How to Draft a Well-Written Letter of Introduction
Want to meet someone formally? A potential client, networking contact, or employer? One of the best ways to do so is by sending them a letter of introduction. It is formal, not too overbearing, and not as awkward as going up to a person to introduce yourself.
What is a letter of introduction?
Just as the name implies, a letter of introduction is a written note that aims to introduce you to someone or introduce two people you know who are not acquainted with each other. It may come in the form of a physical letter, an email, or even a LinkedIn message. A letter of introduction is one way to establish new connections.
There are generally two main types of letters of introduction. One is when you are introducing yourself to a person whom you have not met, usually to request information or assistance in a job search or asking for a job referral.
Another type is when you are introducing two people who are yet to be acquainted. It could be any of the following:
- One colleague to another
- A job candidate to a hiring manager
- New members of the team
- A professional acquaintance to another
A letter of introduction is so helpful in so many scenarios. That is why it is important to write one well. It serves as your first contact with that person, and so, to make a good impression and bag a referral or an appointment, it must be well-written.
How to make a well-written introduction letter
If you want your introduction letter to be as professional and as complete as possible, simply follow the steps below:
1. Start with a greeting
As with most other letters, a letter of introduction starts off with a greeting. If you are writing to someone, you know well to introduce someone else, a simple “hello” with their first name can be acceptable, along with a thoughtful and friendly greeting such as “I hope you are having a good day.”
If you are writing to someone with a higher position or significantly older, their title and surname should suffice. However, if you are writing to introduce yourself to someone you have not met, a more formal greeting with their title and full name might be more appropriate, along with a more reserved greeting such as “I hope this letter finds you well.”
2. Tell the reader why you are writing.
In as brief as a sentence, tell the reader your objective as to why you are writing them. This gives them an instant idea of what your letter is all about. It is best to get to the point with statements like “I am writing to formally introduce you to JD Contractor’s head of Project Management.”
If you are writing to introduce yourself, however, you may skip this step and move on to the next.
3. Write down the name of the person you are introducing in full.
The person you are introducing should have their full name on the letter; this holds true also if you are introducing yourself. Also, make sure to include the person’s titles (if any) to give the reader a better understanding of who the person is.
4. Describe the person in relevance to the reader
The person you are introducing may be many things. They may have a wide set of skills, several certifications and qualifications, and a handful of good qualities and characteristics. However, in your letter of introduction, make it a point to only include the descriptions that are most relevant to the reader.
For example, if you are introducing yourself to the manager of an engineering firm, you will most likely include your relevant education and licensing, as well as your acquired engineering skills. You should no longer include that you are a good cook or that you are athletic. Stick to what is relevant for the intended purpose of the letter.
5. Describe how their acquaintance might help one another
To bridge from your description, you should explain how this new acquaintance may be beneficial to both parties. “I would love to bring my current skills to contribute to your highly reputed organization” is a simple but effective way to tell your reader that they could benefit from knowing you and you from them. The same principle applies if you are introducing someone else.
6. Include contacts and other necessary information
Because the person you are writing to does not know you, or the people you are introducing do not know each other, including contact details is critical in a letter of introduction. This could include their phone number and email address as well as other pertinent details like their office address.
Express your eagerness to meet with the person in your closing line. However, to make your letter of introduction more effective, you can include cues such as your office hours and your availability. If you are introducing someone else, you can close off with statements like “I’ll schedule an appointment for you both next week.”
8. Sign off with your name and title
End your letter with a professional sign-off like “Sincerely” or “Best Regards,” your full name, position, and contact details, if applicable. Even if you are introducing someone else in your letter, the signoff should still include your own details as you are the one who wrote the letter.
A few tips
- Keep it brief and to the point, especially if you know that the person you are writing to is a busy person and does not have a lot of time to read lengthy letters.
- Consider doing it via email. Email is a trusty mode of communication, is quick and easy if your contact is far away, and is not as informal as a message on social media.
- Edit and proofread. Nothing devalues a letter faster than typographical or grammatical errors. Make sure to re-read your entire letter to make sure that it is free of flaws. You can run it through applications like Grammarly, which can help you spot errors you might have missed.
- Improve your business writing skills either by reading several resources, practicing or through online classes like The Business Writing Course.