If you have started looking for work outside, the first and fundamental thing to do is to prepare a good English CV. In addition to this, you are going to need a cover letter in english.
Previously we have told you about the importance of speaking English in order to find a job nowadays. Knowing how to speak this foreign language is essential when accessing employment in many companies.
In English-speaking countries, it is essential to include a cover letter when applying for a job. It´s a formal letter that you send alongside your CV, and it acts as an introduction to yourself.
It is the first point of contact, thus an excellent opportunity to show that you are the ideal candidate for this job position.
What is a cover letter used for?
- This document is useful for explaining why you have sent your CV. Maybe you have come across a job vacancy, or you want them to bear you in mind for any upcoming or future selection processes.
- It is very effect for convincing someone that they should be interested in your profile.
- Highlight your experience and knowledge, especially those most relevant to the vacant position.
- It is an ideal opportunity to reflect your personality. Write a brief paragraph about yourself.
- Take advantage to answer any question raised in the job offer.
How to Make a Cover Letter in 8 Steps
You should include your full name, address, date of birth, email address and telephone number (including country code).
It is recommended that your name stands out in some way or another. Put it in bold or in a bigger font size than the rest of the text. The rest of the information can be left in the normal size of 12.
For the header you can use another font, but it must still be easy to read and look professional.
You should make sure the date is correct, as well as that all the information is up to date.
The date should always be in the right-hand corner and then leave a blank line before starting the introduction.
There are many ways of writing the date. In American English it´s not the same as in British.
In American you start by writing the month, then the day, and finally the year.
To avoid confusion, use the date with the month written if you send a CV to an American company:
- May 31, 2017
- May 31st, 2017. It is more common to write cardinal numbers (1, 2…) although they are always pronounced as ordinals (1st, 2nd …)
If you are going to send a cover letter to a British company:
- Same order as in Spanish day/month/year: 31/05/2017
- 31st May 2017
If you know the name of the person who you are addressing, you can start off like this:
- Dear Mr./ Ms. Last name : Dear Mr. Smith,
If you don´t know their name, it is best to try to find it out. Search on the web for the company or their personal LinkedIn profile.
The best thing is that the cover letter is as personal as possible, and therefore it´s worth addressing it to the right person.
If however, despite everything you can´t find their name, you can write:
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Sir or Madam,
- To whom it may concern,
- REASONS FOR APPLYING
Next you have to write a formal introduction, but in a positive and enthusiastic tone.
You must include why you are writing, the vacancy that you want, and where you saw the job offer.
You can use these opening sentences:
- I am applying for the Advertising position…
- I am writing to you in response to your advertisement in…, dated May 12th, 2017.
- I am interested in the Designer position advertised on…
Don´t use phrases like “I wish to apply to…”. It´s not considered appropriate for a cover letter.
- WHY YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE ROLE
In this section you must emphasise what attracted you to the offer and above all, why you want to be part of the company.
Show that you know about the company and why you think you´ll fit perfectly in their ranks.
Having done the previous step, you can use phrases such as:
- I have the right combination of skills to be an asset to your organisation.
- I would like to point out that I … for your company.
- SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
In this section you must emphasise your strong points. It´s the moment to highlight your knowledge and career path so far.
Summarise your skills and adapt them to the requirements of the job.
Make it clear how you can contribute to the development and growth of the company.
You can write:
- My skills are an ideal match for this position…
- During my X years at “x company”, I developed many skills…
- I believe that my skill set perfectly matches your requirements…
Don´t use overly used expressions like “results-oriented professional” or “self-motivated individual”. Use your own language, and make reference to how you can solve problems, improve results, methodologies etc…
Instead of saying “results-oriented professional” you can opt for “I love to solve after-sales service problems”, and instead of “self-motivated individual” write “I taught myself HTML over a weekend in order to obtain a Web Marketing opportunity”.
Avoid clichés; just be yourself!
- SHOW YOUR AVAILABILITY
To bring the letter to an end, you must invite the reader to stay in contact. It´s suggested that you review your CV and make it clear that you are free for an interview in person.
Some phrases that you could use are:
- Please take the time to review my resume.
- As you can see from my attached resume, my experience and accomplishments match this position´s requirements.
- I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my potential contributions to your company.
- I would appreciate the opportunity… to meet with you to discuss my qualifications for the position, OR, …. to speak with you in person.
If you are worried about speaking face to face with the reader, we explain to you here how to tackle an interview in English.
- FORMAL SIGN-OFF
To close the cover letter, use one of the following expressions:
- Best regards,
- Yours sincerely,
If you are going to send attached documents such as a CV or references, indicate this at the foot of the letter “Attached: resume or references”.
We leave this video to help you prepare a perfect cover letter in english.
- CHECK THE COVER LETTER
This final stage is fundamental, don´t sent it without editing. It would give a very bad impression sending a cover letter full of errors.
- Check that there isn´t a single spelling mistake or incorrect agreement. If you´re not sure, use a word processer that checks for spelling and grammar.
- It shouldn´t be too long; take out unnecessary words.
- Give it a read through. Ask someone with experience to check the entire letter.
- Convert the document into PDF so that it can be seen without any problems.
We hope that these pieces of advice are helpful for preparing your cover letter in english, and we leave you this link so that you can download templates according to your professional sector.
If you need help to improve your English at a professional level, don´t think twice about contacting Nathalie Languages.