Let me show you how to write the best letter of interest that you can use for your job applications…
Don’t you agree with me when I say your confidence takes one heck of a beating with all those hundreds of rejections?
It just blows…
It really does.
After 2 rejections, you think, Maybe the job wasn’t really suitable to my background…
After 20 rejections, you think, Maybe the competition was fierce. I should perhaps start looking at less competitive job posts…
After 100 rejections, you think, What’s wrong with me? All this education, grade marks…was all of it for nothing? I should have studied at Stanford instead!
You know what, you are not alone.
But I want to tell you something.
Receiving hundreds of rejections have very little to do with you. In fact, it really isn’t about you.
I know you came here probably looking for a sample letter of interest for a job opening. But if you bear with me until the end of this post, I will over-deliver.
Not only will you get the BEST letter of interest sample and template that you can use for a job application, internship, or a promotion, but I will also increase your over-all chances to get a job with a multinational company by a very large margin.
Stick with me, will you?
First things first, let me introduce myself. I am Deniz Sasal. I am a manager with PwC Consulting in our strategy consulting business unit. I am also the creator of Landing Interviews Guaranteed (3-day video training program where I teach candidates how to pass interviews. It’s free for a limited time) and The Career Mastery.
I launched The Career Mastery blog as a side project in 2016 because I wanted to help unemployed and underemployed find better jobs with large multinational employers and management consultancies.
See, I join a lot of interviews as a hiring manager. And one thing I noticed very clearly is that today’s job applicants are extremely misled. There is so much BS advice given to you from completely unqualified non-achievers who have the audacity to teach you…
As a result, you are wasting so much valuable time after graduation and most often than not end up settling for sub-par employers. Long story short, if you stick with me, I will provide you with the best advice, insider tips, and tricks to increase your chances to get jobs with multinationals. Let’s continue…
About the rejections, as I was saying, it really isn’t about you.
Essentially, there are two reasons why you are receiving all those rejections all the time:
- You are just using the wrong methods because of all the wrong advice you were given. What I call “click-applications” won’t get you very far. Let's do the math here. For every job post online, there are about 3,000 applications. It gets even higher if it’s a renowned organization. Plus, doing those “click-applications” are so easy that the candidates no longer even read the job description. A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a recent graduate. He was a relative of a close friend of mine. Anyway, I got on a call with him and asked what he's been doing with his job hunt. He gave me an answer that I will never forget for the rest of my life. He said he wrote a software that makes automated applications whenever certain keywords are mentioned in job post titles...and that his software made anywhere from 100 to 500 applications a day. I was definitely speechless when I heard it. He is smart, for sure, but definitely misguided. What's worse is he's not alone in this. Some of his classmates also employed a similar technique. In fact, they shared the software.
So, now you know what you are dealing with here…
- The second problem is the jobs you're applying to may not be real. This is a very controversial topic that got me in a legal mess a couple of years ago. In one of my event talks, I named and showed proof of several companies posting fake jobs. It didn’t take long for them to threaten me with a seven-figure lawsuit...
Well, I no longer name names… But that doesn’t stop me from talking about it so you won’t fall victim to it.
So, how do we avoid making the above mistakes?
Let’s start with the first one: You are using the wrong methods to get a job.
You already know from my above summary that click-applications are not the way to go in finding your dream job.
Why? Let me show you how “real” recruitment happens in most multinational companies.
See, the expansion and recruitment actually start with the Hiring Manager.
This can be the department head, a director, VP, President…basically someone who holds a department, division, and budget.
But for this guide, let’s give the Hiring Manager a name: Erin.
At Step 1, Erin gets her budget approved for expansion.
Then at Step 2, she looks at other departments to see if there is any usable resource (usually soon-to-be laid off or redundant employees). They do that for 2 reasons:
First, it's always good to use internal resources even from another department because they are already familiar with how things work at the company. Therefore, the transition is quicker and easier.
Second, to put it simply, nobody wants to damage their brand name by laying off people unless they really really have to.
At Step 3, if there is no additional resource from other departments, Erin will look at her own resources: people who have directly applied to her and referrals from friends, family, or her professional network.
At this stage, she also includes referrals from her own team members, her own managers, or senior managers.
If all of these attempts prove unsuccessful, then and only then does she engage the company HR to find candidates for her…which is Step 4.
As you see, Erin will exhaust so many options before she even decides to engage HR.
Now, Step 4 is very lengthy…
HR is almost never prepared to give resumes that meet the needs of the hiring manager. You may think they would already have a database full of available candidates Erin can just take her pick from as soon as a role is available. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way as no one stays unemployed forever. So, that database – even if they do have it – is pretty much useless.
So, what does all this mean for you?
Well, your primary goal as a candidate is to get noticed at Step 3.
Step 3 is WHEN you make your approach and send your letter of interest in the right format.
Let me repeat:
Step 3 is when you make your application even without knowing what position is available. I’ll get to it in more details later.
Of course, it is very difficult to know when that happens and when the recruitment process is at Step 3.
However, by leaving a long lasting impact with the hiring manager through your Letter of Interest, you’re already putting yourself steps ahead of other candidates. Also, remember: the hiring manager or department head you got in touch with may not have an available role at that moment, but he may know a role available in another department. It’s a numbers game for you. The more people know about you, the more leads you will generate. The more leads you generate, the more offers you will receive.
Now, let’s talk about the Stakeholders.
Who do you get in touch with? Who do you send your letter of interest to?
Your primary stakeholders are the people you want to send your applications to.
Typically, if you are applying for a consulting role, they are the Partners.
They are always busy individuals reviewing the deliverables, team staffing, budget work, and future planning, but trust me they would still be interested to find out about a potential hire…especially if that candidate has an impressive approach.
So, it’s all about how you approach them. This goes for any company. You don’t want to approach a president or a CEO of a multinational company…but you do want to approach the head of a particular department that you are targeting.
Alright, we concluded the 1st reason why you get so many rejections. Let’s now look at the 2nd reason.
The second reason why you are getting so many rejections is because not every job post out there is a real one.
It’s hard to say by what margin. But my guess is there are more fake job posts than real ones.
To be honest, what bothers me here is not that you are wasting your time, which is bad in itself.
What bothers me the most is that these fake job posts are playing with your hopes and even completely destroying your confidence.
As I said before, how would anyone feel if they received hundreds of rejections from every single job application they made?
It doesn’t take a genius to deduce that your confidence will be destroyed.
Then, you start to think that these companies must be so amazing that you -- "even you" -- are not worthy of them.
This I have NO tolerance for.
But why do these fake job posts exist?
Essentially, there are 3 main reasons why companies post fake jobs:
- The first reason, which I have known for about 12 years now, is to trick financial analysts into believing the company is doing well. See, financial analysts do factor in these weird data points, like number of available vacancies vs. total employment, in their valuation reports. And employers are smart. They realize that this is something they can very easily manipulate by just posting fake job posts online, thus potentially increasing their stock price by a margin (or at least prevent it from falling). Then, they tie up these fake ads to auto-responders, which is basically an email program that shoots out emails at certain time intervals and when certain triggers are met.
- The second reason they post fake jobs is because they usually buy ad space from job portals in bulk. For example, they buy 100 job posts per year. But then, when an economic downturn happens and they can no longer employ the planned number of employees, they end up keeping those job ads online instead of taking them down. It's still a branding opportunity, after all.
- The third reason actually takes this circus a step further. Some companies don’t just post fake jobs but also conduct fake interviews. Why? When there is a role available, and even though it will almost certainly be filled by an internal resource, HR still advertises that role publicly and, in fact, even interview a bunch of candidates. They interview outside candidates just to be able to say to senior managers, “Hey, you know what, we did interview all these qualified external candidates and they just weren’t as good as Alex.”
This is the reason why I sometimes say some of the interviews you thought you had were never there and were just an illusion.
You were set up to fail from the beginning.
Alright, now we've established the groundwork...which is a change in mindset.
- You feel better knowing that it wasn’t about you being under-qualified or over-qualified and that you need to look at methods other than “click-applications”
So, what’s next?
As you are here, reading my article and learning how to write a letter of interest, that means you are already on the right track. You are trying a different technique to get the job.
Letter of Interest to the rescue!
Let’s develop a very simple action plan that will allow you to get your letter of interest noticed and in the hands of hiring managers:
- DO NOT send your Letter of Interest to the company's HR. You already learned above that most vacancies are filled way before they even reach that department. I hope this point is already very clear to you.
Instead, you'll want to get in touch with the hiring managers directly and send your letter of interest for job application to them or someone who works for them.
To do that, you have 2 easy tools available to you:
The first tool is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn InMail is one of the best tools available to you at the moment.
It’s highly effective and does produce amazing results. You can basically reach out to whomever you need very easily. I love this service and I highly recommend it. The downside is it can be costly. There is a monthly charge of about 50 dollars for sending InMails. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the costs, but luckily it is not the only effective method.
The 2nd tool available to you is E-mail.
Emailing works a lot of the time but unfortunately not all the time.
You may need a bit of a guess work. For example, if you can figure out the e-mail sequence in a certain company, then you can make up the e-mail yourself.
Is it first name dot surname? First name under score surname? First letter of the first name dot surname? Most companies usually follow a certain structure. Then, what is the email domain? Is it @cocacola.com? coca-cola.com? Their email domains may be different than their website domain, so pay attention to that.
One thing I need to mention here is anti-spamming. Pretty much every country now has strict anti-spamming laws in place. So, if you are sending an email to someone who hasn’t given you permission, you may be considered as a spammer.
Also the content of your e-mail becomes incredibly important here. You can easily irritate them if you sound a little too demanding. It needs to be a perfect e-mail.
Another concern is the fact that you don’t know if they even read your e-mail. Right? Luckily, there is a free service provided by HubSpot. It’s called Hubspot Sales Track Email. Let me demonstrate how that works:
Okay, now that you've learned about the tools, let’s get to writing your LOI.
Here are Some Letter of Interest Samples
My name is John Doe. I’m a young, enthusiastic MBA grad from xxx who just moved to xxx. I’ve been following your LinkedIn posts for a while now and was wondering if you could spare 10 minutes of your time for me where I can perhaps have the opportunity to learn from your experience in consulting? I would also love to hear about how you made the transition from xxx to xxx as a fresh graduate and any advice you may have regarding consulting in xxx business unit. I am very excited to learn from the best. If you have some time in the next couple of weeks, I’d love to invite you for a cup of coffee anytime at your convenience!
Thanks in advance,
Here's another that has a similar but different pitch:
My name is John Doe. I’m a young, enthusiastic MBA grad from xxx who just moved to xxx. I’ve been following your LinkedIn posts for a while now and was wondering if you could spare 10 minutes of your time for me where I can perhaps have the opportunity to learn from your experience in consulting with PwC?
Ever since I joined XXX Business School, I have always been day-dreaming about working for XXX as I believe it will be the perfect opportunity for me where I can learn from the finest consultants in the World while contributing with best of my abilities.
Thank you so much for your time to read my e-mail and I am absolutely looking forward to meeting with you.
You can type hundreds of derivatives of the above templates. With minor modification, it will also suit for college applications, teacher applications, etc. Just change the sample based on your own experience and situation.
But remember to be extra polite and even a bit apologetic.
After all, sending an e-mail out of the blue is a bit intrusive.
Now, let's talk about something that will just give you the edge and separate you from 1000s of others. What I suggest is that you attach a 3-4 slide PowerPoint presentation and send it along with your interest letter. This will demonstrate 1) you are really prepared 2) you are creative 3) you have the ability to think out of the box.
Trust me, you will significantly impress any hiring manager.
You may use the slides below if you'd like (download button below)
The above slide is great to explain the sort of challenges you have encountered and how you solved with which methodology.
and this one to present your employment record in a very creative way.
You can download the editable ppt version of the slides once you register to my 3-day video training program Landing Interviews Guaranteed. (It's free for a limited time)
That’s it, really.
Now you know who to approach...
How to approach...
How to track if they noticed your approach...
So, go do it! 🙂 And generate amazing opportunities for your future!
About LIG program, I spent a very long time creating this 3-day training program where I teach you how to prepare, pass, and -- most importantly -- land interviews with multinational companies. You will also learn strategies that will allow you to break free from job searching sites. Each video runs for about 30 minutes, and I guarantee you that it’s full of highly valuable, life-changing tips.
If you are interested in taking your career to the next level, then you should definitely check it out.
Here is what I say about that:
I guarantee you won't regret taking it up.
Here is the agenda;
1st Day Training
Duration: 35 Minutes
– What hiring managers are “really” looking for (different than what you think)
– Main interview questions and perfect answers
– Finding your differentiators
2nd Day Training
Duration: 25 Minutes
– Making your resume “relevant” – (This tip will easily quadruple your chances)
– The differences between HR and Hiring Manager and how to act in front of each one
– Use “unwritten requirements” to your advantage (Nobody knows or uses this. So, take advantage of it while it lasts)
– 1 great tool that I use on a daily basis which made me a superstar presenter in front of my clients. (This is a tool that will also transform your career).
3rd Day Training
Duration: 19 Minutes
– 1 Great tip that will significantly increase your chances to pass HR Interviews. (It won’t work with Hiring Managers but will yield amazing results with HR. Don’t miss this out.)
– A Mathematical Impossibility: I will prove it to you why your job applications won’t matter unless you do this…
P.S. Would you do me a favor? If you think you found great value from this article, can you please share it with your network? The SHARE buttons are on the left. Thanks! If you share it on LinkedIn, please remember to add me to your LinkedIn connections. In fact, you may want to browse through my connections in LinkedIn as well. I have many connections who are executive recruiters.