During your job searching, you might be required to write a letter of intent, which is similar to a cover letter. You include information about why you are qualified for the position.
You can write a letter of intent to a company you are interested in or when applying for a job fair. When showing your interest in working for companies that haven’t listed their positions. That is called a letter of interest or inquiry letter.
Briefly explain the type of work you are interested in. Don’t be too specific. For example, apply for a managerial position. Include your intentions for working in that company. That can land you in a good job when an opening avails itself.
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Understanding letters of intent (LOI)
Letters of intent are used when two parties come out to straighten their deal before proceeding to make transactions. LOIs may state that an agreement will only continue when one or both parties have secured financing. Failure to sign papers by one candidate will squash the deal.
Why write a letter of intent?
LOIs help introduces the applicant and connects the hiring manager to read your resume. It makes it easy for the employer to see your qualifications and what distinguishes you from other applicants. It helps your application become outstanding because the employer sees your strong values being reasons you are most likely to be considered.
Write a letter of intent only if the employer includes it in the job listing, and it can help you land an interview. Send it along with your resume and other critical application materials.
How does a letter of intent differ from a cover letter?
Intent letters ought to focus more on the company and the employer than about the specific job. Be general on how you speak about your skills. Cover letters are job-focused and position-oriented. Speak more about the position you want in the company.
For example, in intent letters you can say “I am highly interested in Secretarial role at [Company] for the following reasons:” while in a cover letter, you can say “I am highly interested in the Production Manager role at [Company] for the following reasons:”
Use a broader perspective to allow the employer to find you a slot in the best-fit scenario rather than narrow yourself to one role. You could be specific if the company advertised a particular role available in the company. Send it by email to show your interest in working for that company one day.
Why do companies ask for letters of intent?
Employers ask for letters of intent when not sure of what they are looking for. They might be looking to hire several employees for a specific department or project at once. Since they are not sure about the kind of person they need, they end up hiring those who impress them during the application process.
LOIs are used to hire freelancers and contractors. Hiring a manager works well through letters of intent, and employers choose those who show eagerness and a passion for working in the company.
However, these letters vary across many sectors. Well established organizations and private companies will prefer cover letters. Startups and non-profits mostly prefer letters of intent. Kea, a career coach on The Muse, explains that a new company prospecting for new talent in different ways will request candidates for letters of intent.
What to include in a letter of intent
Use a professional salutation. Use the name of the hiring manager or employer in your opening. If you dint know their names, call the office and ask.
Body Paragraph 1: Introduction
Introduce yourself and state your intentions for writing. State if your writing is a response to a job posting. Otherwise, indicate your interest in working in that company. State the type of work you are interested in e.g., marketing. Avoid being too specific.
Body Paragraph 2: Highlight relevant skills
Link all your skills to the job posting. Carefully study the job descriptions and state two requirements for the job and explain how you have met them successfully. Include examples from your past working experience.
In case you are cold calling the company, state how your skills could be of use to the company. If they match what they need for the position, you have a high chance of securing a job there. You can write this exhaustively in one or two paragraphs.
Body Paragraph 3: Call to action
End with a conclusion on how you will make a follow-up for the job. If follow-up is prohibited, tell the employer you are looking forward to hearing from them.
Use a professional closing style e.g., “Sincerely” or “Best.” Use a handwritten signature for a printed letter and a typed name. Use and email signature if you send a letter by email.
Tips for writing a Letter of Intent
Use the business letter format
Use a business letter style. Start with your contact information, date, and employer’s contact information.
Include a clear subject line in your email
If you choose to send your letter as the body of the email, include a clear subject line explaining why you are emailing. If the job you are applying is specific, add your name and the job title. If it is cold calling, use phrases like “Product Manager Looking to Share Skills and Talents” or “Job Inquiry.”
If you decide to send the letter by email, include your contact information in the email signature instead of adding it at the top.
Do some research on the company.
Before you write, do some research on the company, understand its culture and the mission. This is more useful when cold calling. Explain and convince how you would add value to the company, especially if you know what they are looking for you.
Don’t rehash your resume
Identify your strongest qualifications and highlight them. The employer will only be persuaded by the best credentials in your letter and will be triggered to read your resume to get the full story.
Consider using bullet points
Use bullet points in your letter of intent to highlight your qualifications for the job. That quickly draws the attention of the manager to read your skills and expertise.
Keep it short
Keep your letter under one page in length. Long letters will discourage the employer from going through everything.
Proofread your letter
Proofread your letter thoroughly checking for grammar, spelling, and formatting errors. Ask a friend or a professional to read the letter before you submit it.
Example of Letter of Intent
321 Second Street
Freetown, TX 755237
November 30, 2019
Sweet Dairy Manufacturers
321 Luther Rd.
Oak City, AC 45667
Dear Mr. Doe:
I am writing this to express my strong interest and desire in the position of Quality Control manager at Sweet Dairy Manufacturers as listed on Peoplesdaily.com. I am a college graduate will excellent experimental skills in food processing. I believe that I will be the best match for the position in your company.
I am greatly skilled in food processing management to ensure that everything on production matches the required standards. In my internship at Cow Dairies manufacturers, I got to interact with many machines and colleagues, and I undoubtedly learned a lot every day on how to process high-quality dairy products. I got recognized by the management because of my desire to learn, discipline, and hard work.
I am passionate about upholding all measures in the processing of dairy products to ensure that they surpass the required global standards. I have two-year experience in the dairy industry.
I believe that my skills and exposure will be of great benefit to the position you are advertising. I look forward to speaking with you on my qualifications.
Dear Lucy Fair Fowler,
When I was 15, my sister broke her left leg when training to skate using aboard. It was a terrifying day for me because the event happened unexpectedly, and no one was around.
I can’t recall anything else about that fateful afternoon. However, the feeling of wanting to know why my beloved sister, Ballerina, fell from a newly purchased skateboard could not leave my mind. Why did the wheels stop moving at once? Why was there too much vibration upon stepping on the board? Why?
It is for this reason that I am happy to apply to work with Abidas Sportswear and Equipment. I understand that your primary mission is to revolutionalize the designs of all sporting gear and equipment and take sporting on a whole new level. My curiosity to find solutions to the skateboard grew my desire in wanting to learn more about the relationship between the design and safety of sporting gear and equipment.
I majored in design and applied arts to help me gather self-sufficient skills to coming up with safety designs in all sportswear. In my experience working at Allsports Gear Manufacturers gave me the right exposure to the industry. I was outstanding, even in teamwork projects. I was greatly commended for my hard work and innovations in the industry. I would now like to work with a company that shares a similar ambition to me.
I thank you for considering me to join this revolutionary company and share some of my greatest innovations and creativity with you. I look forward to hearing from you.