Letter of Interest Examples and Format
A letter of interest, also known as a letter of inquiry or a prospecting letter, is sent to companies that may be hiring, but haven't listed a specific job opening to apply for. You can use a letter of interest to see if the company has any job openings that would be a good fit for you. You might also use a letter of interest to arrange an informational interview with someone at the company.
A letter of interest is a great way to get your foot in the door with a company you are interested in.
Read below for advice on how to write a letter of interest, as well as sample letters of interest for a variety of circumstances.
How to Format a Letter of Interest
Contact person. First, try to find someone specific at the company to send the letter to, such as an executive in a division you’re interested in. See if you have any connections at the company through family, friends, or former colleagues. If you know someone at the company, write directly to them. You could also ask that person for a referral to a hiring manager.
What to include in the letter. Your letter of interest should contain information on why the company interests you and why your skills and experience would be an asset to the company. Use the letter to sell yourself, explaining how you would add value to the company.
Letter conclusion. Conclude your letter by explaining that you would like to meet with the employer to explore possible career opportunities.
You might even suggest setting up an informational interview if there are no current vacancies at the company.
Include your contact information. In the conclusion, provide information on how you can be contacted if the company is interested in following up with you.
Keep your letter short and to the point. You want to get your point across quickly and clearly, without taking up too much of the employer’s time.
Take a look at these detailed tips and templates for how to write a letter of interest before you start writing your own letters.
How to Use a Letter of Interest: Examples
It is a good idea to review letter of interest examples before writing your letter. Along with helping with your layout, examples can help you see what kind of content you should include in your document (such as examples of your skills and experiences).
You might also look at a letter of interest template to get a sense of how to lay out your letter, and what to include (such as introductions and body paragraphs).
While examples, templates, and guidelines are a great starting point to your letter, you should always be flexible. You should tailor a letter to fit your work experience and the company you are contacting.
Letters of Interest, Letters of Inquiry, and Prospecting Letter Examples
Review these sample letters of interest, inquiry letters, and letters of introduction to get ideas for your own letters.
Email Letter of Inquiry Examples
Cover Letters vs. Inquiry Letters
A letter of inquiry is different from a cover letter. In a cover letter, you explain why you are a strong candidate for a particular job (rather than in a letter of inquiry, where you explain why you would be an asset to the company more generally).
A cover letter is used when you are applying for a specific job opening with an employer.
Read More: Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips | What to Include in a Cover Letter | Email Cover Letters | Sample Cover Letters
A cover letter and a letter of interest are both items you send to a hiring manager where you'd like to work. Both express interest in an employment opportunity. However, a number of differences in their objectives and content separate the cover letter from the interest letter.
A cover letter is sent to express interest in a job that has been posted. Often, companies post jobs in local newspapers or through online sites. They commonly ask for cover letters with resumes and application materials. The letter leads into your submission for the job. A letter of interest is not written in response to a particular job. Instead, it is an inquiry into possible employment at a company you like. For this reason, it is also called a letter of inquiry.
A cover letter should be tailored toward a particular company and position. It indicates why you are the best fit for the position in question. In the letter, you should acknowledge an understanding of the critical needs of the hiring manager and offer specific points to support your ability to meet them. A letter of inquiry usually has more self-focused content, since you aren't addressing a particular job. You simply convey a desire to learn about jobs in your career area and sell your personal merits and experiences.
Along with content differences, cover letters also address subtly different primary subjects. The cover letter has some company references, but centers on the particular position the applicant is seeking. A letter of inquiry addresses the company. Cover letters are typically written by someone applying for jobs at a wide array of companies. The candidate likely discovered the job through a contact or posting. A letter of inquiry is normally written based on the candidate's desire to work for an employer, whether or not an opening has been posted. He may have flexibility on the particular role within his area of expertise.
You might submit a letter of interest on its own, but a cover letter inherently needs supporting material. As the term implies, it is the cover to your resume, references, application and any other application materials you are submitting. It may even indicate to the hiring manager what is enclosed. It is useful, however, to include your resume with a letter of interest so the employer gets a chance to review your qualifications more thoroughly.
About the Author
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.
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