Do you have a company in mind you would love to join? It might be that you know the kind of organizations you’d love to work for but there’s a problem: they aren’t hiring.

But just because a company isn’t openly looking to fill a position does it mean they wouldn’t be interested if the right talent comes along.

It never hurts to try if you want your favorite career. For these occasions, you want to send a letter of interest to the company to test the ice. In the following sections, you’ll learn:

  • What a letter of interest is
  • How it differs from a cover letter
  • When and how you should use it
  • Who should receive your letter of interest
  • What your letter should include
  • How to make sure your letter gets read

There will also be a template for formatting your letter and two examples for inspiration.

WHAT’S A LETTER OF INTEREST?

You’d use a letter of interest when you want to work in a specific company or in a specific role but you’re not sure about the job opportunities available. This letter is also known as an introduction or inquiry letter because of its querying nature. It’s to showcase your interest and to find out about opportunities. You might have a desire to work with a specific corporation and you just want to try the ice to see if opportunities are there.

In the letter, you will outline your interest in the company as well as a specific position with the company, looking for more information about the opportunities available. It’s about checking whether employment options are out there.

You will also use it to make an introduction. You will always include a basic rundown of your qualifications and accomplishments. The purpose is to sell yourself to the company and help them understand why having you on their team might not be such a bad idea – whether or not they are currently hiring.

It’s not a bad idea to enclose your resume when writing a letter of interest, although it’s not mandatory.

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM A COVER LETTER?

The above can make a letter of interest sound a lot like a cover letter. However, these two are separate from each other in three ways:

The purpose

The purpose of a letter of interest is to check whether there is an opportunity for employment while with cover letter, you are applying for a particular job you already know is on the market. A letter of interest is about the potential, whereas the cover letter is about going after what is already out there.

The content

A letter of interest is more focused on you as a person and employee. It provides the HR person (or anyone you send it to) the opportunity to get to know you and the kind of addition you might be to the team.

On the other hand, a cover letter is tailored to the specific position. It’s still about you but more about your fit to this particular role. It’s, in essence, a more focused approach to your skills and achievements rather than a broad look at your talent.

The subject

The focus of the letter of interest is on your desire to work for the specific company. You highlight your flexibility in working in different roles (since you don’t have a specific job title to apply to) and focus on your match in terms of company culture.

The subject of your cover letter is to talk about the specific job opening. It’s not about your overall career objectives but your desire to land the advertised role.

If you have seen a job advertised and you want to apply for this specific position, you need to send a cover letter.

If, on the other hand, you’re just interested in opportunities at a particular company, you want to write a letter of interest.

WHEN AND HOW TO USE IT?

As just mentioned, you want to send a letter of interest when you have a strong desire to work in a specific company or companies within an industry. You are perhaps looking for new opportunities and considering the direction you want your career to take.

It’s about testing the waters and you should use the letter of interest in situations like that. But it’s also important to use it when you’re certain of your fit in the company. You want to write it when you know your skills would benefit the organization – you know you would be a good addition to the team and you could help the organization move closer to its vision.

You should take advantage of the letter when you have an idea of the kind of person the company tends to hire. You don’t want it to be just about checking if they’d want to hire you.

The letter of interest should show your knowledge of the business culture and the company’s vision – and how your skills and accomplishments alight with those points. In short, you should only send a letter of interest when you’ve done your research on the company and you know what they need and want in the long-term.

WHO TO ADDRESS THE LETTER TO?

Since you’re not applying for a specific position, knowing who to send the letter can be a bit tricky. You don’t have the contact for a hiring manager, which you tend to do when it comes to sending your cover letter. But you don’t want to randomly send the letter –if you don’t address it correctly, it won’t help you reach the goals you want.

It’s important to research the company and the different departments to find the person most suited for receiving your letter of interest. Broadly speaking, the two big points of contact would be:

  • Someone from the HR department:
    • Typically the person in charge of recruitment or the specific hiring manager for specific jobs.
  • Someone from the particular department you would want to join:
    • If you have a broad understanding of the department you’d like to join and that’s suited for your skills, you might also want to consider contacting the manager of the department.

If the company is smaller and it doesn’t have dedicated departments and an HR department, you can often just send the letter of interest straight to the top. This can be the company’s owner and founder or a top-ranking manager.

If you know someone in the company, it’s also worth considering you send the letter to them (if they are somewhat relevant to your desired position).

You can find the information online, either on the company website or often on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great place for finding possible common contacts too with LinkedIn Connections feature.

WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE ABOUT IN THE LETTER?

Now to the tough part which is the content of the letter. The core of your letter should always focus on covering these three points:

1. Reasons the company interests you

The key thing is, of course, stating why you’re writing the letter of interest in the first place. You want to make it clear to the reader what your interest in the company is. You want to align the company’s values with your own values and give an insight into what about the company is interesting you.

For example, the company might be big on community projects and helping the local youngsters stay healthy and happy. This could be close to your heart too and a reason you’re looking to find a job in the company – so you’ll write about how this is something you find interesting.

2. Your skills and qualifications and why the company would benefit from them

The second main point to cover is your skills and qualifications. You want to give the person an idea of what your strongest points are and where your talent is because it helps them get an idea whether you’re an employee worth pursuing.

Unlike with a cover letter, you won’t have a specific job description to help you in terms of the skills to focus on. Instead of trying to sell yourself to a specific job position, you’re objective is to talk about your overall skills and qualities in terms of the company.

Therefore, focus on finding out about the company culture and the talent the company is looking for. For example, if the organization is big on sustainability, you should mention how it’s important to you and how you’ve demonstrated this value in your line of work.

It’s essentially important to show you understand the company’s mission and focus and that you position yourself to be part of this. Let’s say you’re looking to join the marketing team in some capacity and you can notice how the company’s marketing is mainly driven by social media.

This gives you a window of opportunity to highlight your social media talent and knowledge in this aspect.

3. The jobs and positions that might interest you

Now, you can also mention the kind of jobs and positions that might interest you. This doesn’t have to be in terms of mentioning a specific job title but outlining your interests and your experience.

So, if you are interested in a marketing position, you should talk about your interest in possibly working in the marketing team and letting the person know of any experience you have in positions within this sector.

Always add a call to action to your letter

There is one more key thing you need to include in your letter aside of those three main points. It’s a call to action.

“A call to action is a statement designed to get an immediate response from the person reading or hearing it.” – The Balance

In marketing and business terms, a call to action is used when you want the person to buy, sign-up or order, for example. In your letter of interest, the call to action is to make the person reading the letter to contact you back with the intention of talking about possible opportunities.

Essentially, your letter must end with a clear call to action and an invitation for the person to get back to you. So, you want to make sure you don’t just go “Hope to hear from you” at the end but you add a real sense of urgency for the connection. Here are some good ways of ending your letter with a call to action:

  • You can e-mail at myname@email.com.
  • I can be reached at any time at 0123 456.
  • You can reach me at my e-mail address if you want to ask any questions.
  • Here is a link to my LinkedIn – Let’s connect to continue the discussion.

It’s also a good idea to be proactive with your call to action. Instead of simply waiting for the person to connect, you want to show you’d be staying in touch. It’s not a bad idea to say you’ll be calling the person in a week’s time to talk about opportunities.

You want to set a date and even time, leaving enough time for the person to go over your letter and resume. When you do this, you force the person into a call to action – they might call you first because they know you’ll be in touch anyway or at least e-mail to say there’s nothing in the company at the moment.

AN EXAMPLE FORMAT OF A LETTER OF INTEREST

Let’s put the above information into practice and look at the formatting of the letter of interest. While in the modern, digital world most things are sent via e-mail, you can still send a hard copy of your letter.

Below are format examples for both a printed letter and the e-mail version.

A hard copy letter

A hard copy might actually be more effective than e-mail so it’s worth considering. Most professionals tend to have their e-mail full of letters and therefore, your letter of interest might never stand out in the Inbox. Whereas a real letter will force the person to at least acknowledge it’s there.

Here is the formatting for a hard copy letter you can post to the organization.

 

Your contact details

Include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
You should also include any relevant professional social media handle (Twitter, LinkedIn) and your website if you have it.

Date

Contact details of the person your contacting
Add full contact details of the person you’re addressing the letter to, including name, company name and position, company address and phone number.

Professional greeting
Begin with a professional greeting, addressing the person with the correct title and name.

The main body of the text

Introduction
Begin by introducing yourself and explaining your reason for the letter. This is the place to mention your interests towards the organisation.

The skills and qualifications
The next paragraph should be about your skills and qualifications and how you think they align with the needs of the organisation.
You can also mention any possible interest you might have within the organisation.

The closing statement/call to action
The final paragraph should be the call to action.
Outline your plans for further contact and let the person know the best way to contact you.

Professional goodbye
Sign the letter off with a professional goodbye and add a handwritten signature even if the rest of the letter is a printed copy.

 

Here is an example letter to use for inspiration and guidance when writing your own letter

 

Jane Smith
123 Home Street
454 City
0123 456
janesmith@email.com

February 18

Sarah Doe
Head of Marketing
XYZ Company
98 Road Avenue
454 City

Dear Ms. Doe,

I was reading through one of the top marketing publications and came across your interview. You eloquently talked about the new direction digital marketing is headed and I immediately felt inspired. With six years of experience in the industry, I would love to inquire you about opportunities in joining the award-winning team at XYZ Company.

I have worked exclusively within the digital sector for the past three years, holding a variety of positions I feel would benefit your company. I am experienced in market research and third-party marketing systems. In my past, I have introduced new marketing strategies and been part of numerous new campaign launches. I am actively looking for opportunities that would allow me to build on the research part of my talent. I believe the development of new strategies is the way forward and I was happy to read in the interview, you feel the same way.

I’ve led a five-man team and I have been able to improve the sales within my past jobs by 40% on an annual basis. I am proud of having been able to deliver such results within budget. I believe it is my professional and honesty that helps me strive for such good results.

I will be calling you on March 5th to answer any questions you might have about this letter or the enclosed resume. I hope we will be able to talk about opportunities and to schedule an interview at a convenient time. If you prefer, you can call me at 0123 456 any time of the week.

Thank you for your time for considering my qualifications.

Sincerely,

Jane Smith

 

E-mail version

You may also want to opt for simply e-mailing the person. It might not always be as efficient but it’s not a bad idea in a fast moving world – you’ll also be able to follow-up a bit easier.

Here are the specific formatting tips for the e-mail version:

 

The subject line
Introduction to the topic and your name.

Professional greeting
Begin with a professional greeting, addressing the person with the correct title and name.

The main body of the text

Introduction
Begin by introducing yourself and explaining your reason for the letter. This is the place to mention your interests towards the organisation.

The skills and qualifications
The next paragraph should be about your skills and qualifications and how you think they align with the needs of the organisation.
You can also mention any possible interest you might have within the organisation.

The closing statement/call to action
The final paragraph should be the call to action.
Outline your plans for further contact and let the person know the best way to contact you.

Your contact details
Sign off professionally and include your full contact details at the end of the e-mail.

With that in mind, here’s an example e-mail you can use as guidance when writing your own:

 

The subject line: Introduction – Jane Smith

Dear Ms. Doe,

For the past three years, I’ve been focusing on the work of ZYX Company and I’ve been inspired by the company’s dedication to sustainability. I have been moved by the focus to ensure the product development process is always aimed at creating sustainable and user-friendly products, as I’m a passionate advocate of eco-friendly solutions.

I have had the privilege of working with some of the leading climate scientists since graduating as a digital developer five years ago. I have launched two successful projects, with one of them winning the local award for the sustainable practice of the year. It is this passion, I’d love to develop further and I’m interested to find if there are opportunities at ZYX Company for me to do so.

I believe my experience and skills would be well suited, as the company prepares for its next big push in the development of solar energy. I have enclosed my resume with this e-mail for you to explore my skills further.

I will call you on March 4th to discuss the issue further. If you do have any questions before, feel free to reach me by e-mailing me at janesmith@email.com.

I look forward to speaking with you. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jane Smith
123 Home Street
454 City
0123 456
janesmith@email.com

 

HOW TO GET YOUR LETTER OF INTEREST OR INQUIRY READ?

The above templates are the ones to use when writing a letter of interest. You will be able to focus on the right things in your letter and to get your message across in style. But you want to take a moment to focus on the final elements of a good letter of interest – those little details that ensure your carefully crafter letter actually gets read.

To do this, you must ensure:

  • Your letter or e-mail is short and concise. Don’t write more than four short paragraphs of around three to five sentences. You don’t want to waste the person’s time so you want to keep it short and concise. Only focus on relevant points and remember you don’t have to go into career details if you include a resume.
  • Your letter is directed to the right person. As mentioned earlier, you want to direct the letter to the right person – the person in charge of considering new people. Sending it to a random person won’t improve your chances. It might take some research to find the right person but this is necessary to conduct in order to succeed.
  • You should focus on your strengths and the value you would add to the company. Only talk about skills and experience that’s relevant to your interest and important for the business. Like with cover letter, make it about your value to the company and not just about boasting with your skills.
  • You will follow-up on your letter. Never just send the letter and wait for the call. If you have stated you will call and you never hear from the person, it’s a good idea to e-mail them a day before you said you’d call to remind them about it. If you haven’t mentioned any time for contact, you should send a follow-up e-mail a few days after you sent the letter just to check up if the person received it and if they’d still like to talk.
    People sometimes genuinely forget to reply and it doesn’t automatically mean they are not interested! So push your case with a few follow-ups until you get the ultimate know or you never hear from the person.

THE BOTTOM LINE OF SENDING A LETTER OF INTEREST

A letter of interest is a great tool for your career. It will help you during those times when the perfect job openings are not there but you have an idea of the direction you’d want your career to take.

It’s a good networking tool and a way to get hiring managers and team leaders to notice your talent. So, if you have ideas on where you’d like to work, don’t hesitate in sending a letter of interest!

Just remember to do your research, present yourself as a valuable addition to the company and keep it short and sweet. Always follow-up on your letter and don’t forget to encourage the person to get in touch with you first.

Letter of Interest Examples and Format - #LetterOfInterest #Cleverism #Job #JobSearch

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