Your job application, which is possibly the first contact with your
eventual employer, is of key importance in your job seeking process,
together with the interview. The objective of the application is to get
you into an interview, and thus should convince the employer of your
personality and skills. A job application is a marketing letter, so the
style can be promotive and self-assured, but remember to stick to the
truth. The aim is to tell the employer why he should be interested in
you especially, so forget about old clichés and present matters in an
interesting way, highlighting your skills.
Find out about the company
Before drafting your application, find out about the company you are
applying to. It is good to show that you know something about the
business. Especially if you approach a company where there at current
are no open jobs, it is important that you have done your homework and
know something about the employer and company in question. In this way
you can better motivate your own usefulness to the company. If the job
is advertised as open, contact the company and ask for more information.
This is a way of making your name remembered and getting valuable
information that will help you to write an application which measures up
to the expectations of the company.
Target the application
The application should always be addressed to the person who has the
power to hire you. Find out about the target person beforehand, do not
send the letter with a general address. If you are applying for an open
position, send the application in good time. Some employers assess the
applications also on the grounds of quick response.
Ways of standing out
The application should be compact but airy, the maximal length of it being one page. Pay attention to the following details.
- Reference to a possible telephone conversation (either with the
person himself or an eventual joint acquaintance) or to a meeting.
- An interesting heading. You need to get the readers attention
from the very start. Write the heading or title line as a catchy slogan
or a question, for instance. The Crazy Horse Restaurant advertised for a
manager. One of the applicants headed his application with "Crazy Horse
in need of steering?".
- Why? Say something about your motivation for applying just for
this job and this company. Refer for instance to an article that awoke
your interest, the company's advertisement or commercial.
- Say a few words about your background. You can also describe your career vision, if it relates to the job you are applying for.
- The most important part of the letter should present 3-4 of your
strengths, your competitive assets. Give a brief grounding for them. In
your application, take up the requirements the employer stated in the
advertisement. Emphasize your strengths visually by headings,
indentation, bold text, numbering, hyphens etc.
- Show interest for a personal meeting. You can even write that you will call in a few days to inquire about the process.
- Be individual. Imagine that the employer is facing a hundred
applications. How will yours stand out from the pile? Applying for a job
is partly about playing with images and preferences, so it is worth
your efforts to try to be the one who stands out as a personality. Think
carefully about how to bring out yourself boldly and elegantly. Think
of an individual touch in layout, in content, in appearance etc.
Don't forget the finishing touches!
A good application is always faultlessly finished. It is a good idea to
have someone else read the application before you send it. The
application should be sent in a large envelope (C4), not folded in a
small one. References and certificates are not needed with the
application unless the advertisement separately states so. Your merits
can be seen in your CV, and this information is checked in the
interview. Remember to sign each one of your applications!