Opening and closing

Writing an attractive opening and closing statement in your letter will naturally appeal to the recruiter, so pay special attention to those.

Do not use the easy but impersonal and uninspired standard sentences, but try to open and close your letter personally and enthusiastically.

Unoriginal and impersonal:

I hereby apply for the position of Junior B2B Marketing Officer, the job ad for which you published on on 19 March.

Quite original and smooth, but not always appropriate:

You are looking for a dynamic and enthusiastic commercial assistant with bright ideas? Well, I just might be the person you need.

Do not try to be too original. Overdoing it, can work counterproductively. Be especially careful with jokes. If they backfire, it will not benefit your chances of success.

The opener below can hardly be called standard, but its chances of success are poor.

  • Knock, knock
  • Who's there?
  • Guy
  • Guy who?
  • The guy you are looking for.

And this opener is a vast exaggeration as well.

When I read your ad for a sales assistant in yesterday's paper, my heart skipped a beat. "This is it", I shouted.

You can easily avoid standard opening sentences by using a subject line in your letter to refer to the job ad. This will allow you to improve your opening paragraph. You'll now be able to make it more concrete and to summarise your main assets in the beginning of your letter.

A safer way of standing out positively is incorporating a typical element from the ad in your letter.

No matter which approach you choose, keep it smooth, brief and to the point. Also keep the focus on the letter on the recipient. A personal style does not mean a self-centred perspective.