These days, the presentation letter is rarely read by recruiters. How can you stand out?
First, it must be borne in mind that there are several types of recruiters. “There are professional recruiters who work for an agency, and there are managers who have to do it on an ad hoc basis in their company,” explains Xavier Thorens, a headhunter who runs his own recruiting company.
According to Mr. Thorens, a presentation letter has little impact on the overall process when looking for a job. Writing one is not a complete waste of time, but it all depends on how much time we have. “Because it is necessary to adapt the letter to each position,” explains Xavier Thorens. “If we are actively looking for a job and we need to write 10 a week, it is better to devote more time to your CV. “
In other words, a strong CV, positive references and a good impression at the first interview will carry more weight than a presentation letter. “The presentation letter may be more useful in a second interview, for example. Otherwise, the information contained in this letter can easily be added to the CV. The presentation letter must be succinct, very easy to read, and direct,” adds Xavier Thorens.
If you still have to write a presentation letter, here are some tips:
1. Be original
Presentation letters may be practical but they are often not very original.
So, avoid boring formulae, like the impersonal “Dear Sir/Madam” in the header, which are then followed by “With X years of experience…”. To do this, you will have to put some thought into it a bit. Dare to be yourself, add a touch of humour and even go with a pattern of letters that is out of the ordinary… if that lends itself well to the desired position.
2. Don’t talk about yourself
The presentation letter also called “letter of motivation”, but you still must not talk only about your interests. Your letter should serve as a sales pitch: this is not a personal profile describing what you are looking for in life. So care should be taken to not only address the employer’s needs but also to keep up to date with the latest news about him. Let him know that you are really interested in the company, its products and its business challenges.
3. Introduce yourself… even on social media!
The presentation letter is not everything these days. Recruiters can also find things out by reviewing your social media profile. Recruitment experts will tell you it is important to maintain your image on the internet by staying active and committed. Don’t be surprised then if you are called for a job via LinkedIn or Twitter!
And of course, a presentation letter that is most original will be much less so if it is full of spelling mistakes. This is why it’s essential to reread it… twice, rather than just once!