How To Write a Letter of Intent (With Template and Tips)

Updated July 24, 2023

A person sits at a desk writing a letter and addressing it.

Much like a cover letter, a letter of intent is a general overview of your industry-specific skills, experience and the reasons you're interested in working for a specific employer. This type of letter, also known as an intent letter or letter of interest, focuses on the company more than your skills. Learning how to introduce yourself to an employer in a letter can increase your chances of finding a job at the company where you want to work.

In this article, we discuss letters of intent in the job search process and how it differs from a cover letter, plus we go over when you can use one and share a few sample letters.

What is a letter of intent?

A letter of intent is an introductory letter to employers that interest you. Typically, you can send a letter of intent to hiring managers or recruiters at a company that has not posted jobs relevant to your background. Although similar to a cover letter, an intent letter provides less detail related to a specific job. Instead, it expresses your interest in working at an organization, why you're interested and what skills and experiences you have that the employer might find valuable.

Related: Letter of Interest: Definition, Tips and Examples

How does a letter of intent differ from a cover letter?

While you might submit a cover letter when applying for a posted position, a letter of intent is best when you want to show an employer you're interested in working at their company, even if there are no current job openings. You can send the letter at any time and may not result in clear next steps. A cover letter typically results in an interview and subsequent job offer.

Read more: Letter of Interest vs. Cover Letter: Definitions, Tips and Examples

When to use a letter of intent

A letter of intent is appropriate when:

  • You're submitting resumes to employers at a job fair

  • You're researching companies and you find an employer who you believe best fits your interests and career goals

  • You've heard or someone told you that an employer is looking to hire, even if there are no posted jobs

  • The employer has jobs posted for other positions but also employs people in your area of expertise

What to include in a letter of intent

While your letter of intent can be unique to your own set of skills, experiences and qualities, there are five main elements you can include in your letter:

1. Greeting or salutation

The greeting or salutation is professional and can follow formal greeting formats. For example, you can use standard greetings, such as “Dear Hiring Manager,” or direct the letter to a specific individual within the company. While you might be able to find HR personnel to address your letter to, if you're unsure, choose a more general greeting such as “Hello.”

Avoid being too familiar or informal with your greeting by writing "Hey" or including only the addressee's first name. The letter of intent provides a positive and professional first impression that might lead to hiring opportunities.

2. Introduction

Use the first one or two sentences of your letter to formally introduce yourself. This section can include your name, a brief explanation of your current experience level and your reason for writing. For example, if you're a recent graduate, include information about your degree and areas of study.

If you're currently employed and seeking work at another company, include your job title and why you're interested in the company. It's best to avoid putting any negative information in your letter. State positive reasons, such as career advancement or the opportunity to pursue a different role.

3. Body

Use the body of your letter to elaborate on your skills and experiences. This is a good opportunity to provide more details about why you can be a valuable addition to the company in one or two paragraphs. Include specific examples of times you achieved a goal or contributed to an organization's success in some way, and quantify your achievements with numbers when possible. When expressing interest in an employer, you can emphasize how your skills and experiences align with the employer's vision and needs.

Related: Letter of Intent (LOI) for Business Transactions (With Tips)

4. Call to action

The call to action is your final paragraph where you explain what you want the employer to do as a result of your letter. For example, you might use this space to thank the employer for taking the time to read your letter and to contact you about potential job opportunities. You might also include your contact information in this section instead of after your signature.

5. Closing

The closing can be a standard business letter sign-off. For example, you might simply close with “Sincerely,” or “Thank you.” As with the introduction, it's best to avoid being informal here, so avoid sign-offs such as “Cheers” or “Yours truly.”

Related: Parts of a Business Letter: Examples of the 7 Components

Letter of intent example

Below is an example letter of intent using the template above. Use this sample as a starting point for your letter of intent:

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Jen Woo. I'm a recent college graduate from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor's degree in journalism. WritersPress has a truly impressive portfolio of work with an honorable mission to write for all people, no matter their background. Please consider my request for employment on your writing team.

During my time at Oak Ground University, I studied different aspects of journalism and copywriting, including APA style editing, long- and short-form web content, editorial writing and human interest writing. I also took courses on content marketing, including search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

I completed all coursework with a 3.85 GPA. During my time as an undergraduate, I also worked as a staff writer for the university's student newspaper and interned with several local newspapers as a copywriter. During my free time, I also earned income as a freelance writer for several blogs.

As WritersPress, Inc. focuses heavily on high-quality web content, I believe my skills and experience can make me a valuable part of the team. If WritersPress, Inc. is in the market for new copywriters, please consider me for any entry-level writing positions that may become available. I'm also including my resume, which has more details regarding my skills, experiences and interests.

Thank you for your time,
Jen Woo

Related: How To Write a Letter (With Types and Example)

Email letter of intent template

Here is a template you can use to create your own letter.


[Greeting to admissions counselor],

Introductory sentence: [State your name and your purpose for applying.]

Introductory paragraph: [Explain your basic qualifications, your interest in the school and program, and what you plan to cover in the letter.]

Paragraph one: [Discuss your academic journey, including undergraduate studies and accomplishments.]

Paragraph two: [Discuss your professional journey, including any experiences that contributed to your development.]

Closing paragraph: [Restate your reason for applying for the program, describe any long-term career goals you have that relate to the program and conclude your thoughts.]


[Your signature]

Download Letter of Intent for Grad School Template

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Email letter of intent example

Below is another sample letter of intent using the best practices above, but formatted for email.

Subject: Introduction - Jacob Groutman

Dear Ms. Smith,

During my 12-year tenure in sales and sales management for Product Life Inc., I've always been impressed with your company's excellent sales record and reputation for exemplary customer service. I believe my experience and sales knowledge can make me a valuable asset to Green Atmosphere as your next sales manager.

In the past year alone as sales manager for Product Life Inc., I've built a new sales team and increased sales by more than 15%. In my prior role as sales team lead, I oversaw the day-to-day activities of a 30-person sales team, where we used data to establish clear goals and objectives. I provide coaching and training to nurture a high-performance team. I also created a comprehensive training manual to reduce the onboarding process from 90 days to two weeks.

I'm a great match for Green Atmosphere because I'm both data-driven and customer-focused. I'm passionate about motivating employees to achieve sales goals, and I'm skilled at uncovering actionable insights with data to drive customer loyalty and provide outstanding customer care.

I've attached my resume to this email for you to review. Thank you for your consideration—I'm excited to learn more about this opportunity from you.


Jacob Groutman
(276) 959-7892

Related: How To Send an Email Cover Letter (With Steps, Tips and Example)

Tips for writing a letter of intent

There's no one way to write your letter of intent, but there are a few best practices that you may want to follow to help increase your potential in the letter.

  • Follow a professional business letter format if you send a physical copy of the letter and include your name, email and job title at the top.

  • If you're emailing the letter, include your contact information in your signature under your first and last name.

  • If you're sending an email, include a clear subject line that explains why you're emailing. 

  • If you're applying for a specific job, include your name and the job title. If you're cold calling, include your name and a phrase, such as “Job Inquiry” or “Software Expert Looking to Share Expertise.”

  • Before writing, be sure to research the company to get a sense of its culture, mission, and its needs. 

  • Focus on yourself and the potential employer.

  • If you're seeking career advancement opportunities, include the level at which you want to be hired using exact language, such as “senior-level positions” or “management.”

  • Wait to discuss salary ranges with the recruiter or follow a successful interview.

  • It's okay to mention a friend or colleague who also works at the company as a reference, but only if that individual knows that you plan to mention them.

  • Use active language when you describe your skills and experiences, such as “strong communicator” or “experienced writer.”

  • Keep your skills and experiences relevant to the employer. Refer back to similar job descriptions for skills the employer might be seeking.

  • Keep your letter of intent short, no longer than a page, and straightforward.

  • Proofread and edit your letter before sending the final copy.


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