How To Write a Cover Letter in French? Tips & Examples

How To Write a Cover Letter in French? Tips & Examples

The cover letter is one of the most difficult parts of an application. So, when it has to be in French... What formal and informal greetings should I use in my French cover letter? How to start and end it? What are the dos and don'ts in your application email to find an internship, a job or a position in France?

We will explain how to write a cover letter in French that will help you get a job. In addition to our tips and examples, you will find at the end of the article a sample cover letter in French in word and PDF to download for free.

🚀 12 French CV Examples & Templates to Download in Word

How to say cover letter in French?

The translation of cover letter in English is lettre de motivation.

The application is called la candidature and the applicant is called la candidate or le candidat.

Salutations and greetings in a French cover letter

The cover letter in French is formal and you must be careful to respect the words and phrases when you apply in an French-speaking country.

If you don't know the person's name, for example for an unsolicited application, write:

Madame, Monsieur,

Please note: The abbreviation for Monsieur (Mister) is M. and not Mr. (even French people make the mistake).

If you know the person's name, simply write:

Madame, (or Monsieur,)

but do not write his or her last name. This could be perceived as a lack of education.

Do now write either:

Chère Madame, cher Monsieur, (or Cher Alexandre)

This greeting is informal and should only be used if you know the person very well.

In your application email, you may be less formal and write:

Bonjour Madame, (or Bonjour Monsieur,)

If you are applying to a startup or a young and non-traditional company, you can start your email like that:

Bonjour Alexandre, (or simply: Bonjour,)

It's not difficult so make sure you get this right!

đź’ˇ Our advice:
Start your email with "Bonjour Monsieur," and if your interviewer changes to "Bonjour Nicolas", then do the same.

How to start your cover letter in French?

The first paragraph serves as an introduction. You should explain what position you are applying for, where you saw the job offer and possibly why you are applying, what your main motivation is.

Here is an example of a strong opening paragraph:

Ayant 5 ans d’expérience en Marketing B2B et stratégies publicitaires de grands comptes (eBay, France Télécom) avec une spécialisation en optimisation de la conversion des publicités Google et Facebook, je souhaite postuler au poste de Responsable Marketing B2B chez Amazon France.

Another very good example:

Actuellement chef de projet marketing junior chez Job in Berlin et passionné par le SEO, l'A/B Testing et les techniques de growth hacking, je serais ravi de rejoindre votre équipe Marketing et contribuer à la croissance de votre site de ecommerce.

If you have seen an offer on Linkedin, you can write this for example:

Je suis tombé sur votre profil Linkedin et j'ai vu que vous recrutez des analystes marketing (cela fait 5 ans que je travaille en tant qu'analyste marketing chez Google où j'étais responsable de la veille marketing des outils d'emailing).

99% of the candidates write almost the same thing so make sure you write a strong, original introduction to stand out from the other candidates.

đź’ˇ Our advice:
Put yourself in the recruiter's shoes and show what you can bring to the company, what your assets, your qualities and your fields of expertise are.

What to put in your cover letter for a job application in France?

The objective of the cover letter is to convince the recruiter that you are the right person for the job and that your skills are perfectly suited to what is required. You should explain why you are the ideal candidate (see our tips for writing a cover letter).

Do not repeat what you have already written in your resume but present the skills you have acquired or developed from your various experiences and how these could be useful to the company.

For example :

J'ai 4 ans d'expérience en tant qu'analyste marketing e-commerce chez Fashionista. Durant cette période, j'ai été responsable de la stratégie SEO de la boutique en ligne, augmentant l'acquisition de clients de 12% par mois en moyenne et optimisant le taux de conversion de 45%.


En tant que responsable marketing de la boutique en ligne Fashionista, j'ai acquis une connaissance approfondie des techniques d'optimisation de vente en ligne et j'ai appris à rédiger des textes simples et convaincants.

This second example is very good because the candidate does not insist on his professional experience, which has (surely) already been presented in his CV, but on the skills he has acquired and which he will be able to bring to the company he is applying for.

You can also list your key skills, i.e. those that interest the recruiter, in a list format.

Mes compétences clés sont :
- Acquisition de clients en ligne (SEO, Content Marketing / Stratégie de contenu)
- Techniques d'optimisation du taux de conversion
- RĂ©daction de textes simples et convaincants
- Présentation simple et visuelle de données complexes ou de statistiques

The recruiters quickly sees what interest them: it's clear, simple and effective.

đź’ˇ Our advice:
Be concise and precise. Avoid length and repetition. Do not exceed one page. Many recruiters even prefer to receive cover letters of half a page (250 words).

How do you conclude a cover letter in French?

You can end your cover letter on a positive note, about what you could bring to the company:

Je serais heureux d'en savoir plus sur le poste et de vous parler plus en détail de la manière dont je pourrais contribuer à améliorer l'efficacité du processus de recrutement.

Or finish by emphasizing your value:

Je serais heureux d'en savoir plus sur cette opportunité et de vous expliquer pourquoi mon dernier employeur a dit que j'étais irremplaçable.

There are many end-of-letter greetings in French. If you want to be safe, use the most common one:

Je vous prie de croire, Madame, Monsieur, à l'expression de mes sentiments distingués.

In a professional email in French, the most common informal greeting is:


Sample cover letter in French to download

Here is a sample cover letter in English in PDF and Word to download for free.

Lexicon and vocabulary to translate your English cover letter to French

Cover LetterLettre de motivation
Resume (US) / CV (UK)CV
Dear Sir, dear Madam,Madame, Monsieur,
Languages skillsCompétence linguisitiques
CompanyEntreprise / Société
Work ExperienceExpérience professionnelle
Internship (US) / Placement (UK)Stage
EducationFormation / Etudes
Job interviewEntretien d'embauche

See our tips for writing a CV in French.

Jerome Feys

Jerome Feys

Job in Berlin's Founder

As a recruitment expert and founder of Job in Berlin, I have corrected over 1,000 resumes. Since 2015, I've been sharing my expertise and delivering tips on resume and cover letter writing, as well as techniques for a successful job interview.

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