How to Write a Letter of Interest

Tips and Format

Writing a letter of interest can be daunting. With the straightforward nature of the resume (though this can be difficult, as well), the task of writing a letter of interest with style and maintaining an appropriate tone, while selling your strengths can be tough, at least initially.

The letter of interest is the first thing your potential employer will read. What should a letter of interest do?

  1. Convince the employer that you are the best applicant for the job.
  2. Make the employer want to read your resume.
  3. And make the employer contact you for an interview.


Tips:

  • Call the company to see who is hiring. It can be considered lazy or rude to address the letter 'To Whom It May Concern' or something general. You want the company or organization to know that you are not lazy and that you care about your application.
  • Do your research about the company. You want to connect your strengths to the strengths of where you are applying. Also, by knowing their strengths, you can show that you are eager to contribute to what they are doing.
  • The letter of interest and the resume should stand alone as separate documents.  You should reiterate some specifics contained in the resume, as the letter of interest is the first thing the prospective employer will read, however the letter of interest should provoke the employer to read your resume.
  • Keep the letter of interest to one page.

Format:

  1. Use the current date and contact information of the company/organization at the top.
  2. Address the letter to a specific individual; or, if one is not known (as in the case of the example), try to be as specific as possible.
  3. The first paragraph should tell why you are applying to the prospective employer for a certain position.  You should state how you became familiar to the company and why you would like to be a part of that company.  Here you should highlight your research you have done regarding the company.
  4. The next paragraph or two should highlight what you bring to the company.  Your education, experience, accomplishments, positive personal characteristics, and strengths should be accentuated here.  Linking these traits and features to the company, and how you could utilize them to help the company is crucial.  You should refer to your resume, reference page, and any other documents here.
  5. In the final paragraph indicate your desire to meet with the person to discuss your potential role at the company.  Here it is important to state a specific date and time in which you will contact the company to follow-up.  Potential employers recognize this as someone who is truly willing to follow-through on their application.
  6. Conclude your letter of interest with a cordial closing, such as 'Thank you,' 'Sincerely,' or 'Regards.'  Sign your name before your typed name appears.  If sending the application by e-mail, use the ink feature in the word processor for your signature.


Sample

August 31, 2009

Beloit College
700 College St.
Beloit, WI 53511

Dear Office of Communications and Marketing Search Committee,

I am contacting you regarding the opening of the assistant position editor in the Office of Communications and Marketing at Beloit College. Through the University’s website I have become familiar with Beloit College’s multicultural environment and its dedication to high academic standards, which I seek to amplify in my work as a prospective employee.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from American Public University and have completed my coursework, which only needs to be marked, for a Master of Theology in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Additionally, I plan on beginning a second Master’s degree, at American Public University in October, in the field of humanities in order to be more well-rounded both academically and in order to reflect my interests.

I have maintained full-time academic status while simultaneously working a full-time job since the commencement of my undergraduate studies. As a current graduate student and licensed preschool teacher, I have learned to balance my work and academic commitments, which has allowed me to excel in both atmospheres. I feel my background as a dedicated employee in this and in other challenging and rewarding environments displays how I could become an asset to this workplace as well.

In my education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels I have developed a proficient knowledge of writing, which I believe could greatly contribute to the academic reputation at Beloit College. In the fields of philosophy, theology, and my future studies in the humanities, I have refined my writing skills and look forward to possibly asserting and building my abilities to accentuate what Beloit College has to offer. My commitment to the liberal arts and my utilization of technology in a learning environment, along with my academic background within distance-learning education, would enable me to underline Beloit College’s strengths to the public.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I will plan on contacting you on Friday, September 4th, at 2:00 to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me to discuss possibilities to work at Beloit College or to possibly schedule an interview.

Regards,

(Signature)

(Brian)

Result

So, you may be asking, what happened after you sent this letter (it is real!)?

After working hard on a letter of interest, resume, page of reference, and a writing sample specific to the position, I received an automated response that the University was not accepting any more applications!

Resumes

See the following hubs to determine which resume to write and how to write it. Writing a resume correctly is just as important as the letter of interest.

How to Write a Resume

14 comments

Ela 6 years ago

Kudos- hope you got the job, the letter was excellent!


Brian_N profile image

Brian_N 6 years ago from Rockford, IL Author

Thanks Ela - they weren't accepting any more applications when I submitted mine; oh well!


Faithful 6 years ago

Well, thanks for this. I used this to do almost every part of my letter. :)


Brian_N profile image

Brian_N 6 years ago from Rockford, IL Author

Thanks Faithful - good luck!


zak 5 years ago

well would this apply for a job at a law forcement dept./ law enforcement company


Brian_N profile image

Brian_N 5 years ago from Rockford, IL Author

You would just need to tailor it to what the position requires, your strengths and background, etc.


coltrane36 profile image

coltrane36 5 years ago from Australia

Very good article... Thank you.


Maria Payroll 5 years ago

Great post. Thank you for sharing those helpful tips and being kind enough to show a sample letter of interest. Some say that there's no need for a letter of interest now, but there are still companies which requires job seekers to submit a letter of interest along with their resume. This letter gives the employer an overview of your resume, basic things about you and your reason for applying. As for the last paragraph of your letter, I think you should not state a definite time. Instead, tell them that you will wait for their call for an interview with you.


Brian_N profile image

Brian_N 5 years ago from Rockford, IL Author

Thanks Maria for the compliments! I've seen sources recommend a time, or at least mention that you will be following up on your application - which I think is a good practice, as you certainly want to follow up (whether you mention it or not in the letter).


Brian_N profile image

Brian_N 5 years ago from Rockford, IL Author

Thanks Jordan, appreciate the kind words!


Andrew_H 5 years ago

Thank you for this post, It helped me achieve the goal of obtaining a manager position at my work. Thanks again your the best!


Brian_N profile image

Brian_N 5 years ago from Rockford, IL Author

That's great Andrew - so glad it worked out for you! Good luck at your position.


mzz 4 years ago

How could I write a letter of int. For a building enginner


bhp mello king 3 years ago

How would someone write a letter of interest for a brass instructor position ( music teacher) ? Could you use the same format as the one above?

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