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.

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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.

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