Writing a covering letter

How to write a cover letter

The importance of letter of motivation

Why on earth write a covering letter? Many of you are now wondering about the need to send a covering letter in response to an advertisement or simply to make an unsolicited application. So much so that some younger people simply deny its usefulness, arguing that a good CV will do the trick and get the interview started. CVs and covering letters are complementary. Enclosing a covering letter by e-mail or post can give your application more impact..

So how do you write a cover letter? How should it be written? What purpose does it serve if a Perfect CV enough on its own?

What is a covering letter?

Whether in the form of a covering e-mail or a traditional letter, as the name suggests, this is a letter that accompanies the curriculum vitae and, without repeating it, should enable the recruiter to understand :

- firstly that you are able to express yourself using at least the following codesIt's also a way of forcing you to introduce yourself in a certain formal way;

- then that you have the human qualities that will make you the employee they are looking for which cannot be detected by reading your CV;

- finally you have the experience and training to motivate you to give your best and that you are really ready to commit to the business;

How do I write a letter?

If, when writing your covering letter, you do copy and paste examples you've taken from the Internet, it's unlikely to exude authenticity and make a good cover letter. If it's just a reflection of what you've gleaned from a few key words, there's every chance that your presentation will be similar to that of many candidates for the same job.

What makes a good cover letter as opposed to a standard cover letter?

A standard covering letter requires a certain amount of formality. And you'll find plenty of models to show you what form to follow. Introduce yourself, talk about the job and how you are perfectly suited to the position on offer because of the relevant experience you have had, your results and your wishes - that's it! A greeting and off I go?

At best, you will have written a cover letter. As for saying that it is good, let's just say that it will be at least as good as those of your competitors if they have done it the same way. Writing a cover letter is all about expressing your motivation for a specific job in a given recruitment context.

An original covering letter

L'originality pays, too much originality kills. If you deviate too much from the standard way of applying for a job, you need to do it in a way that doesn't make your reader look lost and stop reading your letter too soon. This means that you must respect a minimum of formalism, without sticking to the first example of a letter found on the web. Write a letter that reflects your personality, not that of others!

The length of a covering letter

Put yourself in the recruiter's shoes. If they are likely to receive thousands of applications for the same job, any document you provide that is out of the ordinary will appeal to them. Either your cover letter is too short and they will judge your motivation by the effort you put into writing it, or it is too long and you will quickly be perceived as someone who could drown in detail, but above all as someone who is incapable of getting to the heart of the matter. Between these two pitfalls, there is still room for a document that is no longer than a page.

A page is a long time to fill when you think you have nothing to say, but it's also a very short time when you have several years' experience and find it relevant enough that you don't know which ones to highlight.

There are also situations that will require you to depart from ordinary practice, but let's concentrate on the general framework. The type of cover letter will depend largely on your job objective.

Cover letter: internship, first jobBTS, Parcoursup or summer job, the tool for getting an interview

It's your recruiter you should be thinking about. If you're looking for a job, it seeks to fill a position that corresponds to a need within the company. And it is likely to receive many applications. In a nutshell, you need to get straight to the pointThis means getting straight to the point and explaining your request.

Remind yourself of the position you are applying for and go straight to the presentation. Whatever your experience, use it to support your application. If you're just starting out, you can use your sporting activities or hobbies to show that you have the qualities that match the profile we're looking for. Are you the president of your association and a skilled negotiator? Say so if you're applying for the job of sales assistant, and emphasise your ability to pick up the phone and build a network.

The recruiter will not deduce your cross-disciplinary qualities from reading your CV. Use your experience to demonstrate the qualities you have demonstrated that are relevant to the position to be filled. Also show that you understand what the recruiter is looking for by linking your qualities to their expectations. Reread the job advertisement. This will enable you to write a convincing letter. Covering letter and CV should be one and the same in your job search.

How to rédimanaging an application?

The recipient generally expects you to structure your letter by first talking about yourself and your professional experience. In the next paragraph, they would expect you to talk about your employer, their strengths and what motivates you to join them. Then you'll talk about what you have in common with their sector of activity and you can also talk about your career plans and experience. Finally, ask for a job interview before concluding with a polite greeting.

This classic form is not compulsory, but it does help you to structure your cover letter. If you want to stand out from the crowd, there's no need to follow the example of a free cover letter template.. You can still write a letter if you follow these tips.

A few tips for write a covering letter

In all cases, remember to keep your presentation clear by distinguishing between paragraphs. Don't hesitate to consult the sites that offer cover letter templates to get an idea of the ideal layout. If you are sending a handwritten letter, make sure your handwriting is clearly legible.If not, opt for an electronic version. Written with care, it will also reflect your personality.

How to finish a covering letter

"Yours sincerely Find out who is actually in charge of recruitment first, and then adapt the greeting. There are many ways of greeting your future employer. To find out the polite expressions to use, see our article on this subject.

As with all correspondence, when writing a letter, don't forget to include your name, the name of the person to whom your letter of application is addressed and the position you are applying for in the subject line. Handwritten or not, remember to have your letter proofread, as it should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Also observe the rules of typography.

My cover letter checklist :

- check my name and contact details (no fancy e-mail addresses);

- put the target position in the subject line;

- indicate date ;

- Is my font legible? Does my mail print correctly?

- check for the absence of verbose vocabulary: no "serious", "dynamic" or "motivated". Otherwise, I'm just like all the other candidates!

- No familiarity, just professionalism and courtesy;

- don't lie about my achievements! It's a mistake I'll pay dearly for;

- check that my skills are properly promoted;

- have me proofread for spelling, syntax, grammar and presentation (not my mother, not my sister, I'll choose someone impartial who doesn't know me);

- sign my covering letter ;

- give my CV and covering letter the right name with the recruiter in mind;

- if available, add a letter of recommendation to my application;

- add my CV to my cover letter and check that the attachments are present;

- add my application to my application tracking sheet (it would be a pity not to remember to whom and when you sent an application) ;

- keep an archive of my CVs and cover letters;

- include a letter of thanks;

- plan to send a reminder letter if there is no response.

Did you find this article useful? Share it on your social networks! Other tips for writing CVs and covering letters are available on the cvsansfaute.fr blog!

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