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Basic Elements in a Letter of Interest

Basic Elements in a Letter of Interest

This question is taken from AGB Search‘s monthly newsletter, “Securing Leadership,” which features two questions — one frequently asked by search committee members and another often posed by candidates in presidential searches. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

From a candidate: What are the basic elements in the perfect letter of interest in a presidential search? Based on nearly thirty years of serving well over 100 presidential searches, we would suggest the following:

  • Submit letters of interest only to institutions where you are strongly drawn to role and mission.
  • Limit the length of your letter to no more than two to three pages.
  • Convey with power how your training, experience, and success are a match for the institution’s stated leadership needs.
  • Write each letter as a new document. Don’t be tempted to simply revise a letter of interest submitted to a previous search.

Remember, this is not a letter to get the job, per se.

This is a letter to get the committee’s attention – to convince them they would like to know more about you by checking your references and subsequently talking with you face-to-face.
Thanks to Bruce Atlon, AGB Search consultant of counsel for this post.  For more information on the presidential search process, see A Complete Guide to Presidential Search.
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