Seven Tips for the Perfect Job Application
How to write a really good job application: Success guaranteed
My name is Christel Hufschmied and here at HUFSCHMIED I am responsible for the human resource management. Since I also work as a contact for most questions concerning professional training, I have seen quite a number of job applications handed in by trainees. So I would like to give you a little bit of assistance and briefly explain what we at HUFSCHMIED consider as important for a job application and how to avoid the most common mistakes.
1. What should be included in a job application?
Whether you apply by post or by email – the following documents should always be part of a complete job application:
- Covering letter
- Certificate of completion from your school (last three certificates of a traineeship)
- Employment references
I would recommend you apply to us using digital means. The actual contents of an application by email, however, does not differ greatly from one made by post. Simply attach all documents as scans that you would provide to us in printed form. The important issue here is to be mindful about the correct file sizes and not to send us pictures or scans at very high resolution.
You should also consider which documents are actually relevant for the application. You should not include irrelevant information such as your primary school certificates, a scan of your ID card or your driving licence – unless the employer explicitly asks for them.
2. The covering letter
The covering letter is the key item of a good job application. This is your opportunity to give a good account of yourself and to explain why you are the exact person that is right for this job. Numerous guides and templates for covering letters are to be found online. However, a personalised covering letter will make the greatest impression for sure. Refrain from using stock phrases and rather describe your motivation, explain how you envisage working for HUFSCHMIED and what makes your experience stand out. Demonstrate that you have engaged with the company. You can find a multitude of information on our website, outlining current developments, new products and events. It may be that you already have some connection with HUFSCHMIED. However, do make sure that the covering letter is no longer than one A4 page. The number of applicants is often quite high and time is scarce for human resources managers.
3. The CV
There are also many templates for CVs online. Here, clarity is a must. One look at your CV should enable the personnel manager to gain an instant overview of you and your experience. Therefore, do not mix school, internships, work experience and projects. If you categorise the individual points clearly and stick with the tabular layout of an American-style resume, you will be on the safe side. Whether you start with the most current events or list everything in a chronological order is up to you.
Attaching a picture is not mandatory, but it could lend your application that personal touch and potentially increase likeability. If you do decide to include a picture in your CV, make absolutely sure that it is a respectable one in high picture quality.
4. How to succeed with a digital application
Digital job applications nowadays are the most common way to apply and carry many advantages. Not least you can save time and resources with an online application. But which data format is most suitable? If at all possible, your end product should comprise only one pdf file. Thus, you are giving the authorised person a structured overview. He/she only has to open one file and has all documents in front of him/her without running the risk that something will get lost or overlooked. In case you send five different files, they could possibly require five distinct programmes which may or may not be all available.
Concerning the layout, you are on the safe side with a PDF file and you do not risk that your chosen font cannot be read by the addressee or that formatting cannot be displayed correctly. Programs for the simple creation of PDFs can be found online.
Once you have gathered all application documents and collated them within a PDF, simply send a short email to email@example.com. This email works as a kind of envelope for your application. Its text does not need to be overly long, since all the important information will be contained in the covering letter. Now all you need is a suitable subject line – the word “application” and the job title will suffice.
A further important point concerns your email address. It should consist of a reasonable name and be with a reputable provider.
5. Be yourself
In your application you will show yourself from your best side – that is understood. But do not try to be someone else. That will not work and will come to light at the interview or at the latest during the trial period. Then it may well work against you. Furthermore, it is also important for yourself to be valued as the person that you are. After all, you will spend the majority of your life together with your colleagues at work. To be open and authentic from the very start will make cooperation within the team easier and will contribute to an agreeable work climate.
6. Do not fear to make mistakes
Especially if you submit multiple applications at the same time, mistakes may occur. It is best practice to have someone else proof-read your application before you send it off – a second pair of eyes usually will discover more. Just because a typo has snuck in does not mean that your application will be rejected. You should however pay particular attention to the correct name of the addressee. Confusing first and last names or using an incorrect title may become embarrassing. In any case, the application should be complete. A list of the exact requirements will be in the job specification.
7. It’s worth the effort
Unfortunately, schools do not always cover job application training in their curriculum. But if you pay attention to all these tips, it will certainly result in a good application. I would like to pass on one last tip: It is immediately obvious when someone has taken pains to write an application. So, simply pay attention to an appealing layout, try to avoid typos, put some thought into an appealing covering letter and have a good look at the application before sending it off.
I am looking forward to receiving your job application and wish you every success.