A letter of interest, also known as a letter of inquiry or a prospecting letter, is sent to companies that may be hiring but haven't listed a specific job opening to apply for.
Why send a letter of interest? You can use a letter of interest to see whether the company has any job openings that would be a good fit for you. If you're interested in working at a particular company, it's one way to get on its radar and get noticed. You might also use a letter of interest to arrange an informational interview with someone at the company, so that you can learn more about the organization.
A letter of interest is a great way to get your foot in the door with a company you are interested in.
Read below for advice on how to write a letter of interest, get a template to download, and review sample letters of interest for a variety of circumstances.
Cover Letters vs. Letters of Interest
What's the difference between a cover letter and a letter of interest? A letter of inquiry is different from a cover letter. In a cover letter, you explain why you feel you are a strong candidate for a particular job (rather than in a letter of inquiry, where you explain why you would be an asset to the company more generally). A cover letter is used when you are applying for a specific job opening with an employer.
What to Include in a Letter of Interest
Contact person. First, try to find someone specific at the company to send the letter to, such as an executive in a division you're interested in. Find out whether you have any connections at the company on LinkedIn or through family, friends, or former colleagues. If you know someone at the company, write directly to them. You could also ask that person for a referral to a hiring manager.
What to include in the letter. Your letter of interest should contain information on why the company interests you and why your skills and experience would be valuable to the company. Use the letter to sell yourself, explaining how you would add value to the company. The letter should be about what you have to offer, not what you're looking for in your next employer.
Letter conclusion. Conclude your letter by explaining that you would like to meet or talk with the employer to explore possible career opportunities.
You might even suggest setting up an informational interview if there are no current vacancies at the company.
Include your contact information. In the conclusion, specify how you can be contacted if the company is interested in following up with you. The easier you make it to connect, the better your chances of getting a response.
Keep your letter short and to the point. You want to get your point across quickly and clearly, without taking up too much of the employer's time.
Take a look at these detailed tips and templates for how to write a letter of interest before you start writing your own letters.
Sample Letter of Interest
This is a sample letter of interest. Download the letter template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.
Sample Letter of Interest (Text Version)
Joseph Q. Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2018
Director, Human Resources
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Ms. Smith:
I recently read an article about United International’s new approach to digital marketing in Marketing Magazine Online, and I’m writing to inquire whether you have any marketing positions open.
I have five years of experience working as a Marketing Strategist for one of our local retail clothing stores. During my time in this role, I increased the number of website page views by 120 percent and reduced the cost of customer acquisition by 20 percent. In addition, our sales increased by 50 percent during that time.
My resume is enclosed with this letter so you can review my education, work experience, and achievements. I would appreciate an opportunity to talk with you or a member of the marketing team to see how my experience and skills could benefit your company. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.
Joseph Q. Applicant (signature for a hard copy letter)
Joseph Q. Applicant
More Letters of Interest, Letters of Inquiry, and Prospecting Letter Examples
Review these sample letters of interest, inquiry letters, and letters of introduction to get ideas for your own letters.
You should tailor a letter to fit your work experience and the company you are contacting.
While examples, templates, and guidelines are a great starting point to your letter, you should always be flexible and carefully edit the letter, so you're making a strong pitch.
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- Prospecting Letter Example
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- Sample Letter Ask for Job Search Help
- Referral Letter Example
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Email Letter of Interest Example
When you're writing a letter to inquire about opportunities, a printed letter can be an excellent way to capture the reader's attention. However, email is another option to try—especially if you're looking for a quick response. You can also use email to follow up on a mailed letter or a phone call.
Use a Letter of Interest to Inquire About Jobs: Send an inquiry letter or email when you're interested in a company that hasn't posted available jobs.
Try to Find a Contact Person: Your correspondence will be more likely to read if you can find a specific individual to send it to.
Take the Time to Follow Up. If you don't hear back, follow up with a phone call or a LinkedIn or email message.