So, you want to get a job in law enforcement, a promotion in your department or possibly transfer to a brand-new gig altogether? You’re probably going to need a pretty killer letter of intent. A letter of intent for a job (also known as a letter of interest or inquiry letter) can really detail your qualifications, but you have to be careful to articulate the right sentiments.

Show your positivity, your passion and your desire to achieve your goals rather than focusing on the negative (i.e., the real reason you want to get out of your boring desk job at the precinct and onto the street). This law enforcement letter of intent example will help you land your dream gig.

What Is a Letter of Intent for a Job?

You might be asked to submit a letter of intent for a job if you’re applying for a new position, a transfer or a promotion. Overall, it’s similar to a cover letter in the sense that it outlines why you’re qualified in greater detail than your resume can show. You might even be able to put things in there that you can’t show on a resume at all.

For example, in a letter of interest for a law enforcement promotion, you can outline the times you’ve handled greater responsibility than your current job title warrants. Did you go out on a limb for a colleague? Did you help solve a particularly difficult case? When did you go above and beyond?

Even if you’re not asked to submit a letter of interest for a law enforcement promotion, you may wish to do so anyway. It can be used regardless of whether a promotion or job is actually being offered and helps personalize your application so that the hiring manager will remember you when an opportunity becomes available.

Start With a Salutation

Start by finding out the name of the deputy, police chief, hiring manager or whoever handles human resources. Address your letter to that person. If you’re not sure, call the precinct and ask to whom you should address your letter.

The First Paragraph Should Be an Introduction

Every law enforcement letter of intent needs a solid introduction. Use the first paragraph of your letter of intent to explain why you’re writing. Are you replying to a specific listing, or are you hoping there’s a position available? Explain the type of work in which you are interested. For example, do you want to be a detective or a police officer? Do you want to work on the street, work in a public or private prison or have a desk job?

Highlight Your Skills in the Second Paragraph

The best law enforcement letters of intent are concise and don’t run more than a couple paragraphs. Use the second paragraph to outline your experience. If you’re applying for a job that’s already listed, explain how your skill set meets the outlined requirements in the job listing.

If you’re cold calling a company, explain how you think your skills would benefit the precinct in which you want to work. Take this opportunity to describe an amazing past work experience that really showed you went above and beyond.

The Last Paragraph Should Be a Call to Action

End your letter of intent by asking the employer to take action. Include your contact information and say you’re looking forward to hearing from him. Then, sign your letter with a professional closing like “sincerely” and a handwritten signature followed by your typed name.

The best law enforcement letters of intent have a professional ending that encourages employers to reach out. Don’t be afraid to follow up after you send your letter of intent unless the job listing says otherwise.

Ask current members of the force for tips on how they got their position and if they would be willing to write a supporting letter of recommendation with your letter of intent.