The last line says, ‘please submit a resume and letter of intent.’
This requirement in a job description might seem uncommon to you. You might even confuse it with a cover letter.
If you look closely, a letter of intent for a job should include your intentions and interest in working for a particular company. It helps you personalize your application and drives the hiring manager to your resume.
A letter of intent covers a wider scope than a particular job role. It addresses the organization as a whole.
For example, if you’re submitting a general application to an organization, that isn’t currently hiring or has a vacancy for your dream job, a letter of intent is a great way to toss your name into the hat of opportunities that they may offer in the future.
Let us find out in-depth about the role of a letter of intent for a job and understand its structure through the following sections:
- What is a Letter of Intent for a Job?
- How do you structure a Letter of Intent?
- What is the purpose of Letter of Intent?
- What is the difference between Letter of Intent and Cover Letter?
What is a Letter of Intent for a Job?
A letter of intent for a job is a document that professionals send to organizations regarding future employment opportunities. It does not specifically address a job position, unlike cover letters.
Typically, this document declares a professional’s interest in working for a potential employer, highlighting key skills and achievements through work experience. It focuses on how the applicant’s accomplishments align with the values and goals of the company.
This method of communicating with prospective employers provides several advantages to professionals, such as:
Initiates Rapport Building
A letter of intent for a job serves as a means to connect with your preferred organization.
It helps create a positive impression on the hiring managers, and showcasing your qualities well can help you land in your desired department.
Consequently, you can develop invaluable professional contacts with recognition among your peers.
Helps You Stand Out
Submitting a letter of intent for a company that has not specifically requested an application and plans on recruiting makes you a step ahead of fellow job seekers.
It increases your chances of being one of the first candidates to be considered for a current or future job opening.
Getting the timing right is important. You can enquire in your professional circuit about companies that are planning to recruit in the near future so that you can send your letter of intent accordingly.
Recognition Among Preferred Companies
The recruitment program of the company you dream of working in, may not be concurrent with your job search.
Hence, you can send in a well-drafted letter of intent for a job with your resume and lay the groundwork that can lead to an interview in the future.
Also read: How to Reach Out to Recruiters on LinkedIn
How Do You Structure a Letter of Intent?
Let us discuss the standard letter of intent format for a job:
You should address your letter of intent to a specific person, using the salutation ‘Dear [name]’.
In order to find the person to address the letter to, you will need to do some research. Follow these tips for researching your recipient:
- Locate the list of company employees and their contact details on the company website
- Study company LinkedIn page to find the most suitable employee’s email address
- Contact the company help desk and ask to whom your letter of intent should be sent
If you still cannot find a suitable recipient, address your letter to a particular role or department. For example, ‘Dear Hiring Manager' or ‘Dear Human Resources Department'.
The first paragraph of your letter of intent should be used to introduce yourself combined with the reason for writing your letter. For example:
I am writing to express my interest in a position within your Sales team. I am a Sales Executive with 5+ years’ experience overseeing diverse sales campaigns. I believe my skill set will make me an invaluable addition to your team.
Skills and Accomplishments
You should optimize the maximum space of your letter with what makes you great, and how those qualities align with the corporate objectives of the company.
For example, you can mention how your interest in building desktop computers has helped you develop skills in problem-solving, research, and perseverance.
You should always back up your skills by providing specific examples from your experience:
I have pronounced communication skills which I developed during my stint as an Administrative Intern at the University of Ohio. I greeted people with high spirits, and I received recognition from my superiors for my ability to handle inquiries efficiently and confidently.
Call to Action
You want your closing statement to be effective and unambiguous. Do not overthink it! Basic and professional closings are the way to go.
Make sure you provide a valid email address and phone number and sign off formally using your full name.
Also read: Emailing a Resume to Recruiter
What is the Purpose of Letter of Intent?
Usually, startups and non-profit organizations, which are more mission-focused, look for people who show an eagerness and passion for the company. A letter of intent for a job is the medium to deliver such strong intentions.
Companies might also post several job openings for one department or for one project. In some cases, there are no set parameters to what kind of person they need to fill the gaps.
For example, they may end up hiring two senior managers, or they may finalize one intermediate executive and one fresher. It all depends upon how impactful you come as in the eyes of hiring managers through your application. A letter of intent for a job can do wonders in such cases.
Some Don'ts while Drafting a Letter of Intent for a Job
Make sure to avoid the following points while drafting a letter of intent for a job:
- Irrelevant skills, accomplishments, or topics such as interests and hobbies
- Details on the reasons for quitting or wanting to quit your current job
- Large and chunky paragraphs
Consider following this formula for the body of the letter of intent:
Paragraph 1: little introduction followed by your intent in sending the letter
Paragraph 2: brief summary of relevant qualifications, skills, and experiences
Paragraph 3: call to action
What is the difference between Letter of Intent and Cover Letter?
Three of the main differences in a cover letter and letter of intent for a job are:
|Letter of Intent||Cover Letter|
|Company focused||Profile focused|
|Current and future job opportunities||Current job openings|
|Core skills and qualities||Job specific skill set|
As a result, each letter follows a different approach.
A letter of intent for a job covers a broader aspect, as it gives employers more flexibility to align you in terms of roles. You allow the hiring manager to put you into the best-suited position, rather than pigeonhole yourself on one path.
- A letter of intent for a job is a document that showcases your interest in the organization and your intention to work with them.
- It can help you build rapport, stand out from fellow job seekers, and develop recognition among preferred companies.
- The standard letter of intent format is Salutation, Introduction, Skills & Accomplishments, and Call to Action.
- Usually startups and non-profit organizations, which are more mission-focused, prefer a letter of intent for a job from candidates.
- A letter of intent covers a broader aspect and gives employers more flexibility to align you in terms of roles.
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