How To Write A Letter Of Interest (Sample Included)

By Mike Simpson

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We’ve all been there…

Sitting in front of your computer with both hands covering your face, exasperated from the amount of time you’ve spent with your eyes transfixed on your computer screen…

(Aaargghhhh!)5727340794_03ee279cbb_z

You’ve combed all of the job boards in search of the perfect job, but alas, haven’t been able to find anything that’s a great fit.

(What’s up with all these crappy jobs?!?!?!)

You’ve sent in a dozen applications and haven’t heard back from anyone… not even a sniff!

(Why me?!?!)

But just as you’re about to grab your computer screen with both hands and fling it out the window to the concrete below…

Hang on a sec!

There still is one more lifeline you have at your disposal, and if used properly, it can end up being one of the most rewarding things you do for your career.

So what is this secret weapon I speak of?

A letter of interest of course!

post-976115_640What Is a Letter of Interest?

A letter of interest is a letter you send to your target company letting them know that you’re interested in working with them and seeing if there are any potential job opportunities that match up with your skill set. 

Hang on, isn’t that just another fancy word for cover letter?

Nope.  Not at all.  Yes, your letter of interest might contain similar things to your cover letter, but they are two very different animals.

A cover letter is a letter you send with your resume when applying to a specific job at a specific time (when they ask for job applications and/or post an opening). 

A letter of interest can be sent at any time whether or not the company is actively hiring and isn’t sent in response to a specific job opening. 

Rather, it’s a way of introducing yourself to a company you’re interested in and seeing about the possibility of employment with them. 

Letters of interest are sometimes also called letters of inquiry for just this reason.  You’re inquiring if they might have a position for you.

This is the part of the equation that can be very rewarding.  Rather than applying to jobs out of desperation (that you have zero interest in actually getting), you get to hand pick the companies that you contact.

Sounds awesome!  Let’s get started!

Now before you rush off to get your favorite stationery, glitter stickers and sparkle pens, let’s make sure your letter is industry appropriate.

How To Write a Letter of Interest

Much like any correspondence you send any employer, you have to make sure that your letter of interest is well crafted and appropriate.  

You’re using it as an opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential employer so you always want to make sure you’re showcasing your best possible self. 

That means making sure you take the time to do it right. 

Not only can a well-crafted letter of interest help introduce yourself to an employer, if you do it correctly, it’s a great way to demonstrate your ability to market yourself and highlight your best qualifications (remember our article on Personal Branding?! Here is a GREAT way to brand yourself to a company!)

A poorly written letter of inquiry or one that does little more than clog up a company mailbox can potentially make any possibilities of working at your dream job with your target company a  solid “NO” in the “Do you like me?” boxes.

Tailoring Your Letter of Interest

As you’ve no doubt seen if you’ve read any of our other blog posts, the Interview Guys are very big on the concept we refer to as “tailoring.”

(Not familiar with the Tailoring Method? Head over to our blog post Job Interview Questions and Answers 101 to learn how to tailor your entire job interview to the company and position you are interviewing for.)

Your letter of interest is another opportunity (actually, the first opportunity!) for you to find out exactly what the company is looking for and present yourself as that person.

Prior to sending the letter, you need to do some hardcore research of the company, taking the time to learn about the specific type of people that they like to hire.

When applying for a specific position, you have the benefit of using the job description to comb through in search of the Qualities (i.e. knowledge, skills or abilities) that the company puts a lot of value in.

But since this is a letter of interest, you are traditionally not applying to a specific position so you need to be a little more creative.

inspectorResearching a Company Through Their Online Presence

There is a virtual “treasure trove” of information available about a company when you peruse their various web properties (i.e their website, Facebook page, LinkedIn page, etc.)!

But we’re not just looking for information about the products they sell, when the company was incorporated or who the CEO of the company is.

We are looking to learn more about the people who get hired to work there so that we can begin the process of becoming one of those people.

So spend the time really digging into each web property in search of clues.

Quite often there are “day in the life” videos where employees are interviewed.

What do they tell you about these people?  What Qualities to they have?

Go to the employee list on the company’s LinkedIn page and go through the profiles to see what experience and skills they have.

Make note of these, because they are going to form the basis of your letter of interest.

Putting the “Tailoring Method” To Work

Once you have figured out the types of people that your company hires, you want to do your best to emulate them in your letter of interest.

Highlight a few the skills and abilities that you have (that you share with their employees), and give a quick supporting statement for each one that you use.  After all, if you can’t back it up, there is no point in even mentioning it.

Once you have done the research and have uncovered the Qualities that you want to highlight, you are ready to begin writing your letter of interest.

Best Letter of Interest Format

Half of the battle is making sure that you nail your letter of interest format.  After all, you won’t exactly be making the best first impression if your letter is a convoluted mess that is hard to read and makes no sense.

Here is the basic format for you to follow, which you can see in the three examples we use below:

Your Contact Info

No surprises here.  Name, address, telephone number, email and your website (Don't have a website? You are missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Click here to find out why).

If you're not comfortable providing your address or any other information, don't worry about it.  It's not a big deal.  Just make sure they can get in touch with you!

Date

If you don't know what to put here we have much bigger problems 😉

Company Contact Info

Please don't start the letter with "to whom it may concern."  At this point, it really doesn't concern anyone if you catch my drift.  Do the research and find a specific person to address the letter to.

A good place to start would be a hiring manager, another person in HR, or even better, the Manager or Director of the department you envision yourself working in.

Opening Paragraph

Introduce yourself and your intentions.

Qualification/Experience Paragraph

Attack this paragraph with two purposes in mind:

  1. Showing how you add value
  2. Demonstrating you have the Qualities they value

This is your time to shine.  Keep it brief and succinct, because you don't want to come off as arrogant. Pick two to three Qualities that you have and infuse them into this paragraph, and wherever possible, support them with facts.  Just don't drone on and on.

And save the listing of your job experience for your resume!

Closing Paragraph

Thank them for their time and offer your availability for an "informational interview" at their earliest convenience.

What's an informational interview?

It's both an opportunity for you to learn more about the company and the various positions within the company AND a great way for you to meet the right people in the organization you are interested in.

More importantly, it's an opportunity for you to let your award-winning personality shine, and if executed properly, can help you land a job at the company of your dreams! (no pressure lol)

Signature

Don’t get too gushy.  Avoid using “warmest regards”, “sincerely yours” or any other hollow platitudes. Stick with “regards,” or just “sincerely,” and you’ll be good to go.




letter-of-interest-mistakesCommon “Letter of Interest” Mistakes

Without fail, many people fall into the same traps and make some of these classic letter of interest mistakes.  Do your best to avoid these if you want to get your foot in the door!

  • 1

    You don’t send a letter of interest at all

    A letter of interest is meant to introduce you to a target company regardless of their current hiring status. Too often people find a company they’d like to work for and just blindly send in a resume with nothing else attached. Sure, it might be a super impressive resume, but if you don’t indicate why you’re sending it in and who you are, you might as well just be throwing those resumes away. On the flip side…DO NOT FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR RESUME!

  • 2

    Sending your letter of interest out with a generic heading

    As mentioned above, you need to take the time to do a little digging and find out who you should address your letter to. Sending out a generic “Dear HR Director” or “To Whom It May Concern” isn’t going to win you any brownie points…

  • 3

    Not saying what you can do for them, but what they can do for you

    Sure, they’re your target company which means you must have some pretty strong reasons you want to work for them. Maybe it’s the great health care package. Maybe it’s the amazing food in the cafeteria. Maybe it’s just the fact that you think the uniform you’d wear looks better with your current eye color than what you’re wearing right now. Whatever the reason behind why you want to work for a company, remember…it’s about what you can do for them…not what they can do for you! This dovetails into another sub category in our list of no-nos…not being specific…as in not specifically letting them know what job you’re interested in…tell them exactly what you’re looking for and what you can do once you get there. Make them wonder why they’re not hiring and what took you so long to contact them!

  • 4

    Not tailoring your letter

    If you’re going to show initiative by writing a letter of inquiry, you should make sure that initiative extends to your research as well! Supercharge your letter and make sure you stand out for the right reasons which means ensuring you highlight the Qualities that the company values.

  • 5

    Being boring

    Come on! You’re shooting for your target company and your dream job. Dazzle them with how incredible you are and what you can bring to the company that sets you apart from all the other candidates. Grab your potential employer’s attention right away and tell them why you’re writing and what you want to achieve. And don’t simply make a list of all of your skills and abilities. As we mentioned before, there is plenty of real estate on your resume for this.

  • 6

    Being too long

    Your goal is to catch their attention and leave them wanting more…which means short, sweet and to the point. Keep your letter under a page. Don’t turn your letter into a rambling rehash of your entire employment career or a long winded awkward rant essentially begging for a job. Remember, you want them to want you…not pity you.

  • 7

    Being sloppy

    There is no excuse for typos, misspelled words or sloppy writing. You’re trying to get an informational (or even a full-on) interview, not give them a headache. Check. Double check and then check again!

  • 8

    Not following up

    Yes, your letter of interest is not in response to a specific job posting, but you should treat it exactly like any other job you’ve applied for and that includes following up. Sending a letter of interest is a proactive step…so keep being proactive and keep the momentum up! Ask for an interview. Don’t be vague and end your letter with a wishy-washy ‘I’m looking forward to potentially hearing from you.’ Hell no! Take that opportunity and keep running with it. Ask for an informational interview. Ask to meet with the HR director to talk about possibilities and potential roles you might fill. Don’t be too pushy, but at the same time, make sure you’re not leaving the ball solely in their court.

A Few Great Letter of Interest Examples

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at a few examples so you can get your own letters started!  Here are three different scenarios from which you might decide to write a letter of interest to a company.

Choose the best letter of interest sample that fits with your situation, but don’t simply copy the example word-for-word.

You need to input your own experiences and personality, so think of this more as a letter of interest template that will guide you to success!

Letter of interest for your target company following a positive encounter:

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date

Name
Job Title
Company
Street
City, State Zip

Dear (remember, make this specific!):

I recently had the opportunity to interact with a few members of your customer support team while doing some research for a project.  My time with them was brief, but memorable.  Your team was friendly while remaining professional.  I was impressed with their willingness to help and their quick responses to my questions. It is clear customer satisfaction is an integral part of your company’s core values.  It is for this reason that I am writing to you as I feel my own personal values and special talents might benefit your customer service department.

I believe very strongly in personal accountability and integrity and have always made sure to represent both my employer and myself in a professional and ethical manner. I strive to ensure that I am always paying close attention to detail and ensuring that my work is nothing short of my best at all times.  If I were to be hired by your company, I would be dedicated to delivering the same kind of high quality customer service I myself experienced.  I am a hard-working, driven individual and am both a motivated self-starter as well as an enthusiastic team player.

In the hopes of scheduling an interview with you or answering any questions you might have about me, this letter or my resume, I will call you October 3rd.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions at any time at (555) 555-5555 or e-mail, Iamawesome@hireme.com.

Thank you for your time in considering my qualifications.

Regards,

Signature

Letter of interest following a write up of the target company:

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date

Name
Job Title
Company
Street
City, State Zip

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

While reading through one of my professional trade publications last week I came across an article outlining why your company has been recognized as one of the best places to work in the country for tech professionals.  Your entire focus has been on making sure that your company is not only a leader in the industry, but also a leader in innovation and pioneering new and emerging technology.  For this reason, I am sending you my resume in the hopes that I might be able to join your team.

I have worked exclusively within the technology field for the past five years, and in that time, have worked in a wide variety of positions that I feel might benefit your company.  I am experienced in accounting including finance and budgeting.  I was also responsible for inventory control and vendor relations.  I have been instrumental in my past positions with bringing new and emerging technology into our business processes and I am actively looking for opportunities with companies that would allow me to continue that practice.  I believe strongly in always being on the forefront of technological development and I was excited to read in the article that your company feels the same way.

As a team leader, I am proud of the fact that not only have we never missed a deadline, but that we have come in under budget while delivering superior results every time.  I firmly believe in the integrity and professionalism of my work and strive to ensure that every aspect of what I do also upholds the company core values.

I will call you on April 16th to answer any questions about this letter or my resume in the hope of scheduling an interview. If you prefer, please contact me by phone (555) 555-5555 or e-mail, Iamawesome@hireme.com.

Thank you for your time in considering my qualifications.

Sincerely,

Signature

Letter of interest for a recent graduate looking for work:

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date

Name
Job Title
Company
Street
City, State Zip

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

I read about Company X's retail management training program in GETAJOB MAG and I would like to inquire about the possibility of openings. I am very interested in a career in retail management and think your program is a perfect match for both my skills and my experiences.  I am a recent graduate from the University of California with a degree in Business Management.  I have over five years of retail experience as both a Sales Associate as well as a Manager.

I have included my resume which contains additional information on my experience and skills. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the training program with you and to provide further information on my candidacy. I can be reached anytime via my cell phone, 555-555-5555 or by email at Iamawesome@hireme.com..

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this exciting opportunity.

Sincerely,

Signature 

Putting It All Together

So there you have it!  Remember, these are just examples.  You, as always, have to make sure your letter is specific to you and written with your goals in mind.  Just remember to keep it targeted, keep it short, and keep it professional.  Save the sparkle markers for special occasions.

And as always,

Good luck!

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40 Comments

  • Katie

    Reply Reply April 5, 2016

    This was very helpful and a pleasure to read. Thanks!

  • Herid Koinari

    Reply Reply May 2, 2016

    Thank you the sample sound clear and helpful

  • Imam Idris

    Reply Reply May 7, 2016

    Great, I really appreciate this site because I learnt a lot on how to design and write a comprehensive and rich letter of interest.All the best

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply May 12, 2016

      Thank you Imam! Good luck!

  • Paulene jones

    Reply Reply May 10, 2016

    Thank you for the ideas. Putting my thoughts together with the examples helped me organize and prioritize what I wanted to say.

  • Daryl McQueen

    Reply Reply May 24, 2016

    Thanks for the information. Very insightful!

  • Yemsrach Seifu haile

    Reply Reply May 25, 2016

    Very helpful for the new graduated student like me,and for the people who needs a few ideas what to do after graduation!!

  • Sebulon B

    Reply Reply June 16, 2016

    Simple and concise. It contributes a lot to inexperienced graduates, thank you.

  • dr ob oyelade

    Reply Reply June 25, 2016

    Thank you for this write up. its really been helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply June 28, 2016

    This was very useful for me. Thank you very much

  • Aleksandra

    Reply Reply July 13, 2016

    Looks like I’ve been doing it right! Still very helpfull and nicely put!

  • Jamon

    Reply Reply July 15, 2016

    This was an awsome article with very fruitful info. Thank you and much success to the interview guys.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply July 18, 2016

      Thank you so much Jamon!

  • XAVIER

    Reply Reply August 23, 2016

    Thank you this article is really helpful.

  • Amarjeet kumar Bharti

    Reply Reply August 24, 2016

    This was very helpful site..Thank you so much.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Thanks Amarjeet!

  • Jocelyn Walsh

    Reply Reply September 6, 2016

    This was extremely helpful- I really enjoyed the walk-through and your humor throughout. It made me feel much less stressed about the whole process!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply September 8, 2016

      Great to hear Jocelyn! That was our goal so I appreciate the kind words..

  • Naila

    Reply Reply September 18, 2016

    Thanks guys! It really helped.

  • Mitchell B. Joe

    Reply Reply September 20, 2016

    thank you for this wonderful………..

  • Alok Pandey

    Reply Reply September 30, 2016

    Really amazing..!! & Helpful. Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Paea

    Reply Reply October 18, 2016

    Great Tips… Very helpful.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply October 18, 2016

      Thanks!

  • Mildred Jones

    Reply Reply October 20, 2016

    Thanks this example of a interest letter was great.

  • bethwel Benard

    Reply Reply November 9, 2016

    I’m grateful for this, Jeff,.. Thumbs up.

  • hemyleigh shea

    Reply Reply November 10, 2016

    thanks really helped

  • Dawna Crossman

    Reply Reply December 2, 2016

    Hello!
    I am interested in writing a Letter of Interest! Does it have to be typed up on a computer or can it be hand-written in pen?
    Dawna Crossman

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 5, 2016

      Hi Dawna,

      It is usually typed on a computer but a more personal hand written letter does add a very personal and unique touch so I would try it for sure! (One caveat: it does kind of depend on the company. i.e. Some corporate companies might be a little weirded out lol)

  • Rachel

    Reply Reply December 5, 2016

    Thank you for posting this article.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 5, 2016

      Thanks for reading it Rachel 😉

  • Sarah Karungi

    Reply Reply December 6, 2016

    This is so kind of you guys. Had no idea on how to start writing my letter of interest.
    Thank you so much for your article, it has surely helped me.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 6, 2016

      You’re welcome Sarah!

  • Jonathan Thomas

    Reply Reply December 21, 2016

    This was a great article , great examples and insight. Thank you!

  • mosses emmanuel

    Reply Reply December 23, 2016

    Am from Tanzania,i love this web much because it has made me to be very competent on writing cover letter and letter of interest. Be blessed

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 27, 2016

      Great to hear Mosses!

  • Fasuyi Dotun

    Reply Reply December 27, 2016

    Thanks for this beautiful tips.. God bless

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