Cover letter

By Flavien Chantrel | Published on 07/27/2018 – Updated on 11/26/2019

The cover letter remains an element of your application in its own right, it must make the recruiter want to meet you. Here are some tips and pitfalls to avoid so that your application is not rejected.


Zero defect objective

The letter should be succinct, airy with paragraphs. The letter is straight to the point and the style is direct while remaining courteous. Write it in a separate file, proofread it carefully and have it proofread before sending it. Don’t forget to check the spelling in Word and give the file an unambiguous name, such as LastNameFirstNameLM2009.doc.

If you opt for a cover letter integrated into the body of the email, it must be shorter (about 1000 characters). Also remember to harmonize the fonts and check the size of the attachments (500kb max). For a letter as an attached file, opt for a format readable by all computers (plain text or .rtf, in a pinch in .doc but not in a current version of Word). Finally, don’t forget to put your contact details in the email in case the recruiter is unable to open your files).

Stand out by personalizing your letter

It is an imperative rule, your letter must be personalized according to the position to be filled and the company. Avoid visible mailing lists, at worst by using the hidden copy function (CCI in Outlook), at best by writing a different email for each application. Always remember that you are applying directly to the recruiter. Once you have clicked on “Send” it is no longer possible to retrieve your application!

It is frowned upon to send identical form letters to multiple recruiters. It is better to make fewer applications and target them rather than sending out mass mailings. Clearly indicate in your letter or e-mail the name of the person to whom the application is addressed.

Demonstrate originality

Even if the cover letter is a somewhat outdated imposed exercise, it is not forbidden to show a little originality. In the style or the hook, the humor (well felt) is not necessarily out of place. Challenging the reader on a point of your personality can also allow you to stand out. Finally, don’t forget that if your letter is sent by post (with a nice stamp), it must be handwritten.

Don’t forget the “required” fields

As with a CV, the cover letter must include certain information. These are used by the recruiter for his files and therefore to find you more easily. At the top, on the left, specify your surname, first name as well as your address, telephone and email. Also add, if you know it, the name of the person to whom your letter is addressed. Finally, add a subject field in which you will write the name of the position you are applying for.

Write your letter as an essay

And yes, you have had enough during your studies of these famous three-part dissertations. You thought you were done with it once you entered the world of work. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is no question here of talking about thesis, synthesis, antithesis but nevertheless your cover letter should be divided into three main parts the “You”, in which you show that you know the company and the recruiter’s needs perfectly, the “Me”, where you explain how your profile corresponds to the needs of the company, and finally the “We”, part in which you explain how your collaboration will be “win-win” for both parties.

Politeness, the first of the virtues

Dear. Two little words that are enough to relax your reader. They immediately soften your cover letter and make you want to read the rest of your statement. And to conclude your letter, do not hesitate to conclude it with a polite formula. A “Please accept, Madam, Sir” has never hurt anyone, quite the contrary! )

> Tomorrow, all nice at work?

Project yourself into the future!

If your cover letter has been properly written, it should encourage the recruiter to contact you. How do you know it’s well written? Easy: after reading it, you should be convinced that you are the right candidate! Don’t hesitate to have someone close reread it… They will have more perspective than you. And above all, before the traditional polite formula, suggest to the recruiter that you would like to see him again. Add for example: “I would be delighted to be able to exchange with you on my profile and to be able to present to you more about my background and my motivations”.

In addition

Succeed in your cover letterFind other tips and examples of cover letters in our practical file.

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