Did you know that there’s such a thing as the “hidden” job market? These are job openings at companies that aren’t advertised to the general public. Sometimes, they’re filled internally. However, many times they’re also filled through networking, a recruitment agency, and other avenues.
Considering that one of these positions might be your next dream job, how do you tap into this market and apply? One way is to submit a letter of interest to companies you’d like to work for.
What’s a Letter of Interest?
A letter of interest is simply a letter that communicates to the company your interest in working for them. Despite the fact they might not be advertising a job opening, you’re essentially reaching out, highlighting your strengths and abilities, and explaining why you’re a fit for their organization.
How Is It Different from a Cover Letter?
A letter of interest is different from a cover letter in that a cover letter is submitted for an advertised job opening, along with your resume. A letter of interest, on the other hand, is sent to a company inquiring about openings and showcasing why you’re a match for their needs.
How Should You Approach a Letter of Interest?
Before you write a letter of interest, it’s important to do your homework. There might be a company you’ve always wanted to work for. However, desire isn’t enough to get a hiring manager to call you for an interview.
Instead, you need to demonstrate a proven track record and why you’d add value to their company. To do that, you must understand the target company as much as possible.
Beyond reading the company’s website, you can search online for news articles about what they do and clients they serve, along with industry trends and insights. Also, check their social media profiles or channels to learn as much as you can about them.
Even better? Connect with a friend or acquaintance you know that works there. Insider information can be invaluable in terms of how to approach your letter of interest, as well as whom to address it to. In addition, if you’re comfortable, you can ask that person to put in a good word for you with the manager or the HR team.
Tips on Writing Your Letter of Interest
If you aren’t able to find the name of a hiring manager through your online research or networking, then call the company and inquire about who heads the department you’re interested in working in. Sending a letter to an actual person, instead of “Dear Sir or Madam” is far more effective.
Once you know whom to address the letter to, it’s time to focus on the content of your letter. Start by introducing yourself and be clear about what you’re seeking. Managers are busy and you won’t get far if you ramble on.
If there’s a specific department or job title you’re most interested in, then make sure to include it. Also explain why you’re a fan of the company and what challenges you think you can help them overcome. This is where your research will come in handy. Make sure you state that you know they’re not currently advertising any jobs, but you still think you have the right skills to add value to the team.
Next, offer statistics and evidence of your proven background. The more you can quantify results, the better. For instance, statements like, “I was able to increase sales by up 22% in my last position despite the economic downturn,” are excellent ways to showcase your strengths. These are the kinds of statistics and facts that will get noticed.
Conclude your letter with information about how to contact you. Make it easy as possible with an email address and a phone number and state that you’d be open to anything from a formal interview to a quick cup of coffee. Also, attach your resume to your letter of interest, so hiring managers can reference it if needed.
4 Samples of Letters of Interest
Dear Mr. Smith,
I’ve been following your company for a number of years and am deeply interested in growth in the tech sector. I currently work for ABC Company and have 15 years of experience as a programmer. While I’ve forged many strong ties there and worked on a range of exciting projects, I’m interested in pursuing new opportunities in your particular industry since it works closely with the military.
As I stated, with well over a decade of experience, I’ve worked on projects including launching 10 new software programs. During my time there, I’ve also worked with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the US military, creating software and systems that help track progress of parts and labor.
In fact, one program I created resulted in a 25% cut in bottlenecks and a 16% increase in production times. As part of my position, I’ve provided these kinds of enhancements to a variety of other companies, as well.
Do you think we could meet for an interview or a cup of coffee? I’m able to connect at your convenience and would welcome an opportunity to talk more about how my background and your company’s needs could be a good match. You can reach me at 111-222-3434 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve also attached my resume for your reference.
Dear Ms. Black,
As a graduate of XYZ school, the institution has always held a special place in my heart. For the last seven years, I’ve been teaching at ABC School and am looking to make a change. I am hoping there is an available position at my alma mater, one where I can make a difference with your students.
I hold a degree in elementary education, specializing in mathematics. During my tenure at ABC School, I instituted a program that implements STEAM concepts into daily lessons. As a result, there’s been a 15% increase in student test scores in the area of mathematics.
In addition, I am extremely passionate about forging strong relationships with students and their parents. I believe this is critical for the most successful education and giving children a leg up. It’s why I launched an open-door policy for all my students and their families and also offer an after-school STEAM class that inspires children to consider careers in the field.
I’m excited about an opportunity to work at XYZ School and bring some of those same successes to your institution. I’d be grateful for an opportunity to meet and speak further on how we can work together. I’d be happy to call you or you can reach me at 111-222-3434 or email@example.com.
I’ve also attached my resume for your reference.
Dear Ms. Morris,
I’m writing to you today to express my interest in any volunteer or internship opportunities at your organization. I am currently enrolled in ABC College and would like an opportunity to learn more about the marketing industry before pursuing a career in it.
In my current course work, we’re studying everything from marketing principles 101 to SEO and SEM, as well as metrics and how to interpret and implement data. I’ve also completed an independent study project on content strategy and how it plays a key role in brand development for businesses.
I am excited about my potential future career in marketing and would welcome an opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to your organization and learn more about marketing. You can reach me at 111-222-3434 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Mr. Joseph,
Your company is known for innovation, expertise, professionalism and results-driven business strategy. It’s why I’d love an opportunity to join your team and am confident I have the skills and ability to add value, which is why I’ve enclosed my resume for your consideration.
In the past 10 years, I’ve been working for XYC Consultant as a business strategist. In this position, I’ve helped several clients increase sales and profits, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
One client, in particular, was struggling with productivity bottlenecks and equipment breakdowns. After analyzing production data, we were able to identify where new equipment was needed and how to avoid future breakdowns with maintenance software. Since then, breakdowns have fallen by 22%, while production has increased by 19%.
I’d welcome an opportunity to talk further about how my skills could be a fit for your organization. I can call your office or you can contact me at 111-222-3434 or email@example.com. I look forward to speaking with you.
Need more help with your job search?
Whether you want to reach out with letters of interest, or need assistance crafting a strong resume, ResumeSpice can help. As experienced, results-driven resume writers, we can provide support whether you need help writing your resume from scratch or simply editing it. If you’d like assistance with a letter of interest, we can provide expertise there, as well. We also offer services for cover letter writing, interview preparation and more. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.