The complete guide to writing a letter of intent

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It’s a running joke among all your high school friends: Ever since you were old enough to purchase your first pair of sneakers, you’ve wanted to work at Nike. You check your news feed religiously every day for news about the company and have a row of Nike sweatshirts lining your closet.

But Nike is not an easy company to break into. You’ve scoured job boards for positions at their Beaverton world headquarters, majored in sports merchandising at your university, even exhausted yourself by working your network for insider tips on how to break into the company.

But you’ve had no luck. What can you possibly do at this point? You wonder.

If you dream of working at a specific company or organization, sending them a letter of intent is a perfect way to demonstrate your passion for and commitment to the company. What is a letter of intent? A letter of intent is an unsolicited query letter that describes your skills, accomplishments, and knowledge of a company’s unique mission, culture, and values. It should illustrate how perfectly you will fit into a role at the company, and how you will meet and even exceed expectations.

How can you write a letter of intent? While breaking into a small local business or even a start-up may be a more reasonable goal, if you want to aim for a company like Nike, you should be firing on all cylinders. Make sure that you have a long history of excelling at your job or academic career, as well as of pursuing as much training, certification and enrichment as
possible.

Know the company’s history and culture backward and forwards, and try your best to get a specific name and e-mail address to send your letter to. Limit your letter to one page, and send it via the company’s preferred avenue for receiving job inquiries – e-mail, fax, or so on. Once you start writing your letter, follow this easy guide for best results.

1. Salutation

As often as possible, you should address your letter of intent to a specific person. If you’re unable to find someone, however, you can always try addressing your letter to a specific department, or even a specific position. Some examples might include:
● Dear Wendy, xxxx
● Dear Hiring Manager, xxxx
● Dear Associate Producer, xxxx
● Dear Human Resources Department, xxxx

2. Introduction

In this opening paragraph, introduce yourself and describe your reason for writing. If you are interested in a specific position, state that clearly. You can also explain that you are simply interested in working for the company in any position for which you are qualified. You might also take this opportunity to describe your current job position and general experience in the
field.

3. Skills and Accomplishments

In this section of the letter, talk about your skills, passion, and experience in your field and how they make you a perfect fit for the company. The skills and experience you talk about should be relevant to the position or company to which you are applying, and can involve anything from your education to foreign languages that you speak. The goal is to identify you as an
exceptional candidate for a position at the company and distinguish you from other job candidates in the field. Make sure to be as specific as possible.

Back up your achievements with concrete examples of how your skills and accomplishments can help make you an asset to the company. You should prove the direct connection between your strengths and the strengths of the company. You might choose to speak to any aspect of the company’s current focus, including their mission or direction of goals, their areas of market dominance, any current innovations that they might be pursuing, or their corporate culture.

4. Call to Action

Close your letter by inviting the reader to contact you or review any attachments or supporting documents you may have enclosed. Quickly summarize why you are the perfect fit for the company and make any planned requests for informational interviews or further contact. Let the reader know how you plan to follow up on your letter of intent, and close by thanking them for their time and consideration.