lettre de motivation

Keith Lyons

Senior Member
American English
When looking for a job in the field of education in France one is asked to supply a "lettre de motivation",
as well as a letter describing one's "profil et compétences souhaitées".
What is the difference?

In English-language countries a letter of motivation in this field usually means: What's your teaching philosophy?
The French "lettre de motivation" , however, seems to be much less concerned with teaching per se.
Is it supposed to be more about the institution where one seeks employment?

There is a nuance about "lettre de motivation" I am not getting.

While "profil et compétences souhaitées" seems like an English-language cover letter that details your skills.

Yes? No? Maybe?

What's the etiquette here? The unspoken French socio-cultural implication?

Help, please.

Thank you, -- Keith Lyons
 
  • Chimel

    Senior Member
    Français
    Actually it is a sort of cover letter, but where you mention not only your skills but also your desire to work there, as Snarkhunter explains.

    I mean, you're not expected to send three documents: cover letter + lettre de motivation + CV itself. The first two are one.
     

    ragazzino

    Senior Member
    French - Canada
    The most common terms in French are "lettre de motivation", "lettre de candidature" or "lettre d'accompagnement".

    I can't speak for France, but there isn't really much a difference between a letter of motivation from English-speaking and a letter of motivation from French-speaking Canada.

    A letter of motivation, in any language, serves to show how you've got the skills for the job, what your goals are and what you can bring to the position.
     
    Last edited:

    YvDa

    Senior Member
    French - Belgium
    When looking for a job in the field of education in France one is asked to supply a "lettre de motivation",
    as well as a letter describing one's "profil et compétences souhaitées".
    What is the difference?
    profil et compétences souhaitées sounds weird here, as it is about skills of the candidate, who should'nt wish, but possess them. This is more for a section title in an ad from the employer.
     

    bernardette

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I was looking for translation of lettre de motivation, but I can't agree with letter of motivation, which has been mentioned in several of the threads. Cover letter is what we informally refer to in AE. It accompanies your CV and says a bit more about yourself and why you think you are a perfect fit for this company and this position. But in the instance I am looking at, it is the prospective employer requesting it, and I don't think cover letter works in that case. I am considering "letter of interest".
     

    Keith Lyons

    Senior Member
    American English
    Dear All,

    As the person who began this French language & culture thread, I would say that "letter of interest" -- which shows specific knowledge both
    of the institution itself where you seek employment and how you can help them achieve their goals -- is what's demanded. Not exactly a "mission statement",
    but certainly much more about Them than about you & your CV.

    Turns out, for the record, I did not get "lettre de motivation" right.
    "Right" would be to answer the question:
    What's of interest in what they do that motivates you --
    with pertinent & credible use of their key-word values & needs.

    Better luck next time -- when preparation meets opportunity.

    Hasta la victoria siempre.

    And thank you all, sincerely, for the feedback.

    Yours gratefully: Keith Lyons
     
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