I wrote a small letter describing my motivation for applying for a particular job.

The last but not least reason for applying for this position is the opportunity to grow in the consulting field.

In this sentence, I wonder if I used "The last but not least" correctly. I know that we can use "The last but not least" at the beginning of a sentence, but can we combine it with the word "reason"?

  • 2
    "Last but not least, the reason for..."
    – Justin
    Dec 31, 2021 at 7:51
  • But isn't the last reason the least? If not, list it first. Last but not least, we thank C means we listed A and B first, but not in any order. When you write a cover letter, you must list your reasons in order to make the best sales pitch. Or risk looking like a string of cliches last but not least seeking opportunity for growth and challenges. Dec 31, 2021 at 14:04
  • 1
    I have only one piece of advice. In applications don't state the obvious, and avoid cliché. "Last but not least" adds nothing of substance to what you are saying. If you are worried about the use of the word 'last' and so feel the need to add that it is not the least, then you can Say "Finally, ...". Since this is a letter of application for a post, why state "I am applying for this post because.."? "Finally, this position offers me ...." does what you want, more simply and directly.
    – Tuffy
    Dec 31, 2021 at 20:22
  • The last-but-not-least reason.... But yeah like Tuffy says it's cliche and redundant. Better to say 'Additionally' or 'Moreover'
    – smci
    Jan 1, 2022 at 1:11

4 Answers 4


No. Last but not least is an idiom:

last but not least idiom

—used to say that a final statement is not less important than previous statements
// The television is big, has an excellent picture, and last but not least, it’s cheap.

Source: Merriam-Webster — last but not least

It functions adverbially, and it’s used like this:

The television is big, has an excellent picture, and last but not least, it’s cheap.
Last but not least, I am applying for this position for the opportunity to grow in the consulting field.

You can swap in another adverb to see:

The television is big, has an excellent picture, and finally, it’s cheap.
Finally, I am applying for this position for the opportunity to grow in the consulting field.

You can also look at this another way: Just as you wouldn’t say the most reason, neither would you say the least reason.




(the person or thing) after everyone or everything else

the least expected or wanted person or thing

Hence, The last reason is, by implication, the final or least important reason in a list that you have given, defined or implied.

You may reasonably qualify one adjective by another. In this case you chose to qualify last by not least, making clear that, although last in position, it is not least in importance.

The use of but refutes any supposition in the mind of the reader that the last is the least important.

Your resultant noun phrase last but not least reason may be positioned anywhere that nouns are positioned: beginning, end, object, subject and other roles in sentences.

  • Is 'the last but not least N' idiomatic? Dec 31, 2021 at 16:03

Avoid using "last but not least + noun” e.g "last but not least motivation”, instead use an adjective.

Last but not least exciting, is the opportunity to grow in a consulting company.

From Google Books

Last but not least exciting are the athletic and battle-ax competitions, which originated as martial exercises under King Malcolm Canmore in Scotland around 1060.

  • This must be parsed as ' ... {last} but not {least exciting}', as opposed to '[The] last but not [the] least [thing that I refer to here],' of the more common sentence-introducer (pragmatic marker, subclasses ordering and emphasising). Jan 2, 2022 at 15:24

Anton's explanation on the mechanics and the underlying understanding of the phrase is well explained. However, I was just holding my breath while reading, if he was going to add an opinion on the quality of the usage of this phrase.
Perhaps it is that I worked many years in science, where words are counted into most meaningful with the least number of words.

In my opinion, it would have been better to just keep the concept simple with less words. It also sounds a little old fashioned.

Just to give an alternative:

I look forward to be given the opportunity to grow in the consulting field.

14 words versus 21 words.

  • 1
    I agree with KillingTime's advice, Were the letter not already written, why clutter up the main message with clichés such as this? They add little. Get to the point. Here is another one: "Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking ..." (Oh, get on with it!) Last but not least (Ouch!) - Happy New Year to All here.
    – Anton
    Dec 31, 2021 at 22:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.