
Include personal contact information when writing a paper letter. Phone number, email, mailing address, and LinkedIn profile.
Email letter tips
Be sure the email signature contains contact information. Links to a personal website, phone number, current company, current job title, and LinkedIn profile.
Tip: It can be helpful to include relevant links to previous work examples. Include a link to your LinkedIn profile, especially if you’ve spent time posting your previous work accomplishments. Or attach your resume for the reader to scan if you don't have a professional website. But don't expect the reader to open the file.
- Letter of Recommendation
- Reference Letter
- Character Reference Letter
- Business Letter
- Letter of Interest
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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