Whether it's for a job or studying abroad, it's very likely that you'll be required to write a cover letter in English. Indeed, today, English is the most widely used language in the world of work and for international communication. But be careful, don't think that a cover letter in English is written in the same way as in French ! We'll explain all the differences in this article.
Don't know how to write a cover letter in French? No problem! We've put together the perfect guide for writing your cover letter.
While the candidate's contact details are traditionally written at the top left of the letter, in the UK they place them at the top right. As a reminder, the contact details to be mentioned are, in order:
First Name Last Name
As for the recruiter's contact details, these are usually at the top right, except in the UK, where they are at the top left. They are introduced by the little word " to ". Here's the order :
First Name Last Name
The Recruiter's Function
The name of the company
The address of the company
In an English cover letter, it is more common to place the date above the recruiter's contact information. But be careful, don't forget that in English dates are not written in the same way as in French ! Indeed, we first write the month (with a capital letter !), then the day (preceded by a comma), and finally the year. For example : April, 20th 2023
The Purpose of the Letter
After the contact details, a cover letter in English starts directly with the body of the letter.
However, if the company you are contacting is British, the subject of your letter should appear in bold, after the header. It should read " Subject : [job title and job offer source] ".
To start a cover letter in English, the most suitable formula is : "Dear Mr. [recruiter's last name] " or " Dear Mrs. [recruiter's last name] ".
In the first paragraph, introduce yourself briefly. Explain your area of expertise, the job title (to be bolded if you didn't put a subject line in your letter), and why you're applying.
" I was delighted to see your job offer for the position of [job title]. As a [list your qualifications] graduate with X years of experience in the [sector in which you have worked], I think that it makes me an ideal candidate to handle the challenges of this job and bring value to your company. »
For the second paragraph, you are required to highlight not only your technical skills (hard skills) but also your interpersonal skills (soft skills). Explain how they are relevant to the position. To do this, use concrete examples based on professional experiences, internships, etc.
" I have X years of experience as a [position you have worked in] and in this time I have been responsible for [what was your role]. This allowed me to acquire [professional skills acquired] qualities that will benefit your business and allow me to thrive in this position. »
In the third paragraph, explain why you want to join this firm and why it should choose you, and not someone else!
Do you have the same aspirations ? Are you a daily user of its products ? Do you know the company like no one else?
" Working for your company would be a great opportunity for me as I strongly identify with your missions and commitments in [explain the company's missions and commitments]. »
" As an almost daily user of your products, I am particularly skilled in highlighting them to make your brand stand out to consumers. »
To conclude your cover letter in English, you can quickly summarize your strengths, without repeating yourself, and indicate that you are available for an interview. Then, don't forget to end your letter with a polite greeting, such as "Thank you for your consideration " or " Sincerely ", and sign !
" I believe my X years of experience in [field in which you have worked] will be a real asset. I would welcome the chance to further discuss the position and what skills I would bring to your team.
Thank you for your consideration,
[First name Last name] "
And that's it, your cover letter is ready to be sent ! Running out of vocabulary ? Don't panic ! Find out the English words and phrases that are useful for a cover letter. We wish you the best of luck on your adventure abroad ! 🌍
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