You have seen a vacancy that is made for you. Now it remains to convince the employer that you are the person for the job. A good motivation letter is essential here, but that is easier said than done. To give you a helping hand, we list seven factors that you should not forget when writing your motivation letter.
For many people, the following seven factors go wrong, so it could just be the reason you stand out in that big pile of motivation letters.
A strong opening
You can think of the opening sentence as the first impression. Because 9 out of 10 people open their motivation letter with the same sentence (“In response to your vacancy…”), this is the time to immediately stand out. First, consider what suits the company you are applying for. For example, an opening line with guts and humor fits well with a creative and young advertising agency, but not with a large formal company.
The correct salutation
Usually the name is stated in the vacancy before the correct salutation. Not sure whether the man is a woman? Google is your best friend. Also to find out the name if it is not mentioned. You can always call the number that is there to ask who you can address the motivation letter to and ask other questions if necessary.
We are not saying that this one point will get you the job, but it sends a signal that you are proactive and seriously interested.
Have your letter checked for spelling
Your work is a big part of your life and your motivation letter can literally determine the course of your life. Take it so seriously and make sure that there are zero errors in your motivation letter. Printing it out often helps to spot typos, but also ask a family member or friend who is good at spelling.
Of course the company wants to know that you are qualified. Yet it is often the case that you are not the only one who applies who is qualified. It is your personality that can then be the deciding factor. Don’t forget that employers are also always looking for people who fit into their teams. So don’t stay too formal and distant and make sure that the person reading the motivation letter not only gets to know your achievements, but also you.
Tell what you can do for the company
That does not alter the fact that you also have to make clear what you can do and what you have achieved. Your motivation letter is even stronger if you can link your past performance to this position. So because you learned this and that in your previous job, it ensures that you can perform better in this position.
You have probably heard that you should have your motivation letter match the vacancy. If they ask for a “team player” in the vacancy, it is indeed good to tell them in your letter. But it is much stronger to give an example of this in the past than to literally write “I am a team player”. Let the person contacted think it for themselves using a concrete example.
Renew with new vacancy
A motivation letter or cover letter is tailor-made. So yes, you have now toiled on a letter, but the next job that you apply for deserves a new one. That is the only way to properly demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in the vacancy and why you are suitable for this one position. It does not mean that you cannot use anything at all, but make sure that the letter is completely in line with the position and the company you are currently applying for.
Tessa Ham is an editor at WorkJuice.nl and writes for Metro about career and money.
Also read: Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes for a Strong Resume