Also known as a statement of intent, a letter of interest is used by job seekers to connect with companies who haven’t yet listed a job opening on their team. This can be a great networking tool to start a conversation, especially if the organization strongly aligns with your long-term career goals. To make a positive first impression on prospective employers, you need to put your best foot forward by showcasing your industry expertise and conveying genuine interest in the company. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to create a compelling letter of interest and accelerate your job hunt.
Difference Between a Letter of Interest and a Cover Letter
The primary difference between a cover letter and a letter of interest is that with a statement of intent, you aren’t applying to a position that is currently open. With a cover letter, you’re formally applying for an opening that the company has advertised on their website or a job board.
Although you won’t have a standard job description to help you align your document with a single position, there are various ways to tailor your letter of interest to specific organizations. The first step in creating a strong statement of intent is to carefully research the company’s reputation, mission statement, and culture. You can then use this information to draw attention to how your experience aligns with the organization’s goals.
Contact the Hiring Manager or Team Leader
With a letter of interest, you need to ensure that your statement reaches the right person. Addressing the hiring manager or team member is very important here, so you’ll conduct research on the company website or LinkedIn to identify the appropriate team member to contact. Be sure to include the hiring manager’s name in your letter, as the primary purpose of a letter of interest is to develop a new contact and get the conversation started.
Leverage Your Industry Connections
Before contacting the hiring manager, check if you have any industry connections employed by the company currently or in the past. If you have a first connection on LinkedIn you’re well acquainted with, you may be able to leverage this contact to set up an introduction with the team leader or department head. Having someone vouch for your professionalism can be extremely helpful when networking with a new company, which is why it’s important to continue building up your industry contacts.
How To Write a Letter of Interest
Although a letter of interest has similarities to a cover letter, you should approach it differently in order to maximize its impact. The hiring manager is already anticipating receiving a cover letter, while a statement of intent is unexpected. Begin by introducing yourself and explaining why you’re reaching out. It’s important to share why you have interest in the company and how you feel that your expertise may be a benefit to their organization. Below, you’ll find three examples to help craft your letter of interest and connect with prospective employers:
Sample Letter of Interest 1
In this sample, the job seeker is contacting a software development company that is highly regarded within the industry. They draw a parallel between the company’s focus on holistic designs within UX and their career by showing specific examples that speak to this expertise. This is a great way to start a conversation with the hiring manager in hopes of building a potential long-term relationship with the company:
Hello Ms. Cynthia Roberts,
Your company’s innovative reputation within the application development industry has recently come to my attention through an article on LinkedIn regarding your suite of finance management apps. I wanted to contact you regarding a potential UX design opportunity with your organization.
As an expert in UX design, I have a strong background in creating holistic designs to create continuity across all aspects of the user experience. During my time at Altair Software, I drove efforts to refine navigation and connectivity for a complex E-commerce application, which greatly improved satisfaction across our user base. I believe that my creative approach to UX design aligns with your company’s goals.
I hope to speak further regarding a potential collaboration or partnership in the future. Feel free to contact me via phone or email for any questions you may have on my background. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sample Letter of Interest 2
In the next example, the candidate is a brand marketing specialist with years of experience with the craft beer industry. They’re contacting an emerging brewing company to explore a potential opportunity to join their marketing team. The job seeker showcases past successes in overhauling product marketing strategy and brand messaging to grow exposure amongst target segments, which could be extremely valuable for a startup:
Dear Mr. Tyrone Jackson,
San Jose Brewing Co. recently came to my attention when I attended the California Craft Beer Festival in February. Not only was I impressed with the quality of your product, but I also saw immense potential in your brand aesthetic. I wanted to contact you regarding a potential opening on your marketing team.
With over seven years of experience as a brand marketing specialist within the craft beer space, I’ve had the opportunity to define high impact brand marketing strategies for a variety of product lines. My efforts to enhance social media presence and product merchandising for NorCal Brewing helped to grow sales by 300% over the span of two years. I believe that I can provide valuable contributions to aid the growth of your customer base using a mix of paid search and social media marketing campaigns.
I hope to speak with you soon regarding a future partnership or collaboration. Feel free to contact me via phone or email at your earliest convenience. I appreciate your time and consideration.
Sample Letter of Interest 3
The following letter of interest pertains to a candidate seeking a position with a company that is developing new machine learning technology for autonomous vehicles. This is an emerging industry, and the job seeker leverages their background in data science to provide insights into how they can be a strong asset to the organization. In particular, they draw attention to one of their publications in IROS, a highly-regarded conference within the robotics industry.
Dear Mr. Akira Tanaka,
I recently became aware of Astora Technology in a thought leadership article I read on your utilization of cutting-edge deep learning to refine motion controls for autonomous vehicles. I wanted to contact you regarding any potential research openings you may have in your data science department.
As a subject matter expert in machine learning, I’ve had the opportunity to support high level R&D initiatives for ArkTech Robotics. In addition, my thesis on utilizing a hybrid approach of deep learning and reinforcement learning for lane centering was published by IROS in 2020. I am confident that my expertise in data science and autonomous vehicle technology could be a valuable asset to your R&D division.
I hope to continue speaking with you regarding a potential job opportunity or partnership in the future. Please feel free to contact me via phone or email for any additional questions you may have about my background. Thank you for your time and consideration.