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8 tips to start your cover letter with a strong opening sentence

Applying for a job is like wooing someone. How can you phrase your motivation letter in such a personal, confident and original way to ensure that you will be invited to an interview?

Bright Plus

1 min. reading time

1. Avoid boring standard phrases

The employer receives dozens of letters and you want to stand out. Rule No. 1: avoid phrases starting with: “I am applying to your ad...”, “I saw your ad in the newspaper...”, “Allow me to respond to...”, or “I am very interested in...”

2. Why not start with a question?

Starting your letter with a pertinent question will immediately draw the reader’s attention.

“Is your company looking for an enthusiastic and motivated Account Manager with experience?”

3. Refer to your expertise and skills

“As a Copywriter, I have acquired a broad knowledge of the economic sector.”

Get straight to the point: the reader is looking for you.

4. Drop a name

You will arouse the reader’s interest if you drop the name of a common acquaintance. The recruiter will wonder why the contact has recommended you.

“Last week, I spoke with your colleague, Mr Thomson, who advised me to contact you.”

5. Show your enthusiasm

Be personal and genuine in formulating your response to an ad. Don’t beat about the bush and clearly state the reason for your interest in the job. For example: “I was really excited to read about your Personal Assistant job vacancy! Allow me to explain why I think that this function in your organisation would fit me like a glove.”

6. Start with something from the news

“Last week, I read in the newspaper that more and more Russian travellers are visiting the Belgian coast. I am convinced that I can play a part in this by receiving them in a friendly and professional manner at the reception desk of your hotel reception.”

7. Describe what you observe

A little flattery can get you somewhere.

“There isn’t any long waiting times when you call Telestar’s customer service and perfectly bilingual advisors are always happy to speak to you. I would love to work for your company as a Customer Service Assistant.”

8. Refer to earlier contacts

It is often advisable to phone ahead to ask specific questions about the function. You can capitalise cleverly on this call in your motivation letter. “As I already mentioned on the phone last Tuesday, I am very interested in the position of Commercial Assistant.”

Do you have any other examples of impactful opening lines? Share them with your fellow candidates!