If you have your heart set on working at a specific company, consider writing a letter of interest. Candidates will do this during a job search if the company doesn't have any jobs listed that coincide with their skills. By doing this, you could be considered first when a job opens up. Below, we'll discuss the best way to write a letter of interest and what you should include.
Is a letter of interest the same as a cover letter?
While a letter of interest and a cover letter may include similar content, they are very different. You would send a letter of interest to a company that you are interested in working with to see if there are potential job opportunities that match your skill set and experience.
During your job search, a cover letter is sent with a specific job application for an open role. It's true both might contain the same information, but the intent and first paragraph should be different. You can send a letter of interest whether the company is hiring or not, and it's not sent in response to a particular job the way a cover letter is.
How to write a letter of interest
There are some things you should do to strengthen your letters of interest before you write out any statement of interest. Make sure you research the company you want to send a letter of interest to. The more information you gather, the more details you'll be equipped with to help you draft your expression of interest letter.
- Read one or two recent press releases.
- If you find a relevant news article on the company, read that also.
- Spend some time on the company's website to learn their values and goals.
- Search for current employees on professional websites such as Linkedin.
Who to address your letter of interest to
Spend some time looking on Linkedin or the company's corporate website to figure out who to address your letter to. Since there isn't a specific job open yet, it may be hard to find a hiring manager. Employers will respond better to a letter that is personalized though.
If possible, find the name of someone in the department you are interested in. Spend time on the organization's corporate page. They may list out people that run different parts of their business. From there you can look for a person that reports to them on Linkedin.
You might find more than one person to send your letter of interest to. When you decide who to address your note to, include their full name and job title. You want to acknowledge their role and that working with them or for them is a goal of yours. If you have exhausted all options, you can always use a generic address such as:
- To whom it may concern
- To the hiring manager of DEPARTMENT OF INTEREST
- To the human resources manager at COMPANY OF INTEREST
What to include in the body of your letter of interest
When drafting your letter of interest you want to give a strong introduction to yourself and show you've done homework on their company. Here is a sample letter of interest example you can use as a template and expand on.
Hiring manager's name,
I hope this note finds you well. I am in the process of advancing my career and feel I would be a great fit for your team. After reading what you do and how much you value your employees, I would love the opportunity to interview. I have attached my resume for your review. As you will see, I have the skills needed to get the job done. My background in product development could make me a great asset to your team. I know you are not currently hiring something that matches my background and skill set, but I hope you will keep me in mind when there is a need. I can make myself immediately available. Even if the next open role isn't a perfect fit I would like the chance to discuss the position. In the meantime, I will continue to check the website as you expand your team.
Thanks in advance for your time.
Always attach a copy of your resume with your letter of interest. You will want to include your full contact information on both your resume and letter. Include your email address and phone number.
If you are out of work, share that information. Make sure you give a few examples of things you have done that would make you an effective employee. The key is to show you would be an asset to the company. Find ways to weave in the knowledge you have of their business so they know you're really interested. The goal is that the company will call you when the right job becomes available.
Final thoughts on how to write a letter of interest
Sending a letter of interest can make a difference in your job search. You could get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager or human resources department before a job posting goes public. Keep your letters unique. Let the company know they are a target employer of yours and you welcome the chance to come in and interview. If you follow these tips, your letters of interest could eventually land you a position at a company you'd love to work for.