Introduction letter, cover letter, motivation letter, referral letter…
Unless you’ve been spending most of your life searching for jobs, when you check the internet to find out which letter is more appropriate for a specific situation, you might end up being more confused than you were before you started looking.
Are we all supposed to turn into professional writers to advance in our professional careers?
Today we’re going to shed some light on this intricate topic. I’ll explain precisely How To Write an Introduction Letter, when it is needed, and how it is different from other types of formal correspondence.
What is an Introduction Letter?
Picture this… You’re an experienced and successful architect that just moved to a new city where you’ve never been before.
You’re not familiar with the architectural scene in your new location, and you don’t know any firm that you could get in touch with to evaluate a possible collaboration.
Most people’s strategy…
The first option you have is to find a list of firms on the internet and send a generic email to each of them. Unfortunately, this will be highly ineffective. Moreover, you have no idea if the projects they’re working on might be interesting for you.
Luckily, a former colleague gave you a business card of a close friend of his who lives in that city. He is a renowned, well-connected designer, and he might be able to help you.
An introduction letter is exactly what you need in this situation.
It will allow you to introduce yourself professionally, explain the reason why you’re writing, and kindly ask for a meeting to discuss what possibilities there may be to develop your network.
That person might be able to direct you to a studio that is looking for an architect. Or they can introduce you to somebody else that can help you.
Best case scenario…
Now, let’s say your colleague is so kind that he wants to do the job for you. Instead of giving you a business card, he personally gets in touch with his friend, explaining the situation and asking him if he’s available to meet you.
Again, this is an introduction letter, but the person who writes is not introducing himself but somebody else.
What an Introduction Letter is Not?
If you’re still totally confused about the types of letters you could write when looking for jobs, let’s see the main differences between them.
A cover letter is what you send with your CV when you apply for a specific position. The main goal of a cover letter is to highlight how your skills, education, work experience, and qualities match the job requirements.
A well-written cover letter is crucial to be invited to a job interview.
A motivation letter is a document that universities or non-profit organizations require to evaluate your admission. Even if it is often called a letter of intent or personal statement, the three denominations have some minor differences. However, the purpose is the same.
Lastly, a referral letter is a document that can be written by anyone who has been previously working with a candidate to highlight their abilities, skills, and work experience. Employers might specifically ask for it, and it can be written by a past coworker, manager, or even a teacher when the applicant is a fresh graduate.
How To Write an Introduction Letter for Yourself?
Let’s now take a detailed look at how to construct an introduction letter to introduce yourself to somebody you don’t know.
Your letter should be addressed in a formal way. The purpose of the letter is to ask for help from somebody that you have never met. Therefore it is advisable to keep a professional style.
Immediately after the greeting, introduce yourself and explain how you got the other person’s contact details. In the second paragraph, clarify why you are writing and what your expectations are.
Finally, ask politely if that person is available for a meeting to discuss your situation further.
A few things to keep in mind…
You’re Not Applying for a Job
So, there’s no need to attach a CV. However, you can provide a link to your portfolio so that the recipient can get a better idea of what your experience and skills are.
Keep it Short
You don’t want to waste the other person’s time telling them about your whole life. If they are available to meet you and help you, that will be the moment to talk a bit more about your career.
When You Ask for a Meeting, Be Flexible
Specifically, be flexible with the day and the time. Indeed, the fact is you’re asking for help, and you don’t know the other person’s schedule. Give them the freedom to decide when it works best for them.
Before you close your letter, don’t forget to include your contact details. Make sure you give more than one option to the recipient.
Conclude your letter thanking the other person and finishing with a formal salutation.
Here is an example of an effective and concise introduction letter.
Letter Example of Introduction n.1
“Dear Mr. Thompson,
My name is Andrew Jackson, I’m from New York, and for the past 12 years, I’ve been the senior architect at [name of the firm].
I recently moved to London and our mutual friend, Mr. John Appleton, gave me your email address. He also told me that he already talked to you about my situation and that you were expecting me to get in touch with you.
I’m writing to you because I was hoping you could give some advice on how to start building a network in London. John told me that you are a successful interior designer and that there might be some potential for a productive collaboration.
According to your schedule, I would love to have a conversation with you next week.
You can contact me anytime via email ([email protected]) or phone (12345678).
If you’d like to have a look at my past projects, here is the link to my portfolio: www.andrewjackson.com.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to help me out.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.
How To Write an Introduction for Somebody You Know?
What if you’re writing a letter to introduce somebody else? Let’s see how it would be different…
In this case, the style of your greeting will reflect how familiar you are with that person. If you’re good friends, there is no need to be formal.
Main section and Contact Details
The body of the letter should still contain the same information that we’ve seen in the previous example. The only difference is that you want to be clear about the relationship between you and the person you’re introducing. By doing so, the recipient will know what to expect when they get in touch with that person.
Again, depending on just how close you are to the other person, you can choose to conclude your introduction letter with a formal tone or with a friendly style.
Introduction Letter Example n.2
How is everything going in London? It’s been too long since I came to visit you the last time.
Do you remember that colleague of mine that I told you about?
He has finally decided to move to the UK, and he’s looking for some guidance on how to kick start his career over there.
His name is Andrew Jackson, and he has been a senior architect at my same company for more than ten years. He is a brilliant professional, and any time that I had the chance to work on a project with him, I knew that it would have been a success. I’m sure that a collaboration between the two of you would be terrific.
You can check out some of his projects at this link: www.andreawjackson.com
Do you think you can find some time over the next week or so to meet him and give him some advice?
He told me you could contact him via email ([email protected]) or phone (12345678).
Let’s catch up after your meeting, and you can let me know what you think.
Still Confused About the Different Formal Letter Types?
No problem! I have guides to the various types of formal letters, what they are, how to write them, and best practices. Check out How to Write a Resignation Letter or read my Motivation Letter Writing Guide. Also, find out How to Write a Letter of Interest, How Long Should a Cover Letter Be, and How to Address a Cover Letter in 2021.
Finally, suppose you’re planning to invest in an excellent resource for the whole CV and cover letter writing process. In that case, I highly recommend Knock ’em Dead Cover Letters, How to Write a CV and Cover Letter, The 7 Second CV, and Cover Letters Writing 2021: The Ultimate Guide.
Back to today’s topic…
Knowing how to write an excellent introduction letter is a powerful skill that you can use anytime you need to expand your network. Or if you’d like to collaborate with somebody that you still don’t know, or when you want to target a new market, you’re not familiar with.
A simple conversation with somebody who is more experienced than you can go a long way in situations such as the ones I just mentioned. Knowing the right people can determine how successful your career will be at the end of the day.
Happy letter writing!