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Mastering the Letter of Introduction: Examples and Tips

Letters of introduction are often utilized professionally, such as to find a job, but can also be written when communicating among professionals.

For example, if you wish to work with an agency or a new vendor, you can use a letter of introduction to get the ball rolling.

Writing a letter of introduction is a skill we should all have, in addition to knowing how to put together a killer cover letter. Fortunately, I’ve got all the details you need to develop your introduction letter-writing prowess.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the core elements of a letter of introduction, the dos and don’ts, and a few useful tips. Oh, and we’ll bookend that with plenty of IRL professional examples!

 

What Is a Letter of Introduction?

A letter of introduction is the first point of contact with someone and lets you introduce yourself to the recipient. Letters of introduction are a professional way to make your acquaintance with someone. They make a good impression because most people don’t expect them.

By the way, introduction letters don’t always have to be about you and your objectives. You can write a letter about a sterling colleague you know and wish to refer to someone else. If you’re in a hiring position and you’re jazzed about the new employee you just penned a deal with, you might also write a letter of introduction.

Core Elements of a Compelling Letter of Introduction

As you begin structuring your introduction letter, ensure it has these components.

Personalization

Just as you wouldn’t start a business email with “to whom it may concern,” you shouldn’t do the same with a formal letter of introduction. With the popularity of LinkedIn and other online services, there’s no excuse not to know the full name of the party you’re trying to reach.

Besides including their name in the introduction letter, you should also incorporate other elements of personalization throughout, such as the person’s interests or needs.

Purpose

A letter of introduction is not an aimless document. You’re writing it for a reason, so you should ensure that purpose is as clear as day.

As they say in journalism, don’t bury the lede (or lead). That means the most important information should be as close to the top as possible. This way, if your reader doesn’t get through the whole letter (which can happen if you send a business introduction letter to someone who’s ultra-busy), they at least have your gist.

Personality

Many people erroneously think that a letter of introduction has to be boring. Good news – it doesn’t! You’re allowed to showcase your personality in your letter. If anything, I’d recommend it!

If your letter is robotic and generic, you don’t give readers much reason to keep going. They’ll tune out early and probably stop reading after a paragraph.

Keep your letter purpose-driven, but please share elements of your personality in your writing style and content. It goes a long way toward increasing engagement.

Authenticity

Going hand-in-hand with showcasing your personality is writing authentically. That’s especially important when vouching for someone else. If the reader can’t trust what you’re putting on the table, they won’t bite.

Length

Although a letter offers you a greater word count than writing a social media post or email subject line, you still can’t go on forever with your word count. The average letter of introduction has three paragraphs.

Writing within those constraints keeps your letter focused and clear. Maybe you can add a fourth paragraph if you absolutely must, but nothing further.

Calls-to-action

What do you want the reader to do after they finish your letter of introduction? Do you want them to hire you? Call the person you recommended? Whatever it is, you need a clear CTA to inspire the reader to do what you want.

Contact information

Your introduction letter should undoubtedly include your contact information. Share your email address, phone number, business address, and social handles.

Read also: How to Write a Winning Introduction Email

3 Amazing Letter of Introduction Examples

Let’s take a look at some letters of introduction so you can see what they look like, how they’re formatted, and what elements they include (and omit!).

Engineering recommendation letter of introduction

Letter of introduction for an engineer
Image courtesy of Pinterest

This letter is a classic introduction of another party and a recommendation. In this case, the letter writer wants Mr. Greenstreet to hire Ann Morgan. As you read through the letter, you’ll see the tone is a touch formal, but mostly reads conversationally and informally.

It has personality, so it flows, and you don’t mind that it’s four paragraphs since it’s an enjoyable read.

The referral letter introduces the cause in the first sentence, then talks in the next two paragraphs about why a hiring decision of this magnitude would be best. I also like how it wraps up, as the tone is playful!

Read also: How to Respond to an Introduction Email: Tips and Templates

Letter of introduction for a teaching job

Teaching job letter of recommendation
Image courtesy of Pinterest

Here’s a letter of introduction about the letter writer, in this case, Anna Johnson. She’s writing to Dr. Barbara Schmidt, hoping to land a teaching job.

This one follows the basic letter-writing protocol, starting strong by expressing the point immediately and then delving into Anna’s experience for a paragraph or two. The end mentions what she wants­ – a conversation to set up an interview – and then wraps up neatly and nicely from there.

A self-introduction letter similar to this one can improve the success of your job search and impress your potential employer.

Letter to introduce new employee to clients

New Employee Letter of Introduction
Image courtesy of Resume Writing Lab

This last example is like a combination of the two. Ashton Hill is writing to Henry Hemingway to introduce the latest hire to Hill’s company, Robert Kale. The employee introduction letter lets Hemingway know about Mr. Kale’s credentials and how he will be a valuable addition to the team.

Hemingway, who’s a client and not a customer, will appreciate the assurance that the new hire has references and experience to back up the hiring decision on behalf of Mr. Kale.

Read more: 7 Introduction Email Mistakes to Avoid

Crafting Your Introduction: A Step-by-Step Guide

Producing a letter of introduction goes smoothly and quickly once you get the hang of it. Here are the steps required to write your own.

Start with a greeting

Your greeting doesn’t have to be too long. Keep it simple, because, remember, authenticity is important when crafting introduction letters. Your greeting should align with your personality.

For example, if you would never say, “Hey, how are ya?” — this isn’t the right time or place to start talking that way. Be yourself. A greeting doesn’t have to be much, so don’t overthink it.

Here are some greetings to get you started:

  • Hello
  • Hi
  • How are you doing?
  • Good morning
  • Howdy
  • Good afternoon
  • Hi there
  • Pleased to e-meet you
  • Greetings
  • Good afternoon
  • Good evening

Get to the point quickly

You should introduce yourself and then proceed to the crux of the letter. Why have you decided to write to this person? That information should be within the first paragraph; remember, you don’t get many.

Mention your experience, accomplishments, and qualifications

That said, you need to use some of your word count toward your experience. Discuss your qualifications and accomplishments. There’s no need to go overboard here. You’re simply trying to convince your reader that you’re worth trusting and listening to.

Discuss the next steps

What do you want the reader to do after they finish with your letter of introduction? Don’t demand anything from them, but mention the next steps in your letter. For example, you might say, “How about a call next Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss?”

You have to be the one to get the ball rolling since you reached out.

Provide your contact information

Yes, I’m mentioning this again because it’s important. You want to give the letter recipient as many options for getting in touch as possible. The easier you make it for them, the better the chances of hearing back.

Sign off

Like your greeting doesn’t have to be overly involved, the same goes for your signoff. Keep it short, sweet, and semi-memorable.

Here are some signoffs you can use:

  • Best
  • Until next time
  • Keep me posted. Thanks!
  • I appreciate your help
  • Warm regards
  • Virtually yours
  • Talk soon
  • Looking forward to it
  • Take care
  • Cheers
  • Respectfully
  • Thanks
  • Looking forward to hearing from you
  • Thanks in advance
  • Sincerely
  • Regards
  • Live long and prosper
  • Best wishes

Read also: How To Introduce Someone Via Email: A Guide With Templates

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Letter of Introduction

As you become more comfortable writing introduction letters, remember the dangers that can await you if you aren’t careful.

Using a highly formal tone

Since a letter of introduction comes across more formally than your average cover letter, a formal tone just seems right, doesn’t it? Maybe, but that all depends on who you’re writing to.

By all means, write formally if the party receiving it vibes with that kind of language. However, if you’re talking to your average industry professional, you don’t have to write sir/madam and dust off the biggest, fanciest-sounding words you know.

Being too informal

However, ensure you don’t play it too cautiously and write your letter informally. Again, it depends on who you’re talking to and your level of familiarity, but informal language like “yo” and slang come across as too unprofessional.

The best verbiage to use is a combination of formal and informal while still being yourself.

Sending out lengthy letters

Remember, a letter of introduction must be succinct. Keep it to three or four paragraphs max. If you find yourself writing beyond that, you must pause, reread what you’ve written, and ask yourself what you can omit.

Focusing on the wrong points

A letter of introduction is not for bragging rights. It’s to introduce someone, usually yourself, and discuss a potential opportunity. That’s it. When you dig too deep into your credentials and only talk about that, you come across as boastful and reduce your chances of getting a response.

Not following up

In a perfect world, everyone we cold-emailed would respond within five business days. However, it’s not a perfect world, so don’t expect to hear back immediately. If a week has passed with no response, follow up.

Then, in another week, follow up if it’s still crickets.

People get busy; they forget about your email, or they mean to respond, get called away, and never get to it. How many emails have you thought you responded to or meant to, but you didn’t? Exactly.

Following up nudges your letter closer to the top of the pile.

Forgetting to proofread

Free proofreading tools are abundant, so please use them to your advantage. If you see squiggly lines or red text around your words, that’s a sign you spelled something incorrectly or made a grammar mistake.

Listen, these things happen, even to the best of us. Your recipient never has to know how riddled with mistakes the original copy was. What matters more is that you clean it up and leave no trace of any errors.

Skipping the contact information

I will harp on this one more time. If you send a letter of introduction through a social media DM or email but want to set up a video call or phone chat, you must provide the requisite contact information.

Using the same stock letter for everyone

Although business introduction letters generally take on the same format, to say they’re identical from one to another would be unfair. If you’re writing authentically and with your personality, each letter should have its own individuality.

Copying and pasting the same base letter and changing around a few details will save you time, but it will probably not yield the outcome you want.

Related blog: 15 Introduction Email Templates That Work Like a Charm

Wrapping Up

Letters of introduction are an excellent opportunity to put yourself out there or connect another party with someone you know personally or professionally.

That said, you shouldn’t only write introduction letters when searching for or recommending someone for a job. You can also use them to announce new hires or introduce new people.

Now that you have the blueprint for writing letters of introduction, refine your skills and make more of your goals happen!

EngageBay is an all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer support software for small businesses and startups. You get email marketing, automation, drip campaigns, free email templates, A/B testing, email personalization, and more.

Sign up with EngageBay for free, or book a demo with our experts. 

Best wishes!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Is a letter of introduction the same as a cover letter?

No, letters of introduction aren’t cover letters, although they can serve a similar purpose if used in a business setting.

2. What are other names for letters of introduction?

They’re sometimes referred to as motivation letters, a.k.a. motivating you to get out there and achieve your goals 😊

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