Writing applications – for many this is like a chore. No wonder. Many applicants send out countless letters of application, but do not receive a single positive response. This makes the job search frustrating for many people: At the beginning of each application, the resume has to be updated and adapted to the job advertisement. Credentials and certificates must be scanned or copied and, in the worst case, notarized. And to top it all off, cover letters are written for hours – of course, always somehow matching the respective company. If writing applications becomes an endless loop without success, it can be quite demotivating.
But the application process doesn’t have to be endless and frustrating. If you approach your application in a structured way and take a few tips into account, you can write applications very easily and also increase your chances of success. In the following blog article we answer a lot of questions about the application process. How can you convince potential employers?? How to write a successful application? What makes a convincing cover letter? What mistakes you should avoid in your cover letter? How do you present yourself best in the job interview?? And how do you structure your application phase so that you make it easier for yourself??
With this article you lay the foundation for your successful application! So, here we go!
First considerations: Finding the right job
At the beginning of every application is the question of what exactly you expect from your future job. Which activities interest you? What prospects do you want to keep open? What does your ideal job have to offer you?? What position do you want to apply for? Take your time and think about what exactly you want. Then you can set priorities for your job search.
Then, first get an overview of the job market and look for jobs that are right for you and for which you have the necessary qualifications. If you want to work in a small company in your home country, then the local job boards or the good old daily newspaper are the best address for you. You are not bound to a specific location? Then take a look at the big platforms like stepstone or monster. Also studies about employers or rankings offer you a great inspiration. A well-known ranking is z.B. Germany’s top employers.
When looking at potential companies, don’t just look at what products or brands they have, but also how they work internally. Research the company’s homepage for employee benefits, corporate values, corporate ethics and corporate social responsibility. In the end, you should feel comfortable all around and stand 100% behind what your employer is doing. The kununu platform, on which employees can rate their employers, is also helpful for an insight "behind the scenes.
Once you have found the perfect job posting for you or have identified a company to which you would like to send a speculative application, you can start directly with the application documents. A classic application consists of a cover sheet, a cover letter, a resume, and references and certificates. All components of your cover letter should be complete and coherent in terms of content and design.
The cover page: The first impression counts!
A cover sheet is still not a must and is becoming less important, especially in the age of online applications. It is entirely up to you whether you want to create a cover page or not. Why do you need a cover sheet?? The cover page is primarily intended to enhance the overall impression of the application. This is especially true if you are still submitting your application in the traditional paper form. The layout and design of the cover page should be reflected in the rest of the application and be oriented towards the company. A potential employer can use this as a basis for his or her decision.B. see how creatively and carefully you work. If the cover page has already been designed with care, then it rounds off a positive overall impression.
Of course, you should not exaggerate. Your cover sheet is not a canvas. Many colors or even pictures seem rather childish and immature. Think about a simple design. If you want to color it a little, maybe use the colors of the company logo. There is also room for your application photo on the cover page. The word "application. with the addition of what you are applying for should also be on the cover sheet. In addition, you should include all necessary contact information such as your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Finally, your cover page should include information about the attachments to your application. The cover sheet is followed by the cover letter.
The cover letter: Now it is time to convince!
The cover letter is the heart of every application. In the cover letter you let your employer know convincingly why you of all people are the ideal candidate for the advertised position. This means that individuality and authenticity are the core characteristics that make up a cover letter. General phrases are therefore completely out of place. The cover letter must always be adapted to the respective company. There are no exceptions. From beginning to end, each sentence should relate to you, the company, or the job posting. You will not be successful with generalized cover letters, the personnel department recognizes such 0-8-15 applications immediately.
This already starts with the salutation. Find out the name of your contact person. Often you can find this information on the website or in the job posting. But if you don’t find what you’re looking for, call the HR department. Showing initiative is always good and maybe you will get lucky and talk directly to the person in charge of applications. Then he or she already knows your name and you can thank them directly in the first sentence of your cover letter for the nice phone call.
In general, previous contacts with the company are very well suited to be used as an entry point. Perhaps you have already done an internship at the company you want to work for, have been on a company excursion or have already sought an interview at a trade fair? Put it in your cover letter!
In the body of your cover letter, you should first explain why you are interested in the job. If there is a job advertisement, then make a reference to this advertisement. If there is no job advertisement, then show all the more why this company appeals to you. In addition, you should convincingly present your qualifications and motivation. What important know-how and experience do you bring to the table?? What added value you will bring to the company in the position you are applying for? Why do you want to work for exactly this company? Are you looking to start a career or are you changing jobs? What is the reason for a job change? Questions to which the recruiter is looking for answers in your cover letter and which you should answer as convincingly and consistently as possible. If requested in the job advertisement, you can also mention your salary expectations in the cover letter. It is also interesting for employers to know when you will be available for the job as soon as possible.
To round out the cover letter and bring it to a close, again express your interest and say that you are happy to be invited for an interview. The cover letter should not exceed the length of one A4 page. Recruiters do not have a lot of time, so you should present the important information briefly and concisely and not ramble on too much. Brevity is the spice of life!
If you are applying for a creative job, you can be a bit more daring. For example, find an unusual entry point or think about how you can convey your strengths as creatively as possible in your cover letter. This is how you stand out from the crowd and immediately show where your strengths lie!
The resume: short and crisp – your personal and professional portrait!
Your resume should be short, concise and clearly structured on no more than two pages, describing your person, your education, your work experience, your social commitment and other knowledge and skills.
First, your resume should give a brief overview of your personal information. This includes your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and your date and place of birth, as well as any relevant information. your nationality. Next come sections on training/university education, work experience, school education and social commitment. These sections are filled in chronologically descending order. This means that your most recent activities are in the first place, because these are particularly interesting for the recruiter. All of these sections should provide information about time periods, institution/company, and location. In addition, it is advisable to briefly describe your positions in the sections on work experience and social commitment and to explain what exactly your activities were.
Finally, there is a section on your knowledge and interests. Here you can list foreign languages, PC skills, other qualifications and interests. In the case of languages, PC programs or other qualifications, the employer would like to read about the extent to which you have furthered your education in these areas. If, for example, you have obtained a C1 level in English or a certificate for an Excel course, then include this in your resume. Year. If you do not have certificates for such qualifications, you can also assess them yourself. Just don’t make the mistake of piling it too high. During the probationary period at the latest, small lies will be discovered – and this will not reflect well on you.
The resume should also fit visually into your application documents and be as clearly arranged as possible.
The credentials and certificates: prove your qualifications!
For references and certificates: Everything that you have mentioned in your cover letter or in your resume and can prove, should also be proven. This means that training certificates, work references, school-leaving certificates and certificates on social commitment, foreign language skills and PC skills should be included in your application. Recruiters prefer to see the order chronologically according to your resume.
Also attach importance to good quality for the references and certificates! Scan everything and refrain from pixelated cell phone photos to make a good impression.
Tips and tricks
- First of all: Check your spelling and grammar! Linguistic errors have no place in your application letter and leave a rather bad impression, which is usually a direct exclusion criterion. So read your cover letter again in peace and let family or friends read over it as well.
- You can choose your Application portfolio also have it checked as a whole. At various job fairs, there are always booths where you can have your cover letter checked. If you’re at a college/university, it’s worth checking out your career center. Here, for example, individual application advice, workshops for the application letter, samples for your resume, seminars for the job interview and the review of the documents of your application letter are offered.
- To make your work easier in general, create a folder for yourself Folder with all your application documents at. Make a completely standardized sample of your resume, which may be much too long, and shorten the template for each cover letter to one or two pages appropriate to the company. Scan all your references and certificates individually and add the appropriate attachments for each cover letter individually in a to PDF file together. You can also put your application photo, your digital signature and tips in this folder.
- It is also advisable to save the respective job advertisement and the individually compiled application letter for each application that you send. This way you can keep track of your documents even if you have sent out countless applications.
- And last but not least nice design to find is sometimes not so easy. But you will surely find a nice template or. Find a nice template online. Also have a look at your Xing profile. There you can also choose a nice template, which you can then download as a PDF. Always make sure that the design fits the job and the employer. You can be bolder when applying to a creative agency than, for example, to a bank.
- Bahren, Thomas (Author)
Analog or digital?
The company decides whether you should submit your application in analog or digital form. You should always check the company’s website in advance to find out in which form the documents are required. Nowadays it is quite common to send the application letter digitally. Send your application documents as an e-mail. In this case, you put the cover letter in the email and the rest of your application documents will be an PDF file added to the attachment. Make sure that the PDF is not too large, otherwise there may be problems with delivery. Some companies also provide an automated system on their homepage where you can upload your documents. In this case you should also!
Job interview: There is no reason to be nervous!
You have been invited for an interview? First of all congratulations! you have already prevailed against a mass of applicants. Now you have to step on the gas again!
For your interview it is helpful if you first have a look at the job advertisement and your letter of application for this position. If you have already implemented our third tip from above, this should not be a problem and you can easily access your documents.
Then it is important to prepare a little. Inform yourself exactly about the company. Write down possible questions that might be asked of you and formulate suitable answers in key words. In addition, you should think about your salary expectations, if you have not already stated them in the cover letter. You should also think about questions you have for the company, because questions show genuine interest.
However, it is not a good tactic to learn your notes by heart. This can lead to you frantically trying to remember your notes during the interview. And your interviewer notices this too. However, a relaxed and authentic atmosphere is much more pleasant for both sides.
- Ebmann, Elke (Author)
Job interview: No reason to be nervous!
If you are nervous before the interview, try to relax, take a deep breath and make sure you have enough buffer for the journey. Nothing is worse than being completely rushed or possibly even late for a job interview. You should also always keep in mind: Not only is the company looking for a suitable employee, but you are also looking for your personal dream company.
You can see the job interview as a two-way application – the company and the applicant find out together whether the chemistry is right. You will also decide during the interview whether you like the employer and the conditions presented and whether you would like to work there. So there’s really no reason to be nervous.
Application training pays off
Now we have already given you a few tips and tricks to use
just to make your next application a complete success. If you would like to learn more about the subject matter and invest in your career in the long term, then take a look at the course "Application training with practical examples and exercises" from Argumentorik. In this course, the successful rhetoric coach Wladislaw Jachtchenko shows you how to convince argumentatively and rhetorically in the job interview. For just 79 euros, you invest once in a successful application phase and have lifelong access to this online course.
And if the course does not help you as hoped, you will get your money back within 30 days without any problems. So there is no reason not to have a look at "Application training with practical examples and exercises".
Conclusion: Structure to make the application process easier!
In conclusion, it can be said that, as is often the case, good structure and planning are also important in the application process and make a lot of work easier for you. If you have good arguments as to why exactly you are the perfect applicant for the company, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to get them across credibly in your application as well.
With a folder for your application letters in which you carefully save all your documents, an application portfolio check, workshops at the Career Center and appropriate preparation for the interview, nothing should go wrong. And then you too will soon have your dream job in your pocket. Good luck with the application!