You have come across your dream job and want to do all you can to get invited to a job interview, including preparing a perfect CV and writing an enthusiastic letter of application that will make your future employer want to get to know you better.
You sit down in front of your laptop in good spirits, but an hour later, you still find yourself staring at a blank page. After all, the pressure is high. Don’t let it get you down: take a look at our sample letter of application and get inspired. You’ll soon be typing away at your keyboard!
Sample letter of application
We’ll get straight to the point with an excellent sample letter of application. Afterwards, we’ll explain how to proceed in each section.
Dear Mr/Ms [+last name],
I found your vacancy for [name of position] through [name of source], and instantly found my eye drawn to it because of my interest in [sector or aspect of the job].
My name is [name], I am [age] years old, and from [place of residence or birth]. Since I completed my studies [name of course] and graduated, I have been looking for a job in which I can gain new experiences and at the same time demonstrate what I have to offer.
People who know me well describe me as hard-working, assertive and enterprising. I like to work independently but also perform well in a team. In addition, I have excellent verbal and written skills, both in English and Dutch. I like to grab the bull by the horns and take on the most wide-ranging tasks with an open mind and a healthy dose of creativity.
As a [name of position], I would fully utilise and perfect my experience in [mention previous activities]. The role’s independent nature in particular appeals to me: I enjoy flexible working and am happy to discuss the various options with you.
Please find attached my CV, which I would be happy to discuss in a personal interview.
Thank you for your time; I am looking forward to your response.
With kind regards,
[First and last name]
How is a good motivation letter structured?
Now that you’ve seen a sample, we will explain the different elements to help you write a well-structured letter of application yourself.
Although letters of application give an impression of your personality, they usually follow a standard pattern. You’ll want to feed the recruiter the appropriate information as fast as possible, so it’s best not to throw this pattern overboard.
A powerful letter of application contains the following elements:
- Your address
- The address of the company you’re applying to
- Place of residence and date
- A ‘subject’ line, followed by the reason you’re writing the letter (this line is only applicable to letters in paper format: for an application by e-mail, you can just use the subject line).
- The salutation (note: most people don’t like to see just “Dear,”.) So it’s a good idea to look up who will be reading your letter and use “Dear Mr” or “Dear Ms” followed by their surname.
Avoid experimenting with this part. The letter itself usually consists of five paragraphs and leaves a little more room for your own order or approach:
- An opening paragraph, in which you can describe how you know the company.
- A paragraph with more details about your age and where you are in life (just completed your studies or many years of experience under your belt, and so on).
- A paragraph about your skills, such as foreign language skills.
- A paragraph about your motivation, which you should do your best to tailor to the job in question.
- A closing sentence, which you can use to thank the reader for their time.
A letter of application and a CV: each serves its own purpose
A letter of application such as the one above is often mentioned in the same breath as the Curriculum Vitae. Together, they form the business card that you use to bring your application to your future employer’s attention. So in what way do the two differ? They have the same subject – which is you, of course – but an entirely different approach. A CV lists your skills, personal details, work experience and education in a somewhat dry and factual manner, whereas a letter of application provides a more personal touch. This makes your motivation letter the perfect opportunity to elaborate on:
- How motivated you are to get the job.
- How you found out about the vacancy.
- What your skills are, and how they will be useful.
And now it is up to you!
Learn from Robert Half’s expert recruiters so you can build a talented team of employees or advance your career. Operating in over 300 locations worldwide, with 12 offices in Belgium and Luxembourg, including our recruitment agency in Brussels, Robert Half can provide you with assistance including executive recruitment, where and when you need it.