Although there are dozens of sites for employers to advertise their current job openings, jobseekers could spend hours scouring posts on LinkedIn and Monster and still not find their dream job or company. But that doesn’t mean it’s not attainable!
Just because you don’t see that “Apply Now” button on a company’s website doesn’t mean that the employer isn’t actively looking for potential candidates or considering individuals for future openings.
Put Your Career in Your Hands
So, what do you need to do? Well, you could spend weeks stalking their website day-in and day-out, hoping to find updates on their “Careers” page.
Or, you can take action.
You can take initiative and write a knock-out letter of interest to land yourself a prime spot on your dream employer’s radar.
(Side note: TCK Publishing is hiring! Check out our current job openings!)
What is a Letter of Interest?
A letter of interest is a tool available to jobseekers even when their dream position isn’t advertised or perhaps doesn’t even exist yet within a company.
It’s a chance for jobseekers to pitch themselves, even more so than in a standard cover letter.
You’ll still need to submit your resume of course, but your letter of interest will highlight your unique skills and illustrate how you can bring value to potential employers.
You could use the letter to (politely) point out areas where the company could use someone with your experience. Your resume will provide facts and evidence to support the image you’ve created of yourself in the letter.
Letter of Interest vs. Cover Letter
A cover letter is what you (should) send to employers along with your resume in response to a job listing. Because a job has already been posted in this case, your objective when writing a cover letter is to highlight your skills and experiences that directly relate to the desired skills listed in the post.
A letter of interest, on the other hand, can be sent at any time, even (and especially) when a company is not advertising open positions. Your objective when writing a letter of interest should be to introduce yourself and highlight qualifications that would be applicable in a number of positions.
After researching the company, you can try to persuade the hiring manager why your skills could help their business, even if there is no opening or the specific position doesn’t exist yet.
Why Write a Letter of Interest?
You might think that sending a letter of interest for a position that hasn’t been advertised seems a bit presumptuous or even arrogant. But it’s actually a great step toward realizing your career goals!
By sending a letter of interest, you’ll demonstrate your ability to take initiative and also show just how serious you are about working with the company. Besides, pitching yourself to employers takes guts and determination. When written well, a letter of interest can create a stellar first impression and leave potential employers wanting more.
Even if you haven’t seen a certain position or company advertised yet, it doesn’t mean that employers aren’t searching for new talent to join their teams. You won’t know if you don’t try!
How to Write a Great Letter of Interest
Once you’ve decided where you want to send a letter of interest, you’ll have to find the best strategy to market yourself.
Follow these steps to make a great first impression.
1. Use the right format.
A letter of interest should be treated like any other business letter. You should be professional if you want to put your best foot forward. But this doesn’t mean you have to be boring! Try to match your tone to the company’s. Browse their website, social media, advertisements, or previous job postings to get a feel for their company culture.
2. Find the appropriate contact person.
You’ll need to address your letter to someone, and taking the time to find the right individual shows more effort than simply settling for “To Whom It May Concern”.
Also, by tracking down the person who’s actually in charge of hiring, you’ll ensure that your letter gets into the right hands more quickly, instead of getting bounced around or potentially lost.
This can be done by simply e-mailing or calling the company to ask for the name and/or contact information of the appropriate person responsible for hiring within the department.
3. Research the company.
Dig around their website and social media to get a feel for the kind of people that work there and what their ideal candidate would embody. You’ll definitely want to highlight any of those traits in your letter.
Then, you should study exactly what the company does and what their goals are. You might find areas where your expertise could bring added value.
4. Explain how you could add value.
This isn’t a letter for listing off all of your skills and achievements. You’ll want to put those things into the context of the company’s mission. Offer specific examples of how your knowledge could benefit the company.
Perhaps you’re passionate about marketing but there isn’t a marketing position within the company yet. This would be your time to illustrate how the addition of a marketing manager could increase sales and extend the company’s reach.
5. Provide contact information.
Leave the employer with your contact information and explain how they can follow up with you. You should also attach your resume for their reference.
Letter of Interest Template
You can use the template below to get a feel for how you should structure your letter and what you should include.
City, State, Zip Code
Dear [Hiring Manager/Recruiter’s Name],
Introductory Paragraph: Here, you’ll want to introduce yourself and your intentions. Explain how you first came to know the company and any experiences you’ve had as a customer, or explain what you admire about it. Express your interest in joining their team and learning more about potential employment opportunities.
Qualifications, Skills, Experience: Use this paragraph to illustrate that you have the qualities and skills they would value, based on your research of the company. Then, explain (by being as specific as possible) how those skills could add value and support the company’s mission. Remember: The point here is to show what you could do for them, not just a laundry list of qualifications and reasons they should give you a job.
Closing Paragraph: As with a cover letter or post-interview thank you letter, you should thank them for their time and consideration. You can also offer up your availability for an interview to discuss future opportunities in more detail.
Letter of Interest Example
Below is an example of a letter of interest for a marketing position. Of course, yours will vary depending on the type of position you want, the company, and your experience.
Anywhere, CA 56789
31 May, 2019
Dear Ms. Smith,
I’ve been a big fan of Karen’s Cupcakes since your first bakery opened in 2010. When the business expanded to over 5 locations across Southern California in just the last few years, I thought about how exciting it would be to be part of a growing team that started as an at-home business, with the potential to expand to even more locations and feed more customers.
I’ve been a marketing consultant for ABC Company for over six years. During my time with them, ABC’s following on social media increased by 45% and business nearly doubled. However, I am now at a point in my life that I would like to work with smaller businesses to help them maximize their sales and widen their influence. I’ve noticed that Karen’s Cupcakes does not currently have a Marketing Manager—I think that my skills and experience could help generate a winning marketing strategy that could be used to gather an even bigger following for your business and increase sales.
I’m excited by the idea of working with a family business that is quickly growing. I’ve attached my resume, which outlines my skills and experience. I would love to sit down and talk with you about Karen’s Cupcakes’ potential growth and marketing strategy. Would you be open to meeting with me at your convenience? I’m available by phone at 555-555-555, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time.
Don’t Wait For Your Dream Job
Why waste that time waiting for a LinkedIn update when you could be proactive and start taking steps toward your dream job today? By sending a letter of interest, you’ll alert potential employers to your skills and qualifications that they might not have even realized they were missing.
At the very least, you’ll put yourself on their radar for future opportunities and leave a great first impression.
Do you have any tips for landing a dream job? We’d love to read them in the comments below!