Skip this introduction to see model and example cover letters in Spanish...
Writing the cover letter to your curriculum vitae is not just a formality. As the CV is little more than a list of data, the cover letter is the only part of the package you send to a prospective employer that reveals something about your personality. The way in which you express yourself in the cover letter will dictate the degree of interest the employer will find in your CV.
When writing to a prospective Spanish employer, it may be necessary to convince him/her that your Spanish is up to scratch. An employer will appreciate that your CV is standard and may well have been translated. A personalised cover letter, however, will reflect your own language level and may be crucial in his/her decision to proceed with your application.
If fluent Spanish is not required for the post, it would still be preferable to send a well-written cover letter in Spanish. This will demonstrate that you have gone to the trouble to communicate in his/her native tongue, which will impress an employer and not necessarily mislead him/her in assuming you are a fluent speaker, as your Spanish language ability should be clearly stated in your CV. The option of writing a badly-written cover letter in Spanish, which, you feel, faithfully and honestly reflects your linguistic ability, should never be considered; this may lead to ambiguities, detract from a professional approach and even make you appear ridiculous!
1) Type 1: A letter which is in answer to an advertisement for a position of employment. This type of letter should be brief.
2) Type 2: A "cold-introduction" letter, which is when a candidate writes to an employer offering his/her willingness to work for that company when no position has been advertised. This type of letter may be longer than the first.
A Type 1 cover letter should include all or most of the following information and preferably in this order:
1) Say exactly which is the post your are applying for. (An employer may have inserted several advertisements in the press, Internet etc.) , you should also say where you saw the ad. and when (if it appeared in a periodical publication).
2) Briefly mention the main points of your work experience or qualifications and/or the qualities which make you ideal for the position. It is a good idea to make a special mention that you comply to the exact requirements described in the ad. because those are what the employer is really seeking. eg.: If the job ad. says, "with more than two years experience", you could write in your cover letter: "I have three years experience in...". This will show the employer at a glance that you should be considered a potential candidate.
3) If you know something about the company where you are sending your application to, mention briefly why you are interested in working for them (you could try to find out about the company if possible).
4) Mention that you are interested in an interview and when you are available to attend. Express interest in a personal meeting.
5) Mention that you have included a list of referees in your CV (usually two will suffice) and which are available for contact at the present moment (you may not wish them to contact a present employer right away - this is a reasonable request and employers understand this.) In this bilingual context, mention too which language should be used in any contact.
A Type 2 cover letter should include all or most of the following information and preferably in this order:
1) You should say what sort of work you do and what type of position you are seeking. You must show the employer you know the company and say why you are interested in working for them.
2) Briefly mention the main points of your work experience or qualifications and/or the qualities which make you ideal for the position.
3) Mention that you are interested in an interview if a position were available and when you are available to attend. Express interest in a personal meeting.
4) Mention that you have included a list of referees in your CV (usually two will suffice) and which are available for contact at the present moment (you may not wish them to contact a present employer right away - this is a reasonable request and employers understand this.) In this bilingual context, mention too which language should be used in any contact.
(Back to introduction...)
For reasons of offering variations, not all the following cover letters fully comply to the guidelines set out above but each letter is valid on its own or you can add and adapt lines from other letters.
Open a Notepad tool from your PC.
General "all-purpose" cover letter TYPE 1:
See below for a general but brief cover letter which should be suitable for most situations. This is a good place to start as it contains links to help pages.
Cover letter 1
More sample TYPE 1 cover letters.
You may want to add phrases or make adaptations. Check out the following list of cover letters and either choose the one most suitable or mix combine and mix phrases.
Cover letter 2
Cover letter 3
Cover letter 4
Cover letter 5
Cover letter 6
Now go to:
"The Cover Letter writing machine..."
"Creating Your Curriculum Vitae...."
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A job or an internship is an excellent way to practice Spanish whilst gaining valuable work experience or just earning some extra money! To apply you will need a Spanish version of your CV (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter (carta de presentación) in Spanish. It’s not essential to attach a photograph but some positions may request it. So here are our tips for how to compose a successful application.
Spanish CVs are much easier to write than English or other CVs because they go into much less detail so don’t worry, it won’t be too difficult! Remember that the middle section of your big Spanish dictionary will have a section on writing formal documents which might come in handy.
First, start with your “Datos Personales” i.e. Personal info:
Fore and surnames, date and place of birth, marital status, current address and contact details
Nombre y apellidos xxx xxx xxx
Fecha de nacimiento xx/xx/xxxx
Estado civil x
Domicilio actual xx
Teléfono +44 (0)xxxx xxx xxx, +34 (0)xxx xxx xxx
This is then followed by these sections in this order: datos academicos, otros títulos, experiencia profesional and otras posiciones de responsabilidad. In other words: academic info, other qualifications, work experience and other positions of responsibility.
Here, starting with the most recent, give the date, the academic institution, location and qualification (plus Spanish equivalent where possible).
2009-2013: Universidad de Durham, Durham, BA en Lenguas Modernas (equivalente a Licenciatura en Lenguas Modernas).
This section is for any other qualifications or prizes you may have received, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award or any music grades may you have.
Again, starting with the most recent, here you list the jobs you have had in the past. Unlike UK CVs, this section merely requires the date, job title, company and location.
Julio-septiembre 2011: Camarera para Blue Lagoon, Disneyland Resort Paris, Paris.
Otras Posiciones de Responsibilidad
Here include any positions of responsibility that you may have held that are relevant to the job or that you just want to brag about!
Noviembre 2010 - al presente: Embajadora para Routes Into Languages (organización para animar a los estudiantes de Reino Unido a estudiar las lenguas).
Add an Idiomas (languages) section, stating the language and level (básico, intermedio, avanzado or lengua materna). It is always worth including your native tongue here as it might be useful for the job!
Finally, feel free to include any relevant Aficiones (interests) and whether you have a driving licence (un carnet de conducir).
However, don’t go overboard because the whole thing should fit onto one side of A4.
2. Cover Letter
As you can see the Spanish CV style is quite sparse so the cover letter is important if you want to sell yourself well. The best way to tackle this letter is to organise it by 3 main paragraphs:
Number 1: Be specific straight away, introduce yourself – where did you see the job advertised? What are you applying for? What dates are you available?
Number 2: This section will be the longest – elaborate the information in your CV that shows that you are the ideal capable and enthusiastic candidate for the job.
Number 3: Inform your potential employer more about your current situation, how much Spanish you have studied and why you want to work in Spain. This section only needs to be a few sentences; they don’t want your life story!
Finally, add a closing statement: “Le agradezco a Ud. la atención que me pueda dispensar y quedo a su entera disposición para cualquier aclaración y/o ampliación de antecedentes” works nicely followed by “le saluda atentamente, XXXX” Replace the Xs with your name, attach your CV and it is ready to be sent!