A letter of intent can be one of the requirements for certain job positions, but an applicant might send one at any moment to a company without an open job listing, too. The letter is aimed at showing why a candidate is qualified for the job.
A letter of intent has many similarities with a cover letter, but they are not the same.
Read further to learn why a letter of intent for a job is important when it comes to a job search and getting an interview and what to include in your letter of intent template.
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When an employer sets sending a letter of intent as one of the requirements for a job position, the letter is expected to be sent along with the resume and any other requested application materials. There are also situations when the job listing doesn’t mention the need for a letter of intent, but a candidate might want to send it to express their interest in working at a certain company. In such a case, the letter will be more general without specification of a particular job title but with the mention of the desired type of work. Such a letter will be similar to a letter of interest (a letter that is sent to a company when they hire people but don’t have any specific job openings to apply for).
A letter of intent helps you introduce yourself to a potential employer and personalize the application to stand out from the crowd of other candidates. While a resume provides a “dry” list of your work achievements, skills, and experience, a letter of intent brings more “personality” to your application materials and will let you become noticed and remembered. A good letter of intent is one of the keys to getting an interview.
The most important thing in writing a letter of intent is to be laconic, accurate with wordings, and use professional terminology.
Crafting a letter of intent might be a bit daunting process as usually, good letters of intent are informative and catchy but quite laconic. This is why before using your keyboard or pen, read some useful tips on how to make your letter of intent successful, whether you are applying for a role of a marketing manager, prison guard, librarian, dog behaviorist, or any other position you want to get.
Tip 1 – Collect information about the company
Before crafting a letter of intent, it is wise to first research available information about the company. The corporate culture, company’s vision, and mission should be the focus of the research, especially if the company currently doesn’t offer the needed job position. This will help understand how you can contribute to the company and what value you offer.
Tip 2 – Don’t just rephrase a resume
It is critical to create a letter of intent that will not repeat your resume as an employer expects to read only the most important details of your career from a letter of intent. The task is to include only the strongest and most relevant abilities that would present you as an attractive candidate for the position.
Tip 3 – Use the proper format
If you need to write a letter of intent, use the template provided on our website. This way, you will know what structure to follow and what wordings to use.
The letter should start with the contact information, date, and contacts of the employer. In addition, it should include formal salutations and sign-offs.
Tip 4 – Clearly identify the letter subject
When sending an email, a subject line should be filled in thoroughly. It should tell the purpose of the email so that the recipient clearly understands who the letter was sent by and why it was done.
For instance, when responding to a specific job position, the subject of the letter should mention the name of the sender and the position they are applying for. If there is no specific position, the sender should write their name and specify the letter as a job inquiry.
Tip 5 – Use bullet points
If your letter looks like a wall of letters, especially if it is long, it will have fewer chances to be noticed. Your task when sending a letter of intent is to draw attention from the first glance. Considering that your professional skills are of top priority, they should be highlighted by using bullet points. It will help a hiring manager instantly evaluate your skills skipping the information that is of secondary importance.
Tip 6 – Be concise
You need to show that you understand the limited time of a hiring manager and can contain your request in a one-page letter. If it is bigger, you run the risk of not being noticed in a pile of similar letters.
When looking at a first glance, these two letters might look very similar. They are both written in professional writing style including salutations and sign-offs along with a call to action and set a goal to present an applicant as a suitable candidate for a job. But they are written in slightly different ways.
A cover letter is typically sent in response to an open position and is tailored to it as much as possible. One of the key details that should be included in a cover letter is examples of work productivity at the previous position that would show the candidate as a good fit for the company. The skills presented in the letter are relevant to what the employer is looking for. A cover letter is focused more on the job position a person is applying to.
A letter of intent in its turn puts more focus on the company and the candidate’s willingness to join it. They need to show their familiarity with the company and interest in working there; that’s why they might mention some facts they know about the company, for instance, their good sales strategy or innovativeness of the product. Letters of intent mostly explain why a person considers the company a good workplace for themselves and how they could contribute to it with their set of experience and skills.
Another difference between the two letters is the moment of sending. A cover letter can be sent only when you are applying for a particular job opening while you can write a letter of intent and send it at any moment.
A letter of intent is a formal letter that is meant to show your personality and work experience and the way they might contribute to the company. This is why it should be taken seriously, and certain elements are essential for writing a letter of intent.
Step 1 – Greeting
Letters of intent should start with the name of a potential employer or recruiter. It is common courtesy to include the name of a person you are turning to. If the name is unknown, it is recommended to learn it by calling the company and asking them.
Step 2 – Introduction
The body of the letter should start with the candidate introducing themselves and mentioning the purpose of the letter. It might be the candidate’s interest in working at a specific company or responding to a certain job advertisement.
For instance, if a person is emailing a letter to a company without an open job opening, but they want to introduce themselves as an experienced sales manager, they might mention that they have many years of experience in sales management and always wanted to become a part of this company as it has a great reputation for excellent customer service. The candidate might say that they are sure that their experience in sales would make them a valuable worker for the company.
Or, if an applicant is a college graduate and is applying for a position that doesn’t have a lot of requirements, they might tell how their academic experience, strong interest in the job, and personal skills might make them a perfect fit for the position.
Step 3 – Relevant skills and abilities
The next section should be devoted to the skills of the candidate. These skills should be relevant to the job position presented by the employer. It would be wise to first carefully learn the requirements of the job opening and then include in the letter the skills that are expected by the company. It is a good idea to complement the skills by examples of using them at a previous workplace. This way, a potential employer will see that the candidate can be a good fit for the position.
If there is no specific position the company offers and the letter of intent is sent as a “cold call,” the candidate should explicitly tell how they might contribute to the company with their set of skills and experience. Matching their skills to the company’s needs increases the chance to get an interview at the desired workplace.
As an example, the same candidate applying for a sales manager position can say that they have many years of experience in sales management and mention the percentage of sales increase they helped achieve. They might add to this the fact of having great leadership and team-building skills that helped them train a certain number of teams of salesmen throughout their work at the position of a sales manager.
Step 4 – Call to action
The letter should end with a paragraph that would respectfully tell that the candidate will look forward to hearing from the employer. Or, if there are any follow-up actions mentioned in the job opening, the candidate can tell how and when they will do that.
For example, the candidate might say that they will use the contact provided on the company’s website to reach out to them the next week to arrange a meeting to talk about their possible employment.
Step 5 – Closure
The letter of intent should end professionally with the words “Best regards” or “Sincerely, [Name of the candidate].” The letter should also have a signature, either an email or handwritten one, depending on the type of letter the candidate sends.
If you want to write a letter of intent and need a good template, use the one provided on our website. It will help you get an idea of what a successful letter of intent should look like. Use it as a reference to create your own customized letter that will bring you closer to getting the desired position.
From: Lisa Lisson
620 Eighth Avenue, New York
April 4, 2021
To: Louis Lovecraft
Human Resources Officer
The New York Times Company
Dear Mr. Lovecraft
I am writing this letter to express my interest in the editorial assistant position at The New York Times. My name is Lisa Lisson, and I am a graduate of journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and a former editor of Texas Monthly magazine. During my employment as editor, our magazine got the Ellie Award in several categories. Unfortunately, however, I had to leave my previous job position as I had to move to New York with my family.
In my five years of work in the field of writing and editing, I have honed the necessary skills to become a professional editor: creativity, attention to details, writing and editing skills, data evaluation skills, and the art of interpersonal communication among others. In addition to that, I gained valuable experience in effective writing. Furthermore, I was fortunate to attend several training courses that have also helped me master my editorial abilities and increase my knowledge in the field.
I wish to be a part of your company, which is known as one of the leading newspapers in the country. Not only will it help me progress in my career and switch from a monthly newspaper to a daily one, but it will also bring new ideas and attitudes to your editorial team. Therefore, I have attached my resume for your consideration. I very much hope to be given the opportunity to become a part of The New York Times team. Thank you for your time.
Mrs. Lisa Lisson