Responding to an Employment ‘Expression of Interest’ - dummies

By Amanda McCarthy, Kate Southam

Sometimes job hunters will see ads on job boards and in newspapers calling for an Expression of Interest (EOI) with no specific job role mentioned. Such ads can be confusing if you don’t know how to tackle this more unusual call for job candidates. Here are some tips to help you understand EOIs so you don’t pass up an interesting job opportunity.

What is an EOI?

An Expression of Interest is an ad placed in the jobs section of a newspaper or posted on a job board calling for people with a certain background or a particular skill set to outline on one page their interest in an employment opportunity.

Why do companies use an EOI instead of advertising a job?

An EOI is used when an employer is casting a wide net to find a certain type of candidate. Perhaps they haven’t nailed down the job role or roles they will be offering in the near future, but they do know the skills they’ll need. An EOI could be used to uncover candidates needed to fill multiple roles, such as staffing a new call centre or a digital start-up company.

How do I respond to an EOI?

Think of the EOI as a longer-than-normal cover letter. Sticking to one page is still the way to go but instead of an ideal three paragraphs, you would write five or six.

Write your name and contact details at the top of the page in the same way you would a cover letter. Add any reference number detailed in the ad. If you can, address your letter to a real person rather than ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. This isn’t always possible so don’t sweat it — just follow any and all instructions outlined in the ad.

Your opening line will be, ‘I am writing to express my interest in …’. The sentences that follow should briefly introduce you as a professional, outline your skills, and detail why the employment opportunity is attractive to you. You should also mention the type of role or roles you could imagine yourself filling, and relay a few career highlights relevant to the employment opportunity. If a website is included in the ad, make sure you visit it and read through any material you find there before starting your EOI letter.