When looking for a new job, most people focus on open job ads published by different employers and apply for the positions they can see in these listings. While this is the standard procedure, job seekers can also get more information on potentially available positions by sending a letter of interest to a specific company.
So, if you have a particular firm or organization for which you’d like to work in mind, learning what a letter of interest is and how to write and submit it to them can come in rather handy. To help you with that, we created this guide that explains the most important aspects related to this job-seeking option. Without further ado, let’s jump right to it!
- A letter of interest is a letter that you can send to a specific company you’re interested in working for if they haven’t posted any job listings recently.
- The letter of interest should contain your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments so that you can convince the hiring manager that you’re a good fit for the company.
- This document is not the same as a cover letter. The main difference is that a letter of interest—in contrast to a cover letter— is not tailored toward a specific job position.
- The standard format of a letter of interest consists of three parts: an introduction, a body, and a closing statement.
What Is a Letter of Interest?
A letter of interest is a formal document that you, as a jobseeker, can send to a specific company or organization if you notice they don’t currently have any open job applications. This way, you show them that you’re interested in learning more about potential employment and working for the company if they think you’re a good match for it.
This document also serves to prove that you’re a suitable candidate for the jobs the company may offer you. For this reason, it should show your greatest strengths, accomplishments, and qualifications but also be persuasive (not pushy) and concise.
Is a Letter of Interest the Same as a Cover Letter?
No, a letter of interest is not the same as a cover letter. Although both documents are used as the first stepping stone to contacting a hiring manager, they are each written for different purposes.
The main letter of interest vs. cover letter difference is that a cover letter is supposed to be sent along with your CV or resume as a response to a particular job listing. On the other hand, a letter of interest is only sent when there are no job listings available at the moment.
Additionally, a cover letter is sent upon request, whereas a letter of interest is sent voluntarily and only when you’re interested in contacting the company first.
What to Include in a Letter of Interest
Your letter of interest should include three main sections, and these are:
- Introduction. Introduce yourself and get to the point immediately. Mention where you heard about the company and why you’re contacting them—to learn more about job opportunities that weren’t mentioned on their website.
- Body. The most important section of your letter of interest is the body. This is where you get to shine and showcase your skills and experience. However, be clear about what positions you’re interested in and tailor the information you provide to the potential employer according to these.
- Closing statement. This last section is where you let the hiring manager know that you’d like to stay in touch. Since there might not be any job opportunities available at the moment, make it clear that you’re still interested in hearing about them once they appear and learning more about their establishment.
How to Write a Letter of Interest
To write a letter of interest that will bring you a new job opportunity, you should:
#1. Choose the Right Format
We have already explained the three main parts of a letter of interest, but let’s see what the entire basic format looks like:
- Contact information. Include your name, address, phone number, and email.
- Date. Follow the traditional format: month/day/year.
- The addressee’s full name. Address the person directly, without the overused “to whom it may concern” phrase (e.g., “Dear Mr. Swanton”).
- First introductory paragraph. Introduce yourself and explain why you’re reaching out.
- Qualifications and experiences. Demonstrate how your skills and qualifications can add value to the company in case there are any relevant positions open.
- Closing paragraph. End the letter by asking to stay in touch and thanking the addressee for their time.
- Letter closing and signature. Lastly, write “Best regards” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name and signature.
#2. Find an Attention-Grabber
Since there are no job listings published by the company you’re interested in and you have no guide on what requirements they propose, you need to find a way to stand out. To do so, you’ll need an attention-grabber, which means you need to be really specific.
For example, if you’ve done research on the company and you saw an article that mentioned an investment the company has made in a sales program, use it to your advantage. You can mention that you have excellent skills in sales and that you look up to the company’s latest mission. Of course, you shouldn’t lie—always mention only the skills you actually possess.
#3. Emphasize Your Skills & Experience
As mentioned before, you need to emphasize your skills and experience in the body of your cover letter. This means highlighting your qualifications so that you can stand out and make a good impression on the recruiter.
The best way to do it is to simply mention these attributes and tell a story about the times when you had a chance to utilize them. You can also include proof or data to substantiate these skills and qualifications for some extra brownie points!
#4. Suggest Next Course of Action
Lastly, leave room for a call to action. This section can look like this:
I would appreciate it if you could make some time for us to discuss potential job opportunities together, as I’m positive that some of my ideas could greatly benefit your company.
Thank you for your time and consideration—I look forward to hearing from you.
Letter of Interest Best Practices
Here are some more tips on how to successfully write a letter of interest:
- Be concise. You need to keep the employer’s attention at all times, and beating around the bush will definitely do the opposite. Instead, focus on the main attributes you’d like to highlight.
- Personalize the letter. Address a particular person directly (a CEO or a hiring manager) and state the exact positions you are interested in. This way, you start building rapport right away.
- Keep it short and specific. Only list and mention the job skills and experiences that are tailored to the job position.
- Double-check everything. Proofread the letter properly before you submit it to avoid any spelling or grammar mistakes. Errors like these can make you come off as careless and even underqualified for some positions.
- Stay humble. Instead of saying “I’d be an amazing fit for your company because of my great skills and attributes,” try saying “I believe that I would be a great fit for your company because I have seven years of experience I could use to benefit your projects.”
Letter of Interest Samples
Here are two letters of interest templates you can follow:
Letter of Interest for Promotion—Sample
Los Angeles, California
LETTER OF INTEREST FOR PROMOTION
Dear Mrs. Bonehill,
Let me begin by saying that I’ve been working as a content writer for your company since 04/05/2015. I’ve been looking for opportunities to advance in my career a bit further, as I’m highly interested in being promoted to senior content writer, so I was wondering whether there are any suitable positions available for me in the company.
Not only have I significantly enhanced my writing and SEO skills thanks to my editor, but I also gained some additional industry-related knowledge by finishing several writing courses in the meantime. I strongly believe that my solid employment performance metrics and the knowledge I have acquired from your establishment would make me a great fit for a higher position.
I have high hopes that the company will take my request into consideration, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Letter of Interest for a Teaching Position—Sample
Mrs. Lina Caliente
University of Illinois
Champaign, IL, United States
Dear Mrs. Caliente,
I am highly interested in starting a job as an English professor at the University of Illinois. I am aware that you have no job listings available as of now, but I thought I’d contact you personally and ask about it myself.
I am currently working as a teaching assistant at the University of California, but I will be moving to Illinois soon, which is why I need to look for a job in this state. I’ve done some research on your university, and I noticed that you pay a lot of attention to recruiting the right people in order to make your students feel comfortable and at ease, which absolutely resonates with my way of teaching.
I also read an article that stated you’re looking into some new ways of advancing remote teaching as well. I believe I would be a good fit for the university, as I have previously worked remotely and could properly utilize the skills I obtained from managing classes from home.
I appreciate your time and consideration, and I’m looking forward to speaking to you in more detail about any opportunities that may arise. I am available for both phone and in-person interviews, and you can also find my resume attached to this email.
Job-hunting is tough when your dream position is nowhere to be seen, but sending a letter of interest is definitely the best way to make the process easier.
It’s a great way to contact a company and show interest in positions that are currently not listed publicly. All you need is a catchy introduction, a skill-focused body, and a call-to-action ending statement—that’s how simple it is. By following the tips in our guide, you’ll surely get some quick answers from recruiters and get one step closer to landing the job you want!