There’s a common speculation in job hunting that many companies won’t publicly list available positions and instead they find candidates through connections and word-of-mouth. If you found the company of your career dreams but they don’t have any listings, don’t despair or give up—instead, write a letter of interest.
A letter of interest is different from a cover letter. The latter is used as material in your application that expands upon your interest and qualifications for the listed role (without summarizing your resume). A letter of interest operates similarly—you’re still flaunting your personal brand—however it’s more of a formal introduction asking to be considered for employment without referencing a known opening in the company. You might be able to use the letter to land an informational interview or to simply inquire about any openings.
As with any job application, a letter of interest doesn’t guarantee you’ll hear from an HR representative, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t noticed. Your letter of interest may be filed away for future opportunities, so it’s always worth the effort and it’s worth knowing how to write the letter correctly.
There are a few things to keep in mind when writing a letter of interest, most of which you already know from writing cover letters.
First, try to address the letter to someone specific at the company that works in a department of interest rather than writing “Hiring Team” or something less personal. If you don’t have any connections at the company, try doing a little bit of online research or see if the company has a corporate office you can call where a receptionist might be able to provide more information.
Include a brief introduction about yourself, like an elevator pitch or what you would use to answer, “Tell us about yourself” in an interview. You’ll want to lay the roadmap for who you are and what you can bring to the table.
Just like a cover letter, the bulk of your letter of interest should thoroughly demonstrate not only your understanding of the company and company culture, but show how your experience and skills would add value (even though you aren’t referencing a specific position).
You can end the letter with a request for an informational interview. Be sure to include your contact information. And remember, keep the letter short and professional.
You can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and ask a career advisor for assistance with job preparation, including resume building, cover letter writing, and interview techniques. Call 602-535-4444 to find a center near you or visit our locations page.