Cover letter: polite phrases to use

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Posted on August 20, 2015 at 12:44 PMUpdated Sep 30, 2015, 10:03 a.m.

To respect the standards, these documents are punctuated by appropriate polite expressions that can help you stand out in a positive way:

The polite formulas to start your mail

Whether it is your cover letter or your application email, these documents should be sent to the person in charge of recruitment. If their name is not expressly noted in the job offer or if you opt for a spontaneous application, you can always search the Internet (via the official website of the recruiting company or via social networks, in particular LinkedIn and Viadeo) who occupies the position of human resources director or recruiting manager within the company you are targeting. Finding the recruiter's name, when it was not indicated will allow him to already have an overview of your initiative and your ability to manage.

1. If you have the name of the person you are talking to, you should preferably:

  • For an email, put in the subject line “for the attention of” (and not “for” which is a common misconception), followed by the name of the recruiter and the title of the position to to provide (eg:“For the attention of Mr. Durand”, Digital Marketing Manager position to be filled “).
  • For a cover letter, put the formula “to the attention of” followed by the recruiter's name at the top right of the letter in the space reserved for the recipient's contact details, between the name of the company and its address. Then in the subject line, put the title of the position to be filled.

2. If your searches were unsuccessful or you are not sure of the name of your recipient, you should preferably:

  • For an email, write a subject that is meaningful to your interlocutor or that highlights you, such as “Position of Digital Marketing Manager to be filled” or “Digital Marketing Manager with 6 years of experience”.
  • For a cover letter, the formula “Madam, Sir” is sufficient, the term “Mademoiselle” having become, over time, quite obsolete. All the more so when it is not attached to any last name.

The polite formulas to conclude your mail

Finishing your letter or email is a balancing act. You should be polite and show respect to the other person, but not overdo it. Don't bring up feelings (too familiar) or tributes (too formal). Likewise, if you want to express your gratitude to the recruiter for paying attention to your application, do not overdo it in expressing your gratitude. The person in charge of recruiting would then have the impression of doing you a favor by recruiting you whereas the interest of your hiring must be common.

Here are sample greeting phrases, sorted from the simplest to the most elaborate, that you can use. Prefer the one that best matches your feelings at the moment:

  • Please accept, Madam, Sir, my sincere greetings.
  • Please accept, Madam, Sir, the assurance of my consideration.
  • Pending an answer from you, I ask you, Sir, Madam, to kindly receive my most respectful greetings.
  • Pending a response from you, I am at your disposal for any further information. Please accept, Madam, Sir, my best regards.
  • Thank you for your attention to my application, and, while awaiting a response from you, please accept my best regards.


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