1. The cover letter
When the selection of CVs is too large, the recruiter looks to the cover letter, expecting to find elements which do not appear in your CV. Basing it around three paragraphs makes the recruiter's job easier:
- Show your interest in the company and the job: this is the part you need to fine tune the most. Your goal is to satisfy the recruiter’s requirements. In the case of an unsolicited application, indicate the types of positions you may be interested in.
- Emphasise various elements of your know-how: the idea is to supplement your CV by illustrating it with specific items and results. This part rarely varies from one letter to the next; if you are a sales representative, for example, your arguments will generally remain the same from one post to another.
- Conclude in a direct manner: make it obvious that you are sure you will be selected.
There is no longer any place for handwritten letters on the internet. Send an email or a typewritten letter.
The errors to avoid in a cover letter
- Overlooking the letter: this omission could be negatively viewed by some recruiters.
- Writing three lines but adding nothing: for example: “I am a systems and network engineer and I am looking for a job. Please find attached to this letter my CV, and please contact me if you would like me to attend an interview. Kind regards.”
- Writing a novel: : this is, on the one hand, your guarantee of not being read, and on the hand, to look like someone lacking the ability to synthesise.
- Sending a standard letter: personalise your letter in response to the advert. Often one line is enough to transform a standard model into a personalised letter.
- Just sending the letter as an attachment to an email: the letter must appear in the main body of the email (even if you attach it), for the good reason that this makes the recruiter’s job easier.
To note: in order to apply via Careers, you must not send an e-mail but use the application form
- Putting your letter and your CV in the same document: even though this forces the recruiter to have a quick look at it, it makes his job harder, both initially and later when he files and/or sends your CV.
- Not filling in the subject of the email: it will, without fail, head into the spam folder. What is more, this oversight makes it harder to identify the position you are applying for. If the position title does not appear automatically, do a copy/past of the job title.
- No signature: after the polite ending, write your first names, surname and telephone number.
- Telegram style: you are not writing an email to a friend, but a letter to a possible employer.