What Actually Is a Letter of Intent (and How Is it Different From a Cover Letter)?

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You scan a job posting and everything looks normal (responsibilities and requirements, check, lots of jargon related to your field, check), until you come across the following: Please submit a resume and letter of intent.

Huh. That’s a phrase you’ve never seen before: “letter of intent.” Do they mean like a cover letter , but in a different, slightly confusing way?

Well, yes and no. There are plenty of similarities between the two, and also several differences. Here’s what you need to know about letters of intent.

What Is a Letter of Intent?

To play off the name, a letter of intent (also sometimes called a letter of interest ) is about stating your intentions to work for a particular company. There may be a specific role you (or the employer) has in mind, but more often you’re interested in tossing your name into the hat for any opportunities an organization may offer.

“In my experience, I’ve seen an intent letter used usually when there’s not a specific job that a candidate is interested in applying for,” says Kaila Kea , a career coach on The Muse. So you’d probably write one if you’re submitting a general application to an organization you’re a major fan of that isn’t necessarily hiring for your dream job just yet.

How Does a Letter of Intent Differ From a Cover Letter?

It can be easy to confuse a cover letter with a letter of intent. In her experience working with job seekers, Kea differentiates them this way: “Intent letters tend to be a bit more company focused—you’re talking a little more about the employer than the specific job.” They’re also more general in terms of how you talk about your skill set.

“On the flip side of that, the cover letter can be more job-focused, a little more position-oriented, because there’s a specific job that’s posted that you want to speak to,” she adds.

As a result, each type of letter requires a different approach.

For example, says Kea, with a cover letter you might say, “I’m highly interested in a product manager role at [Company] for the following reasons,” while with a letter of intent you’re more likely to say something along the lines of, “I’m highly interested in a managerial role at [Company] for the following reasons.”

Going broader “gives you more wiggle room into what the employer may align you with in terms of roles,” says Kea. Rather than pigeonhole yourself into one path, you allow the hiring manager to slot you into the best-fit scenario.

Letters of intent can also present themselves in situations outside the application process—for example, if you want to follow up after a job fair or a networking event. “Again, there may not be a specific role listed that you’re interested in or that you can apply for at that time,” Kea says, but emailing a letter of intent is a great way to express interest in working for their organization one day.

Why Do Companies Ask for Letters of Intent?

Companies ask for letters of intent mainly when they’re as torn about what they’re looking for as you might be.

“In some cases, employers might have several jobs posted at once for one department or for one specific project,” says Kea. They may ask for a letter of intent because they’re not entirely sure what kind of person they need to fill the gaps in those departments. Maybe they’ll end up hiring two senior-level managers, or they may be just as satisfied with one mid-level exec and one entry-level employee—depending on which people wow them in the application process.

Letters of intent are also frequently used to hire for contractors or freelancers who aren’t your standard W2 employees, because if, for example, a contract falls through, companies can easily line up the next qualified candidate for the job.

Put simply, a hiring manager most likely wants to widen their candidate pool, so they’re looking for anyone and everyone who shows an eagerness and passion for the company.

The type of letter can also vary across sectors. “In my experience, the more established organizations [and] private companies typically go with a cover letter,” says Kea, while letters of intent might present themselves at startups or nonprofits that are more mission-focused and growing at a greater rate.

“So from a candidate perspective, if you’re asked to submit a letter of intent, that may mean that the company is newer, that they’re trying to source talent in a different way, whereas the cover letter [is] more of a classic go-to,” she explains.

How Do You Go About Writing a Letter of Intent?

First off, you want to express plenty of interest in the company itself. “A lot of people get really wrapped up [in saying] ‘I’m the perfect person for this job, I want this job, I’m great for this job, hire me for this job,’” says Kea. “And there’s nothing wrong with that…but one of the things that makes an intent letter so successful is really showing that you identify with the company’s mission, their values, their goals.”

Letters of intent can also be more current. For example, rather than talk broadly about the company, you may mention something about them in the news or a recent update to their product. You want to include “anything that would grab the attention of the employer and also show that you’re keeping up with what’s happening with that organization or in your industry,” she says. (Of course, you could also reference something current in a cover letter, too, if that’s how you want to grab the reader’s attention to start off.)

And, as with a great opening line to a cover letter , “it helps to capture their interest and encourage them to keep reading; that’s of course the goal,” she adds.

If you’re struggling to come up with something specific about the company to discuss, then talk about something that’s engaging about yourself, says Kea. What makes you stand out? What unique skills, experiences, or passions do you bring to the table? And how do these align with what the company needs, given what you know about them?

Overall, you want to make it general enough that you’re showing interest in the company as a whole, “but also specific enough so that the employer walks away with at least one key takeaway from you and your skill set and what you can bring to this organization,” she says.

Let’s go back to the product manager versus managerial role explanation above. If you were to write a cover letter , says Kea, you’d probably try to speak to a particular product manager position. So you would focus your letter on why you’d be good at that job—the experiences you have working on a product’s lifecycle, managing vendor relationships, and collaborating across teams, to name a few examples. You’d also want to make sure you’re addressing specific points in the job description.

But if you were writing a letter of intent, you’d instead want to focus on how you’d be great for a managerial role—whether it’s as a product manager or something else entirely. In this case, rather than mention your product manager experience, you might talk about how you led a team, managed expectations, or coordinated logistics for meetings. You’re referencing specific skills, sure—and your resume is highlighting both sets of skills—but you’re tailoring your letter to what the hiring manager may be looking for.

A Sample Letter of Intent

Let’s say you’re an experienced designer and product manager looking to join a startup in some capacity. You do some digging to figure out who to address your letter to (please, please don’t use “ To Whom It May Concern ”), and discover that the head of the product department is named Caroline Coffman.

You might send her the following:

Dear Caroline Coffman,

When I was 10, my brother fainted while waiting to ride a rollercoaster at Six Flags. It was an incredibly hot day, and we’d been in line for an hour.

I don’t remember anything else about that day—what other rides we took, what we ate, even who exactly we were with—but I distinctly remember the feeling of wanting to know why . Why did this happen? Why did we have to wait in such long lines? Why hasn’t anyone come up with a solution to the problem of overcrowded amusement parks?

It’s for this reason that I’m thrilled to apply to work on the product and design team at Rydes. Not only does your mission of revolutionizing and adding efficiency to theme parks spark my curiosity and eagerness to fix things, it also reminds me of the bigger picture: that you should leave an amusement park, or any family outing for that matter, with fonder memories than your sibling passing out. Your latest product update featured in Forbes around waiting times on lines especially spoke to me and further encouraged me to write this letter.

A little bit about me: I majored in design and applied arts because I wanted to be self-sufficient in how I solved problems, and because I enjoyed working with my hands as well as my mind. I took on a role as associate UX designer at a small startup because I was fascinated with making websites that were seamless and free of obstacles, then shifted to a product manager position at a larger company because I realized how much I liked collaborating across departments and working with various experts to brainstorm ideas and solutions. To me, the most rewarding part of my day is helping my team members be productive, feel motivated, and achieve their goals. With this experience and skill set, I’m ready to leap back into the startup world and work for a company whose ambitions align with my own.

I want to thank you for considering me to join this fantastic team of innovators and creatives, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Jack Williams

Now that you know the difference between a cover letter and a letter of intent, go tell your friends this new fun fact! And maybe consider this new form of applying the next time you set your eyes on your dream company.

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Letter of Intent

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What Is a Letter of Intent?

A letter of intent is a formal letter that expresses your intentions to do something, such as apply for an educational program or job or make a purchase. It could also be used to clarify specific points in a business transaction. A job candidate might send a letter of intent to a business if they wanted to work for the company, but there wasn't a specific job they were applying for. The candidate might submit a letter of intent along with a general application.

The letter of intent shows interest in the other party and deals with them in a respectful and professional manner. It states your intentions without actually entering into an agreement regarding the business arrangement. When a letter of intent is used between businesses, it allows the individual parties to define their relationships and their future plans without involving lawyers and generating significant legal costs. Though the document isn't legally binding, it is a show of good faith.

Other Names for a Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is sometimes referred to as a:

Types of Letter of Intent

Here are a few specific examples of different types of letters of intent:

Letter of Intent Templates

Letter of intent vs. cover letter.

Admittedly, letters of intent can be similar to cover letters when used for the purpose of finding a job. However, there are some differences. A letter of intent:

Cover letters, on the other hand, tend to be

How to Write a Letter of Intent

Here are the basic steps you should follow to write a general letter of intent that could be used to clear an intent to purchase or to plan a business arrangement:

Letter of Intent Sample for Asset Purchase (Non-Binding)

Dear [NAME]:

This letter of intent (“Letter of Intent”) sets forth proposed terms of [BUYER NAME] (“Buyer”) purchase of all assets related to [ASSET NAME] and you (“Seller”). Buyer and Seller are referred to collectively as the “Parties.”

This letter does not address all matters upon which agreement must be reached for the proposed transactions to be consummated. The Parties intend to execute a definitive Asset Purchase Agreement and other necessary documentation (the “Definitive Agreements”) at a later date.

The Parties agree that this Letter of Intent is intended as only outline of certain terms and should not be considered binding on both Parties.

In general, the proposed transaction would be as follows:

If the foregoing reflects the present intention of, and is generally acceptable to you, please execute and date the enclosed counterpart signed by Buyer and return such executed counterpart to the undersigned.

Very truly yours,


Date: _____________

Accepted: _________________________

Tips for Writing a Letter of Intent

Here are some tips you can use to help you write a letter of intent:

If you need help drafting a letter of intent, Contracts Counsel has a team of fully vetted lawyers who have worked in over 30 different industries. They can also help you negotiate or review contracts to make sure you're legally protected during any business deal. Contact us today to get started.

Meet some of our Letter of Intent Lawyers

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Candace M. on ContractsCounsel

For over 20 years, as an attorney and real estate broker, Candace has used her passion for business and real estate to help her clients succeed as business owners, entrepreneurs Realtors, and real estate investors. She and her team go above and beyond to simplify and solve those issues which trouble her clients. From the simple to the complex, she is ready to help. Her experience includes, Real Estate law, Contracts, Business Formation, Business Operating AGreements and Entrepreneurial counseling.

Alan A. on ContractsCounsel

I have dedicated my professional career and practice to Federal Government Procurement Law. My practice includes experience as an Army JAG who specialized in Government Procurement Law who represented contracting commands and requiring activities both deployed and in the United States and now as a civilian attorney who represents clients in all aspects of Federal Government Procurement Law. My clients are people and firms that are developing technology through the SBIR/STTR programs, OT's, and businesses using Small Business Administration (SBA) contracting programs.

Jason H. on ContractsCounsel

Jason has been providing legal insight and business expertise since 2001. He is admitted to both the Virginia Bar and the Texas State Bar, and also proud of his membership to the Fellowship of Ministers and Churches. Having served many people, companies and organizations with legal and business needs, his peers and clients know him to be a high-performing and skilled attorney who genuinely cares about his clients. In addition to being a trusted legal advisor, he is a keen business advisor for executive leadership and senior leadership teams on corporate legal and regulatory matters. His personal mission is to take a genuine interest in his clients, and serve as a primary resource to them.

O.T. W. on ContractsCounsel

Hi, my name is O.T. and I own The Walker Collective, a law firm that caters to the contractual, intellectual property, and business formation needs of creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. I am licensed to practice in Maryland and New York.

Amber M. on ContractsCounsel

I'm a contracts attorney focusing on dentists, doctors, and other health care professionals with 8 years of experience.

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How To Write a Letter of Intent for a Job With Examples

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

intention in letter

What to Include in a Letter of Intent

Tips for writing a letter of intent, letter of intent for a job template, letter of intent example, email letter of intent sample.

Image by Marina Li © The Balance 2019 

If you’re job searching, you may have spotted a few online job postings that ask for a letter of intent – but what does that mean? In this context, a letter of intent is similar to a cover letter . It includes information on why you are qualified for the position.  

You should write a letter of intent when an employer requests one in a job listing. Send this letter in addition to your resume and other required application materials.

But you can also write a letter of intent when you want to express interest in working for a company that does not have any specific jobs listed. You can use this letter to explain why you would be a good fit for the organization, should an appropriate role come up. In this situation, a letter of intent is similar to an inquiry letter , also called a letter of interest .

Explain what type of work you are interested in – for example, maybe you are looking for a managerial position or a position in a certain department – but don’t get too specific.

Whether you are submitting a letter of intent for a specific job or are simply expressing your interest in working for a company, make sure your letter is well written, professional, and shows why you are a good fit for the company.

Why Write a Letter of Intent?

Letters of intent are used as a means of introduction to personalize your application and connect the hiring manager to your resume . They make it easy for the recruiter or employer to see exactly what your qualifications are and what you can bring to the table that other applicants cannot.

A well-written letter will help your application get noticed and provide the employer with details on why you're a strong candidate and should be considered. A good letter can help you land an interview .

Salutation Begin with a professional salutation . Find out the name of the employer or hiring manager, and include it in your opening. If you do not know to whom you should address the letter, call the office and ask.

Body Paragraph 1: Introduction Begin your letter by introducing yourself and explaining why you are writing. If you are responding to a specific job listing, say so. Otherwise, simply explain that you are interested in working for the company.

You can explain what type of work you are interested in – for example, maybe you are looking for a managerial position or a position in a certain department – but don’t get too specific.

Body Paragraph 2: Highlight Relevant Skills This is where you connect your skills and abilities to the job listing . Take the time to carefully review the job description and the requirements listed in it. Mention one or two important requirements of the job, and explain how you meet those requirements. Provide specific examples from your past work experiences.

If you are “cold calling” the company , explain how your skills would make you a good fit for the company. The closer you can match your credentials to the job requirements or the company’s needs, the better your chance of getting chosen for a job interview.

You might break this section into two paragraphs, depending on the number of skills you mention.

Body Paragraph 3: Call to Action Conclude your letter with a brief paragraph on how you will follow up. If the job listing says not to follow up, simply state that you look forward to hearing from the employer.

Closing End with a professional closing such as “Best” or “Sincerely.” If you are submitting a printed letter, include a handwritten signature followed by your typed name. If you are emailing the letter, conclude with your email signature.

Use the appropriate format. Use business letter format for your letter. Begin with your contact information, the date, and the employer’s contact information.

When sending an email, include a clear subject line. If you decide to send your letter in the body of an email, be sure to include a concise subject line that explains why you are emailing . If you are applying to a specific job, include your name and the job title. If you are cold calling, include your name and a phrase like “Job Inquiry” or “Marketing Expert Looking to Share Expertise.”

If you decide to send the letter via email, you also do not need to include any contact information or the date at the top. Instead, include your contact information in the email signature.

Research the company. Before writing, be sure to research the company to get a sense of the company’s culture , its mission, and its needs. This is especially important if your letter is a cold call. You need to explain how you would add value to the company, and you can only do this if you know what the company is looking for.

Don’t rehash your resume. Don't simply rehash your resume. Instead, pick out your strongest qualifications and highlight them. Your goal is to showcase your best credentials to the employer so that they will be persuaded to read your resume, not to provide a full career history.

Consider using bullet points. A good strategy for formatting your letter of intent is to include a bulleted section that highlights your qualifications for the job. The bullets will help to make your qualifications “pop” on the page, immediately drawing attention to the skills and expertise you offer. A careful use of boldface can also help to catch the hiring manager’s eye.

Keep it short. Your letter should be no longer than a page. If you write a longer letter, the hiring manager will not likely read it.

Proofread your letter. Don’t forget to thoroughly proofread your letter for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. Consider asking a friend or family member to read it over before you submit it. Your letter needs to be professional and polished.

This is a sample letter of intent for applying to a job. Download the letter of intent template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online).

Olive Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 olive.applicant@email.com

September 1, 2018

James Lee Head Librarian Acme University 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee:

I am writing to express my strong interest in the position of library aide at Acme University, as listed on Monster.com. I am a recent college graduate with extensive library experience and a record of excellent written and oral communication. I believe I would be an ideal fit for this position at your organization. 

I am skilled at communicating effectively with different people across various platforms. In my position as an administrative assistant at Longmont Library, I greeted dozens of patrons each day on the phone and in person. I also answered patron queries via email and social media. I received recognition from the circulation department head for my friendly demeanor, patience, and ability to communicate professionally with all patrons.

I am passionate about staying up to date with the latest library best practices. I have two years of experience working with some of the most widely used library management software, including Ex Libris and Koha. I am also familiar with the latest OCLC input standards. 

I believe my experience, communication skills, and interpersonal abilities would make me a strong fit for this position. I look forward to speaking with you more about my qualifications.

Olive Applicant

Cold Call Email Example

Subject: Introduction Briana Applicant

Dear Mr. Lee,

Throughout my 15 years of experience in sales and sales management, I have always been impressed with your company’s reputation for exemplary customer service and your excellent sales record. I believe my experience and sales knowledge would make me an asset to Acme Sales.

Qualifications and skills I bring to the table include:

I would love to speak with you about how I can contribute to the sales team at XYZ Company. I will call you next week to arrange a time to discuss my qualifications further. I look forward to speaking with you.

Briana Applicant

Write a Letter of Intent to Express Your Interest in a Company: Some employers will ask for a letter in job postings. In other cases, you may send a letter of intent to a company with no current job openings.

Don’t Rehash Your Resume: Your letter should be a sales pitch. It should complement your resume and generate interest in you as a candidate.

Be Professional: Use business letter format and be sure to proofread your letter before you send it. 

U.C. Davis. " Write an Effective Cover Letter/Letter of Intent ." Accessed Jan. 31 2020.

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How to Use a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Make a Deal

intention in letter

Investopedia / Madelyn Goodnight

What Is a Letter of Intent (LOI)?

A letter of intent (LOI) is a document declaring the preliminary commitment of one party to do business with another. The letter outlines the chief terms of a prospective deal. Commonly used in major business transactions, LOIs are similar in content to term sheets . One major difference between the two, though, is that LOIs are presented in letter formats, while term sheets are listicle in nature.

Key Takeaways

Letter of Intent (LOI)

Understanding a letter of intent (loi).

LOIs are useful when two parties are initially brought together to hammer out the broad strokes of a deal before the finer points of a transaction are resolved. LOIs often include provisions stating that a deal may only go through if financing has been secured by one or both parties, or that a deal may be squashed if papers are not signed by a certain date.

Since LOIs typically discuss potential points of deals that have yet to be cemented, they are almost universally intended to be non-binding .

LOIs can be iterative in nature. One party may present an LOI, to which the other party may either counter with a tweaked version of that LOI or draft a new document altogether. Ideally, by the time both parties come together to formalize a deal, there will be no surprises on either side of the table.

Many LOIs include  non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) , which contractually stipulate the components of a deal both parties agree to keep confidential, and which details may be shared publicly. Many LOIs also feature no-solicitation provisions, which forbid one party from poaching the other party's employees.

A letter of intent is usually drafted and signed while negotiations between parties are ongoing so that the final terms of a deal might vary from what was agreed upon in the letter of intent. Due diligence is conducted by both parties before doing business. It is a prudent business practice to complete due diligence before signing a letter of intent.

Purpose of a Letter of Intent (LOI)

Letters of intent may be used by different parties for many purposes. Parties can use an LOI to outline some of the basic, fundamental terms of an agreement before they negotiate and finalize all the fine points and details. Furthermore, the LOI may be used to signal that two parties are negotiating a deal such as a merger or joint venture (JV) .

Overall, LOIs aim to achieve the following:

Applications of a Letter of Intent (LOI)

In the context of business deals, LOIs are typically drafted by a company's legal team, which outlines the details of the intended action. For example, in the merger and acquisitions (M&A) process, LOIs detail whether a firm plans to take over another company with cash or through a stock deal.

Letters of intent also have applications beyond the business world. For example, parents may use them to express the expectations they have for their children in the event both parents die. Although they aren't legal documents like wills, LOIs may be considered by family court judges responsible for legislating what happens to the children under such circumstances.

LOIs are also used by those seeking government grants , and by highly sought-after high school varsity athletes. These individuals frequently draft LOIs to declare their commitments to attend particular colleges or universities.

Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute. " 45 CFR § 1160.9 - Letter of Intent ."

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Letter of Intent: Template & Writing Guide (With Examples)

Letter of Intent: Template & Writing Guide (With Examples)

You’d do a better job than all those applicants. But that new employer doesn’t know it—yet. Prove it with a letter of intent that knocks their socks off.

Tom Gerencer, CPRW

As seen in:

You’re frantically scrolling through Google and scratching your head. You’ve just read that your dream job opportunity asks candidates to write a letter of intent. What on earth is that?!

You’ve heard of cover letters. Are they the same as a letter of intent for a job? Is it a different type of letter? What does it include? Don’t worry, we’ll answer all of your questions. You’ll learn not only what is a letter of intent, but also how to write it and when to use it.

Either way, this guide will show you:

Want to write your letter of intent fast? Use our cover letter builder. See 20+ cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.  

Create your cover letter now

sample resume and cover letter set

Sample Letter of Intent for a Resume— See more cover letter examples here .

What is a Letter of Intent?

A letter of intent is just a cover letter in most cases. It’s a 3–4 paragraph description of why you fit the job. It starts with a hook, shows a sampling of your achievements, and asks for the interview. In some cases, it can be used when there’s no job on offer. In that case it’s called a letter of interest.

What is the Purpose of a Letter of Intent?

The purpose of letters of intent is to get the hiring manager to notice us. A well-written resume helps a lot, but without an accompanying letter, it can seem like career spam. Conversely, if you’re applying to a job that hasn’t been advertised, write a letter of intent to kick off a relationship with the employer.

Let’s blow the doors off the other job candidates with a sample letter you can use:

Letter of Intent Template

Janet Metrick

Photographer, CPP

3093 Brown Avenue

Greer, SC 29650


[email protected]


Juanita Lanford

Marketing Director

Ansari Real Estate

4817 Algonquin Street

Dear Ms. Lanford,

As a skilled real estate photographer with 4+ years of experience creating over 9,000 stunning images of interiors and exteriors of million-dollar homes ,  I’m extremely interested in your photographer position at Ansari Real Estate. Your job posting says you’re looking for a strong leader who can deliver breathtaking real estate photos while also training photography assistants. I think you’ll be quite interested in my resume and especially these highlights:

As owner and photographer at Janet Metrick Photography, I’ve worked directly with two major realtor clients South Carolina and 200+ individual homeowner clients. I also trained a team of 4 assistant photographers in the best practices of real estate photography. I’m also a regular freelancer for Meredith Magazines, with dozens of images in  Better Homes & Gardens  and  Home & Hearth Today.  My equipment and skill set excel at capturing the tricky lighting balance between exteriors and interiors to provide a seamless image.

What draws me to Ansari Real Estate is your dedication to high-quality production. I’ve spent some time going through your website and print magazine, and I love the high standards you maintain. That said, I think my work can bring a new level of aesthetic perfection to your materials without adding extra cost. I’d be happy to meet with you next week to discuss how my technical ability and creativity can breathe new life into your website and print materials.

What makes that letter of intent stand out among the piles of job applications? It’s the three important parts it covers. Let’s run them down, one by one. But first—

How to Write a Letter of Intent

To write a letter of intent, research the company or school. Find out what they want most from a successful candidate. Then get their attention in paragraph #1, with the fact about you that fits their needs the most. Show more proof of skills in paragraph #2, and why you like them in paragraph #3.

Need more detail? Check out the quick tips below.

Here’s how to write a letter of intent:

1. Choose the Right Letter of Intent Format and Layout

Here’s the first hurdle—get them to read your letter. Letter of intent format matters because a poorly-laid-out letter is a clue you’re not right for the position. To combat that, make sure your font, line-spacing, paragraph-spacing, and margins are all clean and business-friendly.

Again, a letter of intent is the same as a cover letter, so follow basic cover letter structure with these tips:

Read more:  Professional Cover Letter Design

2. Research the Company Before You Write

What’s the single most important thing you can do to make your letter of intent stand out? Research the company. It sounds boring, but it’s the single reason some letters make eyes pop while others get yawns. Why? Because research is like showing listening skills —it proves you know your stuff.

You don’t have to spend an hour on this. In fact, limit your research time to 15 minutes so you don’t bog down your job search.

To research a letter of intent for a job, check out:

Letter of Intent Sample—Researching the Job

Here’s a sample job posting (for a software engineer), with key parts highlighted:

letter of intent

Now you know a lot about what the company’s perfect employee looks like. When you write your letter, it’ll be 10x stronger because you took the time to learn their needs.

Pro Tip: Don’t stop at researching the job ad. Read their mission statement, and consider reaching out to a few people at the company on LinkedIn to get information.

3. Find 3 Ways You Fit the Position

Are you the perfect employee for the job? You’d better be. If not, they’ll never hire you. But how can you prove it? Once you’ve researched the company, it’s time to think about the ways you fit. The secret? Be as specific as possible, with numbers-based accomplishments in the skills they’re looking for.

Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say the company wants a photographer skilled in real estate photography and training. Jot down your accomplishments as follows:

Sample of Letters of Intent—Finding Ways You Fit

Notice anything? We’ve highlighted the ones that match the job the best in green. We’ll use those in our letter of intent. The others are great too, but we only need the best few in our letter. We’ll save the rest for our resume.

Now that you’ve found the top few ways you fit the position, it’s time to write your letter.

You should always custom-fit your letter of intent to the job. See our guide: Everything You Need to Know About Cover Letters

4. Get Attention with a Strong First Paragraph

“I didn’t read your letter.” What an insult! But it’s all too common. Why? Because most letters of intent start out like this: “I’m writing to express my interest in blah blah blah.” Uh-oh. You’ve lost the hiring manager. She’s thinking about camping out on the lake later with her kids. Don’t do that!

To make sure they read your letter, engage them with a strong first sentence and first paragraph.

Let’s see how that works:

Letter of Intent Example—First Paragraph

See the problem?

The first of those letter of intent examples sells it. It starts out with a stunning fact. Then it mentions the company by name, and moves on to what the company needs. Now the hiring manager knows you fit the job and understand the job.

But that first example falls flat. It sounds like a generic cover letter , it’s braggy, and therefore boring.

Read more: How to Begin a Cover Letter

5. Show Achievements in Your Letter of Intent

“We loved your letter of intent and had to talk to you!” Can you make the hiring manager say that? Yep. That happens in your second paragraph. That’s where you take the best few  resume accomplishments that stick you to the job like duct tape. They have to fit the job requirements and make jaws drop.

To show achievements, go back to your research. Look at the best three (or so) accomplishments that bolt you to the job. Then talk about them in the second paragraph of your letter of intent for business.

Here’s how it’s done right and wrong:

Letter of Intent for Business Example—Second Paragraph

Wow. That second letter of intent sample actually shows an amazing photographer. So what’s wrong with it? Well—it’s got some great achievements. But it just doesn’t fit the job. You can almost hear the hiring team discussing it. “Yep, this one’s great, but that first one just fits our needs the best.”

Pro Tip: Do you have more than just a few achievements that really prove you fit the job? You can add another paragraph for those, right after paragraph #2.

Plus, a great letter of intent that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

6. Explain Why You’re Interested in Them

“Okay, so you’re a good fit. But why us? Will you stick around? Or will you jump ship as soon as you find something better, with more pay?” Yes, employers think that way. To soothe their fears, you have to show why they’re important to you. That comes in the third paragraph of your letter of intent.

To show why you care about the position, you can choose from:

Let’s look at how that works:

Letter of Intent for a Job Example—Third Paragraph

Huge difference.

That first letter of intent sample has it all. It shows you know a thing or two about the company, and you have respect for it. But the second one is too one-size-fits-all. The employer knows by reading it that you don’t really care about her needs.

Pro Tip: The more interest you show in the company, the stronger your letter. There’s a vast body of research that confirms the reciprocity of liking .

7. End Your Letter of Intent by Asking for Action

Yes, you have to ask. At the end of your third paragraph, come right out and request the interview. But there’s a special way to do it so it doesn’t come off sounding needy. Namely—offer to trade something in return. Don’t think you have anything to trade? Of course you do.

At the end of your last paragraph, add a call-to-action like the next of your letter of intent examples:

Letter of Intent Samples—Call to Action

See the difference? The first of those letter of intent samples offers to trade information for the interview. The second looks like you copy-pasted it from any given letter on the internet.

Read more:  Best Ways to End a Cover Letter

8. Sign off with a Professional Closing

This part’s easy. But get it wrong, and you’ll look sloppy. Your letter of intent should end like any business letter—with a sign-off, signature, and name and contact info.

You can end with:

Or other business-ready closings, then your name, written or digital signature, and contact info. Here’s an example:

Sign-Off in a Letter of Intent Example

What’s wrong with sample #2? Well—warm regards is a little too “huggy” for someone you’ve never met. And it’s missing your job title and closing contact information .

Read more: Modern Cover Letter Templates for Every Job

9. Create a Professional Heading for Your Letter of Intent

We’ve left the top of your letter of intent for last. You’ll need a header for it too, with address info and the date. Yes, you’ve got your contact info at the bottom. But—it’s customary to put it at the top as well. The header should look like any business letter or cover letter heading .

Letter of Intent Heading Example

That heading has everything you need to look professional.

Key Takeaway

Here’s how to write a letter of intent for a job:

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a  professional resume template here for free .

Create the perfect resume

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

Questions? Concerns? We’re here for you. If you still have questions about how to write a letter of intent for a job that gets things rolling, drop me a line in the comments.  

Tom Gerencer, CPRW

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Letter of Intent (LOI) Templates (14)

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intention in letter

Updated March 06, 2023

A letter of intent (LOI) is used to declare a person or party’s intent to commit to a certain act. In a business setting, an LOI outlines the preliminary terms of an agreement and typically includes a requirement that a formal contract must be written within a specified timeframe. If the parties do not create a good-faith agreement within the required time period, the LOI becomes void.

Outside of business transactions, a letter of intent is commonly used for

By Type (14)

Business proposal.

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Business Purchase

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Real Estate

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Stock Purchase

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Software Development

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intention in letter

Is a Letter of Intent Legally Binding?

A letter of intent may be legally binding if it “ sets forth all of the material terms of the agreed-upon transaction, including the parties, purchase price… ” ( A.J. Richard & Sons, Inc. v Forest City Ratner Cos., LLC [2019] ).

However, it is most common for the parties to draft a non-binding letter of intent since its main purpose is only to propose the terms of a future, definitive agreement. Oftentimes, the letter contains a mixture of binding and non-binding provisions, depending on the terms the parties wish to defer to the future agreement (e.g., a purchase price that is still subject to negotiation). The parties should include specific language indicating the terms and conditions subject to revision by the later formal agreement and those already finalized. ( Emigrant Bank v. UBS Real Est. Sec., Inc., 49 A.D.3d 382, 854 N.Y.S.2d 39 [2008] ).

Binding vs. Non-Binding

What Should a Letter of Intent Include?

For transactional purposes , an LOI should include:

For non-transactional purposes, such as school admissions or employment , the letter should include:

How Does a Letter of Intent Work?

Step 1 – negotiate with the other party, step 2 – write the letter of intent, step 3 – complete the transaction.

two parties negotiating deal

Before any agreement can be made, the parties will be required to negotiate the terms. Iron out the details of the agreement, such as purchase price, payment for services, and whether the letter of intent will be binding or non-binding.

person typing letter of intent

When enough details are agreed upon, a letter of intent may be written. It’s important to include as many agreed-upon items as possible.

both parties shaking hands

Complete the transaction by either finalizing the transaction or converting the letter of intent into a binding agreement. Both parties have an obligation to continue the transaction, in “good faith,” with one another.

Sample Letter of Intent (Transaction)

For the comprehensive document, please download the free form or click on the “Create Document” button.



Effective Date: [DATE]


This letter of intent, (the “Letter of Intent”), represents the basic terms for an agreement that shall be considered ☐ binding ☐ non-binding. After this Letter of Intent has been made, another formal agreement may be constructed to the benefit of the Parties.

1. The Buyer : [BUYER] (the “Buyer”) with a mailing address of [ADDRESS], City of [CITY], State of [STATE].

2. The Seller : [SELLER](the “Seller”) with a mailing address of [ADDRESS], City of [CITY], State of [STATE].

3. The Transaction : Buyer agrees to pay the Seller the amount of [AMOUNT] Dollars ($[X]) (“Purchase Price”) in exchange for [LIST GOODS/SERVICES] (“Goods/Services”).

4. Payment : Payment shall be paid in the following manner: (check one)

☐ At a Later Date : The Purchase Price must be paid by: (check one)

☐ the Date of [DATE].

☐ the Date mentioned in the formal agreement.

☐ Signing : The Purchase Price must be paid at the time of signing:

☐ this Letter of Intent.

☐ another formal agreement.


5. Deposit : With the signing of this Letter of Intent, the Parties agree that: (check one)

☐ Deposit is Required : The Buyer shall remit to the Seller, together with this Letter of Intent, payment in the amount of [AMOUNT] Dollars ($[X]) (“Deposit”). The Deposit shall be accepted by the Seller as: (check one)

☐ Refundable under the following terms: [LIST TERMS] .

☐ Non-Refundable.

☐ Deposit is NOT Required : The Buyer shall not be required to make payment at the time of signing this Letter of Intent.

6. Financing : The Buyer has made it known that: (check one)

☐ Conditional Upon Financing : This Letter of Intent is conditional on the Buyer’s ability to obtain financing. Financing shall be under the following terms: [LIST TERMS].

☐ NOT Conditional Upon Financing : This Letter of Intent is not conditional on the Buyer’s ability to obtain financing.  

7. Currency : All mentions of money or the usage of the “$” icon shall be known as referring to the US Dollar.

8. Governing Law : This Letter of Intent shall be governed under the laws by the State of [STATE].

Seller’s Signature ______________________ Date ______________

Print Name ______________________

Buyer’s Signature ______________________ Date ______________

intention in letter

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A letter of intent being viewed across a tablet, mobile phone, and laptop using Adobe Sign

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What is a letter of intent, and how do you write one?

Letters of intent often initiate business transactions and can set expectations for all parties before any binding agreement comes into play.


Why would you use a letter of intent?

How do businesses use letters of intent, what to include in your letter of intent., what is a letter of intent.

A letter of intent (LOI) is a document written in business letter format that declares your intent to do a specific thing. It’s usually, but not always, nonbinding, and it states a preliminary commitment by one party to do business with another party. A letter of intent is very similar to a memorandum of understanding, a nonbinding document that usually precedes binding agreements.

Whether working independently or as part of a larger organization, anyone can use an LOI. For individuals, a letter of intent is comparable to a personal pitch that states their intent to accept an opportunity — it doesn’t set specific terms of a potential transaction or count as due diligence. For students or job seekers, for example, it can simply be a way to show professional courtesy and stand out from a crowded field of potential applicants.

On the other hand, businesses need due diligence before they engage in a transaction. That means taking reasonable steps to satisfy specific legal requirements by laying them out in detail in the letter’s contents. Those specifics can include being transparent about the purpose of the intent, the size of the transaction, the potential cost, and when the business hopes it will occur — although it can cover even more than that.

A man wearing glasses sitting on the floor reviewing a letter of intent on their laptop with his dog

Job seekers write letters of intent to hiring managers as a way to introduce themselves and provide more context and information about their experience. Unlike cover letters, you can send letters of intent at any time, with or without a job application. Job postings can attract numerous responses, and a letter of intent can get you noticed. It can also make it easier for a recruiter or employer to recognize additional information about you (beyond your current job title or LinkedIn profile), such as specific skills and experience related to the open position.

Businesses use letters of intent to announce new transactions or relationships, before official paperwork like definitive agreements or purchase agreements is created. Sales, purchase, mergers, and joint ventures can all begin with LOIs, declaring their intentions and announcing who will be involved in the potential interaction.

Students may submit a letter of intent to a university as a part of their admissions materials. This usually declares their intent to enroll and includes an outline of their educational background. If a student is applying to a graduate program, the letter should also include specific examples of what they intend to study. Letters of intent in education are also sometimes known as statements of purpose.

Before creating official paperwork like definitive agreements or purchase agreements, businesses use letters of intent to announce new transactions or relationships. Sales, purchases, mergers, and joint ventures can all begin with LOIs, declaring their intentions and announcing who will be involved in the potential interaction.

A woman talking on a mobile phone while looking at their laptop at a table

While they’ll be a little different depending on your unique situation, letters of intent should give all parties a clear roadmap for what’s to come, should each party act in good faith or stay true to their word. They introduce goals, expectations, and basic terms such as time frames for potential transactions, which helps all involved to better understand the potential business deal structure. This makes it simpler for parties to identify potential deal-breakers or binding items that will become important in the future. It can also be helpful having a letter of intent template as a reference to ensure nothing gets missed.

Take a look at a sample letter of intent, and see what to include in yours, from the subject line and salutation to the signature.

View free letter of intent examples

Turn your intentions into actions with an e-signature.

If a letter of intent is a binding contract or if you want to verify that a recipient has reviewed it, you’ll want to include an option for them to return it with a signature. Sometimes preliminary negotiations can include disclaimers or legal documents such as a  nondisclosure agreement .  E-signatures  can make these initial correspondences move faster. 

Learn more about electronic signatures

E-signatures in action.

Letters of intent are the beginning of a relationship.  E-signatures  can help move that relationship along.

Faster contracts, less time in the inbox.

Adding e-signatures to correspondence doesn’t just cut down on paper; it can also reduce the time everyone spends opening, reading, and sorting through emails. Find out how Adobe reduced contract-related email traffic by 75 percent and made contracts easier with e-signatures.

More efficient college applications.

Applying for college can be complicated. Pace University made the process easier for high school students and other applicants. Some of their forms required up to ten signatures. But with e-signatures, forms went from potential bottlenecks to an easy, streamlined process. 

Make your letter of intent even better with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Adobe Acrobat Pro makes it easy for parties to exchange signatures and begin official relationships. Save time, save paper, and act on your intentions with Acrobat.

Letters of Intent: Your questions answered.

How is a letter of intent different from a letter of interest.

While both letters express interest, the main difference between a letter of intent and a letter of interest is the level of commitment to the outcome. For example, a letter of intent to a graduate school lets you show why you’d be a benefit to them, and that you fully “intend” to take their offer if accepted. A letter of interest is less formal. It’s a good choice if you’re reaching out to an organization that doesn’t have an open position listed, but that you’d still like to connect with or demonstrate your interest in their business, purpose, or mission.

Is a letter of intent binding?

The answer depends on how the letter is written. For example, a letter of intent could be interpreted as a binding agreement if the parties indicated their agreement on specific terms of a business transaction. However, if any of the terms were written vaguely or left open for future negotiation, the letter of intent may not be considered binding. Meaning that, depending on the exact language and wording used, a letter of intent could be binding — or not. To know better where yours falls on this legality question, you should have an attorney review your letter before you finalize it.

Where can I find samples of letters of intent?

There are many situations where using a letter of intent sample can speed up the writing process and help you craft a standout statement. Whether you’re looking for LOI templates for a business merger, joint venture, school application,  real estate transaction , or other, you can download and customize a wide range of free  letters of intent samples  directly from Adobe Express.

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