Has a challenging career

4 tips for the perfect application

originally published: March 13, 2015

Suddenly there it is: THE job. In a great organization, in the right city, with a variety of interesting and challenging tasks. You fit the profile, you can see that immediately. Now all you have to do is convince your dream employer. With these tips you will surely succeed.

How do I write a letter of motivation?

Sure, the name says it all: the motivation should be set out in a letter of motivation. But this is only one of several important points. A good letter of motivation answers three questions:

  • Why are you interested in the position?
  • Why are you the right person for the position?
  • What qualifications do you have?

Even if you write several applications, you should take your time for each individual letter and, at most, use passages from other letters of application. Because the other person notices very quickly whether you have tailored the letter of motivation individually to the organization - or, in the worst case, sent a run-of-the-mill cover letter, which could be sent to any employer.

Find out about the organization and include this additional researched information in your letter. Make it clear that you have an above-average interest in the position, e.g. through personal references to the topics of the organization. A mere “I want to do something useful” is not enough at this point. Find a good balance between professional and personal. The letter of motivation is not the place for sweeping childhood stories or the detailed retelling of your search for meaning.

Avoid simply retelling your résumé. Include only those stations that are relevant to the position as well as experiences that may be neglected in the résumé but are explicitly required in the job advertisement. Your counterpart expects the information you provide here to relevant are for the job. An in-depth description of your international experience in Brazil is therefore rather uninteresting for an organization that only operates in Germany.

You should also revise the form of the letter intensively. Have you been brief? A letter of motivation should be a maximum of two pages long. Better yet, keep it crisp and write one to one and a half pages. Use paragraphs to make the letter easy to read and, above all, error-free. If that Edit is not your favorite task, get support from people around you.

In particular, career changers from the business world should pay close attention to Formulations Pay attention: Are there terms in the cover letter (or also in the résumé) that are incomprehensible to the other person? English business vocabulary and technical terms are not used in every organization and, in the worst case, you give the impression that you have no understanding of the working world there.

What makes a good résumé?

The other person doesn't know you yet. The résumé should give a first impression of what you have done so far and ideally arouse curiosity about you. To do this, however, it is important that all information about your career is understandable. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are all of my experiences presented in a structured manner? Can the other person see what training, what practical experience, what volunteering, etc. is?
  • Is the duration of each station clearly visible? Have gaps been made clear (e.g. 02 / 2014-08 / 2014 job search / sabbatical / travel)?
  • Is the sorting of all stages antichronological, i.e. from the most recent to the past?
  • Can the other person imagine what I have done at each stage? Are my exact tasks and activities mentioned in the (most important) practical experiences?
  • Did I also mention my relevant voluntary work (this is particularly important for career changers, who can thereby establish initial references to the desired position)?

Which documents do I attach?

Ask yourself which attachments are relevant. Proof of your training is a must, as is your previous job references. Everything else depends on the position. Are specific attachments desired (e.g. work samples)? You should only attach further training certificates if they are relevant to the position.

You can safely save yourself the certificate from the Photoshop course if the position has nothing to do with graphic design tasks. Keep your attachment as small as possible (ideally 1-3MB) and summarize everything in one document. You can usually download programs for reducing and merging PDFs free of charge from the Internet.

Should I call?

Many application books advise you to contact the organization before or after applying. However, it does not make sense to call with flimsy questions and then hold advertising monologues for minutes. Your counterpart will perceive this more as a disturbance and - if at all - keep you in negative memory.

In certain cases, however, you will have really relevant questions that may also be decisive for your application. Then please pick up the phone. Stick to the rules of politeness: introduce yourself and ask at the beginning whether the person you are speaking to has a few minutes to spare. Your counterpart will be very grateful to you for that.

Did you take all tips to heart? Then let's go - Talents4Good will keep your fingers crossed for your application!