Opening sentence for job application cover letter: tips and tricks

If you apply for an interesting position by writing and sending an application letter, the quality of the opening sentence of the cover letter is of vital importance. The first sentence of the cover letter is the first contact you are making with this company and determines to a great extent what kind of first impression you will make on the company concerned. Is your first sentence awkwardly phrased, does it contain a serious language error, or is it boring, standard or just rather odd? Chances are high that you will then make a bad first impression and are less likely to be invited for a job interview.

The perfect opening sentence for an application letter: do’s

There are several ways to write a good opening sentence. One option is to refer to someone who works at the company you are applying to. Another way is to refer to something from the job description or mention where you first heard about the company. Some other ways to open your job application letter with a good first sentence are by making a link through something you have in common and by telling them why you are interested in the available position. Whichever opening sentence you choose to write: make sure it reads well and contains no errors.

The perfect opening sentence: don’ts

There are a few things that are best avoided when you are hoping to be invited for a job interview. Do not start your opening sentence with “I” for example, but it is also important that your first sentence reads well and contains no errors. If the very first sentence of your letter contains an error, this will generally lead to your letter being tossed in the wastebasket, as employers are not interested in hiring people who cannot write good English. Finally, it is also not a good idea to make the opening sentence of your job application letter too long, as this is often distracting.

An original opening sentence

When applying for a job, you are often one of many. If you are unlucky, there may even be hundreds of other people who want the job and who have also written a letter of application. To make sure your letter will be noticed and not land on the high pile of all letters, you can choose to write an original opening sentence. Use creativity, try to avoid clichés and most of all try to just be yourself. An opening sentence with a joke is usually not a great idea, but if you can write an opening sentence with an original, creative twist it may help you stand out from all the other applicants.

Choose a suitable opening sentence for each situation

Finally, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as one perfect opening sentence for an application letter. This is because a perfect opening sentence will vary per business sector, per position and per person. So don’t write a standard opening sentence that you will use for every vacancy you send a job application to, but try to write an opening sentence with the company you are applying to in mind, as well as the kind of job you are trying to find. Because in some sectors certain opening sentences are found very clever, to the point and well considered, while in another sector the same opening sentence may not be appreciated at all. 

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