What is a letter of interest for a job? Is it the same as a cover letter, and do you need to send one with every application? Perhaps a recruiter advised you on best practices for letters of interest and cover letters, or you’re getting too many rejections and wonder what you might be doing wrong.
What’s the difference between a letter of interest vs cover letter? Primarily, you attach a cover letter with a resume when you submit a job application. You may submit a letter of interest at any time, not necessarily when there’s a job advertised.
Letter of interest vs cover letter
In the letter of interest vs cover letter debate, both are necessary. Sending a resume without a cover letter is poor practice, but submitting a letter of interest shows you are proactive and confident. You’re making more effort to get noticed, which can lead to a job interview.
Firstly, there’s no guarantee of an interview, even if you follow the best cover letter tips and write the perfect cover letter or letter of interest. Hiring managers receive hundreds of applications and often use applicant tracking software (ATS) to filter resumes for specific keywords. After that, if you are successful, your chances plummet if you haven’t attached a letter of interest or cover letter.
Secondly, we understand the challenges of writing a unique letter of interest for a job, especially if writing isn’t your best attribute. However, if nobody has told you how to write a good CV cover letter, your next step is to learn great tips for writing a cover letter or a letter of interest. It doesn’t have to be your entire life story, but the letter of interest needs essential components to differentiate your application from the competition.
Write the perfect letter of interest
This guide will teach you the characteristics of a good cover letter or letter of interest. We will break down the components and identify the psychological aspects of getting a hiring manager to read your letter of interest.
We’ll look at examples of a typical letter of interest, and in conclusion, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to write a letter of interest for a job. Above all, it gives you more chances of getting an interview.
What is a letter of interest?
A letter of interest is a letter to express interest in a job with a company that may or may not be advertising an open position. Few people appreciate the power of a letter of interest, but it serves an essential purpose. For instance, with the increasing job demand in crypto, metaverse, web3, DeFi etc., every hiring manager may receive 500+ applicants for a job opening. How do you stand out among hundreds of candidates with similar skills and experience?
Do what other applicants don’t do
Moreover, most candidates focus on submitting the perfect resume [CV], but in reality, most resumes never get in front of the hiring manager because of ATS checks. Above all, if everybody does the same thing and expects different results, how will that work? Isn’t it a better approach to do something different to other candidates?
It’s a rhetorical question because the answer is a resounding “yes“. For instance, instead of trawling through dozens of job descriptions daily, why not choose the company you want to work for and send a letter of interest?
Is it a guarantee of a job? No, but the law of averages suggests that if you knock on enough doors, eventually you “make a sale” and get an interview and a job offer.
Do hiring managers respond to a letter of interest?
Above all, you will be one of the few doing this task, sending out a letter of interest for a job to a potential employer. The primary benefit of sending a letter of interest is that the hiring manager may keep your details on file. You could be the first contact for a job opening. It’s like writing a cover letter with a pitch as you are proactively marketing your skills to a potential employer. In addition, it shows your future employer you have excellent communication skills.
Sending a letter of interest for a job increases the chances of the hiring manager reading the letter because your resume isn’t sitting in a dusty pile of several hundred applications.
It’s a little-known secret that enthusiasm and a great attitude can position candidates above less animated but more skilled candidates.
How to write a letter of interest for a job
In the same way you write a cover letter for a CV, the letter of interest must follow professional business practices.
For example: –
- Add the hiring manager’s name and title plus the name and address of the company.
- Add your name, address, contact details and, if appropriate, social media channels/website etc
After that, the following steps may be time-consuming, but the potential benefits are significant: –
Research the organisation and the contact person
Check the organisation’s website. Read whitepapers, press releases, tweets, and official statements. In addition, look for a mission statement and core values and assess the overall company culture.
Look online for employees’ feedback, past and present, and follow the contact and the company’s social media profiles. Ensure that your values align with the company values because if you end up as an employee, your chances of job satisfaction increase.
The more you know about the company and the person you’re contacting, the better. Never address a letter of intent as Dear Sir or Madam because it will likely end up in the bin with zero marks for originality.
Create an original opening
To create an original letter of intent that hooks the reader, look for recent updates, news reports or stories about the company. In addition, check recent social media posts, especially for the contact person. How is that beneficial? Suppose Miss Jones, the hiring manager at XYZ company, posts a photograph of her new puppy, Bluebell, on Facebook.
For example: –
Mention the new puppy and use its name if possible. For instance, you could say, “Hi Miss Jones, firstly, I loved the photograph of Bluebell on Facebook. I’ve always loved [dog breed] though I have a [dog breed]. How is he settling? Giving you many sleepless nights?”
You might even feel inclined to attach a photo of your four-legged friend. After all, what do you have to lose? Be unique, stand out, and someone will give you a chance.
State your interest in the company
After the hook, get straight to the point. State your interest in working with the company. Aim for clarity. If you know the job role you’d like, and are qualified for, talk about that. Be succinct but show enthusiasm. Briefly explain why you wish to work for the company, highlighting details like company culture, values, innovation or whatever is relevant.
Keep sentences and paragraphs short (no more than three lines) with plenty of white space to make your letter of interest easy to read.
Express your knowledge of the company brand and values
Explain your interest in the company, such as having a green policy, donating to charities, creating toxic-free products etc. Be enthusiastic and show that you have researched the company in detail. Naturally, refrain from bluffing your alignment to a company’s brand and values because the reader will sense the incongruence.
Highlight your skills and successes
Why should the company hire you? Do you have the skills required for a suitable role? If so, explain the alignment of your skills with the company’s workplace.
Suggest how you might contribute to the company projects and goals. Choose the best relevant example of your success and explain what happened, rather than a bullet point list. Finally, summarise the benefits you believe you can bring to the company through your skills, personal attributes, experience and knowledge about the company.
Be brave: Ask for a meeting
Remember, you have nothing to lose, so politely ask for a meeting. For example, you could say, “I appreciate you have no relevant openings advertised, but if you feel that I might be a suitable candidate for future openings, I’d love to have an informal chat when it’s convenient.”
In addition, you might add your availability for a conversation.
Edit your letter of interest
If possible, get someone else to read your letter and run it through a spell and grammar checker. Finally, read the letter aloud or paste the content into text-to-speech software. Speechify has a free Chrome extension, or you can find free options online.
You’ll be surprised at how much content you delete after listening to your letter of interest read aloud. Be brutal with the cut, and ensure you remove repeated or waffling content. As most people have overflowing email inboxes, brevity is your friend.
At the end of each sentence, ask yourself, “so what?” Assess if a sentence needs to remain or if you need to expand.
For instance, “I’m a skilled blockchain developer“. So what? “So I can help XYZ company to [whatever you can do].”
Letter of interest example
Here is an example of a letter of interest for a job from a UX Designer to a potential employer: –
Tel: 021 123 1234
1st September 2022
Hiring Manager Design Department
London WC1 2RT
Dear Molly Jones,
Firstly, thank you for sharing the article yesterday on Instagram about the Zulu design software. It looks great, and I’ve signed up for a trial. I also loved the photograph of Luna on your LinkedIn post. I adore border terriers and have always wanted one of my own.
I’ve been a loyal fan of XYZ company since I started my UX designer career in 2018, and I loved working with XYZ software for my last project. The simplicity of the user interface is great because, unlike your competitors, the software is so easy to use, and, in addition, it’s excellent for teaching apprentice designers.
I also endorse XYZ’s business ethos and values, especially the passionate commitment to reducing the company’s carbon footprint and the regular donations to London’s homeless.
I’m making contact, Molly, because I am passionate about working with XYZ company and believe I have the skills, passion and enthusiasm to help XYZ Company on future design projects.
I have four years of UX design experience with extensive knowledge of PhotoShop, Figma, InVision, and more. My successes include [list your accomplishments and how you helped a project] and, last year, I won the 2021 BTR Award for most promising UX Designer 2021.
I’m a positive influence in a team environment as a quick-thinker, natural problem-solver and excellent communicator. I am focused and motivated, with an exceptional eye for detail. Having engaged with several XYZ design employees on LinkedIn, I believe I could be a good fit as a proactive team member for upcoming projects. I have also led three team projects to successful completion, on time and within budget.
If possible, I would love to arrange a brief chat at your convenience to discuss how I might be a good fit for XYZ company. I am usually free Wednesday and Thursday and am more than happy to call you.
Alternatively, my email address is email@example.com, or my mobile is 021 123 1234.
Thank you so much for reading my letter of interest, Molly. I appreciate that many people probably approach you to work for XYZ Company, so I respect your valuable time.
Please let me know if you are free for a quick chat this week or next, and once again, thank you for taking the time to read my letter of interest.
Conclusion: How to write an excellent letter of interest for a job
You may have the perfect resume even if you have no experience, and perhaps you add a few notes on a cover letter with your job applications. However, how much better would you feel by adopting a proactive approach to finding the job of your dreams?
Do you think it could be worth a little extra time to craft a letter of interest for a job, even if you have to do it many times? Instead of fruitless searches for a position that suits you, alternatively, create the job you want.
Hiring managers see an endless stream of similar resumes and cover letters. For them, it’s exciting when they see something different. When competing with hundreds of other applicants, the chances of standing out are minimal. Still, when there are no jobs advertised, hiring managers are relaxed. Your letter of interest pings into the inbox and gets immediate attention.
In the first paragraph, with the personalised hook, you capture attention. If you stay on point, have the skills, and portray passion and enthusiasm, you have significantly increased your chances of securing your dream job.
Contact the CB Recruitment team if you need further advice or want help with your resume.
Do I need to personalise every letter of interest?
Yes. We appreciate the time it takes to research people and companies, but if you wish to advance your career in cryptocurrency or other fields, you may be surprised at the results.
Narrow your options to a list of 4-6 companies you’d love to work with and commit to the process. If you receive no response after a couple of weeks, target another list and keep going until you get some interviews and a job offer.
Do I need to follow up after sending a letter of interest?
That’s your choice, but it’s a good idea. HR departments change, and people leave or get promoted. Moreover, persistence shows you are motivated and committed to working with a company.
Follow up with a couple of paragraphs stating you are following up on the letter of interest and reiterating your desire for an informal chat.
How long should a cover letter be?
Follow the same principles as a letter of interest for a job. Keep it relevant and concise.
How do you write a cover letter?
The difference between a cover letter vs letter of interest is that the former is more relevant when applying for a specific job role. The cover letter must be tailored to the job description, in the same way as you adjust your resume for every application.
What are the qualities of a good cover letter?
- Show you have researched the company
- If possible, use the hiring manager’s name
- Keep it brief
- Use the same tone as the job description or the company website
- Add a few keywords used in the job specification
- Check for typos and grammar
- Show passion and enthusiasm for the company and the position advertised