Career Advice English for professional use

How to write a cover letter (Part 2)

Last week, we looked at the purpose of a cover letter and how to structure the first two paragraphs, covering an opening statement and a description of relevant studies and work experience. Let’s look at how to finish the draft you wrote last week.

3. A description of the important personal qualities that you would bring to the job. Emphasise why you are the best candidate for the job. 

am honest, meticulous and focused, which are necessary characteristics of an accountant. I am also highly motivated and I would be grateful for the opportunity to develop my career with your firm.

4. An expression of gratitude for considering the application and an expression of hope that it may be successful.

Thank you for considering this application and I look forward to hearing from you. I am available for interview at your convenience.

Remember to use the correct tense for each section; for example, past tenses when describing previous academic studies or work experience, present tenses when talking about the personal qualities you possess.

Persuasive language

Using the right vocabulary is important when describing your skills. Below is a list of useful adjectives that help to describe character:

articulate — someone who is good at expressing ideas or feelings clearly in words
autonomous — someone who is able to do things and make decisions without help from anyone else
calm — someone who does not get excited, nervous or upset
energetic — someone who has a lot of energy and enthusiasm
flexible — someone who is able to change to suit new conditions or situations
honest — always telling the truth, and never stealing or cheating
meticulous — someone who pays careful attention to every detail
open-minded — someone who is willing to listen to, think about or accept different ideas
persuasive — someone who is able to make somebody do or believe something
reliable — someone who you can trust and rely on

 Don’t forget

  • Always write in a formal style. You want to make a good first impression.
  • Include your address at the top on the right and the company’s address at the top on the left, even when sending your cover letter as an attachment.
  • Include the date on the left hand-side above the greeting.
  • Remember to use an appropriate greeting and sign-off. For example, if you know the name of the person you are writing to, start with Dear Mr Smith and finish with Yours sincerely followed by your name. Alternatively, if you are writing a speculative application, start with Dear Sir/Madam and end with Yours faithfully.

Following these steps will help you create a cover letter that includes all the necessary details and highlights your key strengths. Good luck with your next job application!