Applicant's Guide

How to write a cover letter?

Want to get an interview for an impact structure? You bet, resume and cover letter will be required to submit your application! As for writing a resume, we told you about it in this article, detailing the important elements to include. Making a cover letter allows you, in addition to your resume, to argue your motivations for joining this particular structure, your strengths to stand out to recruiters, and your interest in impact. How to write a cover letter for impact organizations? Here are 10 tips for writing one!

The layout of the cover letter

Whether you are applying for a social or environmental impact organization or a traditional sector organization, the codes are the same: the writing of a cover letter is usually organized in 3 paragraphs

#1 Introduce yourself

While talking about your interest in the company. The idea is really to introduce yourself succinctly by indicating your current profile and to focus instead on the reasons for your application. Why did you want to apply for the position?

Here is an example: "As a student in Master 2 finance, in view of the current context, I want to orient my career towards sustainable development. This is why your position in carbon accounting, in my home town moreover, is exactly what I am looking for."

💡To introduce your letter, you can also talk about your interest in the organization's mission. Impact professionals are often keen to surround themselves with people who are convinced by their purpose and values. Depending on the position, these characteristics take precedence over skills.

Here is an example of a presentation focused on the mission: "Young graduate of a communication school, I am looking to put my skills at the service of a responsible agency. Your strategic approach to CSR communication to conduct embodied projects with your clients has particularly caught my attention."

#2 Talk about your career path

Since you already talk about it in your resume, how do you write the part about your professional background in your cover letter? The idea is to talk about 2 or 3 strong points that you have for the position, starting from your professional experience. An example here:

"During my first experience in logistics in an industrial environment, I solved several headaches in the field with ease, an asset that I could use, collaborating with the different interlocutors present in your waste industry."

💡Say a little but not too much, to leave a sort of teasing to the recruiter and make them want to know more by contacting you for a job interview! You can cite 2 or 3 examples, not more, to get straight to the point. You can then take the most relevant experiences for the position you are aiming for.

Focus on your soft skills

Beyond the interest in the organization's mission, impact recruiters are sensitive to the soft skills held by candidates. We talked about the specific skills sought by ess recruiters in this article. Collaboration, the ability to solve challenges, to mobilize, autonomy, thematic expertise, skills related to shared governance and those related to coopetition are, for example, those that affect recruiters. Often, they are directly indicated in the job offer as keywords. In this same second paragraph, you can therefore emphasize your soft skills. Here is an example: 

"My 5 years of experience in a CSR consulting firm and the solid culture in the field acquired during these years will allow me to build your pedagogical device. I have also been asked on several occasions to lead groups in my former firm, my pedagogy and my listening skills having been valued and put to good use by clients."

#3 Conclude on this win-win partnership

Finally, what will also interest the recruiter is to understand the double interest for you and for them to join their company. For example, you can mention a professional project related to the position to be filled, which is also a proof of your motivation to invest yourself seriously in your work to develop skills;

#4 Include a greeting

The politeness formulas are part of the codes of writing a letter. It is written at the very end of your cover letter, just before your signature. Here are 3 examples: 

- "We look forward to hearing from you."

- "I am at your disposal for a future meeting. Please accept, Sir, my highest consideration."

- You can also opt for something more casual, if the tone used in the job posting is casual, such as, "Best regards."

Tools to build your letter 

The old-fashioned way, you can opt for a handwritten letter. Otherwise, there are many word processing tools like Word or Open Office to write it. With these tools, you can choose your font, build a nice layout and correct your spelling mistakes. You have an option to underline your spelling mistakes ;)

Send a cover letter

And to send your letter, you can download it as a pdf and include it as an attachment to a compassionate email.

A sample cover letter

In this example of a cover letter, the student is entering the second year of a bts in business management and is looking for a work-study contract for his final year.

Last name First name

Postal Code/City

Tel 

Mail

Last name First name or company name of recipient

Address

Postal Code/City

Done at..., on...

Subject: I would like to apply for the position of right-hand man on a sandwich course.

I am a second year student in a bts in business management and I would like to invest myself in a structure with a social mission. The adaptation of housing to accompany the elderly is a subject that particularly touches me, my grandparents wishing to age at home.

My bts training allowed me to acquire multiple skills to assist a company manager in his action and decision making. For example, during my internship at XXX, I led a strategic reflection with the manager to rethink our business model in order to become a regenerative company. An exciting project, on which I showed rigor and great versatility to accompany the changes with all the stakeholders.

During my previous internship, the mission that motivated me the most was the collaboration with an ESAT and the consideration of the needs of the professionals we were going to collaborate with. Contributing to the reflection to include disabled people to work in our organization is what made me feel the most useful. This is why I want the social dimension to be at the heart of my professional project.

I am at your entire disposal for any further information, and would like to thank you, Madam, Sir, for your kind attention.

Signature

And some tips for writing a cover letter

Finally, to build a good cover letter, here are some recap points:

đŸ•”ïž To avoid spelling mistakes, remember to proofread well or have yourself proofread to avoid them.

đŸ˜ŽđŸ€“Side of style, the tone can be more or less formal depending on the organization and the tone used in the offer! In any case, we advise you to avoid being on first-name terms and to remain professional, as in the example above.

💯 Be honest. Even if you have little professional experience, don't invent assets or skills you don't have! You can elaborate on 1 experience if you only have one or instead focus on your professional project and your desire to develop your skills in your letter.

To go further

👉5 exemples de lettres de motivation

👉Writing a cover letter for work-study.

👉10 tips for a successful job interview

To take action

👉 Find all our job offers 

👉 Training for jobs in the ecological and social transition