While looking for a good job position, a person may be faced with the need to create the so-called letter of intent. This letter is usually written in order to tell the employer about their own knowledge, skills, and abilities and can be sent at any convenient time, regardless of whether the company has an open vacancy or not. This is the main difference between a letter of intent and a cover letter, which is sent together with a resume for the purpose of filling a specific vacant position.
Read below on how to write a letter of intent correctly, what structure it has, and what typical mistakes are often made during its creation.
Principles for Writing a Letter of Intent
Unlike a face-to-face conversation, a letter of intent requires greater clarity of wording and sharpness of presentation, an extremely honest but also the most concise story about yourself – education, life, work experience, desires, aspirations, dreams. So don’t get too carried away. Even the best film, if it runs for three hours, can tire anyone.
One of the most important rules for writing a letter of intent is sincerity, so write it honestly and with pleasure. The text should radiate respect for both the author and the reader – then you will have the maximum chances to interest a potential employer.
If we talk about the basic principles of writing a letter of intent, it is necessary to consider the following aspects:
- The size;
- Referring to a specific company and, if possible, to a specific employee of this company;
- From more important to less important;
- Correlation of style and information provided with the specifics of the company;
- Literacy of presentation, absence of grammatical and other errors;
- Positive attitude and polite, benevolent tone.
Letter of Intent Size
The ideal letter of intent is neither too long nor too short. It should attract attention but not tire the reader. Experience shows that it is better to focus on about half a page of text (two or three paragraphs in regular font). The size of the letter depends on the specifics of the company in which you want to work and on the position of the employee to whom you are applying. The stricter the profile of a company and the higher the post occupied by your addressee, the greater clarity and brevity of the presentation is assumed.
It is clear that a serious bank or a large financial corporation expects from its potential employees, first of all, the ability to adhere to facts, while a large publishing house or advertising agency also wants to see the emotional component and the ability to master the word. That is, in the second case, the letter of intent will become more detailed and lengthy.
But of course, your unique personal characteristics also play an important role. If you tend to be laconic, use clarity and conciseness. And if you know how to express thoughts figuratively and beautifully, do not deny yourself this pleasure. The more fully your personality is reflected in your letter of intent, the greater the chance that you will find exactly the job that suits you best.
A letter of intent is characterized not only by a free form of presentation but also by a personal appeal to the recipient. The main purpose of the letter is to explain why you should be chosen to work for this company. Therefore, first of all, try to get as much information as possible about the company and what a particular employee is doing. In this case, your arguments will become much more convincing and targeted.
Another important question is to address the firm as a whole or, nevertheless, to a specific person. Communications experts believe that there can be no two opinions. A targeted appeal automatically adjusts a person to a benevolent mood, improves his mood, and disposes to you. We had all observed this phenomenon in everyday life: when we greeted a teacher before a lecture or called a neighbor by her first name and patronymic. The same rules apply in official correspondence. In letters of intent, an appeal to a specific person looks very advantageous.
From Most Important to Less Important
What other principles do you need to know before writing the letter of intent? The most important thing here, perhaps, is the movement from more important to less important. As you remember, you are the main character of the letter of intent, so after addressing a specific person (or the company as a whole), it would be good to introduce yourself. In this case, introducing yourself means not giving your name but presenting a convincing justification for why you are contacting the person and, most importantly, why you want to work in this company.
It is recommended to use simple and clear language. Informative, detailed sentences are much preferable to abstract and abstract sentences that do not carry a special semantic load. For example, the statement “In my third year at university, I realized that I want to work in marketing and to achieve this goal I regularly attended a specialized seminar” sounds much more convincing than the meaningless phrase “I really like your company”. Use strong arguments – you can’t argue with them.
The prose of life is appropriate in writing. State your desire for financial well-being and your desire to build a successful career clearly and publicly. Healthy ambition based on real knowledge and abilities is the surest tactic for those young people who want to get a decent job. If money and professional growth are important to you, feel free to write about it.
Correlation of the Style and the Information Provided with the Specificity of the Company
The letter will work out well if you find the right style of appeal, which will surely become another plus in your favor. Anyone applying to work as an auditor for a consulting company will succeed if they indicate the qualities necessary for the job (clarity, consistency, accuracy, and the ability to compose facts). In such a letter, the lyrics should be kept to a minimum. But if the arguments are clearly ranked, this will surely cause approval.
But the lyrics (but, of course, not lyrical digressions) will come in handy for those who are going to work with people. After all, for example, a future employee of the HR department needs slightly different skills than an auditor. Demonstrating the ‘human’ component in the letter is not at all superfluous: in this case, more detailed sentences and emotionally colored arguments look appropriate.
Literacy of Presentation and Absence of Errors
A letter written politely and without a single mistake is not only a manifestation of respect for the recruiter and additional confirmation that you know how to conduct business correspondence. It is also an indicator that you are a neat, attentive, and punctual person in everything. This means that you can perform even the most difficult and responsible work.
Positive Attitude and Polite, Benevolent Intonation
In addition to attention and accuracy, the ability to smile and create a good mood is highly valued in any company. Thus, insert some witty remark into the letter.
Structure of the Letter of Intent
A letter of intent includes the following main components:
- Brief information about yourself – small self-presentation;
- Justification of intentions to work in this company;
- Coordinates for communication;
The letter of intent provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the issue of remuneration in absentia. Choose a suitable place for it: not at the very beginning, but in the part where you say that you fit the given position and justify it with specific facts and examples – there, your financial wishes look quite logical.
Basic Letter of Intent
There are three main types of letters of intent: basic, extended, and creative. But which one should you choose? For students and yesterday’s graduates, we recommend the traditional basic letter. It is usually sent to power and administrative structures, as well as reputable companies involved, for example, in audit, consulting, legal support, insurance, telecommunications, or industrial production. The structure of such a letter is especially strictly observed. From the author of the basic letter of intent, recruiters expect a minimum of lyrical digressions and the most complete, clear statement of facts.
Stylistically, the letter looks quite strict but at the same time informative. For obvious reasons, work experience and professional achievements take up little space in it. But the author has a wonderful opportunity to show himself in all its glory – to talk about his talents, academic success, scientific achievements, internships, and personal scholarships.
Successful Statements in the Letter of Intent
Good solutions when writing a letter of intent:
- It is best to indicate how you learned about a company and refer to the source of information;
- It is good when the story about your achievements is conducted in a neutral manner, with a non-judgmental intonation – “I have five years of experience in the wholesale of household appliances”;
- Before giving your coordinates, it is best to invite the employer for further cooperation using the following wording: “If you are interested in my candidacy, please contact me by phone …”;
- The most polite way to say goodbye in business correspondence is to sign “With respect” and express sincere gratitude for the attention: “Thank you for your interest in my letter.”
Letter of Intent Sample
The sample below will definitely help you create a high-quality letter of intent and tell the employer in detail about your knowledge and skills:
Dear Mr. Lee!
I am greatly interested in working for your company. Although I do not yet have professional experience in this area, I consider it necessary to inform you that in 2019 I took an internship at a subsidiary of your company – firm “Consulting.”
I am currently finishing my studies with a degree in economics and am looking for a permanent job. I decided to contact you not only because I successfully completed an internship at “Consulting,” but also because I know about your company as one of the market leaders. As I learned from your corporate newspaper, you intend to significantly expand the staff of auditors and are hiring recent graduates of economic universities. If you are interested in my candidacy, you can contact me by mobile phone at 123-45-67. I will be happy to answer any of your questions and provide recommendations.
Thank you for your attention to my letter of intent.
The Final Insight
If you started writing a letter of intent, just follow the simple tips outlined above, and then it will turn into your strongest trump card on the way to your cherished goal. A good letter of intent is a recipe for success and gives you a much better chance of getting your dream job. We can only wish you good luck in this exciting creative process!