You have your heart set on working at a specific company… but they don't have any current job openings that coincide with your skills.
Has this ever happened to you?
Writing a letter of interest can help you get around this issue. By doing this, you could be first in line when a position opens up.
While a letter of interest and a cover letter may include similar content, they are two very different documents, and each an independent document.
A letter of interest is a document you might send to a company you're interested in working with. It's a type of cold outreach — meaning the company did not ask for your letter. You might also hear this referred to as a letter of intent, or simply an LOI.
When you send this letter of interest, you're asking if there are any job opportunities that match your skill set and experience. You can send a letter of interest whether the company is hiring or not.
A cold outreach might feel a little uncomfortable, especially since you don't have a personal connection with this person. Keep in mind that you are reaching out to someone who has the ability to hire job candidates. Because cold outreach can be overwhelming, use the communication templates located within Teal's Job Tracker as a place to start.
A cover letter is something you send during your job search in response to a particular job. You send your cover letter and job application at the same time.
While a cover letter and a letter of interest contain similar information, the intent and the timing are different.
A letter of interest, or inquiry letter, can be sent at any time. Companies don't always advertise all of their open roles. A successful letter of interest is a way of expressing interest in a company without actually applying for a specific job opening.
Here are some examples of occasions in which you might send a prospecting letter of interest:
When you write a letter of interest, it may not get you immediately hired, or even get a call from hiring managers or a specific person right away, but there are advantages to sending a great letter of interest to a potential employer. It shows the employer or hiring manager two valuable skills, interest and initiative.
When you do receive that hiring manager's call because of your letter, taking the time to write that compelling story will have been worth it.
Do you have a company in mind where you'd like to send a letter of interest? Follow these steps to craft the best letter possible.
Make sure you thoroughly research any company you want to send a letter of interest to. The more information you can gather, the more details you'll have to help you draft your letter.
Here are some ways to research a company you're interested in:
Within Teal’s Job Tracker is a super helpful “Notes” tool to track and update your company research for each saved job. It pulls up next to the job description, making it easy to pull all the necessary keywords. Make any edits and additions you need, and your changes will be saved automatically.
Spend some time researching and 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. But it's important to find a name — employers will respond better to a letter that is personalized.
If possible through your research, find the name of someone in the department you're interested in. The company's “Our Team” page or something similar may list people that run different parts of their business. From there, you can look for a person that reports to them on Linkedin.
You can call the company on the phone if an exhaustive Internet search doesn't turn anything up. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself and explain what you're looking for — this might actually leave a better impression, or you may get the opportunity to speak with a hiring manager on the phone.
When you find a name 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.
Keep track of the company contacts you find through your research using the Contacts feature located within Teal's Job Tracker. You can log the contact information and any important notes about them to better personalize your letter of interest.
If you have exhausted all options and you truly cannot find a name, use a generic address such as:
In a letter of interest, you want to outline your skills and show how you'd be a perfect fit for the job. However, you're writing this letter because there is not a specific position available for you at the moment. Therefore, you want to showcase how your overall skill set can be an asset to the company.
Highlight your relevant skills and qualifications and mention your area(s) of expertise. Make the company as excited about you as you are about the potential of working there.
In the first paragraph, you want to briefly introduce yourself. Make it clear what kind of work you are interested in and why you're writing the interest letter. Share your enthusiasm for the company, and identify any specific ways you can contribute to the success of the organization.
Mention your awareness that there aren't currently any open positions aligned with your skill set, but outline your skills that they won't want to miss out on.
In the second paragraph of your letter of interest, outline what you bring to the table. Impress the employer with your track record of previous work experience and your deep understanding of the value you would add to the team.
Highlight quantifiable data and statistics that show how you've made a positive impact at other companies, and show your excitement about doing the same as a prospective employee at the company. You want them to be impressed with your skills, but they key to a successful letter of interest is by showing what you can do for the company.
The final paragraph of your letter of interest is referred to as the call to action. You're calling on the reader to act. You're encouraging the hiring manager to connect with you and schedule an interview with you.
Include your contact informs. Even though your phone number and email will already be listed on the resume you are submitting with your letter of interest, you want to include those details here, as well.
In this paragraph, you may ask for an informational interview or a coffee chat to show your interest in learning more about the company. Make it clear that you are flexible with your availability and will make time that fits with their schedule.
When drafting an effective letter of interest, you have two goals:
Use this letter of interest sample to help you get started.
[Hiring manager's name],
Congratulations on [target company name] recently winning XYZ award! I'm a big fan of what you do and how you do it. [Mention something specific about the company that you like (the company's goals or company's mission).]
I'm currently in the process of advancing my career and I feel I would be a great fit for your team. I have a degree in marketing from ABC University. I have worked in marketing for the past 15 years, helping companies like [name previous employers] promote their products. [If possible, include brief statistics or case studies proving your relevant skills and past success.]
You can reach me at [email address] or [phone number]. I know you aren't currently hiring for any positions that match my skill set, but I hope you'll keep me in mind for a future job opening. Would you be available sometime within the next few weeks for an informational interview or simply to get coffee? My resume is attached and feel free to contact me with any further questions.
Thanks in advance for your time.
[Your name, email address, and phone number]
Always attach a copy of your resume with your letter of interest. Make sure to include your full contact details on both your resume and letter.
Don’t forget to update your resume with your latest experience and work achievements! The job of your resume is to get you in the door. Optimizing it will help you land interviews for the next opportunities that excite you. Teal’s free Resume Builder can help you keep your Work History up to date and help you write metric-driven achievements using our Achievement Assistant tool.
If you're currently out of work, share that information. Give a few examples of things you've done that would make you an effective employee. Show your potential employer your interest, and leave a positive impression from the opening paragraph to the final paragraph.
The key is to show you would be an asset to the company. Find ways to weave in your knowledge of their business, core values, and mission statement to prove you're really interested. The goal is for the company to call you for a job interview when the right job becomes available.
Follow these additional tips to make your letter of interest the best it can be.
Prove your skills.
Ideally, your letter of interest should convince someone who has never met you or heard of you that you're the perfect fit for their company. That's a tall order! Sweeten the pot by including numbers that show how you've been an asset to other companies in your employment background.
Use the Skills Database to identify your current skills and potential skills that you want to acquire. Once you've identified those, enter them into the Skills Identifier.
Use a hook.
Since this is a type of cold outreach, and you don't personally know the recipient of your letter of interest, you need to find a way to grab their attention from the moment they begin reading your letter.
Your job is to convince the recipient that you are worth his/her time. A great way to do that is by showing off your knowledge about the organization and the value you can contribute.
When you're researching the company before you begin writing your letter, find some company news you can use as a hook at the beginning of the letter. Maybe the company recently expanded, won an award, or launched a new product. These would all be great to use. Look at the company's “News” page on their website or use the “News” tab on Google to find something to use. This will grab someone's attention and show you've done your research.
Personalize your letters.
It's okay to work from the same base template for each letter of interest you send. But make sure each one is personalized to that company. Explain specifically why you'd be a good fit for this company's culture and workplace.
Yes, you need to demonstrate your skills. But you don't want to come off too strong. Keep the section on your past work and current qualifications concise. And wherever possible, use cold, hard numbers to demonstrate instead of simply talking about how great you are.
Send strange file types.
You'll want to send your resume along with your letter of interest. This will allow the recipient to learn more about you and your key accomplishments and see your personal branding. But don't send your resume in a weird file type; people won't want to open the document. Stick with a basic PDF or put your resume in a view-only Google doc.
By using Teal's Resume Builder, you can export your resume directly as a PDF.
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 of an open position goes public.
If you're applying for lots of jobs or sending many letters of interest at the same time, use Teal's Job Tracker to help keep everything straight. This free Chrome extension lets you bookmark jobs, understand what information you should include when you reach out, and easily follow up on your applications. There's no longer a need to manually fill spreadsheets with tedious data. Instead, download the Job Tracker today and easily document your journey toward your dream job!