A guide to writing a letter of interest that will get you noticed... and hired.
One of the most important parts of the job-hunting process is fine-tuning your application materials to highlight how your talents, experience, and education make you the right choice for the job.
A part of these application materials must be a carefully drafted and well-written letter of interest. This letter explains to the employer why you think you're the perfect choice for the job...
Why do you have to write a letter of interest if you've already included an objective statement in your resume?
Your letter of interest, also sometimes called a "cover letter", is an important part of communicating with a potential employer.
Rather than a simple list with names, dates, and skills (like your resume), a letter of interest is where you can personally explain why you want the job, and how you think you are especially suited to fill all of the position's responsibilities.
This letter is where you single yourself out from the crowd, and try to make yourself look better than all of the other applicants.
Furthermore, if you include your letter on top of your resume, your letter of interest will likely be the first thing the employer will read.
If this letter grabs his or her attention, he or she will be more likely to read your resume more thoroughly, rather than throwing it in the discard pile.
A good letter of interest will do 3 things:
There are a few things that you need to do before you sit down and start writing a letter of interest.
These include doing a bit of homework on the employer...
First of all, you need to research the prospective employer.
This serves many purposes, including familiarizing you with the company and its policies. You may find that after your research the job doesn't seem so great, or maybe they aren't accepting any further applications.
Check online reviews of the employer. How long have they been in business? Have they been in the news recently for any reason, either good or bad?
After a little bit more research, you may not want the job at all. Most likely, however, your research will help you know more about your employer, and arm you with important information.
Make sure to write down a brief list of important points about the employer, which you may refer to in your letter.
Secondly, you need to call the employer or check the job posting to see who the hiring manager is, including their name and title. You'll need this information later on when you're writing your letter.
Your letter of interest should follow a very simple format.
At the top of the letter, include the employer's company name and address, and the date of the letter.
Address the letter to the hiring manager, whose name you should have from your earlier research. Do not use To Whom It May Concern or Dear Sir or Madam - both are impersonal and outdated.
In the first paragraph, specify which position you're applying for, and what you can bring to the company.
Example: This is a letter to inform you of my interest in the medical billing specialist position at Just for Kids Pediatric Neurology Clinic.
You also want to connect your unique talents to the strengths of the company, which makes you stick out.
For instance, if you're applying for a coding job at the pediatric neurology clinic used in the above example, make sure to include a statement about how much you like kids and helping in their medical care.
In the second paragraph, you need to specify your qualifications. This section is where you list your relevant educational and work experience, and how it makes you a suitable applicant for the job.
Rather than simply list your skills, like in your resume, in this section you need to highlight exactly how your particular education and experience makes you the best choice for the job.
In the last paragraph, thank the employer for his or her time reading your letter and considering your application. Also include a way to contact you and the best time for them to call.
End your letter with one of these words: Sincerely, Regards, or Thank You, and your name. Leave a space between your closing word and your typed name where you sign your name in pen.
Your letter of interest should be no more than one page long.
Don't get too wordy by trying to sound more qualified than you really are. Keep the letter short and to the point. The employer doesn't want to know how well you can juggle words as much as how qualified you are to do the job.
Don't repeat your resume. Although you should include some things from your resume, the main point of the letter is to explain how your qualifications make you the right choice for the job.
Show an eagerness to contribute to the company. Employers want to hire someone who'll be a good long-term employee. If you seem like you may jump from one job to the next, he or she will move on the next resume.
Writing a letter of interest that has an impact will help get you noticed. Before you know it, the phone calls will be rolling in, asking for an interview. Good luck!
Want to have a great job interview? See our article on medical billing employment.
Click for more information on writing medical billing resumes, or how to highlight your talents to fit the medical billing job description.
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