The English application: Cover letter
Cover letter: Spelling and style of writing
An error-free cover letter in English is a key requirement for your application. Use business English and take care to avoid colloquial terms and figures of speech in your formal letter.
Whether your spelling is correct will depend on the country where you are applying. A distinction is made between American and British English. There are differences between the two in terms of vocabulary, grammar and spelling. In the case of some job titles, there may be two different translations. For example, a lawyer is called a ‘solicitor’ in British English, but he is an ‘attorney’ in American English.
In British English, one writes ‘programme’, but in American English, it is ‘program’. In American English, one writes ‘analyze’, but in British English, it is ‘analyse’. Marginal differences must also be considered, because while you write ‘judgement’ in British English, the ‘e’ is left out to form ‘judgment’ in American English.
No personal style is applied in the cover letter, but it is important to be as clear as possible. This means that you must not use abbreviations; always write the whole word. Note that contractions like ‘I'm’ are written as ‘I am’ in formal English. Remember also that the cover letter must always be polite and objective.