Generally, the letter of intent (LOI) is a kind of letter which declares the writer’s intentions to a particular reader.
What should a letter of intent include?
When it comes to a job application, a letter of intent (LOI) is very similar to a covering letter and is used to provide an introduction to the applicant before the prospective employer goes through the applicant’s resume. In such a case, the letter of intent should accompany a resume and should include relevant qualifications of the applicant. The applicant could also use the letter of intent to show off his/her writing skills as well. The main purpose of the letter of intent is to tell the reader about your interest in a specific thing so that you must write your letter of intent properly as discussed here.
What to Include in a Letter of Intent:
The salutation of a letter of intent, or its opening, has to be professional. Finding out and including the name of the prospective employer or the HR manager in the salutation would be preferable. This information could be had by just calling up the front office and asking for the same.
- Body Paragraph 1: Introduction
The letter of intent should begin with an introductory paragraph that explains the purpose of writing the letter and provides an introduction of the applicant. If the letter is being written in response to a particular job listing, this should be mentioned in the letter. If not, then simply affirming your interest in working at the organization would suffice.
Describe the kind of work that interests you at the organization in general without being too detailed. For example, you could say that you’re interested in a managerial post or that you’d prefer working in the accounts department.
- Body Paragraph 2: Highlight Relevant Skills
In this paragraph of your LOI, you would match your skills and qualifications to the listed vacancy. This would require that you review the job listing to understand the requirements of the job. Talk about a couple of important requirements and how your skills are suited to them. Include specific examples from your previous work experience.
Cold calling is reaching out to a company that you are interested in working for without the company having listed a job vacancy. In such a case, you would have to provide details on how your skills and qualifications would be a good match for the company in question. Your chances of being called for an interview will be dependent on how closely you can correlate your skills and qualifications to the company’s personnel requirements.
This part of the intent letter can be divided into 2 or more paragraphs, depending on the number of skills and qualifications you would like to talk about.
- Body Paragraph 3: Call to Action
This section of the letter of intent would be the conclusion. Bring the letter of intent to a close by stating that you will be following up on the application. However, if the job listing specifically negates following up, then you could simply end your letter by stating that you are looking forward to hearing back from the prospective employers.
- Closing section
The concluding paragraph of the letter of intent should be professional, such as ‘Sincerely’, ‘Faithfully’, and so on. If the letter being submitted is printed, affix your signature between the closing and your printed name. If the letter is being emailed, then affix your email signature to it.
Letter of Intent (LOI) format
The business letter or a professional letter format is the one that you should follow when writing a letter of intent. In this format, you would begin with your name and address followed by the date and then the addressee’s name and address. This would be followed by the subject line. When the letter is being sent by mail, ensure that your subject line is clear and concise. It should explain without any ambiguity the reasons for the email. Include the job title and your name in the subject line if your letter is in response to a job listing. When cold calling, use a phrase such as ‘HR professional looking to contribute technical expertise’ or a just a simple ‘Job Inquiry – Your name’. An emailed letter does not require your contact information and date at the top of the letter. Instead, include contact information within your email signature.
Understand the company’s needs, its mission, and culture before you send in your email. Research the company sufficiently, especially if your letter is a cold call. This is necessary so that you can correctly identify the needs of the company and then explain how you would be a valuable addition to the company.
For the resume that will accompany the letter of intent, ensure that it is not a rehash of a resume submitted elsewhere for some other job vacancy. Write a fresh resume highlighting your most compelling skills and qualifications relevant to the job that you are applying for. You do not need to provide a complete history of your career. Only provide the details that will convince your prospective employer that you are the best person for the job.
Consider formatting the skills and qualifications section of your letter of intent with bulleted points. Bullets will make your skills and qualifications stand out from the rest of the text drawing the reader’s attention to them. Intelligent use of the bold font can have the same effect.
Keep your letter of intent short and to the point. It should not be longer than a page.
After you have completed the letter, do a thorough proofing to catch any grammatical, spelling, or formatting errors. You could even get someone else to read it and point out mistakes. Ensure that the letter you submit showcases your professionalism and meticulousness.
There are some perfectly written examples of the letter of intent (LOI) that one can read and follow the steps to write their own intent letter.