What polite wording to use in a cover letter

A simple greeting, not a copy and paste.

A cover letter A well-written cover letter is an important asset for your application and can help you stand out from the competition. A crucial step in your cover letter motivationThe polite way to conclude your letter should show your respect and professionalism towards the recipient. But there's no point in polishing a conclusion if the rest of the letter isn't up to the same standard.

If you're not inspired and don't have a formula in mind, be wary of tempting proposals gleaned from the Internet. Always remember that your letter should accurately reflect the respect you wish to show the recipient.

Here are a few examples of polite formulas commonly used in a cover letter, whether in the introduction to your cover letter or in its conclusion. These are just the most common examples. If you're a law student writing to a lawyer or judge, you'll of course want to take their function into account.

The letter call, to start the letter :

    • Dear Sir/Madam, (on one or more lines)
    • Madame,
    • Mr,
    • Dear Madam,
    • Dear Sir,

Note that you should only use these last two phrases if you know the person you're talking to well enough. Calling a complete stranger "dear" may seem inappropriate, and risks giving a personal tone to a relationship that doesn't exist. Don't use "Mr. and Mrs." either, or you'll risk showing your contempt for the most elementary forms of politeness.

Reminder of title or function, marks of deference

    • type

It's also important to personalize your letter according to the recipient and the company. If you know the person you're sending the letter to, there's no need to address it to Dear Sir or Madam...

    • the title

If you are addressing someone whose job title you know and is important to you, you can use the contact details section of the letter to refer to that person: Mr. Director of the...

Start with "Madame," or "Monsieur," and don't forget to capitalize the initial as a sign of deference. There's no need to mention your interlocutor's position in the salutation, except in special cases (you don't write to the President of the Republic every day!).

    • capital letters

As an exception to the lower-case rule for common nouns in the middle of a sentence, we use a capital letter in the salutation. We also write Madame or Monsieur in full, without ever using abbreviations.

To finish the letter :

    • I would like to thank you in advance for your consideration of my application and remain at your disposal should you require any further information. Yours respectfully
    • The "Thank you in advance" variant for Your attention [...] and I remain at your disposal for any discussion or additional information you may require." would be awkward, since it's not customary to thank your reader and ask them to read you, almost before they've even read you! Please refer to our tips on using willingly to express your gratitude in your letters and thank your interlocutor in the most formal way.
    • We look forward to receiving your reply.
    • The all-too-frequently encountered variant "Je prie d'agréer Yours sincerely"is to be avoided. It is customary to use "agréer l'expression" ("to approve the expression"). express a feeling, an attitude, a mark of consideration or respect, but not a greeting. We can therefore write: "Please accept the expression of my respects". The Academy also specifies that the verb agréer can also introduce the term assurance. You could write: "Please accept the assurance of my consideration". Finally, don't overdo it by specifying "in anticipation", which only adds a form of eagerness to act, knowing that your reader could understand that you're in despair...

The final formula

    • Please to approve(or Madam, Sir or Madam), my best regards distinguished.
    • Please to approve(or Madam, Sir or Madam), my respectful greetings.
    • Yours respectfully
    • Yours sincerely

Avoid your "best feelings" or "best regards", as your interlocutor could understand that you're throwing all your feelings at him/her in a jumble and that he/she will have to choose the best ones! Avoid "Cordially", "cordial greetings", "High consideration", "Deep respect", which are out of place when writing to a superior, a recruiter or your future employer. At the end of a letter, they could ruin everything!

Also avoid "Je vous prie de croire" and "prie de bien vouloir", which considerably weigh down the tone of the speech. If you insist, use "Please believe" instead. Finally, if you're a man, don't convey "your best wishes" to a woman - just pay your respects.

When in doubt, choose the simplest formulation.

    • Yours sincerely

Of course, you should avoid overly familiar or informal expressions. Don't say "Hi" or "Kisses", as these should be avoided in all business correspondence. Keep it formal. On the other hand, don't be too polite just because you're looking for a job!

As you can see from these examples, the longer the sentence and the more bombastic the style, the less they reflect the sincerity of your approach. So use isolated formulas rather than long sentences, and break up your speech:

    • Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information. Yours sincerely

You'll look more sincere and respectful.

Finally, don't forget to reread, or even better, to have it proofread your letter to make sure it's well written and free of spelling and grammatical errors.

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