If you wonder how to write a letter of intent, you came to the right place! While there are several definitions for the terms, in this guide we will focus on letter of intent for a job since it will be most relevant and clear. In some ways, such written assignment is alike to cover letters when an individual applies for job position and tries to prove why he or she is the best candidate for chosen position. The major difference is that a letter of intent plays role of in-the-middle connecting element between an application and professional intentions. It is an opportunity to show what particular candidate can contribute that other candidates cannot. In this guide, we will review structure rules, elements to include, and read through helpful writing tips and an actual example.
Definition and Letter Purpose
What makes letter of intent different from other applications or resumes is that it serves as an explanation of what kind of work you are searching for. Even if certain positions are not available or listed, it’s an opportunity to let the company know about your special skills and experience. Be it position of software engineer or management in specific department, letter of intent is additional information to CV and resume. Generally, it’s usually written if required by an employer, yet they are also used when resume cannot fit specific information. Writing good and skilled letter of intent greatly increases chances of being invited for a job interview.
When thinking about what is a letter of intent, many students in the United States think that it’s equal to cover letters. Unlike cover letter and resume, a letter of intent does not list all existing credentials in chronological order and does not tell about your backgrounds like childhood and college struggles. It speaks exactly about the reasons why you have chosen certain job position and what specific skills and experiences make you the best candidate. In case of relative uncertainty and wide subjects range in question, letter of intent helps to stay focused on matters that help employer or admission committee to consider you for a chosen position.
Letter of intent plays a role in insurance that your CV and resume will be understood correctly.
Letter of Intent Structure Guidelines
Correct structure is really crucial when writing letter of intent for a job, therefore, it’s necessary to include these obligatory elements, unless specified otherwise by an employer. Be sure that they have seen dozens of similar correspondence, so they know where to read and what to expect in each section. Remember that if you have several ideas to present, it is recommended to divide them for 2-3 short paragraphs or bullet points. If applicable, show knowledge about work ethics and professional specifics about company in question to better meet their needs and expectations. You can also turn for help to Edubirdie experts.
Here is the basic letter of intent format for one page letter (as expert writers recommend, based on American analysis of employment surveys):
One of the first rules is starting with professional greeting. Use employer’s or hiring manager’s name if available, and include it in an opening of a document. It is an obligatory field, therefore, we recommend finding out this information before starting. It’ll show that you have made an effort and makes it more personal.
Briefly introduce yourself and explain your intentions. If you are interested in a job position or want to clarify several points, be sure to mention it right away. This is the place where short explanation of your intent should be placed before one continues with upcoming paragraphs.
- Professional achievements and qualifications
This is a part where you have to link your skills and experiences with specific job demands. Mention several critical points from job requirements and clarify how your professional knowledge can meet these demands. If available, mention past employment experience. If situation is different, explain why you should fit for the company by referring to particular projects and company's needs linked to personal skills and professional knowledge.
- Employer reply request
This is where one has to point it out in respectful and polite way about looking forward to hearing from an employer. In this part, make sure to look through job offer listing twice to see the requirements in terms of how to ask for employer’s reply.
- Closure / Ending
In closing part, use "Best regards" or "Sincerely". If letter is typed in computer, make sure to place handwritten signature to make it look personal. Another obligatory requirement is typed name. In most cases, letter of intent is sent by post, yet in modern digital age, email is also acceptable. If possible, always include email signature.
Tips and Tricks for Writing with Intent
Avoid simply copying one’s resume when writing! Do not list your achievements like in your resume. It will be noticed! Just point out your strongest skills that are related to the job vacancies and make them connected to professional goals. An employer has to feel inspired and motivated to read instead of just looking through career chronology.
- Use bullet points or several paragraphs! Generally, it is recommended to use only one idea for a paragraph, yet in this case, you can use bullet points to catch the reader's attention and make all important points stand out.
- How long should a letter of intent be? As a rule, it should not be longer than one page! In our experience, the majority of hiring managers in the United States do not read intent letters that are several pages long.
- Learn about the company’s vision first! For best results, make sure that you understand the company's goals, ethics, and corporate culture. Do research before writing anything down and do not make things up. It will help you to better link your skills to the company's needs and strategies.
- Keep fonts and formatting of both text and headings clear! Use professional style expression when discussing intentions and ideas. It will help to make it look organized.
- If you had any teaching, internship, or volunteering experience related to the company’s interests, list it. Organizations like to know the people they hire, their position in life, readiness to be a team member.
- If contacting a company in the digital domain, be clear in the email header! A clear subject is obligatory. Use clear phrases that specify why you are contacting a specific company and what position or job listing you address.
- Always proofread your work and have an expert get it checked! An expert is the one who knows all required writing mechanics and has experience on how to make an employer interested, based on specified skills and knowledge.
Letter of Intent Sample for a Job
XYZ Company Job Application Employee Candidate
71 Street, Dallas, TX 12074 - 000-123-456 - firstname.lastname@example.org
June 4, 2018
Head Software Engineer
Dallas Soft Labs
Salt Lake Road 2
Dallas, TX 12074
Dear Mr. Andrews,
Finishing my internship, I would like to express my interest in software engineer position in Analysis Department at Dallas Soft Labs. As a recent university graduate with a degree in Software Engineering and Cryptology, my internship experience has helped me to choose your company as an idea fit for Python development project. Knowing about your urgent requirements for Python programming, I believe that my experience can benefit your organization.
I am skilled in management of time-critical and demanding programming tasks that include finishing projects that have been abandoned or left due to incompatibility issues. Learning XYZ specifically, I see it as an opportunity to boost company’s image by giving new life to these projects.
During my internship, I worked with Python-based projects specifically and analyzed mobile software market. Speaking of company’s struggles with ABC issues, I would like to introduce analytical approach to programming by proposing three-step strategy that includes pre-testing, program analysis, and crash-test stage that can help employ company’s XYZ department.
I sincerely believe that my experience, knowledge of mobile software market demands, and initial experience at Dallas Soft Labs adjacent projects makes me a good candidate for software engineering tasks. I look forward to discussing my ideas and skills at greater depth in person.
Mark Holmes (signature)
Dallas Soft Labs Applicant
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