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Cover letter writing

COVER LETTER How to write a letter accompanying your CV

 

  • When you send in your CV, you must also remember to include a cover letter
  • It is more personal than a CV, which can easily be sent to different departments, whereas a cover letter is always directly addressed to a person. 
  • It can stress a particular skill, which the company you are applying to may be interested in. 
  • You may also explain why you are especially interested in this firm and show what experience you have acquired so far which may be useful in your future job. 
  • A cover letter makes the demand less anonymous, you can directly offer to contact the person at a later date. 
  • But first, you must be sure you have the right names of the department heads. Then you must be well- informed on the variety of services which the company offers so as to be sure this is the one you want to join.

 

In a nutshell

The cover letter must specify the position you are applying for and also make specific references to the company. Indicate your knowledge of and interest in the work the company is currently doing, and your qualification for the position. You must communicate

  • why you want to work with that specific firm, 
  • why you fit into that particular enterprise
  • to what extent you qualify for the job you are applying for 

 How to start 

First paragraph 

a)      if you are answering a job advertisement in a newspaper

You must clearly indicate the job you are applying for and where you saw the ad.

Job advertisement should not be shortened to job ad in your cover letter!

      -    This is in reply to your advertisement for a salesperson in The New York Times of February 1st, 2006.

-          I am writing in response to the advertisement for a systems analyst in the June issue of Computer Systems / I am sending/ I am enclosing ....

-          This letter and attached resume are in response to your advertisement for a ... (name of job) in the autumn edition of .... (name of magazine)

-          Your recent advertisement in the ... (name of Journal) for (position) caught my attention.

 

b)      when someone has recommended you to write to a particular department or person

Mention (if you are allowed to) the name of the person who sent you.

-          M. Mackintosh, your regional sales director for the Northeast, suggested I contact you about a possible opening for a salesperson

-          I obtained your name from ...  recently when I spoke with her about career opportunities in management. She suggested I contact you about an upcoming opening in your electronics department.

-          M. Brown, who supervised my student internship in commercial banking, has encouraged me to write to you about a position with your firm.

 

c)      You have been sending in CVs to a list of firms

In this case, the first sentence should be less precise, try to find an eye catching one, you could present yourself and the type of job you are after.

-          A personal assistant with an eye for details and the ability to remain calm under pressure is an invaluable asset for any company.

-    As the market place becomes more and more crowded, an effective sales staff is the key to preserving and expanding market shares.

-          In June, I will be finishing my second year at Ecole nationale supérieure de (a leading French school in the field of...). I am interested in finding summer employment with your firm because...

-          I am a second year student in economics at the University of Paris 2. Before choosing a specialized field in economics, I would like to take advantage of the summer months to gain real experience in the field of ...

 

d)      you are writing to a recruitment agency

-          I am writing to you because I understand you specialize in representing clients in the field of ...

-          Please find enclosed my resume. I am sure that my vast experience in ... will be of interest to some of your many clients.

 

Second paragraph: your qualifications

Here, you need to show off your skills. Use present perfect when the action you describe started in the past and is still going on in the present.

-          As my resume points out, I have a rare combination of  .... competence in the field of. And even rarer, my managerial experience has not been to the detriment of my scientific competence.

-          I am an efficient ... with the usual... skills, excellent typing and word processing, but I can bring much more to the work place. I have a keen sense of organization which makes it possible for me to manage complex workloads. Besides, I have good communication skills and enjoy working with people of all levels.

 

        Third paragraph: personal skills and experience

Link your own personal skills to the need of the company. Show that you already have some knowledge of the company and its organization.

     How to end 

        Paragraph four: Suggest a meeting or further contact

 

I look forward to meeting you

I am confident my qualifications will be of interest to you, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

It would be a pleasure to supply any further information you may find helpful.

Please feel free to call me at XXXX for any additional information.

I will be in Los Angeles from March 20th to 28th. I would like to meet you during that time to explore those possibilities further. May I call you to set up an appointment?

I feel certain that I can contribute to XXX company. Allow me to call you on the 15th of this month if I don’t hear from you before.

 Verbs to use

 

I am interested in

I would like to

I am confident that

I look forward to V + ing

It would be a pleasure to

 

I hope to

I would appreciate the opportunity to

I feel certain that

Allow me to

Please feel free to

 

 

-          Although still a student in ..., I am aware of Google’s innovative approach to...

-          I am writing to enquire about the possibility of obtaining a summer internship with IBM

-          As a student in my third and final year of ..., I know how important it is to gain practical experience in the field of ... 

-          GAP offers the possibility of receiving a complete picture of all aspects of ... and has a long history of cooperation with universities and business schools.

-           I am writing about the possibility of carrying out an end-of-studies project with Total in the department of....

 

Closing your letter

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Never mention salary or complain about current employers. Nor should you mention why you intend to change jobs. Always be positive about things.

 

Date

(UK)                                                              (US)

12th November, 2005                                  November 12, 2005

12 November 2005

12 Nov. 2005

 

Salutation  (UK)          Ending

Sir,

Madam,                 Yours respectfully,

Dear Sir,

Dear Madam,        Yours faithfully,

Dear M. Brown,    Yours sincerely,

Dear John,             With best wishes,

(US)

Dear Sir,                     Sincerely yours,

Dear Madam,

Dear Ms. Gordon,      Sincerely yours,

Dear Bob,                  With best regards

 


 

 

Layout of a letter 

British Format

 

 

LEFT-HAND SIDE                                                                       RIGHT-HAND SIDE

 

 

                                                                                                          YOUR ADDRESS

 

                                                                                                          DATE

 

THE PERSON

THE FIRM’S ADDRESS

 

Dear Sir,

      I am ………

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Signature

 

 





th
Bill Gates
Microsoft
10 Mountain View
Seattle
Origan
USA

Dear Sir,
       I am writing in response to an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal of 29th January 2008 for a network consultant…….








          Yours sincerely,

          William Shakespeare

American format 

The US format is different. Here is an example:

 

22 Park Avenue 

 New York 1372
January 10, 2005

Ms. Sharon Stone
Recruiting Coordinator
Department HPP 1201
Microsoft Corporation
Redwood, Seattle, Oregon

Dear Ms. Stone:

Your advertisement for software engineers in the December issue of the IT Review caught my attention.  I was drawn to your ad by my strong interest in both software design and network applications.

I have worked with a computer enhanced programming system for developing intelligent software, and I also have substantial experience in the design of interactive user-friendly software.  Because of this experience, I can make a direct and immediate contribution to your department.  I have enclosed a copy of my resume, which details my qualifications and suggests how I might be of service to Microsoft.

I would like very much to meet you to discuss your open positions for software engineers.  If you wish to arrange an interview, please contact me at the above address or by telephone at (613) 321-7775.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

        Sincerely yours,

        John Kennedy

 

Exercise : Pick out the differences between the two formats (punctuation, layout etc.)

 

 

Here are lists of verbs used in CVs to show what you have achieved in different skills[1].

 

Communication/People Skills

Helping Skills

Creative Skills

 

Data/Financial Skills

 

Management

Leadership Skills

Addressed
Advertised
Arbitrated
Arranged
Articulated
Authored
Clarified
Collaborated
Communicated
Composed
Condensed
Conferred
Consulted
Contacted
Conveyed
Convinced
Corresponded
Debated
Defined
Developed
Directed
Discussed
Drafted
Edited
Elicited
Enlisted
Explained
Expressed
Formulated
Furnished
Incorporated
Influenced
Interacted
Interpreted
Interviewed
Involved
Lectured
Marketed
Mediated
Moderated
Negotiated
Observed
Outlined
Participated
Persuaded
Presented
Promoted
Proposed
Publicized
Reconciled
Recruited
Referred
Reinforced
Reported
Resolved
Responded
Solicited
Specified
Suggested
Summarized
Synthesized
Translated

 

Adapted
Advocated
Aided
Answered
Arranged
Assessed
Assisted
Clarified
Coached
Collaborated
Contributed
Cooperated
Counselled
Demonstrated
Diagnosed
Educated
Encouraged
Ensured
Expedited
Facilitated
Familiarized
Furthered
Guided
Helped
Insured
Intervened
Motivated
Prevented
Provided
Referred
Rehabilitated
Represented
Resolved
Simplified
Supplied
Supported
Volunteered

 

Acted
Adapted
Began
Combined
Composed
Conceptualized
Condensed
Created
Customized
Designed
Developed
Directed
Displayed
Drew
Entertained
Established
Fashioned
Formulated
Founded
Illustrated
Initiated
Instituted
Integrated
Introduced
Invented
Modelled
Modified
Originated
Performed
Photographed
Planned
Revised
Revitalized
Shaped
Solved

 

Analyzed
Appraised
Assessed
Audited
Balanced
Budgeted
Calculated
Computed
Conserved
Corrected
Determined
Developed
Estimated
Forecasted
Managed
Marketed
Measured
Netted
Planned
Prepared
Programmed
Projected
Qualified
Reconciled
Reduced
Researched
Retrieved

Administered
Adjusted
Allocated

 

Administered
Analyzed
Appointed
Approved
Assigned
Attained
Authorized
Chaired
Considered
Consolidated
Contracted
Controlled
Converted
Coordinated
Decided
Delegated
Developed
Directed
Eliminated
Emphasized
Enforced
Enhanced
Established
Executed
Generated
Handled
Headed
Hired
Hosted
Improved
Incorporated
Increased
Initiated
Inspected
Instituted
Led
Managed
Merged
Motivated
Navigated
Organized
Originated
Overhauled
Oversaw
Planned
Presided
Prioritized
Produced
Recommended
Reorganized
Replaced
Restored
Reviewed
Scheduled
Secured
Selected
Streamlined
Strengthened
Supervised
Terminated

 

Organizational Skills

 

Research Skills

Technical Skills

 

Teaching Skills

 

 

Approved
Arranged
Catalogued
Categorized
Charted
Classified
Coded
Collected
Compiled
Corrected
Corresponded
Distributed
Executed
Filed
Incorporated
Inspected
Logged
Maintained
Monitored
Obtained
Operated
Ordered
Organized
Prepared
Processed
Provided
Purchased
Recorded
Registered
Reserved
Responded
Reviewed
Routed
Scheduled
Screened
Submitted
Supplied
Standardized
Systematized
Updated
Validated
Verified

 

Analyzed
Clarified
Collected
Compared
Conducted
Critiqued
Detected
Determined
Diagnosed
Evaluated
Examined
Experimented
Explored
Extracted
Formulated
Gathered
Inspected
Interviewed
Invented
Investigated
Located
Measured
Organized
Researched
Reviewed
Searched
Solved
Summarized
Surveyed
Systematized
Tested

 

Adapted
Applied
Assembled
Built
Calculated
Computed
Conserved
Constructed
Converted
Debugged
Designed
Determined
Developed
Engineered
Fabricated
Fortified
Installed
Maintained
Operated
Overhauled
Printed
Programmed
Rectified
Regulated
Remodelled
Repaired
Replaced
Restored
Solved
Specialized
Standardized
Studied
Upgraded
Utilized

 

Adapted
Advised
Clarified
Coached
Communicated
Conducted
Coordinated
Critiqued
Developed
Enabled
Encouraged
Evaluated
Explained
Facilitated
Focused
Guided
Individualized
Informed
Instilled
Instructed
Motivated
Persuaded
Simulated
Stimulated
Taught
Tested
Trained
Transmitted
Tutored

 

 


[1]
Source: http://www.quintcareers.com/action_skills.html

 

14/10/18

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    Contact

    Responsable :

    Cédric BRUDERMANN (cedric.brudermann @ upmc.fr)