Smart letters

Cover letter

The cover letter remains a must. Internet and e-mail usage for sending applications online may have masked the necessity for applicants to write a smart coverletter to recruiters, but the exercize remains an essential way to emphasize and explain one's career track, skills and professional project. It is often considered a proof of basic courtesy and motivation in a time where applicants may send tons of application without always checking their relevance with the position posted.
The cover letter should be short in order for it to be rapidly read by recruiters. It's main objectives are to make the connection between the job and the application, and to highlight the most important information. For more details, it should drive back to the resume. 
If you send your cover letter via e-mail, mind to integrate it in the body of the message ( while also sending it as an attachment). The recruiter will thus be able to read the letter without going though the fuss of opening the attachment: experience shows that he seldom does so or does it with difficulty (for example when using a blackberry).

The letter is classically organized in 3 parts:

  • An introduction: your motivation for applying to the job; your understanding of it's main caracteristics.
  • Sales argument: your strengths regarding the job, in terms of skills and personal qualities. Do not hesitate, whenever possible, to provide the reader with concrete information: facts, figures, realizations.
  • A conclusion: your desire to meet the recruiter, a simple courtesy formula.

The follow up letter

In phases of intense networking or interviews, follow up letters ( which can be done by e-mail) are not only a matter of courtesy but rather of efficiency.

A follow up letter should be simply written and well structured. It works as a reminder, a few days after an interview, of the main elements of the discussion you've had with the recruiter. In itself, a follow up letter is indicative of your organization and inter-relations skills. It can efficiently reinforce your image and maintain vivid the remembrance of your qualities and motivation. 


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