In both cases:

  • You can use the You - Me - Us format.

  • Use the individual’s name when you address them.

  • Familiarize yourself with the company before writing your letter. This information will help you to explain the reasons why you are applying.

  • Use hooks as keywords – terms linked to the industry or sector that you would like to work in.

Responding to an ad

  • Ask yourself the right questions: What is this company/employer looking for? What do they want to know about me? How can I show that my skills match their requirements?

  • Find information on the vacant position. Call the person mentioned in the ad. This person could certainly provide information, even if it is only to confirm that the position is still open. And don't hesitate to mention your phone call in your cover letter and especially to use the information that you will have obtained.

  • Use the different points in the ad and show how your profile matches the profile they are seeking.

  • Highlight the points that prompted you to respond.

  • Focus on the company's needs and formulate your letter in such a way as to show that you can provide the right solutions.

  • Highlight your assets and the positives that you could bring to the company that other candidates might not.

Making a speculative application

  • Target a company that interests you.

  • Address yourself to the person who would require you (department head, area manager, etc.).

  • Determine how your work record and know-how match the company's needs - needs that you were hopefully able to identify in your research (company website, newspaper articles, information from people you know who work there, etc.).

  • Indicate why it is that you are addressing this specific company and not another one in the same industry.

  • Highlight your skills and know-how, your accomplishments and any large projects in which you have participated. In short, speak about yourself and the strong points in your work record.

  • Put your strengths into the context of the job you wish to land.

  • Clarify your expectations (position, career development, etc.).

  • Refer to your CV and mention that it is attached to your letter.

  • Suggest a meeting within the next ten days.

The advantages of a spontaneous application

  • You are the only one applying. You won't be compared with other candidates.

  • The person you contact has more time for you than they would following the publication of an ad for which he/she will probably have received numerous files.

  • Do not underestimate the "luck" factor. Sometimes a spontaneous application arrives at the right place, at the right time (the creation of a new job, a resignation, etc.)