If you know what your dream job is, but there is no vacancy, a letter of interest could be a viable alternative to the waiting game. Here's how to write one.
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Finding your dream job is no mean feat, but if you know exactly what kind of job you would like to do and who you would like to work for, it may be time to write a letter of interest. This preemptive introduction can help job seekers get their foot in the door and increase the chances of landing a great new job.
A letter of interest is a formal document that introduces a job seeker to a potential employer, even when there are no open positions. This unique document, sometimes called a letter of inquiry, is a proactive option that few job seekers take advantage of. As such, if you write a compelling letter of interest, you will stand out in a hiring manager’s mind. Sending a statement of interest may be a little more effective in bringing potential jobs to light in industries that emphasise the importance of communication and networking, such as PR or marketing. Â It is important to note that a letter of interest is not the same as either a letter of intent or a cover letter.
A letter of interest is a document that introduces a job seeker to a target company in the hopes of being considered for future job openings. In contrast, a letter of intent (LOI) is a kind of agreement in principle that lays out the intention of two parties to enter a partnership or the intention of a company to hire a specific person, usually for an as yet unspecified role. Finally, a cover letter is a supplementary document sent in conjunction with a CV as part of a job application. This document should be targeted to a specific job posting. Each of these documents is suited for different situations during a job search and should be deployed only when appropriate.
The structure of a letter of interest is much the same as the structure used for a cover letter. It is the content that differs. This letter of interest example structure is an effective template for those who want guidance in writing a prospecting letter:
The header of your letter of interest, or any business letter, should include your full name and contact information, along with your phone number and email address, and the company name and address. You can also include your professional social media links, such as your LinkedIn profile.
Directly under the header, you should include a personal salutation using the “Dear Mr./Dear Mrs.” format with the hiring manager’s full name rather than a general greeting, like “To Whom It May Concern.”
The body of this letter should include two to three paragraphs. Unlike other documents where the opening paragraph would reference the job title being applied for, the first paragraph in a letter of interest should focus on you as a job seeker. Introduce yourself and your skill set.
The second paragraph should be an expression of interest in the company. Indicate why you want to work for them in particular and outline the value you feel you can bring to the table. The third paragraph, or closing paragraph, should give a call to action. Make it clear that you want to speak more about job opportunities within the company and invite the hiring manager to call you.
Bring your letter to a close with a formal sign-off, such as “Yours sincerely,” and sign your full name.
A letter of interest cannot target a specific position, job description, or open job title. As such, you should instead focus on the company values and culture. Emphasise why you want to work for them, as well as indicate why you feel you would be a valuable addition to their team.
Yes. Letters of interest are accepted by many companies in the UK (and around the world). Of course, to create a successful letter of interest, you will need to have the right skills and qualifications for the job opportunities you’re interested in. This makes a letter of interest a less certain method of job seeking because there is no guarantee a suitable role will become available.
A letter of interest should be a very short document of around 200 words in length. It should certainly not be more than 350 words in length.
It is not necessary to include your CV with a letter of interest, but it can be useful to do so. If you choose to include your CV, take care to include up-to-date contact information that is not likely to change soon.
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