A letter of introduction is the first point of contact and it allows you to tell the recipient a bit more about you, with the potential outcome of gaining a new job or business contact as a result.
Such a letter may be sent as an alternative to a cover letter when you are applying speculatively outside of the normal recruitment process. You have have reason to believe that the employer may benefit from your skills, so an introduction letter paves the way for a formal application. The tone and content should be slightly different, so take care in terms of the outcome that you desire.
You may be writing to someone you already know, or the contact may be completely new. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the topic with examples including:
- What a letter of introduction is and how to write it
- Howe do you write a short introduction example?
- Tips for writing a complete letter
- The difference between a letter of introduction and a cover letter
- Sample cover letters of introduction for jobs
What is a letter of introduction?
If you are looking for a new job, you should use a range of different sources to secure a role, including applying via job boards, speaking to recruitment agencies, and direct contact. Direct contact is when you find a relevant contact from a company and contact them yourself to introduce yourself, and potentially open the doors to a new opportunity.
If you get in touch with a hiring manager directly and they wish to find out more about you, it is a great idea to have an intro letter that is ready to go. They can then let you know whether they would like to read your resume.
So how do you write a good letter of introduction? For instance, you may search for the manager or director of the company you want to work in. When looking for new business, direct contact is vital as it can help you network with key contacts. You may also want to introduce yourself to people that you may want to collaborate with in the future. In these cases, a letter of introduction is the way to achieve this.
An introduction letter can also be used to introduce one contact to another. For instance, referring business to someone you know or introducing a potential new hire.
Reasons for writing an introduction letter
An introduction letter can be used for many different situations. When a new employee starts, their manager may send an introduction letter to inform everyone about the new start, and to request that they make them feel comfortable. You might start a new job yourself, and send a letter of introduction to let clients or customers know who you are and what your role is. An introduction letter is often sent to prospective new clients in an attempt to gain a new contact or business. In other cases, candidates may send a letter of introduction to gain new contacts and hopefully, a new job.
You can write an introduction letter via email or LinkedIn message. You can write it in whatever means suits you best.
Writing your letter of introduction
Although there are many different reasons for writing a letter of introduction, you can follow the same standard structure when writing these:
How do I start my introduction? It is a good idea to start with an opening, friendly greeting, especially if you are speaking to someone you have not previously had contact with before.
Here’s an example to reach out to a connection on LinkedIn with whom you have not spoken previously.
Hi John, thanks for accepting my connection. I hope this message finds you well.
Alternatively, if you are introducing a new team member to a group at work, you could have a look at this example:
Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.
Your existing relationship with the recipient will determine which type of greeting to use. How do you introduce yourself professionally? Always use a greeting though, as it starts the introduction letter in a positive and friendly way.
Purpose of Letter
The next stage of the letter of introduction is the purpose of the letter. Why are you writing to them? Everyone is busy, so you want to ‘cut to the chase’ as quickly as possible.
Here’s a sample to introduce yourself to a potential client or employer.
I am currently a project manager at JH&B in Chicago and I’m reaching out as I will be in New York next week and would love to grab a cup of coffee if your schedule allows.
If you are introducing a new team member, you may write:
I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know that Lisa Riley has started with us today, and she will be working in the finance department as an accounts assistant.
Relevance of the Contact
Now that you have informed the recipient of why you have reached out to them, the next step is to explain the relevance of the contact. They know the purpose, but why, specifically, have you decided to reach out to them?
As JH&B will be collaborating with Brandy Partners on the upcoming NextUs campaign, I thought it would be beneficial to connect in-person and discuss the project further.
Help the recipient understand why you are contacting them. There is no need to go into in-depth detail here, just keep it brief and to the point.
What outcome are you expecting from the introduction? In other words, what do you expect the recipient to do?
For example, if you are introducing a new team member, you might say:
If you see Lisa this week, please welcome her and help make her feel at home in the office.
If you are yourself, you should let the recipient know what information you are looking for in a response and how they can get in touch with you.
Please let me know if Wednesday or Thursday would work for you, or feel free to get in touch via email at [email protected].
Make sure the introduction is polite, professional and you explain who you are, why you are contacting the recipient, and what your expectations are.
Sample letters of introduction
Example #1: Introducing your business
Thanks for accepting my connection request. I hope this message finds you well.
I’m reaching out to you because I have recently opened a small coffee shop on the corner of Blake Street. We supply coffees and other refreshments, such as cakes and crisps to businesses in the local area, both take away and sit in.
As you are new on the block, I wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood and invite you to come down to the shop for cake and coffee. We can also discuss the catering and refreshment services we provide if they are of interest to you.
Let me know what day suits you. I look forward to meeting you.
Sample #2: Letter of introduction for job
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inquire about any vacancies you may have at the moment in your civil engineering department.
I have a 2:1 BEng Civil Engineering, with 4 months of work experience in a local firm which has brought me invaluable experience in urban planning and infrastructure design.
I am now looking for a full-time job and I have heard only positive things about Smithson Co. I would relish the opportunity to discuss how my experience might align with your company’s needs. I look forward to hearing from you via phone or email.
What is the difference between an introduction letter and a cover letter?
Although a cover letter is an introduction, it is not the same as an introduction letter. A cover letter is only ever sent as part of a job application, whereas an introduction letter can be sent for all kinds of purposes. An introduction letter should only be a couple of paragraphs long, whereas a cover letter may be around one page. The introduction letter is mostly sent via email or through platforms such as LinkedIn, but you can decide for yourself which format would suit you best. The main consideration with an introduction letter is that it should be brief and get to the point. If it is unexpected, the recipient won't want to spend long reading it.
Key takeaways for an introductory letter
An introductory letter is your chance to pique someone's interest, not tell your life story. Much as you might think that more detail would help your cause, keep the letter as brief as possible.
- Make sure you are professional in your letter and that you inform the reader of who you are and why you are contacting them.
- Always state your expectations from the recipient.
- Keep your letter of introduction short and to the point, there is no need to give your life story, just stick to the main facts.
- Don’t be disappointed if the recipient isn’t interested at the moment. Keep their details and ask if you can follow it up in the future.
- Check for spelling errors before you send and ensure you are spelling the recipient's name correctly.
- Have a look at our cover letter examples and cover letter templates before you start building your own.