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How to write a letter of employment interest

PDF Letter of Intent - Suggested Layout - Career Center

by Neil Kokemuller
A follow-up call is a good idea after sending a letter of interest or a cover letter.

A follow-up call is a good idea after sending a letter of interest or a cover letter.

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A cover letter and a letter of interest are both items you send to a hiring manager where you'd like to work. Both express interest in an employment opportunity. However, a number of differences in their objectives and content separate the cover letter from the interest letter.


A cover letter is sent to express interest in a job that has been posted. Often, companies post jobs in local newspapers or through online sites. They commonly ask for cover letters with resumes and application materials. The letter leads into your submission for the job. A letter of interest is not written in response to a particular job. Instead, it is an inquiry into possible employment at a company you like. For this reason, it is also called a letter of inquiry.


A cover letter should be tailored toward a particular company and position. It indicates why you are the best fit for the position in question. In the letter, you should acknowledge an understanding of the critical needs of the hiring manager and offer specific points to support your ability to meet them. A letter of inquiry usually has more self-focused content, since you aren't addressing a particular job. You simply convey a desire to learn about jobs in your career area and sell your personal merits and experiences.


Along with content differences, cover letters also address subtly different primary subjects. The cover letter has some company references, but centers on the particular position the applicant is seeking. A letter of inquiry addresses the company. Cover letters are typically written by someone applying for jobs at a wide array of companies. The candidate likely discovered the job through a contact or posting. A letter of inquiry is normally written based on the candidate's desire to work for an employer, whether or not an opening has been posted. He may have flexibility on the particular role within his area of expertise.

Supporting Materials

You might submit a letter of interest on its own, but a cover letter inherently needs supporting material. As the term implies, it is the cover to your resume, references, application and any other application materials you are submitting. It may even indicate to the hiring manager what is enclosed. It is useful, however, to include your resume with a letter of interest so the employer gets a chance to review your qualifications more thoroughly.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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