Cover letter: stop copying and pasting models and boat formulas!

Cover letter: stop copying and pasting models and boat formulas!

 

 
 

“With three years of experience in sales, it is with motivation that I send you my candidature for the position of… “You did everything well: introductory introduction, development, conclusion with a nice polite phrase:” Pending an answer from you, please, Sir, Madam, receive my most respectful greetings. »Simple, efficient. To make sure you didn’t do it too badly, you drew inspiration from models of letters of motivation found on the Internet, you asked a friend who has just obtained a good job to send you his last cover letter, in short, you have drawn right to left … You feel rather serene about the form of your application, but is that really how you stand out from the crowd ? I tell you as a human resources manager: there is little chance.

This article is a plea for the return of the spontaneity in our applications. It’s time to end it, finally, with templates and ready-made formulations! It’s time to tell your story …

Because it makes the job of recruiters very boring

If writing and rereading your cover letter seems off-putting to you, imagine the recruiter who reads online applications … If you have already yawned and reread several times in a row the cover letter that a friend asked you to proofread because you just couldn’t get the hang of it, then you certainly understand a little more what recruiters are going through. When the letters all look the same, contain the same ready-made formulas « dynamic, motivated, serious … “- as if someone could claim to be” limp, unmotivated and untrustworthy » – it can be terribly boring for them… Result, drowned in the pile of mail, you go by the wayside…

The situation is classic: we are looking for a job, we are afraid of doing badly, so we start from a model, which we modify. We change the words. We put the name of our company, we adapt the places, the skills, as we would complete an exercise with blank sentences in a vacation notebook. The result is a letter identical to so many others, since it is modeled on so many others. It may not be eliminatory, but this is by no means the way to stand out!

To make sure you are neither mundane nor boring, put yourself in the shoes of the person who is going to read you. It may be interesting, for example, to start from a blank page, where you spontaneously lay your ideas down with your words, explaining who you are, what leads you to apply and what interests you in the position, even if it means going to check after the fact with models if you don’t miss any information! Be very vigilant, avoid ready-made formulas and sentences which do not provide precise or personal information or which could have been written by any candidate. For example, when you write ” currently looking for a job, I am sending you my cover letter because I am very interested in the position », We finally see that there is not so much crucial information in this sentence: the recruiter suspects it and it is not very attractive. While if you put forward, from the hook, the fact that you discovered the company thanks to a conference you attended, or that you worked in a competing company or finally that you are passionate about the sector of the company since you were a child, you will arouse the curiosity of the recruiter.

If you have trouble getting rid of somewhat standardized formulas, you can try to go through the oral process. Register, for example, or write from your own dictation, can help you keep language natural and precise, more sincere than flat formulas. You may use simpler words, but they will be your own!

Because it doesn’t say anything about you

The recruiter seeks above all to know you, he needs elements to decipher your personality and see if you could fit into the position, in the team, in the company … If your application is the first contact you have with him, the cover letter and the CV are the two elements that you put at his disposal so that he makes a first impression of you. By serving him a copy-paste cover letter from another, as successful as it is, the only impression you will give him is a feeling of “déjà vu”!

Nobody blames you fortry to respect the technical rules as well as possible of the cover letter, but be careful, if you don’t put some of your own, that is, of the staff, it will be lost, because such mail will not say anything about you. Worse, it could do you a disservice, because starting from a ready-made model, repeating formulas seen and reviewed can make a little school, even give the impression that you are not very involved, that you are writing channel applications, without conviction or motivation…. Quite the opposite of your goal!

Take the bet to express your style, favor simplicity and prefer sobriety to pompous and excessively formal sentences. After all, it’s sort of to tell a story, your story, the one that leads you to apply, so why not put in some personal anecdotes to start making a connection? Here is an example of what one might say: ” Last year, I clicked, I no longer wanted to work in companies that were not sensitive to the protection of our planet. So when I saw that an eco-responsible company like yours was recruiting, it clicked, I had to send you this application. »

These stories are an opportunity to explain your progress, your choices of sectors, companies, domain. Avoid tearful stories, but dare to indulge a little more. Your letter must be in your image, remain sincere and spontaneous, you will be all the more proud and convincing!

Because that doesn’t answer the question

Let’s stop diverting the cover letter from its primary purpose. A cover letter must be able to express what brings you, it is moreover to be sure to have the answer to this question that some companies ask candidates to carry out a video presentation or require answering questions directly online when applying.

This is surprising, because if recruiters seem to be looking for a certain originality, the ever-increasing number of online cover letter models tend to standardize applications more: ” 10 original letter designs », « The best ways to conclude a cover letter “, Etc. Paid offers flourish day after day, but each time they forget one thing. Such proposals focus on the form without ever questioning the substance. What attracts you to the position, what is the reason behind this application? The answer can only be individual, unique and personal.

Before you even write anything, first ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do you want this job? You are looking for a job, of course, and the position seems nice, but what makes you say that? How does the company’s project motivate you and make sense to you? Why would you enjoy doing this job? Why is this consistent with your story?
  • How do you think you might fit the job and meet the needs of the business? What do your former managers and colleagues or your entourage about your qualities? How could you illustrate your successes? And even your failures ? Don’t be stingy with details.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start writing! If that makes it easier for you, lean once again on the oral, imagining that you are presenting your project to someone. Get straight to the point and stay authentic! If you are not inspired, especially keep it concise: a cover letter does not have to exceed a page!

While the cover letter is a big part of the impact your applications will have, don’t let the style exercise scare you. Although the form has been important for a long time, the rules are gradually becoming more flexible in favor of the basic message, as is the case with many conventions in the world of work. More freedom and flexibility in writing really gives you the opportunity to express your uniqueness, without neglecting syntax and spelling. There is no miracle recipe, however, the light remains to be placed on the message you want to convey, so get to the point and dare to assert your personality.

 

 

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