The best written cover letters are worthless if no one sees them!
Belgian Cover Letter Writing Guide
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, work in Belgium needs more than just the obvious Belgian cover letter and Belgian CV writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation. You will be forced to solve issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you decided to go for Belgian jobs.
Do not undervalue the huge impact the Belgian cover letter can have on the effect of your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
A Belgian cover letter is an integral part of your job application. Often the Belgian cover letter is more important or convincing to employers then the accompanying CV because it refers mainly to the past time with exception of your present job.
Concentrate on your present and future plans, showing your prospective employers what you want to do now and what you will do for them in the future, rather than on your past achievements because recruiters and employers are interested in the future of companies and organizations they represent.
In Belgium, language is very important. Take the time to research every employer's organization and customize your Belgian cover letter to fit the position. For instance, a Flemish company will not appreciate your cover letter and CV in French.
Your Belgian cover letter must be in one of several languages: Dutch (Flemish), French, German or English, depending on the company and its location. In general, the language of the covering letter should be the same as the language of the job posting. If you are applying for a job in Brussels, use English or French if you are not sure which language to use.
The Belgian cover letter, tailored to the specific position, can be typewritten, especially in the French speaking area. In the traditional professions, a handwritten letter is more common. In a cover letter list your name, address with telephone number including international access code and e-mail address.
Belgian employers prefer a single page letter addressed to an individual. Take the time to research each employer's organization and personalize each letter with a real person's name. A personalized, targeted, well-written cover letter is your chance to set yourself apart, grab the employer's interest, and draw them in for a closer look at your CV.
Begin your Belgian cover letter with your name, nationality and contact information including your address, phone/fax and e-mail. Often cover letters and CVs are kept on file for long periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number with international access code and e-mail address are most important.
Using power words and action verbs write letter in formal style clearly emphasizing your motivation and stating why you consider yourself the perfect candidate, what contributions you can make to the company and a possible starting date. Usually it contains three or four paragraphs. Be concise and get to the point as quickly as possible. Break any paragraph, which is longer than seven lines, into short easily understandable one.
Close your cover letter, by expressing your willingness to explain your application in more detail during a personal interview.
Application forms are widely used among large Belgian enterprises. It is common to see on these forms questions about the profession and employers of your parents or partner. Pay attention to the open questions that try to establish your social and transferable skills. Never leave any blank spaces.
With your cover letter and CV, most Belgian employers expect you to include a photograph and two references, including name, function, address and telephone number. Inform your referrers in advance, because references are usually verified.
Check the spelling and grammar of your Belgian cover letter. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your cover letter, send it to a professional for assistance.
If you have a difficulty with your Belgian cover letter writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:
Other Belgian Cover Letter Info
We hope that your Belgian job search has been successful. So, if your Belgian cover letter and Belgian CV are ready, you may email them to your future employers, apply for Belgian visa & Belgian work permit and start preparing for Belgian job interview.
Good luck with your Belgium cover letter!