Many companies don’t advertise all of their positions externally. It can be worthwhile to submit an application to a company that isn’t in the midst of hiring. There’s a chance they may need your expertise, and you may even be the perfect fit.
If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to submit a letter of interest to the desired company (along with your fine-tuned resume). Read on for a concise definition and find out how to write a letter of interest for a job. We’ve also included some successful letter of interest samples.
What is a Letter of Interest?
A letter of interest is a letter you write that states your interest in working for a company, even if that company isn’t advertising a job opening. It’s also referred to as a letter of intent and statement of interest.
Note that a letter of interest is distinct from a cover letter for an internal position, which you use to apply for a promotion or transfer in a company for which you already work.
Letter of interest vs. cover letter
Note that a letter of interest is different from a cover letter. A cover letter is targeted toward a specific role that’s been advertised. By contrast, a letter of intent is sent to a company on your own initiative. It should impress the hiring manager so that they’ll call you in for an interview.
Letters of interest can be sent by anyone at any level of experience. For example, a seasoned employee might have insider knowledge and skills that an employer would appreciate. Or a college grad passionate about a cause might send a letter of intent to an NGO or politician they admire.
How to Write a Letter of Interest
Before you write your letter of interest, research your target company and find out about its aims and track record.
If you’re happy with what you discover, check whether you have any insider connections that can work to your advantage.
For example, you might have a friend (or even a friend of a friend) working at the company you’re considering. They can put in a good word for you with the hiring department. Or they might give you some insider tips, like whether the company is currently facing any challenges (maybe ones you could help with).
Spread the word on your social media accounts (like your LinkedIn profile) that you’re looking for anyone working at your target company. You never know who may help you; plus, they have an incentive since they may receive a referral bonus if you’re hired.
How to address your letter
Starting a letter of interest with “To whom it may concern” or “Dear sir/madam” is ineffective. That’s because it shows you haven’t bothered to research the company’s key players.
It’s crucial to find out the name of the hiring manager, recruiter, or whoever you’re addressing your application to, and use their proper name. The company’s website should list this information; if not, check on LinkedIn (or Google).
Alternatively, you can try phoning the company and asking for the name of the hiring manager. Let whoever picks up know that you’d like to properly address your letter of interest, and you appreciate them taking the time to help you.
How to Format Your Letter of Interest
Since you don’t apply for a specific role in a letter of interest, it’s not as easy to clarify how you’d be the perfect fit. Instead, you can paint in broad strokes, stating how your overall skill set would help the company excel. Let’s breakdown the format of a letter of interest by paragraph.
Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself
In the first paragraph of your letter of intent, introduce yourself and spell out what you’re seeking. For instance, if you think you’d suit a role in the accounts department, state that here.
Clarify why you’re passionate about working for their company, and what hurdles or problems you’ve identified that you think you can overcome.
Introduce yourself and spell out what you’re seeking.
Make it clear why you’re writing to them. State that you know they’re not currently advertising, but that you have resume skills that they don’t want to miss out on.
Paragraph 2: Impress the reader with your work experience
The next paragraph needs to leave a positive impression on the recruiter. Inserting quantifiable data is one way of doing just that.
Deploy statistics that show how you’ve made a positive impact for the companies or projects you’ve worked on in the past. For example, maybe you increased profits by 47% in your last sales role. Or maybe you signed up 1,740 new clients.
Paragraph 3: Encourage the reader to reach out to you
The final paragraph of your letter of interest is referred to as the call to action. That’s because you’re calling on the reader to act. In this case, you want them to call you in for an interview.
Make things easy for them. Provide them with your contact details. Your email and phone number should be repeated here even though they’ll already be listed on your resume.
Also, state that you’re available to come in for an interview at any time. And don’t just limit your availability to a formal interview — a quick chat over coffee with a hiring manager can lead to real results too.
4. Letter of Interest Examples (for Jobs & Internships)
Here are three sample letters of interest that have been successfully used to land interviews. You can adapt them to suit your own situation — just copy and paste them.
Sample letter of interest for a job
If you’ve read something impressive about a company, you might want to send a letter of interest. Check out this letter of intent sample:
Dear [Mr./Ms./Mrs.] [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I recently read a newspaper article about your company’s reputation as being an excellent workplace for tech professionals — specifically about how [Target Company] allots time for its employees to work on personal projects of interest they believe could become viable products. This type of autonomy isn’t common in tech, so I wanted to reach out about applying for a development position within your company.
I have extensive experience (+10 years) developing new products, and have worked on diverse product types. I have successfully overseen the launch of 17 different products, five of which were innovated by me. On average, total revenue increased by an average of 17% during my tenure.
I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with a member of your team about what I can bring to your organization in the future. I am available to meet at your convenience, and can be reached at [Your Email Address] or [Your Phone Number].
I look forward to hearing from you.
Letter of interest (teacher)
As an educator, you might have been inspired by another school’s example. You can enquire whether they have a position with a letter of interest.
Dear Principal [Principal’s Last Name],
As a compassionate and experienced educator who recently read about your many successes in the pages of the Springfield Herald, I wanted to personally write to you and submit myself for consideration as a teacher at your school.
I currently work for [Current School Name]. I have 10+ years of experience teaching second-grade classes of 25 to 30 students. I am an effective, competent teacher of English, Math, Science, and all other second-grade subjects, and am adept at using positive-reinforcement techniques to ensure good behavior. Additionally, I pioneered a 7:30–9 a.m. open-door meeting policy for parents and students, and launched a weekly after-school art class that has inspired my students to dream big. However, my wife will be relocating to [City Name], and I have decided to join her.
I am excited about the opportunity to help the students of Winfield Elementary School pursue their dreams. I would be grateful for the chance to speak with you about how I could improve your students’ futures. I’d be happy to call you at your office if you have time during the week. I can be reached at [Your Email Address] or [Your Phone Number].
I look forward to speaking to you.
Letter of interest for an internship
Letters of interest are as equally viable for internships and volunteering opportunities as they are for full-time roles. Our internship statement of interest sample might help you write your own:
Dear Congressperson [Congressperson’s Name],
I am writing to express my interest in volunteering for a role in your reelection campaign. As a constituent, I have followed your legislative activities closely, and believe your positions on [Three Key Positions] will make the Second District a better place to live.
I am an experienced activist, who has worked on several campaigns. For example, I worked on [Petition Name], personally gaining the signatures of 4,700 voters, 17% more than anyone else on the same campaign. I also organized a rally on [Issue Name], and succeeded in attracting 7,400 local residents to come and support our featured speakers, leading to a 7-minute spot on the biggest TV news channel in our district.
I am available to meet with you or one of your campaign managers to discuss how I can most effectively contribute to your reelection effort. I can be contacted at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Number]. Together, I believe we can defeat [Opponent’s Name] and retain the Second District for the [Party Name].
Now that you know how to write a letter of intent, you should know how to go about writing your own. Feel free to use our examples to get started.
Don’t forget to send in your resume with your letter of interest — you can browse our gallery of resume templates and find your perfect match. If you’re pressed for time, our free-to-use resume builder can generate a resume for you in mere minutes.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments below.