You’ll need a flawless French CV if you’re a student, immigrant, or expat looking for work in France. However, this will not get you a job in France. Most employers expect a cover letter written in French STYLE – a well-written French Cover Letter that complements your resume.

What Is A Cover Letter? (And Why Is It So Important?)

When submitting an employment application, a cover letter is typically a one-page document that is attached to a resume. Many applicants mistakenly believe that a cover letter is not required, but it is critical in presenting your application to the recruiter.

While most applicants believe that the resume is the most important document for any application, the cover letter is just as important. The cover letter supplements your resume and brings you closer to landing your dream job.

Your qualifications and skills are already listed on your resume, but your cover letter allows you to stand out from the crowd even before you are interviewed.

Simply put, your cover letter gives the hiring manager an overview of the contents of your resume. At the same time, it may be an opportunity to further introduce and sell yourself. This letter must persuade your potential employer that you are worthy of being interviewed and, eventually, hired.

Tip: Your cover letter should accompany your resume. It does not take the place of your resume. It enhances it.

Bonus Tip: Most recruiters go through an applicant’s cover letter before reviewing their resume. If your cover letter is convincing or impressive enough, they will look over your resume to see if you are qualified for an interview.

How To Write A French Cover Letter

The style and content of a cover letter written for a French hiring manager would be significantly different. Hiring managers in France always prefer well-structured formal letters.

A cover letter in France, like any other region, should demonstrate the applicant’s academic and professional background and ability to meet the job’s roles and responsibilities.

Here are some general tips for writing a cover letter:

  • Limit your cover letter to one page.
  • Use simple words and short sentences as much as possible.
  • Avoid being too pushy and self-promotional.
  • Limit your content to three to four short paragraphs.
  • Use standard fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman.

6 Tips To Improve Your Cover Letter In French

Use the following tips to elevate your French cover letter:

  • Get a native French speaker to proofread your French cover letter.
  • Determine who will read your cover letter so you can personalize it with their name.
  • Determine your prospective employer’s most difficult questions and address them in your cover letter.
  • Always keep the French cover letter formal.
  • Consider using a modern cover letter template to make your application stand out.
  • Use the same or a similar template for the CV and cover letter for consistency.

6 Key Points: Writing A Perfect French Cover Letter

  • Use the tried-and-true cover letter structure we recommended.
  • Avoid using casual or informal language; keep a formal and respectful tone throughout.
  • Make your cover letter specific to the firm, job, and industry you’re applying for.
  • Use 3 to 4 short paragraphs with specific goals.
  • Include a call to action.
  • Throughout the letter, demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job.

French Cover Letter Structure

The content of a French cover letter differs significantly from that of an American cover letter, particularly in the order in which the content is written.

The following is the format we recommend for a French-style cover letter:

  • Header
  • Subject
  • Opening greeting
  • First Paragraph: Introduction
  • Second paragraph: key skills and experience
  • Third paragraph: why you’re interested in the job/ company
  • Fourth Paragraph: Call to Action (CTA)
  • Complimentary close

Tip: A general French cover letter should be formal, cautious, and polite. Use “Vous” instead of “tu” when addressing someone, for example. Let’s go over how to write a French cover letter step by step.

French Cover Letter 1

Start With The Header

Because French recruiters consider your cover letter to be a formal letter, begin your header with the sender’s (the applicant’s) and receiver’s (the hiring manager’s) information, just as you would with any formal letter.

Sender Information

Begin with your name, then the position you’re applying for. Include your contact information, such as your personal email address, phone number, and physical address (only if applicable). Include the date you’re writing the letter.

Garry Smith

Directeur du magasin

01 56 67 82 45


12 août 2022

Receiver Information

Include the hiring manager or the person who reads your application’s name, position, company name, and address.

Juliette Zoe

Responsable du recrutement

Techno Care

Paris, France

On some occasions, you will not be able to obtain information about the recruiters; in this case, use the company name and address.

If the company has posted the job advertisement on LinkedIn, you will most likely be able to find the hiring manager’s contact information. Addressing the hiring manager by name is an excellent way to demonstrate that you have done your homework.

Put The Letter’s Subject

You should write the subject of your cover letter as you would any formal letter. The subject, in this case, should be the job and the position you’re applying for.

Opening Greeting

In your letter, we recommend using a formal French greeting. Address the reader as Madame or Monsieur without repeating their name. Use both when you are unsure of the gender of the person you are addressing.

Paragraph 1: Start By Introducing Yourself

The first paragraph of an American-style cover letter is frequently a sales pitch outlining the candidate’s key achievements and accomplishments to the hiring manager.

French hiring practices are a little different; the job market is academic-focused, so your degree is more valuable than your previous job achievements. You will have a good chance of getting an interview if your degree matches the job requirements set by the employer.

As a result, emphasizing the relevant educational background in the first paragraph – providing a brief introduction to your academic and professional experience – demonstrates that you have the basic qualifications listed in the job description.

Be specific about your academic credentials; include the name of the degree, the year you graduated, and the name of the institution or university.

You could mention a couple of key technical skills required to perform the job duties in the first paragraph.

Paragraph 2: Key Experience That Makes You The Best

In the second paragraph, demonstrate your key experience and skills relevant to the job. You don’t have to limit yourself to your most recent work experience; instead, select relevant information from your career and summarize it in a couple of sentences.

Always prioritize the most difficult skills for the job. Read the job posting and determine the employer’s goals in making this hire – address those issues and demonstrate how your expertise can help solve those problems.

Use this space to highlight one or two of your most significant and relevant accomplishments – include numbers to show the impact of your decisions on key business metrics such as profit, sales, annual target, employee turnover, customer satisfaction, and so on.

Showcase your abilities and expertise without going overboard. French hiring managers despise candidates who try to oversell themselves in their cover letters. In fact, they expect raw facts in the cover letter rather than boasting about the candidate’s brilliance.

French Cover Letter 2

Paragraph 3: Express Your Interest In Joining The Firm

Even if you’re sending your CV to multiple employers, you can’t send your cover letter to two different positions – the cover letter should address the specific employer, job, and industry.

One of the primary goals of your cover letter is to convey your interest in the company and the position – this is especially important for candidates applying for their first jobs or in career transitions.

Investigate the industry, the company, and the job you’re applying for, and determine what piques your interest in the position. Employers prefer candidates who have a genuine interest in the job.

Discuss the company’s mission, vision, purpose, or strategies and how they align with your personal career goals.

Paragraph 4: Finish With A Call To Action (CTA)

In the final paragraph, tell the hiring manager what to do next – the Call to Action.

This does not imply that your hiring manager is unsure of what to do next; however, you should be mindful of what to expect. In most cases, the hiring process will include a couple of interviews. Instead of informal chats or meetings, French recruiters frequently call shortlisted candidates for formal interviews.

By stating your CTA, you should demonstrate your interest and readiness to meet with them and discuss the details.

The French Cover Letter Closing

A salutation should be included at the end of your cover letter. As in a formal letter, be respectful and use a standard closing statement.

How To Finish Your Letter?

Depending on the situation, consider using the closing sentences listed below.

  • Yours faithfully: Veuillez agrĂ©er mes l’expression de mes salutations distinguĂ©es
  • Yours sincerely: Salutations distinguĂ©es
  • Respectfully yours: Veuillez agrĂ©er l’expression de mes sentiments respectueux

All of the preceding salutations are used in formal situations, whereas “Yours Faithfully” is used when the recipient’s name is unknown.

Checklist Of Your Cover Letter

Do you want to ensure that your cover letter is properly written? It is the first opportunity you will have to persuade hiring managers that you are qualified for a position in their company, so make the most of it.

Check the following checklist to ensure that your cover letter is written properly and correctly:

Your header should include the following essential information, which should be accurate, up-to-date, and clear:

  • Name and surname
  • Professional email
  • Profession, occupation, or position title
  • Contact number
  • Name and address of the letter recipient
  • Social networks or relevant websites (Optional)
  • Date

Start your cover letter with a simple yet respectful salutation that includes the recruiter or hiring manager’s name and title. Your professional profile should also be highlighted in your introduction.

  • Introduce yourself and what you do briefly.
  • Mention your professional background or previous work experience.
  • Include only the skills and accomplishments that support your work experience and are relevant to the job description.
French Cover Letter 3

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cover Letters Necessary For Jobs In France?

In France, most job postings require you to submit a cover letter accompanied by your resume. Even if the job posting does not specifically state that a cover letter is required, it is always prudent to send one.

A cover letter showing your interest in the job to the hiring manager. The difference between sending a generic CV to 100 job postings and sending a tailored cover letter with each application is clear.

Should I Include A Photo On My French Cover Letter?

It’s not necessary, but there’s no harm in trying. On French resumes, candidates frequently include a photograph. You may include one if you’re using the same template for your cover letter.

Most French companies are fine with candidates’ photos on resumes and cover letters. However, suppose you are applying for a company based in France that is based in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, or Ireland. In that case, you should consider not including a photo.

Should I Include Personal Qualities In My Cover Letter?

You are not required to include any personal characteristics in your cover letter. You can include them as an additional section on your resume. Your cover letter should only address the job you’re applying for – the qualifications, experience, and skills required to perform the tasks on the job.