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Cover letter example

Although the importance of a cover letter is generally known, it’s still somewhat difficult to write a strong motivation letter: How to start your application letter? Which of your characteristics do you mention, and which you don't? And, how do you make sure you write a distinctive letter? Specially for you, we've created a cover letter template.

In this article, we provide you with some practical tips to write an excellent cover letter. 

The importance of writing a cover letter 

Not all candidates will make the effort to write a tailored and personalised cover letter. So, if you do, it’s more likely that you will catch the attention of the reader.  A cover letter, combined with a resume, is often the first thing an employer sees. To leave the best possible impression, it’s important that your motivation letter is tailored and well build. 

Here you can download a cover letter example  

While a resume mainly shows your skills and work experiences, in a cover letter you have the chance to show yourself as a person. This increases your chance of reaching your goal: being invited to a job interview. 

Employers use your letter to gain insight into: 

  • Your personality and ambitions 
  • Your communication skills 
  • Your creativity 

Your personality and ambitions 

Use your cover letter to describe experiences and qualities that you don’t explicitly mention on your resume. Indicate who you are as a person and what you think is important. By clearly describing your personality traits, you create an image of why you’d be a good fit for the organisation. 

Think about personal experiences, like that trip around the world or perhaps you took care of family when you were little. These experiences have shaped you into the person you are today. Although these experiences don’t fall under training, education or work experience, they might certainly be of added value. They have contributed to your personal development and could very well be relevant to the role you’re applying for. 

Employers today also often look for employees with ambition. Perhaps you do not have the right diplomas, but comes your interest from your private sphere, or you’d love to grow into the position. Your cover is perfect stage to exhibit this passion. 

Your communication skills 

Many positions require strong communication skills, both written and oral. Demonstrate these skills with a structured letter, void of any language and spelling errors. This way, you make a professional impression and you show that you have the required communication skills. 

Your creativity 

In addition, the cover letter is a excellent opportunity to stand out. Let your creativity run wild here; this is your chance to shine a light on what makes you unique and why an employer should choose you. An inspiring cover letter attracts the attention of employers and shows that you are motivated - a quality frequently sought-after by employers. 

Some organisations can ask to share your motation in an innovative way, for example by means of video or audio recording. Before writing a traditional letter, do some research about the best way to present your motivation. 

How to write a motivation letter? 

A cover letter comes in many shapes, and there is therefor no single perfect cover letter example. Increase the chance of being invited by making your letter easy to read, with a consistent and clear structure. Consider the following order in your motivation letter: 

  • The vacancy you’re applying for 
  • Which part of the position appeals to you 
  • Which part of the organisation appeals to you 
  • Why you are the perfect candidate for the position 
  • Indicate that you’d like to meet for an interview 

The vacancy you’re applying for 

Start with a strong intro to hook the reader in. The first sentence of the cover letter will either grab the hiring manager’s attention or lose it, so it needs to powerfully demonstrate that you understand what they are looking for and need.

Still, you need to indicate for which vacancy you are applying. If a vacancy has a reference number, please include it. This can also be done in the subject of the letter. This way, the reader immediately knows which position you’re applying for.

If you send an open application, then clearly describe which position you’d be interested in. 

Which part of the position appeals to you 

After indicating which job you are applying for, it’s important to clarify what appeals to you about the position offered.

Thoroughly read the vacancy and list up a few items that seem interesting to you and how they correspond with your ambitions.  Be open about this, and don’t be afraid to think big: employers seriously appreciate it when you indicate that you see a major challenge in something. 

Which part of the organisation appeals to you 

Not only your preference for the position itself has a positive impact on the effectiveness of your cover letter, but also what appeals to you about the organisation. Employers will more easily invite a candidate for an interview if they show an interest in and knowledge of the organisation. Use the following questions to sketch yourself a clear picture of the organisation: 
  • What exactly does the organisation do? 
  • In which market does the organisation operate? 
  • What are the organisation’s challenges in the market? 
Based on the answers to these questions, indicate how you can relate to the organisation. 

Why are you the perfect candidate for the position 

After indicating why you’re interested in the position and organisation, it’s time to sell yourself and convince the employer of your qualities. Explain your qualifications and why these fit the vacancy. Also describe any relevant work experience. But don't mention too much: make a concrete selection. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader. Include other experiences and trainings in your CV. 

To position yourself as the perfect candidate, it’s necessary to distinguish yourself from others. Ask yourself: 
  • What makes me unique? 
  • What do I add to the organisation? 
  • Why should the employer choose me? 

Indicate that you’d like to meet for an interview 

Finally, emphasize that you’d like to meet the addressee for an interview to clarify your motivation in person. Try not to sound too pushy, but do show initiative. A positive end to the letter illustrates your enthusiasm and can convince the employer to invite you for an interview. 

General job application letter guidelines 

Aside from using the above structure, it is wise to follow a few guidelines: 
  • Use no more than one A4 for your letter 
  • Choose a clear and professional font 
Often, candidates want to describe too much in their application letter. Although you might have the need to show as many positive characteristics and experiences as possible, you have to realise that an employer receives dozens of cover letters for a position and doesn’t have the time to read through several pages per canidate. We advise you to keep it succinctly and just mention the most relevant items. 
Writing a good cover letter is and important part of the application process. While a CV is meant to give a factual overview of your achievements and qualifications to date, a cover letter serves as an explanation of your personality. You describe your characteristics, your ambitions and what appeals to you in the vacancy and the organisation. 

Cover letter example 

Although there’s no such thing as the perfect motivation letter example, it’s advisable to use a clear structure and follow a few guidelines. This ensures that the attention and interest of the reader is captured and that the letter ultimately contributes to your goal: being invited for a job interview.  

Using our cover letter example could help you with this. 

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