Prepositions with verbs and adjectives for job applications
Knowledge of the basics of English grammar will help you to communicate clearly and confidently. Here, we review some of the structures typically involved in talking about your skills, interests and achievements.
Prepositions can be tricky. Often, there are no clear reasons why one preposition is used instead of another. In this section, we focus on expressions with prepositions that you may find useful for your job applications.
1. Opening sentences
The following verbs are useful in the opening paragraph of a covering letter. The verbs apply and look are followed by for + noun:
As you are looking for an experienced healthcare professional, I would like to apply for the position.
2. Highlight your skills
In your covering letter, you could highlight your skills with specialize + in + noun or -ing form: I specialize in technical translation work.
I specialize in helping clients resolve technical issues. 3. Describe your qualities
The following expressions with adjectives + preposition + noun are useful to talk about your interests, knowledge and skills:
I am aware of the challenges the industry faces.
I am excited by the prospect of working for your firm.
I am impressed by your company’s portfolio.
I was closely involved in the website design.
I am passionate about environmental issues.
The adjectives adept, instrumental and well-versed can also be followed by a preposition and the -ing form:
Having spent three years as a scrum master, I am adept at running scrum-based projects. My background is in finance, so I am well-versed in writing comprehensive budgetary reports.
I was instrumental in developing the prototype.
Finally, the adjective fluent is followed by in and a noun:
As I worked three years in Moscow, I am now completely fluent in Russian.
4. Closing your covering letter Remember that in the expression look forward to, the to is a preposition and is therefore followed by the -ing form of the verb and not the infinitive:
I look forward to hearing from you.
The preposition to can also be followed by a noun:
I look forward to the interview.
5. Lists in your CV
In your CV, you can list your past achievements and responsibilities using just the past participle of the following verbs + prepositions.
Succeed and assist are followed by in:
Succeeded in increasing sales by five per cent within the first year. Assisted in implementing a cross-border compliance programme. Excel at can take the -ing form or a noun:
Excelled at writing, designing and giving presentations. Excelled at technical presentations in front of large audiences.
Deal is followed by with + noun: Dealt with customer complaints in a timely and friendly manner.
With contribute, use the preposition to + noun or -ing form: Significantly contributed to the successful and timely reorganization of the database. Significantly contributed to streamlining the test phase of the project.