Are you having trouble breaking into the industry you have set your sights on?
When a job is advertised, there is usually a large number of applicants. This can make your odds of getting the job or even being granted an interview rather slim.
Instead of applying for jobs when they are advertised, sending a letter of interest can get you a foot in the door. With the right timing and just a little luck, your letter may arrive when a company has the perfect vacancy.
So, let’s find out how to write a letter of interest…
- Cover Letters vs. Letters of Interest
- The Differences Between a Cover Letter and a Letter of Interest
- Why Write a Letter of Interest?
- What to Include in a Letter of Interest?
- Outline The Next Steps
- What to Do After Sending a Letter of Interest?
- Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Letters of Interest vs. Cover Letters vs. Motivation Letters
- Final Thoughts
Cover Letters vs. Letters of Interest
When you apply for a job, it is standard practice to send a cover letter along with your resume. Many people think that a cover letter and a letter of interest are the same thing. However, the primary difference is that a letter of interest is used when you are interested in working for a company, but there is no official job opening.
The Differences Between a Cover Letter and a Letter of Interest
On the face of things, a cover letter and a letter of interest can look somewhat similar. However, there are specific essential differences that you need to bear in mind. So, let’s examine the main differences between a cover letter and a letter of interest.
A letter of interest is used for jobs not advertised
When a job search does not turn up a vacancy for your dream job, you need to send a letter of interest. This letter should be targeted at a particular company and is a way to find out if they are hiring. This is your chance to present your skills so compellingly that the company wants to have you on board.
A cover letter mentions the job posting
When you send a cover letter, you refer to the job that you are applying for. However, the letter of interest is more of a general inquiry to introduce yourself to the company.
Letters of interest are shorter
Because there is no hiring context, letters of interest are rather short and sweet. A well-written cover letter is typically three to five paragraphs long. However, letters of interest should be kept to three paragraphs to make them quick and easy to read.
Letters of interest require more research
The goal of a letter of interest is to present yourself as the perfect employee for that company. Therefore, you must do a lot of careful research before writing and sending your letter. You need to find out exactly which skills and attributes the company values most.
An excellent way of doing this is checking out the profiles of current employees on LinkedIn. Consider messaging those employees and asking if you can ask them a few questions about their work. This will give you essential insight into what it really feels like to work at the company and the requirements.
Why Write a Letter of Interest?
Before you even think about How to Write a Letter of Interest, start by fully understanding its purpose and benefits. Sending out letters of interest can save you from endlessly applying for jobs when they are posted.
By the time you see job postings, there is a good chance that hundreds of people have already applied for the job. No matter how strong your resume and skills are, this dramatically reduces your chances of getting the job.
In addition, a very high percentage of job positions are never even advertised. Instead, companies seek recommendations from employees and work their connections to fill the positions. Many companies also prefer to promote staff rather than advertising choice positions externally when they become available.
The power of a letter of interest…
Sending a company a letter of interest is the perfect way to introduce yourself. Although you may not get hired immediately, it demonstrates your interest and that you are initiative. It also shows that you have the ability to market yourself and are motivated to achieve your goals.
Your letter of interest will often become part of a human resources file. If a position does open up in the company that you are qualified for, you are more likely to be contacted. This is preferable to having your application buried under a pile of resumes.
What to Include in a Letter of Interest?
You only get that one chance to make a great first impression, and a letter of interest is a great way to do it. Therefore, it is crucial to take the time to make your letter as convincing and impactful as possible. Here are the key ways to make your letter of interest is as impressive as possible.
Research your target company
Make sure you research your target company well and find out about any new jobs, companies, and developments. Many companies advertise positions on their website days or weeks before using other job search platforms. Signing up for the company’s newsletter will also help you to determine when significant changes are coming.
Learn about the company’s values and goals
It is essential that your letter displays a deep understanding of the company. Therefore, you need to do research to work out why the company is the ideal working environment for you. Study the company’s vision and mission statements as well as the business strategies, core values, objectives, and workplace policies.
Work out the right time to send the letter
Timing is everything when sending a letter of inquiry, as you need to make sure that it receives full attention. Letters that are sent on Mondays and Fridays are likely to get buried under other work and may be forgotten. If the company has recently made an important announcement, you can refer to this in your letter.
Use the proper format
Start by crafting an interesting subject line, followed by your full name, telephone number, and email address. This should be followed by your website and social media link if applicable. Underneath your contact information, you need to write the date followed by a formal greeting.
Create your opening paragraph, followed by the body of your letter of interest. Make sure you add a compelling closing statement thanking the recipient for their time and encouraging them to contact you.
Choose the right contact person
Do your research and find out who you need to address, and send your letter of interest to. If you have made connections with staff members through LinkedIn, this is the time to put them to use. If in doubt, simply call the human resources department and ask for their advice.
Why does this matter so much?
Including the recipient’s title and full name shows that you have done your research and are prepared. It helps to show that you are interested in working at that specific company and have gone the extra mile.
Introduce yourself in the opening paragraph and explain how you learned about the company. Make sure it is clear why you are writing the letter in the very first paragraph.
Outline your strengths
Dedicate the body of the letter to highlighting the qualifications, skills, and expertise that make you stand out. Make sure it is clear what you have to offer the company and why they need to employ you.
Close your letter
Your closing paragraph should include a strong call to action, inviting the reader to contact you to find out more. Make sure that it is clear that you are interested in working with the company and have an available resume. End the letter by thanking your reader for their time and giving you this opportunity to introduce yourself.
Include your contact information
Make sure it is clear how you can be contacted if the company wants to follow up with you. You should make this as easy as possible by including different types of contact information. This can be your email address, phone number, and other messaging options and platforms if you are comfortable with this.
Review your letter
Before sending your letter of interest, make sure you check it carefully for spelling and grammatical errors. Ask a friend or family member to thoroughly read through the letter and give you their honest opinion.
You should limit your letter to a few paragraphs and use a business font and format. Include a hyperlink to your website, portfolio, or samples of your work. Make sure your contact information is clear, and the intention of the letter is obvious.
Outline The Next Steps
The reader must understand what you are hoping for by sending your letter of interest. It is best to spell this out to the reader just in case they miss the point. You could also ask them to call or email you to discuss your ideas further.
If you are feeling bold…
You can also invite the reader to schedule an informal interview so you can meet them in person. Alternatively, you could ask to be notified if a relevant position becomes available. Regardless of which route you choose, make it clear that you are interested in opening a dialogue.
What to Do After Sending a Letter of Interest?
In the best-case scenario, the person you send your letter of interest to will respond straight away. However, it will help if you have a backup plan in case things do not pan out that way. If you do not hear anything after a couple of weeks, it is acceptable to send a follow-up inquiry.
How to best follow up?
When following up, it is crucial to keep the tone light and friendly. Simply send an inquiry asking if the person had the chance to read your letter yet. If they meant to reply and it slipped their mind, this may spur them into action.
If you still don’t hear back, it is OK to follow up one more time. This should be done between two weeks and a month later. However, it is vital to make sure that the recipient does not feel hounded if they have no interest in replying.
In the event of no response…
Even if you don’t get a response, it does not mean you have wasted your time. Keep a watchful eye out for relevant open positions at the company. If a job becomes available, be sure to mention that you previously sent a letter of interest.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Many people fall into the same traps when writing and sending a letter of interest. Understanding these mistakes will help you to avoid the same pitfalls.
Not sending a letter of interest
If your heart is totally set on working for a particular company, you may be tempted to send a resume. Even if your resume is very impressive, do not send it unless it is requested. Instead, send a brief letter of interest and make it clear that you have a resume ready for review.
Selecting a generic heading
It is crucial to stand out when sending a letter of interest. While this applies to all areas of the letter, it is imperative to make sure the heading is attractive. If you make the reader snooze in the first sentence, they are likely to discard your letter altogether.
Not highlighting your value
If done well, your letter of interest should make you sound irresistible to the recipient. The best way to do this is by highlighting your skills and other attributes that make you a valuable employee. The reader should be in no doubt about what you have to offer.
Seems pretty obvious, but…
Many people fail this part of the test by highlighting what the company has to offer them. Sure, you may have your sights set on a particular company because of their excellent healthcare plan. However, the primary purpose of this exercise is to explain what you have to offer the company.
Not tailoring your letter
If you are desperately searching for a job, you may send out several letters of interest. However, it is vital to make sure that each letter is unique and tailored to that particular company. It should be clear why you are the right person to work with that specific company.
Be respectful of the reader’s time, especially as you are sending an unsolicited letter. If the reader wants to know more, you can be sure they will ask for your resume or schedule a meeting. Sending a long and dense letter is likely to make the reader feel overwhelmed.
Not editing your letter
There is no excuse for sending out a letter of interest that is packed with spelling mistakes. This is going to make you appear unprofessional and will not go down well. If in doubt, always ask a friend or family member to read through the letter before you send it.
Failing to follow up
After all the work put into finding out How to Write a Letter of Interest, this has to be the top mistake people still make. Never be too discouraged if you don’t hear back straight away. This is the time to prove your tenacity and show that you refuse to be defeated. Make sure you offer to interview in your letter, and do not be afraid to call the HR department and schedule one if they express interest.
Letters of Interest vs. Cover Letters vs. Motivation Letters
It’s easy to confuse the various types of formal letters. To gain the best response, one must understand that they require specific approaches. If you’re applying for admission with an educational institute, please read my Motivation Letter Writing Guide.
In terms of cover letters, I have the full breakdown of what to do. Here’s How Long Should a Cover Letter Be, and How to Address a Cover Letter. Then for in-depth guides, check out Knock ’em Dead Cover Letters or Cover Letters Writing 2023: The Ultimate Guide.
We also have details on just about every job application process in the US. Everything from Vans Application and Victorias Secret Application to Hilton Hotels Application and Spirit Airlines Application. Please search our site for your dream employer to check!
Back to today’s guide…
Knowing how to write an excellent letter of interest can help you to launch your new career. Instead of wasting time applying for the same jobs as hundreds of other people, your letter will stand out. If you are lucky, your letter may arrive at a company just as they are about to advertise a position.
However, be aware. Like with any other unsolicited mail, it is best to keep your letter of interest brief and to the point. If you do this, even if there is no job available at the company, your letter can help to break the ice. It serves as a good introduction, and it may lead to a job further down the line.
- Construction Laborer Job Description
- Amazon HR Policy (2023 Policy)
- How to Start a Cover Letter?
- LifeWay Christian Store Application Online: Jobs & Career Info
- PetSmart Return Policy
- How Old Do You Have To Be To Work at Applebee’s?
- Is Finance a Good Career Path?
- Net Operating Income: Real Estate NOI Guide
- Kathie Lee Gifford Net Worth
- Miller’s Ale House Application Online: Jobs & Career Info