How to Write a Letter of Interest
How to apply for a job that you are interested but there is no appropriate job posting?
In this situation, you need to express your desire to meet the hiring manager by email or a letter. For that, what you need is a letter of interest.
What is a Letter of Interest?
You can use letter of interest to show your desire to the hiring manager for a job position that is available to you. You can use LinkedIn’s messaging platform, email or paper mail.
However, never use Facebook, it is a social media and hiring managers might get annoyed to see your message in Facebook.
Wait A Second, Why Not Use A Cover Letter Then?
Letter interest is a letter that you can send anytime even if there are no job openings. You can send a cover letter only when you are applying for a job.
How to Write
You need to be very careful while you are writing your letter of interest. Moreover, it is very important that you go through an extensive research on how you can be the perfect candidate for the job.
Hiring managers receive tons of similar mail every day. Therefore, you will have only one shot at this.
Now what to focus when you are researching:
- the service or product(s) the organization provides.
- type of employees the organization prefers.
- the organization geographical area of operations.
- the organization operation structure.
- Name and email address of the hiring manager.
This research phase is important because it gives you the opportunity to show how hardworking and precise you are in the letter. It also elevates your letter to a different level from other.
There is no major difference between a cover letter format and a letter of interest format. The ideal letter should be short, clear and to the point. Your letter of interest should be in three parts that address specific issues.
The first part is about the hiring manager’s contact details. This is where you indicate his/her name, address, phone, email, date, and website if any.
The initial paragraph should be about the introduction. You need to introduce yourself to a potential hiring manager.
The second paragraph is all about your qualifications, skills, and experience if any. It is also for you to indicate why you are interested in working for that organization and what value you will bring on board when hired.
The third and last paragraph is ideal for a “thank you” paragraph. This is where you need to thank the hiring manager for reading the letter. It is also important that within this paragraph you specify your interest to attend an interview.
The last part of a letter of interest relates to the closing salutation. This area can be very tricky. Such phrases as “warm regards” and “yours sincerely” should not appear anywhere. Instead, you should use such simple signing off phrases as “sincerely” and “regards”.
Letter of Interest Pitfalls
With the rate of high unemployment in almost every region of the world, hiring manager’s receive hundreds of letters of interest almost a daily basis.
Unfortunately, only about 1% of these letters are ever considered. This may not be because there are limited job openings but because most letters contain serious mistakes that keep hiring managers away from reading the letters.
The following are some of the mistakes that job seekers need to avoid:
Generalisation – You should not use a general letter for different hiring managers. It needs to be a very specific letter and relevant to a specific a job for that specific organization. This is why background research is important.
Similarly, you should not address the hiring manager as “to whom it may concern”. Your letter of interest has to address specifically to hiring manager or to a head of a department.
Long letters – you need to keep your letters of interest short and to the point. Hiring manager can take time to read through to the end but for letter of interest, they spend only a few seconds to read.
The hiring manager is most likely to try finding something unique about you that he/she may give special consideration.
Lack of references – Indication of experience in the body of a letter of interest without references to back up is a serious mistake and you must avoid it. Only use references that can be verified.
Sloppiness – Hiring managers cannot tolerate any sloppiness in letters of interest. You must ensure that your letter is in the highest quality in terms of spelling, sentence construction and grammar. Instead of using complex words, you better be using simple words that are easy to read and understood.
Lack of follow-up – You should write a follow up on the letter of interest you had sent instead of waiting to receive an invitation to an interview or regret response. The follow-up should be undertaken with utmost care so it not to “upset” the hiring manager.
The ideal follow-up should be limited to asking if he/she received your letter of interest or not. This gives a hiring manager the opportunity to indicate whether the letter is under consideration or not.
Putting It All Together
The letter of interest has a special place especially among organization that do not advertise open vacancies whenever such openings become available.
Indeed, job seekers with special skills need to send out letters of interest because of the high possibility of securing employment as opposed to sending out cover letters in response to advertised job opportunities.