1. De sollicitatiebrief - The application letter or cover letter

The letter of application normally contains three or more paragraphs in which you should:

  • Confirm that you wish to apply and say where you learned about the job.
  • Say why you are interested in the position and relate your interests to those of the company.
  • Show what you can contribute to the job by highlighting your most relevant skills and experience.
  • Indicate your willingness to attend an interview (and possibly state when you would be free to attend)

2. Veelgemaakte fouten in sollicitatiebrieven - What are the biggest mistakes cover-letter writers make?

  • Addressing the letter to "Dear Personnel Director," "To Whom It May Concern," "Dear Sir or Madam" (or worse, "Dear Sirs") instead of a named individual. The largest employer in Central Florida tosses cover letters in the circular file if they are not addressed to him personally. "To Whom It May Concern" shows the employer that you were not concerned enough to find out the name of the person with the hiring power.
  • Telling the employer what the company can do for you instead of what you can do for the company. This mistake is particularly common among new college graduates and other inexperienced job seekers. In most cases, employers are in business to make a profit. They want to know what you can do for their bottom line, not what they can do to fulfil your career dreams.
  • Leaving the ball in the employer's court. Too many cover letters end with a line like this: "If you are interested in my qualifications, please call me." Proactive cover letters, in which the job seeker requests an interview and promises to follow up with a phone call, are far more effective.

3. Check out the following job ad and the cover letter that was written to it.

Patagonia.com - Outdoor clothing and gear
Job Title: Store Manager – Cortina, Italy
Reports to: European Retail Manager
Date: June 20..
Location: Cortina, Italy
General Summary:
STORE MANAGER– Italian/English (m/f)

You are an expert in store management, you ensure the growth in turnover of the brand by boosting sales, tracking inventory and ensuring good merchandising. You guarantee your results and your goals and you know how to use your management skills and discipline to achieve them.

Reporting to the European Retail Manager, you are responsible for the Cortina Store daily management. You are able to manage, motivate and inspire your team and provide top-notch customer service. You ensure the store meets its expense and profit goals, as well as maintains the values of the company.

You are a dynamic and available sales person, with an 8 to 10 year experience in retail management, particularly as Store Manager.

Qualified applicants should be computer literate with a strong experience in retail IS systems, have a natural ability to lead people and be quality and environment oriented. You are passionate about outdoor sports and fluent in Italian and English.

Please forward your motivations and resume under reference STM/CORT by e-mail to: hr.europe@patagonia.com

Employee Conduct:
It is the responsibility of every employee to contribute to a positive work environment through cooperative and professional interactions with co-workers, customers and vendors.

5. The cover letter, in this case an email

Aan: hr.europe@patagonia.com
Onderwerp: application Srore manager STM/CORT


Dear Sir/ Madam,

I am writing to apply for the position of store manager, which was advertised last week on your site Patagonia.com

Although I am presently employed by a non-profit making organisation, it has always been my intention to work in a commercial environment. I would particularly welcome the chance to work for your company and as you will notice on my enclosed curriculum vitae, the job you are offering suits both my personal and professional interests.

My work experience has familiarised me with many of the challenges involved in store managementtoday. I am sure that this, together with my understanding of the needs and expectations of sport and nature enthusiasts, would be extremely relevant to the position.
Moreover, as my mother is Italian, I am fluent in this language and would definitely enjoy working in an Italian-speaking environment.

I would be pleased to discuss my curriculum vitae with you in more detail at an interview. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Scott

Enclosure: CV