How To Write a Letter of Intent (With Example and Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 19 September 2022
Published 25 August 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A letter of intent is similar to a cover letter because it gives an overview of your work experience, industry-specific skills and reasons for applying to a particular company. They are typically used to give employers an idea of who you are and what kind of work you are interested in, so it's important to learn when to send one. In this article, we explain what a letter of intent is, when to use one and how to create one with a list of steps and an example to use as a guide when creating your own.
What is a letter of intent?
A letter of intent is a document you can send to an employer to express your desire to work for their company. It typically serves as an introductory letter that you can send to recruiting managers to give them a short explanation of who you are and why you want to work for a particular organisation.
Letters of intent are often used to reach out to a company that hasn't advertised positions related to your experience. In this case, your letter serves the purpose of letting them know your intentions of working for them in the future. You can use the letter to explain why you feel that you are a good candidate for that organisation in case an appropriate position becomes available.
Though this letter is similar to a cover letter, the main difference is that you need to provide more general information about yourself and why you want to work for a company rather than why you want to work in a specific position. You can still add a few details regarding a specific job, but if you are sending a letter of intent to a company without advertised positions, it is important to focus on explaining any skills you have that may be valuable to the organisation.
When do you use a letter of intent?
Sending a letter of intent is a great way to show your interest in working for a particular company. It doesn't matter whether there is an open position in that company as long as you clearly state your intention.
A letter of intent is appropriate in any of the following situations:
When you find an employer who you think best fits your career aspirations
When you submit your resume to potential employers at a job fair
When a company has several jobs posted that aren't relevant to you, but they still employ professionals with your expertise
When there are no job listings, but an employer is planning to hire new staff
With a letter of intent, it is easier to provide an employer with your resume regardless of the availability of jobs matching your experience. Once an employer receives your letter of intent and other credentials, they can decide whether you would be a good fit for their company. If they believe you would be, they might consider hiring you in the future when a position that requires your skills becomes vacant.
There may also be times when an employer asks for a letter of intent in a job advertisement. If that happens, make sure to send this letter alongside your resume when submitting your application.
How to write a letter of intent
Follow these steps to effectively write a letter of intent to send to a company you want to work for:
Start with a salutation
Write the introduction
Expand into the main body
Add a call to action
Finish with closing remarks
1. Start with a salutation
Start your letter of intent with a salutation or greeting. Make sure that your salutation is professional and formal because this opening remark may determine whether the employer reads the rest of the letter.
You can use standard greetings like, “To Whom It May Concern,” or direct your letter to a specific person within the organisation, such as the employer or hiring manager. If you are not sure about the addressee of your letter or you can't find a specific name, call the organisation to ask for the desired form of address.
The letter of intent is meant to provide a professional and positive first impression of you, so it is important to be respectful and appropriate, even in the first few words.
Related: 6 Ways To Start Your Email Right
2. Write the introduction
Your introduction should be simple and straight to the point. Use your first two sentences to introduce yourself formally. Make sure to include personal details such as your name, level of experience and essential skills as well as a short explanation of why you are writing the letter.
If you just graduated recently, include information about the degree you pursued and your area of specialisation. Alternatively, if you are currently employed and seeking a job in another company, you should include your current job title. Then, state your interest in the new company and why you want to change jobs. Focus on the positive aspects of getting a new job by explaining why you want to work for this company in particular.
3. Expand into the main body
The main body of your letter of intent should expound more on your experiences and skills. This section allows you to provide more details about yourself and why you would be a reliable addition to the organisation. Write one or two concise paragraphs to explain why you would be a good fit for their company and what job you believe you could do for them.
You should also include a few specific examples of your achievements or contributions to your existing or previous company. Elaborate more on your achievements using numerals or quantities when appropriate, and emphasize how your experience and skills align with your potential employer's vision and goals.
4. Add a call to action
In your final paragraph, include a call to action to explain what you would like the employer to do after reading your letter. You may take this opportunity to show your gratitude to the employer for taking the time to go through your letter. At the same time, you can include your contact information and ask them to reach out to talk to you more about your qualifications and interest in the company.
5. Finish with closing remarks
Close your letter of intent like you would any standard business letter. For instance, you might use phrases such as, 'Thank you' or 'Sincerely' before your signature. Just like your introduction, you should be professional and formal when writing your closing remarks.
Example of a letter of intent
Here is an example of a letter of intent that you can use as inspiration when writing your own:
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Daniel Lee. I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a BSc in Computer Science. Octal IT Solutions has always been my dream company to work with where I can showcase my exceptional IT skills. Kindly consider my application and add me to your team of IT experts.
In the course of my studies at the National University of Singapore, I took different units related to offering IT solutions in every aspect of our lives. Ever since, I have embarked on several courses on software engineering, mobile app development and web design, among others. I graduated at the top of my class after fulfilling all of the course requirements. During my years as an undergraduate, I also took part in several projects that sharpened my IT skills and knowledge.
Since Octal IT Solutions focuses mainly on top-notch skills, I believe that I would be a valuable asset to the company. Should Octal IT Solutions be in need of an experienced and highly knowledgeable IT expert, please consider my application for any entry-level position that becomes available.
Thank you in advance,
Tips for writing a letter of intent
When you're writing a letter of intent, it's important to remember these helpful tips:
Be specific about your experience, skills and accomplishments. Giving specific, quantifiable examples of your abilities can help you stand out to an employer.
Avoid going into too much detail about your previous job or current employer. Instead, focus on the potential employer and what you can offer them.
Mention what attracted you to the organisation you are applying for and why you want to work for them.
Write short paragraphs in your letter and use strong action words to retain the potential employer's attention.
If you are sending the letter in a physical copy, format it like a professional business letter by including your contact information, the date and the employer's information at the top of the page.
Before you send your letter of intent, make sure to proofread it to ensure it is free of errors.
The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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