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How to Write a Letter of Interest?
You may have heard that opportunity does not knock your door twice. You need to respond it the first time, or it's gone. But what happens when there's no door at all? It's even easier – you build a door for yourself. A letter of interest is a great example of that.
Whether it is about getting a job in your dream company or getting admission to a college/university of your choice – a letter of interest can improve your chances in both cases. But what is a letter of interest and how to write a letter of interest? We are going to discuss all of that in this blog. So, keep reading.
What is a letter of interest?
A Letter of interest, also known as prospecting letter and sometimes termed as inquiry letter is sent to your target company to let them know about your interest in working with them. The letter is a formal request sent by you to the organisation where you want to act as a prospective employer. It showcases your educational background, skillset and prior experience, that helps the employer consider you a good fit for the position applied.
Even though a lot of companies don’t actively look for new recruits all the time, they don’t mind hearing from strong candidates. In today’s competitive market, companies acknowledge the fact that having qualified candidates in their system even before a position opens can help save them time and resources. A lot of company can even create a position just for you if they find your qualification, skillset and experience to be extremely impressive.
To make all that happen, you need to prepare a compelling letter of interest for a job that you like. And in this blog, you are going to learn about all the necessary information on how to write a letter of interest.
How to Write a Letter of Interest ?
In order to learn how to write a letter of interest, you need to get acquainted with the format of the letter. Following are the essential elements of the ideal letter of interest format that you must follow while writing such a letter.
Like any other formal letter, this kind of letter should also start with a professional greeting. If you have the contact of the concerned person, address him or her directly by writing such as “Dear Mr. ___” or “Dear Ms. ____.”
- First Paragraph:
The first paragraph of the letter needs to begin with a strong thesis statement. It should also mention 2-4 impressive factors that make you a great fit for the job role you are targeting. If you don’t know how to write a statement for the letter, just wait till the end to get a look at the letter of interest example.
- Middle Paragraphs:
In the next paragraphs, you need to discuss the strengths you mentioned in the first paragraph with concrete examples from your experiences. You can take reference from your past jobs, volunteer work or even academic projects.
- Final Paragraph:
In the last and final paragraph, you must express a strong interest in meeting the employer to explore various opportunities regarding a potential job role. Don’t forget to mention that you are up for an exploratory meeting, even though there are no formal vacancies currently.
Besides these major elements, you will also need to add a few things here and there in the letter to make it look intriguing. And that’s where you will need some expert guidance.
Tips for writing a letter of interest
The letter of interest is a great tool for personal branding. So, you need to be very careful while writing the letter of interest. Here are some tips that can help you in writing a letter of interest for a job with perfection.
1. Do your research:
You need to refrain from jumping straight into writing the letter of interest. At first, you need to do some research on the company you are willing to apply for. With proper research, you can demonstrate a thorough understanding of the company’s needs and policies so that you can include that information in your letter. Here are the points that you should be focusing on:
- Mission & values
- Products/services & clients
- Short-term goals, long-term goals and challenges to achieving those
- Recent press releases/news stories
- Traits and skills the company evaluates employees for
- Name of relevant company contact(s)
- Company culture
These pieces of information will help you come across as a highly-engaged and well-informed candidate. You do not have to incorporate all the pieces of information you find in the research, but when you have the information, you can place them in the content as you see fit.
2. Put the needs of the employer at the top:
Even though the letters of interest serve as a tool for self-promotion, it should not come across that your sole purpose is to get a job offer from the employer. A good letter of interest always puts the employer's need into account and prepares the paper in a certain way that the reader gets to see how you can help the company solve an issue.
As you may realise, no company is going to give you a job at their office just because you asked for it. You need to convince them that you can add value to the company as a part of the team. How do you do that, then? We have some suggestions.
Again, your researching skills are going to play a crucial role in this part. Look into the company news, press releases and previous job descriptions posted by the company. Aligning your skill set with the company’s profile can help prepare you a compelling letter of interest for a job in the target company.
3. Share your success story and your vision:
Be very subtle when it comes to sharing your achievements and success stories in the letter of interest. Even though you should not come across as a desperate candidate, you need to present yourself as an incredible performer in front of the employer. So, talk about some of the impressive accomplishments you have achieved over the years.
Mention what positions you have held in your past and current companies to date. Highlight all the major projects you executed, initiatives you led and the skills you developed over the years. You must also tell what kind of impact you had in the previous companies. If you are finding it hard to identify your contributions in the former companies, try to think about how you helped them drive revenues. Also, mention how developed your skills along the way.
4. Put more focus on your passion:
Passion for the work is one of the biggest factors that employers look in a candidate. If you can convince the employer that you are extremely passionate for a certain job role in the company, your chances are likely to get a boost from there. Here are a few tips that you can use:
- Don’t just talk about the superficial things that you like about the company. Everyone can do that. Try to connect with the company’s vision with a personal anecdote.
- Spot the shared values between you and the company and how you have put them in action. If the target company is involved in community engagements, you can highlight your experience as a volunteer for an NGO with similar goals.
5. Put a call-to-action in the end:
Even though a letter of interest is not absolutely rare in today's date, it is not exactly very popular among the young generation. It is possible that when the employer receives the letter, he/she may not know what to do next. So, it is wiser to place a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the letter to guide them on what to do. You can use these following suggestions:
- Tell them to notify you if a relevant position opens up
- Ask them to reach out to you if they're interested in learning more
- Provide your phone number so you can further discuss your ideas
- An informational interview
6. Keep the letter neat and clean:
Don’t send the letter of interest to the employer as soon as it is done. Even though it may look finished, it will still require some fine-tuning. Here are some suggestions that you should follow while you are at it:
- The letter should not be more than one page
- Do not use weird fonts or distracting designs, stick to Times New Roman
- Provide a hyperlink with your portfolio, website and samples of your work if they are relevant
- Check for typos and informal language
Hopefully, these tips will help you draft an impeccable letter of interest. However, if you are looking for a reference, you can refer to this following template for a letter of interest.
123 ABC Street
XYZ City, AU 12345
July 5, 2019
Australian United Pvt. Ltd.
123 Business Rd.
Business City, SY 54321
Dear Mr. Harvey,
The Australian United has been recognised as one of the top places to work in the country for IT professionals. You have put your heart and soul to build this company one of the best in the market, and it shows. In my understanding, you have been deluged with resumes since Fortune released their list of the best companies at which to work. My resume is going to increase the number, but I do have some skill set that is hard to come by and gives me the edge over my peers.
My IT experience gives me a unique ability to apply technology, in all its forms, to business processes. Be it accounting, finance, facilities, inventory control, budgeting, vendor management and any other operational processes – I can apply technology to any of these business processes.
I also have the experience of merger/acquisition events, high growth challenges, technology replacement projects, and IT process improvement. In my 12-year-long professional career, I have delivered large technology projects on schedule/on budget and in alignment with the business strategy. Companies I have worked for include IBO, HQ, HPQ and SED.
I would appreciate an opportunity to talk with you or someone in your organisation to see where my skill set would be of the greatest benefit to your company.
James Thompson (signature hard copy letter)
When you are sending the letter of interest via email, remember to include your contact information in your signature (email address, phone, LinkedIn Profile URL, if you have one) so that the reader gets in touch with you. Here's an example:
First Name Last Name
LinkedIn URL (optional)
Ideally, the recipient of the letter should respond immediately if he/she finds your letter of interest to be impressive. However, that doesn't happen in the real world. You may need to wait for several weeks to get a response from the people in that company. And if you see they are not replying, just send a follow-up message. Just don't come across as irritated. If they still don't respond, it means they don't have any position available for a person with your skillset.
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