Learn how to write a letter of interest to seek hidden job opportunities.
In a competitive job market, the perfect job for you may not be one you find through an advertisement for a job opening. Job titles are often invented when the correct candidate comes along. So how can you find these hidden jobs? The answer may be sending a letter of interest to a company you think you would like to work for.
A letter of interest allows you to show a hiring manager who you are, even if they are not openly seeking a job applicant. An effective letter can often open the door to an interview and application, and it puts you in mind when your dream job does become available. Think of a letter of interest as a tool in your arsenal when looking for a job. It’s like a cover letter for a resume; only you aren’t going to send a resume because you aren’t applying for a known position.
If you have a company you know you’d love to work for but don’t see any openings; you can reach out to them with a letter of interest and see if they will take the bait. Learning how to write a letter of interest is vital when searching for a new job opportunity. Sometimes, a well-written letter leads to a conversation, and if the conversation goes well, it leads to an open position or a position created specifically for you.
This guide will teach you how to write one of these letters so you can impress hiring managers and find hidden job opportunities.
- Hiring manager’s name
- Company information
- Company social media pages
- Job posting
Step 1: Treat It As A Business Letter
First, make sure any template or form you use for your letter of interest uses business letter formatting and wording. You need to sound professional. If a hiring manager looks at your letter of interest, they should want to hire you because of how professional you sound. This also means you need to use the standard business letter format.
First, open the letter with your name and address, followed by the date. Align these to the left margin. Then, type the name of the person you are writing to, followed by their title and address. The opening needs to be a formal “Dear Mr. Smith:” Then write your letter. It should be about two paragraphs. Sign it “Sincerely” or “Regards,” followed by your name. Then, underneath your name, put your title, and if you have one, your additional contact information, like the phone number and email address.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Before you write your letter of interest, get to know the company you’re writing to. Spend time on their social media and LinkedIn pages, websites, and other online profiles. Read job descriptions to see who they want to hire, and even if you aren’t interested in that specific job, use the information to your advantage. Get to know the company’s goals and where they are headed in the future. If you notice that the company has a particular style, try to mirror that style in your letter. Weave information about the company into your letter to show that you have done this research. Here is how this might look:
“Dear Mr. Smith,
I’ve been following the progress of Acme Paperclips since you hit the news with your pure gold paperclip in 2019. When you reached $1 billion in gross profits, I thought it would be exciting to be part of such an innovative and growing company that kept growing that income. So I’m writing to discuss my interest in joining you as you push for your next milestone.”
The laid-back tone tells that the sender caught the vibe of the company. The detailed information shows that the sender did their research as to the company’s goals and progress. It will stand out when a hiring manager gets a letter of interest with this information or the right vibe. In addition, you will be more likely to get a positive response if you take the time to show you have done your research.
Step 3: Research The Contact Person
You need to know who to contact in a company before sending your letter of interest. Research the name, address, phone number, and email address of the hiring manager or similar role within the organization. Addressing this person by name is key to making your letter of interest stand out. It also shows that you took the time to dig into your research before sending the letter, which does tend to impress the hiring manager.
Step 4: Show Your Value
When writing a letter of interest, you’re showing a recruiter or hiring manager that you would bring something of value to the company. After researching the company, you should know what their ideal job candidate or employee would look like. Your job at this point is to show them why you are that ideal candidate. Even if you don’t have a specific position in mind but want to be part of the company, highlight that in your letter, show your work experience, past successes, and personality, and detail how these would each bring something of value to the company. Here’s how this might look:
“I have worked as a marketing manager at Sunshine School Supplies for 10 years. In that role, I developed social media marketing plans that helped grow their following to the 1 million followers mark. In the decade I was at Sunshine School Supplies, their profit margins increased to $1 million annually.”
This paragraph shows the sender’s specific skill set and how that helped their current employer. A statement of interest helps show the recipient why the sender would be a good fit. You might also be interested in our guide on how to write about yourself.
Step 5: Keep It Simple
When you send a letter of interest to a hiring manager, you need to keep it short and straightforward. This isn’t the time to ask for a lot of career advice or wax eloquent about all of your past jobs. Hiring managers are busy. If your letter is too long, they won’t read it. So you need to stand out, but stand out with a short and sweet letter. Your writing needs to be clean and tight. You need to add power words to the letter to make you sound appealing. However, do not add too many because longer is not better in this case.
Step 6: Consider A Letter of Interest Template
If you’re sending a letter of interest, you may want to follow a template for your prospecting letter. This will help you avoid fluff and writing that is too long.
Here is a template you can use:
- Date: Enter a date for a printed, hard-copy letter. If you are sending an email, you can skip this part.
- Contact Information: Put your name, address, phone number, and email address. Then skip a line.
- Salutation: Greet the person by name with the salutation “Dear.” If you don’t know the name, do more research.
- First Paragraph: Tell the hiring manager why you’re writing and insert some of your research about the company. Show enthusiasm in the opening paragraph, and include an interest in joining the company.
- Second Paragraph: In the second section, show your experience and qualifications. Make sure you align with the company culture. Use bullet points to highlight qualifications in a streamlined way.
- Final Paragraph: Use a call to action to request that the hiring manager contacts you about a job posting or future job opening. If you know a position is open, ask for a job interview.
- Closing: Close the letter with “Sincerely” and your name, followed by contact information. You can skip your mailing address in the closing.
Step 7: Ask For An Informational Interview
An informational interview is an opportunity for you and the hiring manager to sit down and talk, even if there is not an open position on the table. You can ask for this in your letter of interest. If you get one, you can use the interview to showcase further how you can help the company. The informational interview may not end with a job offer, but it will allow you to get to know the company better. You will be first in the hiring manager’s mind if future job opportunities arise.
Step 8: Study Letter Of Interest Examples
Finally, before writing and sending a letter of interest. Take some time to study some effective examples. These cover letter examples will only cover the body paragraphs because the salutation and contact information will be specific to the company you write.
“My name is John Smith, and I have been following Concrete Construction Crew for a while. I have noticed that you have a solid social media presence that is steadily growing. When you reached 1,000 followers on Facebook, I realized you were the kind of up-and-coming construction company I wanted to join.
I have worked in social media marketing for your competitor for five years. In those years, I have:
- Doubled their Facebook following
- Created a dynamic community with active commenters
- Established a presence of informational videos on YouTube that gained a following of 4,000 local people
Please contact me for an informational interview. I would love to get to know you and your company better and show you how we might partner together. I believe my qualifications and experience are what you need to create the next level of online marketing success.”
“I recently read about your company’s growth in the tech sector in the local paper. It stood out to me how you focus on letting your employees work on personal projects occasionally so you can get ideas for new services and apps. I know this is rare in the tech sector, and it inspired me to reach out to inquire about potential positions. I have over 10 years of experience in app development, and I recently helped Acme launch 9 different products. I spearheaded four of those, and our total revenue increased by 10%. I would love the opportunity to speak to you about my skills and how I could help your company. Please get in touch with me to set up an interview.”
Both of these examples follow the template and highlight skills. As a result, they would be effective letters to their intended recipients.
If you want to use the latest grammar software, read our guide to using an AI grammar checker.