How To Write A Letter Of Introduction For Job Seekers (Samples Included)

letter of introduction

By Jeff Gillis

UPDATED 6/14/2022

letter of introduction

For many job seekers, nothing’s more frustrating than the words, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

What if you don’t know anyone? Perhaps you’ve moved to a new city, switched industries, or simply didn’t recognize the importance of networking until recently. How can talented individuals in this situation play catch-up and get their careers started?

It isn’t impossible, and you don’t have to be obnoxious to get in front of the right people. In fact, there’s an entire method for introducing yourself to people you’ve never met but would like to know. It’s called sending a Letter of Introduction.

What Exactly Is a Letter of Introduction?

So, what is a letter of introduction? A letter of introduction is, according to Military One Source, correspondence that “notifies an employer of your qualifications and interest to be considered for potential future positions.”

However, it can also be more. For example, you could send a letter of introduction to a potential new network contact, allowing you to expand your circle.

Essentially, the letter of introduction is a way to reach out to someone asking to make their acquaintance and, if they’re willing, find out about job opportunities or forge new connections in your desired industry. It’s a polite way to get your name in front of important people without infringing on their time or accosting them in a coffee shop.

It’s also important to understand what an introduction letter is not. It isn’t your resume, it’s not a cover letter, and it’s not a short story detailing your early life, dreams, and ambitions. You don’t send one in response to a current job posting.

Instead, it’s a brief, clear, and concise explanation of who you are as a professional and why you are writing. This reason could be that you’re looking for a job, or you’re hoping to chat with them to gain some insight into the industry you wish to enter.

Types of Introduction Letters

An introduction letter can be used to introduce yourself to someone new or to introduce a friend or colleague to someone you know. Introduction letters are either formal or informal. Typically speaking, an informal introduction letter is used in the second case where Person A is introducing Person B to Person C.

How to Write the Different Kinds of Letters of Introduction

Writing an informal introduction letter to introduce someone to a third party is rather simple. Since you know the person you’re introducing them to, you can rely on your own judgment when choosing your wording. For this article, we’ll focus on a relatively formal letter, even if it’s to a colleague. Such a letter should include the following features:

    1. An explanation of why you’re writing
    2. A brief description of who you’re introducing them to, relevant details like their job, and how you personally know them
    3. A few lines on what that person needs (i.e., advice on entering the tech world with a finance background) and why you thought your colleague would be a useful resource
    4. The job seeker’s contact information, ideally both their telephone number and email address

Today, most people send letters of introduction via email. Be mindful of how you send that email. For instance, there’s a difference between sending a letter of introduction and a referral letter.

Let’s say your friend needs a freelance copywriter. You worked with a great copywriter previously, and you tell your friend you’ll send their details.

In this case, you’re mainly sending a referral, as you’re connecting a professional connection to a friend with a specific need. While this is an amazing thing to do – as 72 percent of interviews are referrals – it isn’t the same as a letter of introduction.

Now, let’s change the circumstances a bit. In this scenario, let’s pretend your friend owns a copywriting agency.

Your professional connection is looking for a full-time gig and asks you to introduce them to someone who works in an agency. When you send the message out, you aren’t referring your professional contact for a specific opening. Instead, you’re letting your friend know a bit about who they are and providing contact details that allow your friend to reach out to your professional connection if they so choose. That’s an introduction letter.

When writing a letter of introduction for yourself, the steps are almost identical with a few subtle differences:

    1. Dive right into who you are and what you do
    2. Include a few lines about why you’re writing to them and specific details about what you’d like from them, like industry insights or information on job opportunities.
    3. Provide information on how they can reach you, how you look forward to speaking with them, and a thank you for their time
    4. End with a respectful sign-off

Letter of Introduction Samples

In some cases, it’s far easier to see how to approach a situation by checking out a few examples. Here is a sample letter of introduction for when you’re writing on behalf of someone else and another for when you’re writing on behalf of yourself:

Introductory Letter on Behalf of Someone Else

Hi Jane Doe,

It was a pleasure catching up with you at the networking event last week! I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to John Smith, a project manager with nearly a decade of experience, specifically in the technology niche. I’ve personally worked with him several times during his time with ABC Corp, and I’ve grown to trust his expertise over the years.

Currently, John is exploring new opportunities and was hoping to connect with you about potential future openings at your company. I’ve attached his resume for you to review, and you can also find him on LinkedIn using the link in that document. If you’d like to touch base by phone, you can contact him at 555-555-5555.

While I’m not aware of any current hiring needs on your end, I do believe John would be an asset.



Introductory Letter on Behalf of Yourself

Dear John Doe,

My name is Jane Smith, and I’m a marketing manager with ten years of experience in the field, focused mainly on the food and beverage space. I’ve long been a fan of your company – XYZ Inc. – particularly its recent campaign for leading snack food manufacturer ABC Co.

If you have the time, I would love to talk to you about opportunities with your company, as well as gain career insights from a leader in the field, such as yourself. If you’re available, I can be reached at 555-555-5555. You can also reply to this email and view my portfolio using the link in my signature.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Jane Smith

These are rather formal examples of an introductory letter, focusing on professionals in the project management niche. Additionally, they’re relatively simple, showing you the general structure to follow.

In some cases, you could expand on various points based on the nuances of the company and what the job seeker has to offer. However, it’s crucial to keep things concise. Now isn’t the time to tell someone’s life story. Instead, the goal is to make an initial connection that can be built upon later.

It’s also true that less formal letters sometimes work. However, you don’t want to run the risk of alienating someone you don’t know with what feels like a gimmick or a sales letter. That’s why formal is often the way to go, regardless of whether you’re introducing yourself or someone else.

Use these examples as a letter of introduction template, giving you a solid starting point. Then, adjust the details as needed to ensure it makes the best possible impression.

Putting It All Together

A letter of introduction allows you to even the playing field when it comes to the game of “who knows who.” If you can dedicate time to send a letter (or email) of introduction each week to people you’d like to meet, a certain percentage will likely reply back – so long as you don’t simply cut and paste the same letter for everyone.

Whether it’s to land a new job or break into a new industry, take advantage of the power of introductory letters.

Good luck!

About The Author

Jeff Gillis

Co-founder and CTO of Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site, with his work being featured in top publications such as INC, ZDnet, MSN and more. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.