10 tips for writing a persuasive letter of motivation
1. Find out more
Before writing your letter, take the time to find out about the company and possibly the job for which you are applying. Don’t hesitate to insert some of this information in your letter.
2. Your letter of motivation must be personal
Adapt your letter of motivation to the company and job for which you are applying. Don’t get someone else to write it for you. Your letter must reflect your personal style and your personality.
3. Adopt a direct and concise style
As it name indicates, the purpose of the letter of motivation is to... show your motivation to the HR manager who will read it. Avoid convoluted sentences and go straight to the point. Explain simply and clearly what it is you are looking for and what you have to offer. Stick to what is important, the rest will be dealt with later. Make sure it is no longer than a page of A4.
4. Focus on your strong points
Your aim is to make the recruiter want to invite you for an interview, not put them off... Only mention your strong points in your letter of motivation, and preferably in the first few sentences. Your weak points will be scrutinised soon enough. As long as your letter of motivation and CV attract enough attention that is...
5. Take your CV into account
Don’t fall into the trap of listing everything in your CV in your letter! Make yourself interesting and give an added value to your letter by speaking about yourself. Nevertheless, don't mention any training or jobs that don't feature on your CV. The letter of motivation and CV are two complementary documents that must coincide with each other.
6. Find the right balance
Of course you have to show yourself in the best light and convince the recruiter that it is you he/she should hire. However, don’t be too arrogant. At the same time, don’t do the opposite and under-estimate yourself or appear too modest.
7. Clearly explain your motivation
This is the right job for you? Clearly explain to the recruiter why they should choose you rather than someone else. Make use of all your powers of persuasion. Look at the qualities requested in the job offer and explain they correspond to you.
8. Talk about your professional objectives
Don’t hesitate to place yourself in the future. Set out your career ambitions in a positive way. Also talk about what you have achieved and what you are proud of.
9. Support what you say
Saying that you are organised or have a sense of responsibility isn’t enough. Avoid set phrases and explain why you are organised. Give examples.
10. Address the right person
Do you know the name of the HR manager? Use it in your letter by addressing them directly. If you don’t know it, you can always look the person up on the internet or call the company in question and ask for their name.