A cover letter’s opening sentence: our tips and tricks

When you apply for an interesting position by writing a cover letter and sending it off, the quality of its opening sentence is of great importance. For you, the first sentence of the cover letter is your first contact with the company and largely determines the first impression you make with the company whose position you are seeking. If your first sentence doesn´t read well, contains a major error or is simply boring, clichéd or puzzling in some way, chances are that you’ll make a negative first impression, and thus be less likely to be invited for a job interview.

The perfect opening sentence of a cover letter: do´s

There are several ways to draft a good opening sentence. Firstly, you can refer to someone who works within the organisation in question.

In addition, you can refer to a part of the job notice text or explain how you heard of the company. Other ways to open your cover letter with a good first sentence are by establishing a link between something that you have in common and by telling why you are interested in the position in question. Whatever opening sentence you choose, make sure that it always reads well and is written without any mistakes.

The perfect opening sentence: don’ts

There are several things that you must avoid if you want to be invited for a job interview. 

For example, you shouldn´t start your opening sentence with ´I´, but it is also important that your opening sentence reads easily and does not contains any errors.
A mistake in the opening sentence of your letter usually means that your letter will immediately end up in the wastebasket, because employers aren’t looking for people who can’t write error-free texts. Finally, it’s also not a good idea to make your cover letter´s opening sentence too long, because this can often become somewhat confusing.

An original opening sentence

You’re generally not the only person applying for a particular job. With a bit of bad luck, there might be literally hundreds of other people who want the same job, and every one of them has written a letter too. To make sure that your letter is noticed and doesn´t end up on the high pile of rejects, you can give its opening sentence an original twist. Use your creativity, try to avoid clichés, and above all, be yourself. In most cases, opening sentences with a joke are not a good idea, but an opening sentence with a fun, creative approach can ensure that you stand out from the other applicants.

Choose an opening sentence that fits the situation

Finally, it is important to note that there is no “perfect” opening sentence for a cover letter. This is because the perfect opening sentence differs from sector to sector, from position to position and from person to person. So don´t write a standard sentence in order to use it in the cover letter for every job, but always try to consider the company you are applying to and what job you are hoping to get there.      

In some sectors, certain opening sentences are very smart, appropriate and well-conceived, while the same opening sentence in another sector would not be appreciated at all by employers. Moreover, this applies not only for sectors, but for specific positions as well. In short: don´t always use the same opening sentence when you write a letter, but always try to think up an opening sentence that perfectly fits the sector, the company and the position.


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