Are you interested in a company but there aren’t any open roles for you? Are you looking for a job but nowhere seems to be hiring? Maybe it’s time to take matters into your own hands – instead of sitting and waiting for somewhere to ask for your application, you can show your own initiative by sending your dream company a letter of interest.
What is a letter of interest?
A letter of interest is exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a letter a jobseeker sends to a company to express that they’re interested in working for them.
It’s somewhat similar to a cover letter in that you’re trying to persuade a hiring manager that you’ll be a great fit for their company. However, the key difference is that a cover letter explains why you’d fit into a certain available role at the company, while a letter of interest explains why you’d fit into the company as a whole.
A letter of interest will cover why you’re an ideal fit for the company, as well as the variety of skills you’d be able to bring to the company. You can also try to sell yourself as fitting into a certain department, or even explain that you’ve noticed the company has a need for your skillset and just haven’t realized it – for instance, if you have digital marketing skills, you could write a letter of interest for a company that lacks a social media presence.
In short, if a company isn’t hiring but you wish you could work there, marketing yourself through a letter of interest may be the only thing between you and your dream job.
What should my letter of interest include?
When you begin your letter of interest, you need to come up with a captivating opening line. Remember that this company is not hiring right now, so you really need to give them an opener that’ll ensure they keep reading your letter instead of brushing it off.
You can start off by sharing a significant career accomplishment that would appeal to the company, or explaining why the company’s values line up with your prior experience or career goals. You should also state outright that you’re hoping to work for the company in this introductory paragraph.
While a cover letter discusses skills as they apply to a particular job posting, a letter of interest discusses overall skills. Really hammer home your biggest accomplishments and provide examples of proven results rather than just listing skills you possess.
It’s also crucial to explain why this company appeals to you and why you’d be an ideal fit for them. Ask yourself what you like so much about the company – do their values perfectly match yours? Have you been a lifelong fan of their products or services? Bring in these experiences into your letter so that the hiring manager can connect with you on a personal level.
In other cases, you might not have a deep personal connection, but perhaps you’ve noticed there’s an empty spot where your skills could fit – bring that up instead. Going back to the digital marketing example, you could mention that you were looking them up on social media (once again, this shows interest in the company), came up empty, and were shocked because you could think of plenty of ways to promote them and engage with their customers. Don’t be shy about giving examples of your ideas to strengthen your case.
A letter of interest may not always lead to an immediate job, but a great letter of interest will keep your name on the company’s mind. They may recognize you if you apply for a later job or may come back to you if there’s an opening in the future. After all, you can only succeed if you try!
Make sure your letter of interest also creates visual interest using a Style Nine to Five Job Application Template!
Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock