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  • 2017-11-08 08:22 Business English, How to series, Language

    A guide to writing reference letters in English


    Writing a great reference can be very time consuming. It needs to be personal and to strike the right note if it is to have the desired effect. It’s even harder if you are not writing in your own language. We’ve put together a short guide to writing a reference letter in English and have included a number of phrases which we hope you find helpful.

    Addressing a reference letter
    If you don’t know to whom the reference should be addressed or if the reference is general, you can write “To Whom it May Concern”.

    Starting a reference letter

    If the reference is for a specific position you could write “I would like to recommend Jane Bloggs for the position of … with your organisation.” If the reference is general you could write “I would like to recommend Jane Bloggs as a candidate for a position with your organisation.”

    20 useful phrases for references

    • a creative problem-solver
    • always cheerful and dependable
    • always meets his deadlines
    • always behaves professionally
    • her significant contributions to the company include…
    • a broad range of skills
    • always demonstrates integrity
    • pays careful attention to detail
    • exceeded expectations
    • has an excellent understanding of …
    • highly professional
    • greatly respected by colleagues and clients
    • has an excellent approach to …
    • is always willing to offer assistance with …
    • effectively managed …
    • has an excellent rapport with colleagues /suppliers/ customers
    • shows great work ethic and dedication
    • devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to the project
    • her enthusiasm is genuine and contagious
    • demonstrates unwavering commitment

    Be specific

    If possible, use numbers to quantify successes. For example, you might explain how much money the person made for your company, or how many customers the person interacted with on a daily basis.

    Final paragraph
    If the reference is for a specific position you could write “I can strongly recommend John for the position of …”. If the reference is general you could write “I am confident that Jane will make a fine addition to your organisation”. Alternatively “Jane would be an asset to any employer and I wholeheartedly recommend her for any endeavour she chooses to pursue.”

    You can finish off the letter with one of these sentences
    • Should you have any questions, I invite you to contact me.
    • If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me
    • You are welcome to contact me if you require any further information

    Signing off

    Sign letters addressed personally with 'Yours sincerely' and letters addressed impersonally with 'Yours faithfully'. Thus, if your salutation is “Dear X”, the corresponding valediction would be 'Yours sincerely'. If you start the letter with 'To whom it may concern' the corresponding valediction would be 'Yours faithfully'.

    We hope you find this advice useful. If you need further assistance with communication in English, please do not hesitate to contact us for editing services or English tuition.

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2017-11-01 10:20 Business English, Language, Swinglish series

    10 Swedish sayings that are guaranteed to confuse English speakers

    Ever met by baffled expressions when you try to use Swedish sayings when speaking English? Using proverbs shows linguistic skill but can also go badly wrong. Some Swedish sayings are international while others just don’t translate at all to English. As part of our “Borta med svengelska” series we’ve compiled some Swedish proverbs that work in English as well those that don’t and those that just need a little translating polish to make them sound right. First up is a list of 10 Swedish proverbs that you should avoid altogether, or better still, learn the English equivalent if you would really like to impress. Don’t forget to like us on facebook and linkedin to make sure you catch the rest of the series.

    1. Gör inte en höna av en fjäder

    Direct translation: Don’t make a hen out of a feather
    English equivalent: Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill

    2. Lika barn lekar bäst

    Direct translation: Similar children play best
    English equivalent: Birds of a feather flock together

    3. Arga katter får rivet skinn

    Direct translation: Angry cats get scratched skin
    English equivalent: Quarrelsome dogs come limping home

    4. Smaken är som baken, delad
    Direct translation: Taste is like the buttocks, divided
    English equivalent: There’s no accounting for taste, or alternatively, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

    5. Den enes död, den andres bröd

    Direct translation: The death of one, the bread of the other
    English equivalent: One man’s meat is another man’s poison

    6. Köp inte grisen i säcken

    Direct translation: Don’t buy the pig in the bag
    Closest English equivalent: Let the buyer have a thousand eyes for the seller wants only one

    7. Lagt kort ligger

    Direct translation: Laid card lies
    English equivalent: You can’t un-ring a bell

    8. Eget beröm luktar illa
    Direct translation: Self-praise smells bad
    English equivalent: Don’t blow your own horn

    9. Först till kvarn får först mala
    Direct translation: First to the mill will grind first
    English equivalent: First come, first served

    10 Man ska inte döma hunden efter håren
    Direct translation: You should not judge a dog by its fur
    English equivalent: Never judge a book by its cover

    If you need help with swinglish issues or guidance on professional international communications, please do not hesitate to contact us at The London School of English on tel. +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se.
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  • 2017-10-26 07:51 Business English, How to series

    10 new expressions for giving positive feedback

    Is your positive feedback to your colleagues limited to a single expression such as “Good work”? Here are a few more you can use to add a little variation to your communication and to make a distinction between different degrees of praise.

    1. Well done!
    2. Nice work!
    3. Good stuff!
    4. Great job!
    5. Very professional!
    6. Impressive work!
    7. First class!
    8. Cracking performance!
    9. Excellent contribution!
    10. Tremendous/brilliant/magnificent work!

    We hope you find these expressions useful. Watch out for our upcoming article on writing references in English.

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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