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Dear MissCareerLess,

Thank you for reaching out. From you letter, you appear to me as a very lively and direct person. It is just a feeling, I have never met you, but I can tell you this is a good thing. However I asked myself: «Were I the person in charge of screening the candidates for the job she is applying, would I select her on the base of her cover letter and my feeling?» The answer was: «not likely».

So let’s see what we have here… A motivation letter for a targeted company position:


Why grammar is still the #1 reason for rejection

Your letter is packed of grammar errors and typos. Although it is true that spotting your own typos is harder than when you read someone else’s words, avoiding this kind of mistakes is something everybody can handle. Of all the possible criteria, this is the first requirement a candidate has to meet. Reading a cover letter is all about first impression. When you make a spelling or a grammar mistake you are distracting the reader, while in fact the main aim of a cover letter is to catch her attention.

The more is not the merrier

Recruiters read through thousands of applications and the more they receive the more they are prone to reject for the smallest mistake. And somehow this even more true for young candidates like you. Naturally, you don’t have a long-time experience or a strong plus to offer in the job market. So it is crucial to introduce yourself in the most rigorous way. Forgive yourself for being often unable to spot your own writing mistakes and remember to use your computer spell checker. But don’t let it do all the work for you, it’s not enough. Have a friend, who is native or fluent in the language you are writing, give you some suggestions. And always read aloud what your write. You will notice that sometimes a comma can save a life.

Prove that you’re better

Often recruiters choose to read cover letters first and CVs after because they are more descriptive of who the person applying is. If you write a good one, it definitely gives a better image and understanding of who you are than a list of experiences and skills. This is also why writing a good cover letter is of key importance when applying. Nobody wants to know where you have studied or where you have worked if you write poorly. And if you write poorly about yourself, you will be likely to write poor work reports or emails. Your presentation letter is sloppy? Then probably so are you. Or not? Of course this is not always the case. But when, on a daily basis, a recruiter receives so many cover letters, it helps her think it is!

So don’t waste a chance to be considered for a post by being less accurate than others. Don’t give recruiters the easiest excuse not to consider you for the job you want. Maybe you are more talented and experienced than someone who managed to pass the first stage of a selection by giving herself the best chance: submitting the best cover letter.


Do you have a cover letter/motivational letter you want feedback on?

Don’t be shy; let us help you: Send us your letter with #GetHired in the subject line and let us do the rest!


Alessandra Marino
Alessandra Marino is an Italian writer and translator. She has lived four years in China, mainly working in the communication and media field. There she also spent one year as a recruiter, and found that most of the people who are trying to get their way into the right career path have trouble taking the first step to make their name known out there: describing who they are. Alessandra has also worked as a communication trainee at the European Commission and she is now living in Italy where she helps people putting in words what they need to succeed.

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