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Job application letter of Motivation in France

letter of motivation franceWhen you apply for a job in France you’ll not only need to send a French CV – in the European style which can be quite different from other countries, you’ll also need to submit a “letter de motivation” which is a resume letter or covering letter.

A letter of motivation is an essential component of the job application process in France.

Formality is the absolutely order of the day, extreme politeness is required. If you are not fluent in French or familiar with formal French greetings and sign offs, get help to make sure you do this right.

Get it wrong and your CV and letter are likely to at best go to the bottom of the pile, or more likely straight into the bin.

You can get free help with writing a letter of motivation from Pôle Emploi, the French employment agency (they also run free courses on how to create a French CV).

If you know the name of the person you are writing to start it Madame XX or Monsieur XX. Never Cher or Chère (as in Dear). If you don’t know the name write Madame, Monsieur.

Always use the formal “vous” form, never address someone with “tu” or by their first name unless specifically told to do so – it is considered rude in France.

Don’t be surprised if you are advised to use a very formal sign off like “je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentiments distingués” – Please accept, Madame, Sir, the expression of my very highest regards.

It may seem old fashioned but it is necessary.

Plain paper, plain font – conservative approach.

The website http://www.letudiant.fr/ has lots of example letters and CVs that you may find useful.

Example letter de Motivation in French:

Grégoire Nom de Plume

44, rue Diane-de-Furstenberg, 38000 Grenoble



À l’attention du responsable recrutement

Paris, le 28/04/2009

Objet : recherche d’un emploi saisonnier ou à temps partiel

Madame, Monsieur,

Suite à votre offre d’emploi pour des postes de conseillers presse étudiants pour l’OFUP Éducation, je me permets de vous proposer ma candidature.

En effet, étudiant à l’ISG, je souhaite approfondir mes connaissances acquises durant ma formation et lors de mes stages, et les consolider au sein d’une de vos équipes.

La discrétion, la rigueur, la facilité d’adaptation et le travail en équipe sont mes qualités pour mener à bien ce travail.

Je me tiens à votre disposition pour un entretien éventuel. Dans l’attente de votre réponse, je vous prie de croire, Monsieur, en l’expression de mes sentiments distingués.

Grégoire Nom de Plume

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