How to Write Letter of Interest in a Job How To Write a Letter of Interest
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How to Write Letter of Interest in a Job How To Write a Letter of Interest

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How to Write Letter of Interest in a Job

In this Article: Article Summary Organizing Your Letter of Interest Writing Your Letter of Interest Sample Letters Community Q&A 25 References

A letter of interest is a type of accompanying document that a job seeker can submit along with a resume. Certain situations may call for a letter of interest, whereas others call for a standard cover letter. Identifying what sets the two apart, when you should use which, and what a good letter of interest will include are all important steps in ensuring that your resume makes it to the interview stage of a job search.

Steps

Part 1

Organizing Your Letter of Interest

  1. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 1

    1
    Learn the purpose of a letter of interest. A letter of interest is one of the many tools available for a job seeker. You can think of a letter of interest as a slightly more personal version of a cover letter when used in the job-seeking process. A letter of interest will accompany your resume and other requested documentation, but it also gives you the opportunity to spell out what makes you a great fit for a particular position or within a particular company. [1] A letter of interest provides a portrait of you, which is backed up by the facts in your resume.

    • A company can either request a letter of interest from you, or you may send a letter of interest (sometimes also called a letter of inquiry) to a company you’re interested in but which hasn’t yet publicly advertised a particular position. [2]
    • Whereas you typically give a very brief explanation in a cover letter, a letter of interest gives you a bit more space to sell yourself to the prospective employer. [3]
  2. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 2

    2
    Determine if a letter of interest is necessary. There are situations that call for a letter of interest and others that do not. If, for example, a job posting requests a resume and cover letter, then sending a longer letter of interest might immediately disqualify you in the eyes of the person choosing candidates to interview. Letters of interest are less common than cover letters, so don’t assume a company wants one when you’re applying to a job posting unless otherwise specified. [4]

    • A letter of interest is often more appropriate when making yourself known to a company that hasn’t posted a specific opening to which you’d like to apply. This allows you to express interest in the company or organization even if you’re uncertain about their current openings. [5]
  3. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 3

    3
    Research the company. Part of the purpose of a letter of interest is to explain what makes you such a good fit for the company. This requires a knowledge of the company’s background, products, services, and culture. [6] This not only helps you form a more authentic connection between your experience and the job you’re seeking, but it also immediately makes your application stand out from those who had submitted generic or formulaic letters of interest.

  4. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 4

    4
    Find out the name of the individual who does the hiring. Basic greetings such as “To Whom It May Concern” can come across as lazy—or worse, rude. Do a little research about the company to determine whose desk your letter will land on, and address it directly to the person. [7] This will immediately make your letter of interest less generic, and it displays an attention to detail that all employers want.

  5. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 5

    5
    Organize your thoughts before you begin to write. Categorize your education and work experience, and start thinking about how you can apply it to the company or organization to which you wish to apply.

    • Make a list of the skills you possess as related to the potential job opening as well.

Part 2

Writing Your Letter of Interest

  1. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 6

    1
    Use the first paragraph to explain why you’re writing. Whether the company has requested a letter of interest with your resume or you’re sending a more exploratory inquiry letter, you should use the introductory paragraph to explain why you’re writing. [8] This includes explaining who you are and what has sparked your interest in the company. [9]

    • Refer to any recent media coverage, interviews, company press releases, or other information that shows you’ve done your homework regarding the company and what they do. [10]
    • Highlight the position or types of positions you are interested in within the first few sentences. If a particular position is available, include the department or division of the company and indicate the source from which you learned about the position.
    • Try to avoid starting the first sentence of the first paragraph with “I.” [11] The majority of the letters the person who reads them receives will start this way, so avoid it to immediately set yourself apart.
    • For example, “Your company’s CEO (use his or her name here as well) expressed some truly innovative ideas during a recent TED Talk. I’d love to be a part of what the company is working on, and I’ve written to inquire about any openings on the Production team.”
  2. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 7

    2
    Market yourself and your qualifications in the second paragraph. Now that you’ve established your interest in the company, use the second paragraph to connect your skill set to the prospective employer. [12] Use this space to highlight a few specific examples of what will truly make you an asset to the company. [13]

    • Address specific criteria or requirements listed in the job advertisement or description. Match your skills and qualifications to the job’s required qualifications.
    • Do not simply repeat the information that the employer will find in your resume. [14] Instead, take the opportunity to expand and contextualize select pieces of that information that communicate your potential value to the organization.
    • For example, “During my two years with Company X, I worked as a Senior Producer, coordinating multiple teams of programmers and artists to help deliver content to clients on time. My teams never missed a milestone, and I think these are the organizational skills that can help your company’s next project succeed.”
  3. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 8

    3
    Avoid cliches. The point of the letter of interest is to set you apart, which you can’t do while using cliche language. [15] The second paragraph is where you will most likely find yourself tempted to use self-marketing cliches, so be especially mindful of them as you compose this paragraph.

    • Do not, for instance, write that you “think outside the box.” This isn’t only a cliche, but it also lacks concrete detail. Instead, write about a specific instance where you updated a process in a novel way that saved a previous company time and/or money. This concretely illustrates the idea without resorting to a cliche.
  4. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 9

    4
    Use the third paragraph to conclude your letter and provide contact information. Once you’ve explained what makes you the perfect candidate for the company, concisely conclude your letter with contact information and an explanation of any additional documents you’ve included, if applicable. [16] Ensure that you provide both your telephone number and email address to give the recipient a way to reach out to you.

    • You may also choose to specify a time when you will contact the person’s office as a follow-up to your letter of interest. [17] [18]
    • For instance, “You will find both my resume and a breakdown of projects I produced for Company X attached. I would love the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you further. You can reach me at…”
  5. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 10

    5
    Close the letter with a thank you. Show gratitude for the recipient’s time and consideration as you finish the letter. [19] Establishing yourself as respectful and professional can help you in the future, even if there are no positions available with the company presently.

  6. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 11

    6
    Keep the letter to a page or less. While longer than a cover letter, you should still keep a letter of interest to a page or less. [20] Always remember that the person reading the letter likely has a busy schedule, and concision shows that you both respect the recipient’s time and know how to get to the point.

    • If you’ve gone over a page, review the first two paragraphs closely to find spots where you can pare down the language.
  7. Image titled Write a Job Interest Letter Step 12

    7
    Proofread the letter. Go over your letter before sending it while keeping in mind that simple is always a better approach. Take this opportunity to remove passive verbs in favor of clearer, active ones, and remove any language that comes across as too flowery or exaggerated. [21]

    • This is also the time to use a fine-tooth comb on the letter to find any typos, misspellings, run-on sentences (comma splices especially), sentence fragments, or anything else that could immediately send your resume to the “pass” pile. [22] [23]

Sample Letters

Community Q&A

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  • Question
    Do I have to add the company address onto the beginning of my letter?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Yes you do. Not only is this standard but it helps to discern that you’re not just sending off a rote of the same-same letters to many companies. Everyone knows you are but it’s nice to feel special.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 2
    Helpful 15

  • Question
    How do I make out the subject line?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    You can just include your name and the title of the position you’re interested in.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 0
    Helpful 6

  • Question
    Where should the receiver’s address be positioned?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Position it on the top, left side of the page.

    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 2
    Helpful 6

  • Question
    How should I cc a letter?
    Tom De Backer
    Top Answerer

    If you’re writing an e-mail, this is straightforward, just mention the cc recipient’s address in the cc field. If it is a printed letter sent through snail mail, it’s a different story. Cc stands for ‘carbon copy’, and it used to be that typists put in two sheets simultaneously in special typewriters, so they got two copies immediately, or they typed it twice. These days you can just print it twice, but include clearly on both copies who you are sending each copy to. The cc recipient must read ‘you are the cc, this was sent to so and so’. And the to recipient must know ‘this was also sent to so and so’.
    Thanks!

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    Not Helpful 0
    Helpful 0

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    Tips

    • Don’t try to get flashy with the font or color of your letter either. Use black ink and a standard business font, such as Arial or Courier New. [24]
    • Avoid form letters, which are generic letters meant to allow you to send them out to a wide array of employers with minimal alterations. [25] The recipient will see enough form letters to distinguish one immediately, and he or she won’t take the take to read it if you couldn’t even take the time to write something original.

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    References

    1. http://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-letter-of-interest-and-a-cover-letter
    2. http://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-letter-of-interest-and-a-cover-letter
    3. http://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-letter-of-interest-and-a-cover-letter
    4. http://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-letter-of-interest-and-a-cover-letter
    5. https://www.career.vt.edu/JobSearchGuide/CoverLetterSamples.html#appinq
    6. http://www.letterwritingguide.com/interest.htm
    7. http://www.letterwritingguide.com/interest.htm
    8. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    9. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    10. http://www.letterwritingguide.com/interest.htm
    11. http://www.letterwritingguide.com/interest.htm
    12. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    13. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    14. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    15. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/634/1/
    16. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    17. http://www.letterwritingguide.com/interest.htm
    18. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    19. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    20. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    21. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    22. http://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-letter-of-interest-and-a-cover-letter
    23. http://www.law.uga.edu/cover-lettersletters-interest
    24. http://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-letter-of-interest-and-a-cover-letter
    25. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/634/1/

    Show more… (10)

    Article Summary X

    You may want to write a letter of interest in a job if you are interested in working for a specific company but they haven’t posted a job opening. In the first paragraph of the letter, explain why you are writing, who you are, and what has sparked your interest in the company. Highlight the position or types of positions you are looking for in the first few sentences. In the second place, market yourself and your qualifications, then conclude the letter and provide your contact information in the third paragraph.

    Did this summary help you?

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    Español:  escribir una carta de presentación para optar por un trabajo

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    By

    Alison Doyle
    Updated December 08, 2018

    During your job search, you may want to inquire about a job at a company you would like to work for, but that does not have an appropriate job posting for you to apply for. In this case, you will want to send a letter of interest , expressing your desire to meet with a hiring manager about what opportunities might be available to you.

    It’s called a letter of interest because you are writing to advise a prospective employer that you’re interested in working for the organization. Letters of interest can be sent via email,  LinkedIn’s message system , or paper mail.

    How To Write a Letter of Interest

    In your letter of interest, you should include information on the type of job you are seeking, and how your skills and experience make you an excellent candidate.

    You should also include the reasons you feel you would be a great fit for the company, and any pertinent references or recommendations you may have.

    It is helpful if you know, or can find, the name of a specific individual in the hiring department, or a manager in the department that interests you, to give your letter the best chance at being seen. If possible, identify a manager in the department where you would like to work and send a copy of your communication to that individual. You can also send a copy to the company’s Human Resources department.

    Who You Know

    Before you write your letter, review your network of contacts to determine if any of your associates have a connection at your target company. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for identifying people who are once or twice removed from you. If you’re a college graduate, check with your career office to see if they can put you in touch with alumni at the company. Belong to a professional association? You may be able to find a contact there.

    Ask for an Introduction

    If you identify a suitable individual, ask your contact for an introduction and approach the person for an informational interview. If you hit it off well with them, ask if they would suggest that you reach out to any of their colleagues in departments of interest. If they say yes, be sure to mention that you are you are writing a letter of interest and would like to write in your letter that they recommended that you inquire about employment opportunities. Here’s how to ask for a referral .

    What to Include in Your Letter

    A letter of interest should begin with a compelling statement regarding the basis of your interest in that employer and industry.

    You might allude to a development at the company which sparked your interest.

    It’s very important to articulate the type of position and department you are targeting or your communication will get lost in the email or paper shuffle.

    • Greeting: Your letter should start with a professional greeting. If you have a contact person, address it to him or her personally. Here are examples of letter greetings .
    • First Paragraph: Your first paragraph should begin with a strong thesis statement noting two – four key assets which will enable you to make a solid contribution in the role which you are targeting.
    • Middle Paragraphs: Your subsequent paragraphs should reference concrete examples of how you have used those strengths (and two – four additional assets) to achieve success in past jobs, volunteer work or academic projects.
    • Final Paragraph: You should express a strong interest in meeting with the employer to explore opportunities in your final paragraph. You might also mention that you would welcome an exploratory meeting even if there are no formal vacancies at the time of your inquiry.

    Sample Letter of Interest

    This is an example of a letter of interest. Download the letter of interest template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

    Screenshot of a letter of interest example

    ©TheBalance 2018


    Download the Word Template

    Sample Letter of Interest (Text Version)

    Jenna Jones

    123 Main Street

    Anytown, CA 12345

    555-555-5555

    jenna.jones@email.com

    September 1, 2018

    Lea Lee

    The American Company

    123 Business Rd.

    Business City, NY 54321

    Dear Ms. Lee,

    The American Company has been recognized as one of the best places to work in the country for IT professionals. You have deliberately set out to create this culture, and it shows! It is my understanding that you have been deluged with resumes since Computerland released their list of the best companies at which to work. Mine is one more, but I do have some experience that is hard to come by, and sets me apart from my peers.

    My IT experience gives me a unique ability to apply technology, in all its forms, to business processes. Some of the my business process knowledge includes accounting, finance, facilities, inventory control, budgeting, vendor management and various operational processes.

    I have experience with merger/acquisition events, high growth challenges, technology replacement projects, and IT process improvement. I have delivered large technology projects on schedule/on budget and in alignment with the business strategy. Companies I have worked for include ICM, HEP, IBX and SED.

    I would appreciate an opportunity to talk with you or someone in your organization to see where my skill set would be of the greatest benefit to your company.

    Sincerely,

    Jenna Jones (signature hard copy letter)

    Jenna Jones

    When You’re Sending an Email

    When you’re sending an email letter of interest, be sure to include your contact information in your signature (email address, phone, LinkedIn Profile URL , if you have one) so it’s easy for the reader to get in touch with you. Here’s an example:

    Best Regards,

    FirstName LastName
    Email Address
    Phone
    LinkedIn URL
    (optional)


    Article Table of Contents


    Skip to section


    • How To Write a Letter of Interest


    • Who You Know


    • Ask for an Introduction


    • What to Include in Your Letter


    • Sample Letter of Interest


    • When You’re Sending an Email

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    Here’s How to Write a Perfect Letter of Interest

    Karen Hertzberg Karen Hertzberg

    Updated on
    November 20, 2017
    Workplace

    Here’s How to Write a Perfect Letter of Interest

    Your perfect job with the perfect company may not be advertised. So, how do you find gigs from within the hidden job market? You ask about them. Here’s how to write a letter of interest that will get you noticed . . . and maybe even result in a job.

    Years ago, before I was the full-blown word monkey that I am today, I relocated to a new city. I’d left a job I loved—doing marketing for a dog grooming school. I knew I wanted to keep working in a field related to both marketing and pets. But I also knew that, in the small city I’d moved to, that was going to be a pretty slim job search net to cast. I’d have to get creative.

    I set my sights on a large, upscale pet boarding kennel. I wrote the kennel’s owners a letter of interest, including clips from a portfolio of marketing materials I’d created, and asked them if they needed some help from an experienced pet industry professional to build their brand even further.

    Although the kennel didn’t have an opening, or any role related to marketing, they did call me in to chat. Two weeks later, they created a position for me and I was employed doing something I enjoyed in an industry I loved.

    Why Write a Letter of Interest?

    The letter of interest is a job prospecting tool. Job hunting legend has it that 70 to 80 percent of open positions are never advertised. Although that figure is probably way higher than it should be, the truth is there are potential job opportunities out there that you’re not hooking as you troll the waters of Glassdoor, Indeed, and Monster.com.

    Say you’re intrigued by a young startup and you wish they were hiring for a position that fit your skills. You could haunt the careers page of their website and hope for the best, or you could write a letter of interest to introduce yourself and begin the networking process. Which do you think will yield the best results?

    A letter of interest may not get you immediately hired, but it has many advantages. It shows you have both interest and initiative—two things employers are always looking for. It also demonstrates your ability to market yourself through personal branding . In many cases, your letter will be regarded as a formal request to be considered for employment, so it will become part of a human resources file. When a position does open, guess whose letter and resume will be at the top of the pile instead of buried under a mountain of applications?

    Your goal is to find out exactly what the company of your dreams looks for in an employee. Then, you’re going to become that person—the mythical Ideal Candidate.

    How to Write a Letter of Interest

    1
    Write it like a business letter.

    The first and most important thing to remember about writing a letter of interest is that it’s a business letter— treat it like one . Use the standard business letter format. Be professional.

    Here’s a tip: Being professional doesn’t mean being stuffy. It’s always a good idea to try to match the communication style of the company you’re reaching out to. Look at their marketing copy, job postings, and website. If their approach to communication is more casual, yours can be, too.

    2
    Find the right contact.

    Even if you have to call the company, get the name (and possibly the email address) of the best person to contact with your inquiry. If you do call or email to ask for a contact name, be direct. Say, “I’m interested in learning more about employment opportunities in your [department]. Would you tell me the name of the person responsible for hiring those positions and the best way to contact them?”

    3
    Research the company.

    I scored that marketing job in a long-ago time before the Internet was mainstream. When I wrote my hard copy letter and prepared my clips, I didn’t even know what a letter of interest was. I was operating on instinct. You have the advantage of a ton of information right in your pocket anytime you need it. Let’s use it!

    Your goal is to find out exactly what the company of your dreams looks for in an employee. Then, you’re going to become that person—the mythical Ideal Candidate. Check the company’s social media feeds and the careers and culture pages on its website for clues about the type of people they hire. Read job descriptions for their open positions; they’ll give you insight even if the jobs aren’t a fit for your talents.

    Learn about their brand style—are they funky and fun or conservative and all business? Mirror that style to show that you’d be a good cultural fit.

    4
    Show how you’d add value.

    Unlike a cover letter, where you’re homing in on skills and traits for a specific position, a letter of interest should demonstrate to the employer that you have a variety of skills that would make you a great fit in lots of different places. Think broadly and you’ll open more doors. What skills would make you an asset to the company?

    The key to a successful letter of interest is not in showing off what you can do, but in showing what you can do for the company. Demonstrate excitement, not arrogance.

    5
    Keep it short, but write it powerfully.

    Hiring managers and department heads don’t have a lot of extra time to read your magnum opus on why you’re awesome. The key is to be brief but memorable. Make every word count.

    Avoid filler words and phrases . Keep your writing lean and clean . Use some power words to make your writing pop.

    Letter of Interest Structure

    Date

    Let’s start with the simple stuff first! (You do know what day it is, right?) You’ll need this only for hard copy letters; in email, the date stamp is fine.

    Contact Information

    In a hard copy letter, put your contact info here. Include your phone number and email address. In an email, include your contact information after your signature, instead.

    Here’s a tip: You don’t have to put Phone: and Email: in front of your phone number and email address. That’s just clutter. The hiring manager probably won’t have trouble figuring out what that ten-digit number and the thing with the @ symbol are.

    Salutation

    Greet the hiring manager or department head by name. And please do your best to find a name. (See Tip #2!) Avoid To Whom It May Concern. Nobody ever got truly concerned with, or even interested in, an email that began thus.

    Opening Paragraph

    Briefly introduce yourself and tell the hiring manager why you’re writing. Share your enthusiasm for the company—why do you want to work there?

    Qualifications/Experience Paragraph

    Talk about what you bring to the table. Let the hiring manager know why hiring you would add value to her team. Demonstrate the qualities you have that mesh well with the company’s mission and culture. (This is why you did all that research!)

    The key to a successful letter of interest is not in showing off what you can do, but in showing what you can do for the company. Think in terms of excitement, not arrogance.

    Close by casting a networking net.

    You’re not going to close by saying something like “I hope you’ll keep me in mind if you have an opening in the future,” right?

    Never! You’re better than that.

    Close by asking for something. Use a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage the hiring manager to connect with you. You might ask for an informational interview—an opportunity for you to sit down with the hiring manager and learn more about the company.

    Letter of Interest Example

    Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

    I’ve been following the Alpha Beta Company’s trajectory since it launched in 2007. When the company reached 10 million active users last month, I thought about how exciting it would be to be part of a team with the potential to grow that number to 20 million and beyond. I’m writing you to express my interest in joining your team and to learn more about upcoming employment opportunities.

    I’ve been a user acquisition manager at XYZ, Inc. for five years. At XYZ, I developed the go-to-market strategy for new apps and performed analysis to calculate how our campaigns influenced user engagement. As you may know, XYZ operates in a smaller niche market. Even so, during my time with them, XYZ’s user base grew from just five hundred beta users to over 3 million today. In the ten years since I graduated with a bachelor of science in business and marketing from Great Big University, I’ve managed and launched hundreds of successful marketing campaigns on channels ranging from print media to social media to videos.

    I’m excited by the idea of working in a larger market and for a company that is constantly innovating and recognized as an industry leader. I’ve enclosed my resume, which outlines my experience and skills. I’d love to sit down and talk with you about Alpha Beta’s explosive growth and new user acquisition strategy. Would you be open to meeting with me at your convenience?

    Sincerely,

    Your Name

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