When applying for a job, alongside the resume, the candidate sends a cover letter or a motivation letter. In Luxembourg, it is written in the language of the vacancy publication, unless the employer specified otherwise. Nowadays all the information for applying is sent via email, but it used to be handwritten.
Structure and Contents
The motivation letter should contain all the elements listed further. It can be formatted as an official paper by putting your contact information in the top left corner, or it can be formatted the other way – for example, using the future company's bylaws.
Pay as much attention to this document as to your resume if you want to find a job in Luxembourg. Here is one of the possible options for the design and composition of the cover letter.
Put the name of the position in Luxembourg you are applying to in the top part of your letter, use a larger font.
Allocate some space below the header and enter your information in the column on the left side:
- full name;
- phone number;
Following that, after a short indentation:
- a name of a hiring company,
- a name and position of a person you are writing to,
- a date.
When submitting an application for a post in Luxembourg, it is best to write a neutral, but targeted greeting. Write by the formula «Hello + Name and Surname of the recruiter (or person in charge of the vacancy)».
Here you will put three text paragraphs about:
- The motivational part — describing why you want to work in Luxembourg in this particular company;
- Relevant work experience — stating that you are perfect for this position;
- Skills and personal traits — answering why you will be effective in the wanted position; you can also briefly describe other advantages of working with you rather than other applicants. This could be expertise in a related field or specific knowledge that could hypothetically be beneficial to the company.
Thank the recruiter for reading the letter and suggest taking a look at your resume and portfolio, if this job requires it. Leave links for the recruiter to navigate through.
To end your letter, use typical business formulas appropriate to the language in which you are writing. For example, in German it is typical to end official letters with the phrase "Mit freundlichen Grüßen", while in English it may be "Sincerely (yours)" or "Best regards".
It is better to use an official business style in your cover letter when applying for a job in Luxembourg, but try to avoid complicated language constructions. Ideally, combine the simplicity of the formulation with a professional tone.
- Clarity, succinctness, and conciseness should be the foundation of the letter.
- Any bragging, flirting, familiarity, pathetic pressure, etc. are unacceptable.
- Addressing "Dear Sir/Madam" is acceptable if you do not know the recipient's name. However, if you do, address them by their first and last names, and be sure to check that they are spelled correctly.
Typically, a cover letter can be included as an attachment, so it is well worth investing time and making sure it is well prepared. Paying attention to all the details is worthwhile because finding a job in Luxembourg and getting a chair is quite a challenge due to the intense competition. A few requirements for the format:
- The size should not exceed an A4 sheet. The function of a cover letter is to encourage the recruiter to examine your resume and call you in for an interview rather than telling everything about you.
- Use normal black Times New Roman (12) or Arial (10) on the white background.
- Easily approachable structure. It is necessary to divide information into paragraphs, stress the headline and contact details, and visually separate the greeting and conclusion from the text body. In a great cover letter, a recruiter can find needed information quickly.
- Do not use abbreviations.
- Check the spelling twice — grammar errors are repulsive and give the impression that the candidate is inattentive.
If you considering finding a job in Luxembourg, keep these few things in mind:
- Don't write a two-sentence formal cover letter. "Hello, please read my resume" and other similar letters will not be treated seriously by any recruiter.
- Do not reuse segments and pieces of your resume. The cover letter should complement it, not paraphrase it.
- Don't make an autobiography out of a letter. A story of your life is not what human resources managers expect to see in an application to a position in Luxembourg.
- Do not indicate non-existent or irrelevant experience or skills. If you are applying for a PR position and have worked as an editor, for example, it is a related experience that can be useful in creating press releases. It's a very different matter when you state that you worked as a barista and know how to make great coffee for your colleagues.
- Do not neglect ADEM. Register on the website and try to attend their workshops on how to write a good cover letter.