The cover letter is a crucial step in the recruitment process. Beyond the curriculum vitae, it will be the first impression that your future (potential) employer will have of you. We can say that it is therefore important to treat it, but how do you do it? Here are the golden rules for writing a good cover letter in this article!
Cover letter: in the form
No more than one page
First, let's talk structure. If you are presented with a document that is 10 pages or more, chances are you will feel discouraged. And for good reason: when you're very busy, you don't take the time to read several pages of content. It's the same for recruiters! The first rule to remember: keep it short. There's no need to go beyond a page written and divided into clear paragraphs, because the recruiter won't read more. This will also allow you to sort out essential information as well as avoid repetition. Don't say too much and get straight to the point!
No spelling mistakes
There's no need to elaborate on this: spelling mistakes are the enemy of professionalism. When writing, proofread carefully. One or more spelling mistakes will take away your credibility, even if your profile is very interesting to the recruiter. Don't hesitate to have your cover letter proofread by a loved one (parent, sibling, friend, colleague, etc.), in order to avoid mistakes as much as possible.
No letter without an introduction/conclusion
Finally, on this too, I think we are starting on a fairly safe basis! To make a good cover letter, you need a layout that starts and ends with polite formulas to properly introduce and conclude the content. As a result, information will be integrated more seamlessly. Bonus: Do some research to find out who to address the letter to. Before the introduction, indicate the name of the person concerned by the (unsolicited) application, so that yours is more relevant.
Introductory example: "Dear Recruiter[…], I am applying for the position of [X]..."
Example of a conclusion: "I beg you to accept, Madam, Sir, the sincere expression of my sentiments."
Cover letter: in the background
"I am motivated and dynamic, ready to take on any challenge and give my best for your company ." Sound familiar? When writing a cover letter, one of the golden rules is to stand out from other candidates. Consider that recruiters have dozens, if not hundreds, of applications to scrutinize and compare. Use your letter to stand out from the crowd! The recruiter must understand from the first lines that you are addressing him/her and his/her company (so avoid robotic letters).
Whether it's through content or form, make sure to grab the recruiter's attention. There's no need to place lifeless, copy-and-paste sentences. Be natural! Make jokes, use a different format, in short, surprise the recruiter (while remaining professional and cordial, of course)!
This part ties in with the first point of this article. When writing a cover letter, keep your sentences short and simple. There's no need to use stilted vocabulary and overly literary sentences. As mentioned above, recruiters are usually very busy, so keeping it simple will put the odds in your favor. This is not about writing a novel, but about concisely stating your motivation for a position and why you are applying!
What is meant by "efficiency "? Basically: be direct in what you say. Don't beat around the bush and clearly state your strengths, qualities and experiences that are most relevant to the job/internship you are applying for.
Tip: if you don't have/have little work experience to include in your letter, present other skills that you may have acquired over time, whether they are hard or soft skills.
Then, don't forget that a cover letter is for introducing yourself, not bragging! Despite the display of your professional/human qualities and experiences, remain modest and do not display yourself more than necessary.
Now, let's apply the theory!
First paragraph : Briefly introduce yourself and explain why you are applying. In a few lines, you attract the recruiter's attention by making it clear who you are and your intentions with regard to the company and the position you are targeting.
"I am a student/job seeker and I would like to send you my application for the position of X. Indeed, I came across your ad and my profile corresponded to your expectations..."
Second paragraph : here, you should list your skills and experience in a clear way. Also explain how they are useful and relevant to the position you are applying for.
"I have been trained in (insert field/stream)", "I have X years of experience in (insert field) and this has given me skills that will be useful to your company."
Third paragraph : Now it's time to apply what you've learned about the company. Explain why you're interested in this firm, but also why it should take you and not someone else!
"Your company has ethical values that I deeply share and for which I am ready to give my best", "Working for your company would be a great opportunity for me because I identify with your missions and commitments."
Fourth paragraph : finally, in a line or two, specify your availability for the future. Indicate that you can be easily contacted. At Following it, you will write a final sentence that will conclude the whole thing and show your gratitude (choose a good formula, which fits your content)!
"I am free for any further information and am at your disposal, thanking you for the attention you will give to my application",
In conclusion, a cover letter is an essential tool that we all go through, whether we are students, interns or employees. If you follow these rules and add your special touch, you'll be ready for your next application!
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