A letter of interest is also known as a “prospecting letter” or an “inquiry letter.” Such a letter is sent to prospective employers that may be hiring but haven't specifically listed the job you want to apply for. This letter is simple and contains a small bit of information, but it gives you a huge advantage if the job is soon to be listed. A letter of interest also makes you stand out and look professional. Following is how to write a letter of interest.
For your letter to be effective, you need to know who it should be addressed to. If possible, attempt to identify the department manager. If you cannot find his or her name, send the letter to the company's human resources department.
You can send your letter one of two ways. You can either email the letter or you can print a hard copy and hand-deliver it. You should find out the proper way to deliver the letter beforehand. Some companies prefer that you not visit their location and request that you email the letter. Other companies believe that hand-delivering a copy is respectful and professional.
First of all, the letter should always include this information:
- Your Name
- Your Address
- Your City, State, Zip Code
- Your Phone Number
- Your Email Address
Follow your information with the current date, then the name, title, and address of the recipient of the letter.
The Basic Format
Follow the following general format when writing a letter of interest for a job:
- The greeting should be professional, such as "Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name of Recipient]" or "To Whom It May Concern," if you don’t have a name.
- The first paragraph includes a brief description of who you are and your applicable skills. Include two to four key skills that show you'll make a solid contribution to the company and be a great fit for the position you're applying for.
- Middle paragraphs should include any concrete examples of how you used your strengths to achieve success. These examples can include past jobs, internships, volunteer work, or academic projects. This section is where you sell yourself as much as possible. The person reading the letter should have a desire to learn more about you.
- The final paragraph should express your strong interest in meeting with someone in the organization. You want to welcome any chance to speak with an individual within the department, even if there is no formal listing for the position at the time of your letter.
- Finally, conclude with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely,” followed by three blank lines for your signature (if you’ll be printing a hard copy), then your name.
Always include a copy of your resume with the letter. It should include keywords for the job listing. Be sure your resume is up-to-date and polished, with no typos, misspellings, or grammatical errors.
Example Letter of Interest
Following is an example of a letter of interest. Be sure to include the information it contains, but do not copy this letter exactly. Each letter should be specifically tailored to the job you want to apply for.
[Your Contact Information]
[Company Contact’s Name or “Human Resources Department”]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Contact’s Last Name],
It has come to my attention that there may be a job opening at [Company’s Name] in the near future. [Company’s Name] has been recognized as one of the leading competitors in advertising, and I have experience in technical sales that is difficult to come by.
In my attached resume you will see that I interned for the City of Seattle in the tourism marketing department. While there, I became familiar with the same technique you use to advertise your products. You'll see that I have additional experience in merger/acquisition events and high growth challenges. I also volunteered with Heifer International for a year in its sales department to increase donation intake. As a collective, our team increased donations by 20 percent.
I have a strong interest in meeting with you to explore any opportunities that may become available and where I would be most beneficial to your company.