The cover letter in English: why it is important and how to write it

When we send a self-application to a company, or respond to a job advertisement, in addition to writing a CV with precision and accuracy, it is very It is also important to create a cover letter to accompany it.

It is a document with which we talk briefly about ourselves with a professional tone but not overly formal, highlighting our strengths and the reasons why we are applying to a specific profession.

If in Italy the cover letter it does not represent an actual custom, it is considered very important abroad: indeed, it is even the first document that the recruiter or the human resources manager will proceed to read, even before examining the CV. This means that to propose to a multinational or to participate in a selection of personnel at a company based abroad, it is very important to know r write a cover letter in English with the utmost care.

How to correctly write an English cover letter

What we define as a cover letter, in English is commonly called a cover letter or, to be more refined and precise, a motivation letter, or motivational letter. In fact, as we have seen, the reason why you write a cover letter is precisely to make your motivation known.

The first element to consider regarding the cover letter is its importance: since it will surely come read, we must consider it a tool to distinguish ourselves from others, without neglecting elegance and professionalism.

A cover letter must not be a simple summary of the curriculum vitae and must not be longer than a page, avoiding to insert information already disclosed.

The most important elements to highlight in the cover letter

A presentation letter must be clear and explicit, but at the same time concise: the length ideal is 4/5 paragraphs of a few lines each: fortunately the essentiality of the English language allows us to tell a lot even in a few sentences.

It is important to focus above all on the reasons why we have decided to apply to a certain position or in any case to propose ourselves to a certain company: the main role of the letter is to get us the job not only for the skills but above all for the motivation.

There we will therefore focus on technical skills and background, but also on the more personal and character aspects that can predispose us to carry out a certain task.

lettera di presentazione in inglese

The ideal form for a motivation letter

Obviously, we must not forget that a cover letter, even if in English, it is, first of all, a document, we must therefore maintain a certain formality and stick to a language that is not too technical but professional, with a personal and at the same time concise style.

The sections of the cover letter in English are the classic and usual ones also for the Italian version:

  • Header and subject – in this section, in addition to your personal data, the company name of the recipient and, if known, the name of a contact person
  • Introductory paragraph – where to highlight your intention to apply for a specific position
  • 1 or 2 descriptive paragraphs – in which to highlight your motivation, as well as skills, school curriculum and professional experience
  • Conclusion – in which we thank you for your attention and greet, with a strictly original signature

In the introductory paragraph, we can contact a specific recipient, if we know their name, or more generally, to those responsible for the selection and staff. We will then have the following formulas:

  • Dear Mr / Mrs / Dr and the name of the contact person, if we know it. This is the preferable formula
  • Dear Hiring Manager / HR Manager / Dear Recruiting Department if we don’t have a reference name
  • To Whom It May Concern if it is a small company and we do not know who examines the applications

At this point we can indicate if it is a self-application or not:

  • I’m interested in the … position or I’m writing to apply for the … position continuing, in the case of response to an advertisement, with advertised on citing the source to which we are referring.

Next, we will move on to highlight our main reasons :

  • I feel my skills are ideally suited to this job or Always intended to have a career in …

In the third paragraph we will talk about our actual experiences and skills, quoting as a reference the attached CV :

  • As you can see in my CV, I have extensive experience in…

Then, at the end, greet our interlocutor and thank him:

  • Thank you for your time and consideration, yours sincerely…

In a very short PS after signing, we can indicate the presence of any attachments, the CV as well as diplomas, qualifications and particular certificates.

  • I have enclosed my resume and…

Graphics and aesthetic aspect of the motivation letter

Like a cover letter in Italian, it is also important for the international version to choose simple graphics and elegant, even better the letterhead, printed in blue or black on ivory or white paper.

Leave a comment