Define your motivationsBy definition, a cover letter must highlight your true motivations, which are what makes you want to work for a given company rather than another.
Question yourself!Respond to some simple questions that will help you develop your motivations:
What professional sector interests you?
Are you ready to consider a reorientation? If yes, in what sectors?
What type of company do you want to work for: small businesses, small and medium businesses, large companies? Why?
Can you withstand a great deal of pressure?
Are you ready to hold a position of responsibility?
At what rate do you wish to evolve within a company?
Get to the essentialsYour application will almost certainly be subject to competition from other candidates. Under these circumstances, there’s no wasting the time a recruiter allots to examining and sorting out possible candidates. A single watchword to keep in mind: get to the essentials, be succinct and favor quality over quantity.
Make the most of your assetsTo make a difference, you’ll undoubtedly have to accentuate your best assets; there’s no need to “inflate” your CV, just highlight your success stories and provide specific examples, supported by numbers, i.e. achieved earnings of x K€, etc.
If you lack experience, cite your job training and relevant summer jobs that highlight the skills and aptitudes that may prove useful for your future position. Study work and research papers may also be highlighted.
Personal areas of interest can also be rich in learning experiences, or if you’re committed to an association, for instance (sports club, etc.).
RecipientIf possible, address your mail to a physical person within the company. You’ll find the names of human resource coordinators on company websites, or directly in search engines.
ObjectWhen responding to a job ad, clearly mention the job offer reference as well as the job title; this will help with the processing of your candidature. If, on the other hand, you’re applying spontaneously, then state so right away in the subject as an “open application”.
ContentThe following example is a structure containing 5 paragraphs. Feel free to adapt it to your letters according to your needs.
Section 1: the catch phraseThe catch phrase is what kicks off your letter, so don’t downplay it. You can use it briefly to summarize your situation. For example, “I’m currently a computer science student at the IUT of Lyon, and I’m looking for a 3 month training course with your company.” You can also choose a more original catch phrase.
Section 2: your motivation for working for the companyFor instance, a specific characteristic that especially inspired you. For example, you place a great deal of emphasis on the company’s environmental policies, or the importance it places on research and development, etc. Explain what truly incited you to apply for a job with this company rather than another one.
Section 3: who are you?In this section, you can briefly explain your professional experiences and what they’ve brought you; mention the skills you developed in order to successfully achieve the missions with which you were entrusted.
Section 4: your inputIn this last section, you must convince the recruiter that your skills are an asset to the company. Demonstrate that you are determined to be fully committed and that you have all the necessary requirements for the job.
Section 5: salutationsYou’ll find numerous examples of salutations on our website.
We hope these tips have proved useful to you. All you have to do now is write your cover letter!