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Kansas State University

Employment Services
Division of Human Resources
Kansas State University
103 Edwards Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-6095 (fax)
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (CST)

Job Line

(785) 532-6271

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Letter of Interest Writing Tips

The Purpose of a Letter of Interest

The purpose of a cover letter or letter of interest is to introduce your professional background to the employer.

It is also intended to highlight some of your skills, convince the prospective employer that you have something valuable to contribute and that it would be worth their time to interview you.

Sample Letter of Interest as  |  MicroSoft Word Document as  |  Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format(PDF) as  |  Rich Text Format(RTF)

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When Writing Your Letter of Interest

  • Type your letter.
  • Use quality bond white or off white paper. Avoid the appearance of a photocopied letter.
  • Address your letter. You may direct your letter to the Hiring Department or Recruiter or simply begin the letter without a salutation. To Whom It May Concern is another option for a salutation.
  • Send an original.
  • Your letter should not be repetitious of your resume.
  • Be sure your letter is errorless. Proofread, and have others proofread for you too.
  • Sign your letter.

Note: Typing your letter of interest would be best. However, a hand written letter would be better than not submitting one when it is requested.

  • Exceed one page.
  • Indicate hobbies, sports and social activities.
  • Include irrelevant personal information such as; age, marital status and social security number.
  • Lie.

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Organizing Your Letter of Interest

Paragraph 1: Why are you writing? Mention how you found out about the position (what source did you find the job) in the first paragraph. You may also indicate specific information about the vacancy such as; the job title, requisition number, department, etc.

Paragraph 2: Why should they hire you? And why do you want to work for them? Identify your unique strengths and attributes that could benefit this position. Sell yourself! You could use this opportunity to specify any experience or education you have that the department advertised.

If a department is asking for experience in a specific area that you are lacking but have been educated in that area, mention your education. Turn a negative into a positive.

Paragraph 3: You could include a third paragraph if there is additional information, which has not been mentioned on your resume or needs to be described in detail (i.e. your cooperative education experience or gaps in your employment history). This paragraph is optional.

Paragraph 4: The close. Ask for an interview. Also invite them to contact you and give them a phone number where you can be reached. You may also thank them for their time or consideration.

Remember that your letter of interest will be a reflection of you. You may be specific about your experience and education that the department is asking, but your letter should not be repetitious of your resume.

Since it is recommended that your letter of interest be typed, if you do not have access to a typewriter or computer, you may use this equipment at the Manhattan Job Service Center. Their phone number is (785) 776-8884 and they are located at 6th and Humboldt, Manhattan, KS. You must make an appointment to use their equipment.

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Interview Tips

How you come across during an interview could be just as important as your experience and job talents.

  • Prepare for your interview:
    • Double check the date, place, phone number and person(s) who will be conducting the interview. Be certain you have written this information down correctly.
    • Learn about the position and how your previous experience and education qualify you for this job.

Note: Position descriptions are on file with our office for your review. You may also access our web site to view our vacancy list and position description at To view a position description on our web site, click on the position number.

  • The interview:
    • Be on time!!! If you are unsure of the location, visit the place before your interview.
    • Dress properly.
    • Avoid fidgeting, chewing gum and use of slang or local words. The interviewer not only asks questions, they also observe.
    • Ask when they will be notifying you or when you may call about a decision.

Afterwards, think over how the interview went. Did you represent yourself and your skills sufficiently? Did you ask all the questions you wanted to ask? What might you do differently in the future? Write a thank you letter.

If you are not offered the position, ask the interviewer why. Were you lacking something they needed? This may be useful for future interviews.

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Thank You Letter

It is recommended that you follow up your interview with a brief thank you letter. Employers like a conscientious employee, and by sending a thank you letter you are showing that you know proper business etiquette and appreciate the opportunity they have extended to you.

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Contents of Your Thank You Letter

  • Thank the employer for his or her time during the interview.
  • Mention some of the things you learned during the interview, specifically those things you feel you are qualified to do. For example, "I was especially excited to learn that you are looking for someone with QuarkXPress experience. As you may recall my mentioning, I have over five years of experience designing brochures using QuarkXPress."
  • If you forgot to mention something during your interview, include it in the thank you letter.
  • Invite the employer to contact you for more information, if necessary.
  • Mention that you are looking forward to the employer's decision.
  • Be sure to sign your letter.

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Recognition goes to: Cover Letter Writing Tips   University of Missouri- Columbia
USM Writing a Cover Letter
Resume Writing Center-Cover and Thank You Letters
Kansas Department of Human Resources-Tips for Finding the Right Job!