If you’re job searching, you may have spotted a few online job postings that ask for a letter of intent – but what does that mean? In this context, a letter of intent is similar to a cover letter. It includes information on why you are qualified for the position.
You should write a letter of intent when an employer requests one in a job listing. Send this letter in addition to your resume and other required application materials.
But you can also write a letter of intent when you want to express interest in working for a company that does not have any specific jobs listed. You can use this letter to explain why you would be a good fit for the organization, should an appropriate role come up. In this situation, a letter of intent is similar to an inquiry letter, also called a letter of interest.
Explain what type of work you are interested in – for example, maybe you are looking for a managerial position or a position in a certain department – but don’t get too specific.
Whether you are submitting a letter of intent for a specific job or are simply expressing your interest in working for a company, make sure your letter is well written, professional, and shows why you are a good fit for the company.
Why Write a Letter of Intent?
Letters of intent are used as a means of introduction to personalize your application and connect the hiring manager to your resume. They make it easy for the recruiter or employer to see exactly what your qualifications are and what you can bring to the table that other applicants cannot.
A well-written letter will help your application get noticed and provide the employer with details on why you're a strong candidate and should be considered. A good letter can help you land an interview.
What to Include in a Letter of Intent
Begin with a professional salutation. Find out the name of the employer or hiring manager, and include it in your opening. If you do not know to whom you should address the letter, call the office and ask.
Body Paragraph 1: Introduction
Begin your letter by introducing yourself and explaining why you are writing. If you are responding to a specific job listing, say so. Otherwise, simply explain that you are interested in working for the company.
You can explain what type of work you are interested in – for example, maybe you are looking for a managerial position or a position in a certain department – but don’t get too specific.
Body Paragraph 2: Highlight Relevant Skills
This is where you connect your skills and abilities to the job listing. Take the time to carefully review the job description and the requirements listed in it. Mention one or two important requirements of the job, and explain how you meet those requirements. Provide specific examples from your past work experiences.
If you are “cold calling” the company, explain how your skills would make you a good fit for the company. The closer you can match your credentials to the job requirements or the company’s needs, the better your chance of getting chosen for a job interview.
You might break this section into two paragraphs, depending on the number of skills you mention.
Body Paragraph 3: Call to Action
Conclude your letter with a brief paragraph on how you will follow up. If the job listing says not to follow up, simply state that you look forward to hearing from the employer.
End with a professional closing such as “Best” or “Sincerely.” If you are submitting a printed letter, include a handwritten signature followed by your typed name. If you are emailing the letter, conclude with your email signature.
Tips for Writing a Letter of Intent
Use the appropriate format. Use business letter format for your letter. Begin with your contact information, the date, and the employer’s contact information.
When sending an email, include a clear subject line. If you decide to send your letter in the body of an email, be sure to include a concise subject line that explains why you are emailing. If you are applying to a specific job, include your name and the job title. If you are cold calling, include your name and a phrase like “Job Inquiry” or “Marketing Expert Looking to Share Expertise.”
If you decide to send the letter via email, you also do not need to include any contact information or the date at the top. Instead, include your contact information in the email signature.
Research the company. Before writing, be sure to research the company to get a sense of the company’s culture, its mission, and its needs. This is especially important if your letter is a cold call. You need to explain how you would add value to the company, and you can only do this if you know what the company is looking for.
Don’t rehash your resume. Don't simply rehash your resume. Instead, pick out your strongest qualifications and highlight them. Your goal is to showcase your best credentials to the employer so that they will be persuaded to read your resume, not to provide a full career history.
Consider using bullet points. A good strategy for formatting your letter of intent is to include a bulleted section that highlights your qualifications for the job. The bullets will help to make your qualifications “pop” on the page, immediately drawing attention to the skills and expertise you offer. A careful use of boldface can also help to catch the hiring manager’s eye.
Keep it short. Your letter should be no longer than a page. If you write a longer letter, the hiring manager will not likely read it.
Proofread your letter. Don’t forget to thoroughly proofread your letter for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. Consider asking a friend or family member to read it over before you submit it. Your letter needs to be professional and polished.
Letter of Intent For a Job Template
Letter of Intent Example
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2018
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee:
I am writing to express my strong interest in the position of library aide at Acme University, as listed on Monster.com. I am a recent college graduate with extensive library experience and a record of excellent written and oral communication. I believe I would be an ideal fit for this position at your organization.
I am skilled at communicating effectively with diverse people across various platforms. In my position as administrative assistant at Longmont Library, I greeted dozens of patrons each day on the phone and in person. I also answered patron queries via email and social media. I received recognition from the circulation department head for my friendly demeanor, patience, and ability to communicate professionally with all patrons.
I am passionate about staying up to date with the latest library best practices. I have two years of experience working with some of the most widely used library management software, including Ex Libris and Koha. I am also familiar with the latest OCLC input standards.
I believe my experience, communication skills, and interpersonal abilities would make me a strong fit for this position. I look forward to speaking with you more about my qualifications.
Email Letter of Intent Sample
Cold Call Email Example
Subject: Introduction Briana Applicant
Dear Mr. Lee,
Throughout my 15 years of experience in sales and sales management, I have always been impressed with your company’s reputation for exemplary customer service and your excellent sales record. I believe my experience and sales knowledge would make me an asset to Acme Sales.
Qualifications and skills I bring to the table include:
- 10 years’ progressive experience in retail sales management, consistently triggering year-over-year sales increases by more than 15% for each year of tenure.
- Proven leadership and teambuilding talents, successfully training and guiding teams of 20+ sales representatives to new levels of sales achievement.
- Keen analytical and strategic planning skills leveraged to control inventory/costs, reduce churn, and maximize sales productivity.
I would love to speak with you about how I can contribute to the sales team at XYZ Company. I will call you next week to arrange a time to discuss my qualifications further. I look forward to speaking with you.
Write a Letter of Intent to Express Your Interest in a Company:Some employers will ask for a letter in job postings. In other cases, you may send a letter of intent to a company with no current job openings.
Don’t Rehash Your Resume: Your letter should be a sales pitch. It should complement your resume and generate interest in you as a candidate.
Be Professional: Use business letter format and be sure to proofread your letter before you send it.