Writing a cover letter

Why make a cover letter?

Presenting a cover letter to an employer is first of all to establish contact and encourage the employer to interview you. The cover letter will be like the cover of your book, it encourages us to read the summary of the book (the resume) and then buy it to read it (job interview).

It should highlight your career goals, training and experiences. It will not replace your résumé, so there is no point in repeating its content, but rather in specifying why you are the best person for the position you are applying for.

Your letter must demonstrate that there is a direct link between your experience and the tasks required by the job. It is not enough to say that you have the necessary skills but to provide specific examples. It is important to draw a parallel between the required skills and your own skills.

How do you write a cover letter?

The header of your letter should set out the contextual elements of your application. So to start, you write the city and the date. The recipient’s name, title or position, company name and address. If you don’t know the name of the person in charge of recruitment, don’t hesitate to call the company directly for more information. Employers are always impressed to receive a letter addressed directly to them. Don’t forget to include your name and address so that you can link your letter to your CV.

The contents of your letter should be separated into three parts

The introduction: start your letter by letting people know how you became aware of the position: through an advertisement, through an acquaintance, following a phone call, etc. This helps to put your offer of services into context.

Development: clearly state why you are the ideal candidate. The aim is to arouse interest, attract attention, force the employer to go further. Summarize the best of your achievements and say what you know about the company. Highlight your technical skills (know-how) and your personal skills (interpersonal skills). Don’t overvalue your skills, be honest about your responsibilities and experiences.

Conclusion: As a conclusion, request an interview, mention your availability, and sign your letter. When requesting an interview, do not give orders such as “please call me back” or “contact me as soon as possible”. It would also be inappropriate to ask for charity.

Things not to do

Write a general letter that you will send to all employers. Employers will notice and will not be interested in reading your letter. Your cover letter should be tailored to the job you want.

Do not start a letter with the words “to whom it may concern”. If you really can’t find the name of the person in charge of recruitment or human resources, write “Dear Sir/Madam”.

Do not use words such as “I think I am the person” or “I believe I am the candidate”. You must demonstrate your abilities and your worth. The employer does not work with assumptions or “maybes”.

Give a cover letter that is filled with mistakes or is poorly crafted. The employer may think you don’t care about the impression you make.

Photocopy your signature. Each letter must be signed.

To help you write your letter, here is a sample cover letter.

Sample cover letter

Ma’am,

Following our telephone conversation on x, I am sending you my curriculum vitae so that you can take note of it.

As I mentioned briefly on the phone, I have more than 15 years of experience as an office clerk. I have a secretarial background and 10 years of experience in the field. I can easily take care of tasks related to greeting, reception, making appointments and keeping agendas.

Furthermore, I am able to work in a computerized environment.

I am autonomous, conscientious and determined. I have initiative and I like teamwork. I would like to obtain a position as an office clerk with your company, because I know that the tasks are diversified, which will give me the opportunity to touch several aspects of my job and to evolve in it.

I remain available to meet with you to present my qualifications and to discuss current and future jobs. Please accept, Madam, the expression of my distinguished greetings.

References
The most common mistakes during an interview