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
Most positions are never advertised. A cold cover letter is an uninvited inquiry to an employer, recruiter or other hiring manager regarding possible job opportunities.
Cold cover letters' potential advantages include creating a job that didn't previously exist, gaining early consideration for a position that hasn't yet been advertised and expanding your network of contacts. By sending a letter to an employer who's not soliciting candidates, your resume will not be buried in a pile of hundreds of others.
- Heather secured a marketing director position after sending a cold cover letter. She read about the company's expansion goals in a trade magazine and sent a letter that outlined how she would help the company achieve its objectives. The company was impressed by Heather's enthusiasm, knowledge of the company's mission and ideas for successful expansion.
- Stuart compiled a list of his dream companies and contacted them directly. His letter arrived at the right time at one of the companies -- a network engineer had just given her notice and a position became available. The company benefited from hiring Stuart and saving on recruitment costs.
- Mark is a salesperson with a passion for sporting goods. His favorite retailer did not have a presence in his local market, so Mark sent a cover letter outlining how he would establish a local presence. After reading the letter, the company flew Mark in for an interview and hired him on the spot.
- Know Yourself: You are contacting a company that hasn't asked to be contacted. So what do you offer? Why should the company take an interest in you? What skills, abilities and credentials would be desirable to the organization?
- Research the Employer: Find out as much as you can about your target company, including past performance, goals and competitors so you can knowledgeably write about how you would help the operation.
- The Salutation: Since you are writing an unsolicited letter, it's crucial that you address a particular person. Do some research so you can get your resume in the hands of the manager most likely to be interested in hiring you.
- The Opener: You can use a number of different techniques to open your letter. Here are two examples:
The Value Proposition:If you have identified goal-surpassing revenue and market-share growth among your goals for this year, my credentials will be of interest. Allow me to introduce myself: A marketing executive with 15 years of experience within Fortune 500 environments...
The News Angle:After reading of your consulting-services expansion in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, I am eager to join your team as an accounting manager. You will benefit from my top credentials, including CPA with Big Four experience and multilingual fluency (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)...
- The Body: Summarize the key strengths you bring to the table. A great strategy is to include a bulleted list of achievements and qualifications that would benefit the company. Provide an overview of your main selling points and examples of how you have contributed to your current or former employers.
- The Close: End your letter with an action statement, promising to follow up to explore the possibility of an interview. This is a much stronger closing than, "I hope to hear from you soon."