Is a letter of interest same as a cover letter?
If you are a job seeker confused between a letter of interest and a cover letter, you are not alone.
While both these letters are formal letters written to a recruiter you want to work for, the purpose of these letters is different.
A letter of interest is written to express your interest in working for a company before the company advertises a job opening.
Whereas, a cover letter is written as an accomplice to support your resume for a specific job vacancy at a company.
So, to address the question directly, a letter of interest is not the same as a cover letter.
Read on to learn more about a letter of interest vs a cover letter and related questions like the following:
- What is a letter of interest for a job?
- What is a cover letter for a resume?
- What is the difference between a cover letter and a letter of interest?
- What is an example of a letter of interest?
What Is a Letter of Interest?
If you have a dream company that you would love to work for, you don’t have to wait for them to advertise a job vacancy.
Yes, even before they have an opening, you can write to the company expressing your genuine interest in working for them.
This is exactly what a letter of interest is.
A letter of interest, also known as the statement of interest for a job or letter of intent, is an official letter that lets the hiring manager know you are interested in working for the company and explains why you would be a great addition to their team.
It further describes your qualifications, skills, experiences, and which position you see yourself working in at the company.
You can also explain your reasons for wanting to work for the company in your letter of interest.
Also read: How to write a letter of intent for a job?
What Is a Cover Letter for a Resume?
A cover letter is a formal document that you send with your resume when applying for a specific job vacancy.
The purpose of a cover letter is to align your skills and experiences with the job requirements and showcase yourself as the ideal candidate.
Although there are some similarities between a letter of interest and a cover letter, like in both these letters, you need to highlight your skills and experiences, the latter is tailored to a job description.
A cover letter also needs to describe how you will benefit the company and provide a more insightful glimpse into your career trajectory.
Also read: How to write a cover letter for a resume?
What Is a Letter of Interest vs Cover Letter
Now that you have learned the difference between a statement of interest vs cover letter based on their definitions, it’s time to look at some of the key differences between the two.
Given below are some aspects in which a letter of interest vs cover letter differs:
The sole purpose of a letter of interest, as the name suggests, is to express your interest in working for a company in a position that is not yet vacant.
The focus of the letter is to explain why you’re interested in the company and role and why the recruiters should consider your candidacy when and if any vacancy comes up in the near future.
Whereas, a cover letter’s purpose is to support your resume for an advertised position to make the recruiters see how and why you are the perfect fit for the position.
Since a letter of interest is written with more focus on the company than the role, the content of this letter differs from a cover letter.
This means that you need to write a letter of interest before a job vacancy is posted. Hence, there is no job listing or job description that you can tailor your letter to.
Whereas, while writing a cover letter, the content is tailored to fit the job description provided in the listing, and only a couple of lines are focused on the company.
Given that a letter of interest is written before any vacancy is advertised, when exactly should you be writing and sending it?
Can you randomly write a letter of interest and send it to a company? Not exactly.
Listed below are a few scenarios when you can send a letter of intent:
- You come across a company that matches your work values and skillset
- You hear about a future opening at a company you are interested in working for
- You get an internal referral for a job opening that hasn’t been advertised yet
- You get information about the expansion of a company you’re interested in
Meanwhile, a cover letter is sent along with a resume only when there is a job vacancy that has been advertised and you meet the recruiters’ requirements.
Letter of Interest Sample
For your reference, given below is a sample of sample letter of interest for a job:
Dear Ms. Ridder,
My name is James Cameron, and I’m a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Communication. I read an article in Forbes magazine about the expansion of Hudson Corporation and am extremely interested in learning more about the possible job openings that might come up following the expansion.
I’m seeking an entry-level position in the marketing department of your company as I believe that I have all the right qualifications and skills to become a contributing member of your workforce.
I have completed two internships in the marketing and sales department at Hartford, where I was able to assist my seniors to increase product sales by 10% and I’m adept at organizing effective online marketing campaigns. I enjoy working in fast-paced environments like the work culture that your company is famous for having.
I’d appreciate the opportunity to further discuss my suitability and qualifications for a job position in your marketing team. I am available for an informational interview at your convenience at 923-9876-0983 or email@example.com.
Key Points from the Blog
- A letter of interest is written to express your interest in working for a company before the company advertises a job opening. Whereas, a cover letter is written as an accomplice to support your resume for a specific job vacancy at a company.
- A letter of interest describes your qualifications, skills, experiences, and which position you see yourself working in at the company.
- A cover letter aligns your skills and experiences with the requirements of the job and showcases you as the ideal candidate.
- A letter of interest and a cover letter differs in terms of their purpose, content, and timing.