A letter of interest, sometimes called a letter of intent, is a job-search tool designed to do exactly what it seems: inform others of your interest. As a job seeker, it’s a good idea to know how to write a letter of interest to put yourself on the radar of prospective employers and identify yourself as an eager candidate.
Here are six best practices to make yours compelling to recruiters and worth holding onto for future consideration.
- Be professional, but personable
As you draft your letter of interest, pay attention to length and tone. Your letter should be brief and come across as professional, clear and confident, but you don’t want to sound too rigid or robotic. Write how you would speak to a superior and keep it as conversational as it is intentional.
It’s also worthwhile to ensure your letter doesn’t begin each sentence with an "I…" statement. The purpose of the letter is to express your attraction to a position or potential opportunity - but adding variation is key. If you find it challenging to avoid this pattern of referring only to yourself, note attractive qualities of the organization, rather than just what might be attractive about you.
- Know your recipient
Just as you would when writing a cover letter, you want your letter of interest to address a specific person, recruiter or hiring manager. Avoid composing it to the ambiguous "to whom it may concern." Find out where you need your letter to go and direct it to that individual.
Doing this achieves a few things: It ensures your letter gets into the right hands, shows you’ve done your research and reveals you know how to find and reach the proper contacts.
- Share your interest
What initially intrigued you about this organization or health system? Did certain qualities stand out that you didn’t find elsewhere? Did a fellow physician or advanced practitioner urge you to explore options and make contact?
Share what brings you to the point of composing the letter and be specific about what appeals to you. This can be certain features of the health system, its reputation, the potential you see with your skillset and their collaborative culture or another highlight. Show what you value about the organization, and then how you can add to it.
- Show why you’re worth consideration
Once you’ve covered why you’re interested in joining the community, you can shed some light on the value you can add as a potential hire. Share why the goals or virtues of the health system align closely with your own. Why would you make a good fit and, more importantly, what would you bring to the table?
You want it to come across as informative as you share information about yourself, but your letter shouldn’t come across as overconfident or read like a self-conducted interview. Ideally, you’re not just sharing why you’re a great candidate, you’re also painting a picture of how your greatest attributes can serve the organization’s larger purpose and mission.
- Ask to be kept in mind
Your letter of interest is a great way to be seen as a candidate who takes initiative, but it’s also an opportunity to show your ability to network. When concluding your letter, ask about the opportunity meet and gather more information about the position or health system. Even if the role you’re interested in isn’t one that can be offered at the time, acknowledge that you’d like to be considered for future openings, and in the interim you always have room for new connections.
Employers will keep your letter for their records, but they’re more likely to remember you when they have an opening if you’ve built a connection that’s not entirely reliant on the position’s status. Be genuine and ready to nurture a new connection regardless of the outcome.
- Check your layout
Even if you’ve been mindful of these details in your letter of interest, you’ll want to ensure the layout is clear, direct and effectively gets your point across.
The layout should look similar to this when you’ve finished drafting the letter:
- Greeting + introduction (who you are and how you came across this opportunity)
- What compelling, interesting or attractive information you learned about the health system + how your values, goals and priorities could support that vision
- Building on that, why do you feel your experience has equipped you for the role?
- Request to meet and gather more information, or to be kept in consideration for the opportunity or future openings
Have questions about writing your letter of interest or other aspects of the job search? We’re here to help. Contact us at PhysicianRelations@PracticeLink.com.