How To Write A Letter Of Interest (3 Great Sample Templates Included)

By Mike Simpson

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!)

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!

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(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!

What 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 the job description, 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 hav