Looking for a new job? These are the top 10 clichés in motivation letters – and tips to distinguish yourself

The corona crisis has shaken up the labor market. In addition, there is a significant dichotomy between sectors that are struggling and where jobs are scarce, and sectors that have benefited from the crisis and are eager to fill certain vacancies.

In any case: if you are applying for a job, a convincing motivation letter is of great importance in addition to a strong CV.

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But there is still much to be done in this area, according to research by CVSter, a website that helps job seekers to prepare a CV or motivation letter. In the study, a total of more than 340,000 European motivation letters were analyzed for word and language use. A spokesperson for DigitalPR, who contacts the media on behalf of CVSter, indicates when asked that the data comes from anonymized motivation letters from users of the platform. The research shows, among other things, that applicants often use the same words to characterize themselves. The Dutch are ‘motivated team players’

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Dutch job seekers like to work together, according to more than 45,000 analyzed motivation letters. Applicants most often state that they enjoy working in teams or that they are a real team player. In their own words, the Dutch are also highly motivated, ambitious and eager to learn. The need to continue to develop is strongly emphasized in most motivation letters. This is the top 10 most common clichés in Dutch motivation letters according to CVSter:

Read more: 4 tips to make a success of your open application.

  • Team(player)
  • Motivated
  • Ambitious
  • Studious
  • Solution-oriented
  • Enthusiastic
  • Independent
  • Passionate
  • Flexible
  • Commercial

Europeans are ‘customer-oriented team players’

Also in other European countries, team player is most often mentioned as a characteristic in a motivation letter. Nevertheless, the analyzed motivation letters from eleven European countries also contain other clichés than in the Netherlands. For example, applicants in other European countries often claim to be customer-oriented and words such as interested and passionate are also more common. These are the top 10 most common clichés in European cover letters:

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  • Team(player)
  • Customer oriented
  • Interested
  • Passionate
  • Responsible
  • Studious
  • Professional
  • Solution-oriented
  • Enthusiastic
  • Positive

Tips to distinguish yourself

To set yourself apart from other applicants – and increase your chances of getting a job – CVSter offers a few tips:

Tip 1: Use yourself as a source of inspiration

If you get your inspiration from examples of motivations or the vacancy, the clichés will soon creep into your letter. Instead, check with yourself – if necessary with a word web – why you are suitable for the position and what it shows.Try to stay away from standard phrases like “I was immediately enthusiastic about the position” or “I am very motivated to start working in this position”. Of course you can use a sample letter for the layout and structure, but forget to focus the content on yourself and the open position. Read more about applying:

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Author: Jobly