An application (also known as a cover letter or motivational letter) does not take only an hour or two to write. There is no formula either on how to write the perfect application, but there are some general 'rules' and guidelines to take into consideration when you are writing an application - 'rules' that can help you land an interview. Remember, the primary goal of your CV and application is to get to the interview.
The most important advice:
Check out the company you intend to apply to; find out what type of work and projects they deal with. Get a grip on the values that underlie the company and whether the company has a written vision. This will help you gain knowledge that you can use to target your application to that specific company.
- Check out the company you intend to apply to; find out what type of work and projects they deal with. Get a grip on the values that underlie the company and whether the company has a written vision. This will help you gain knowledge that you can use to target your application to that specific company
- Be honest, but be careful not to shoot oneself in the foot
- The application should reflect your personality
- Use a catchy heading
- Describe your motivation for applying to this particular company
- Describe what new knowledge and ideas you can contribute with
- The application should maximum be one page
- Proofread your application (many times!) for spelling errors and other linguistic errors before you send it. Let someone read it and ask for their feedback.
- Make sure that you have included the correct names, addresses, dates, etc.
Some companies receive a large number of applications and might choose to read the CV before they read the cover letter. Therefore, it is important to write a good CV.
There are several ways to construct a CV; most people prefer to make a chronological CV divided into sections for education, work experience, courses, language skills, volunteer work, etc. Others would rather design a functional CV, focusing on functions rather than, for example, places of education or occupation.
A CV should include the following:
- Personal data
- Date of birth or age
- Address and telephone number
- Work experience (places of occupation)
- Language skills
- IT skills
- Other information
- Personal qualifications
- Personal circumstances
It is a good idea to get feedback early in your job and internship hunting process. You only have one opportunity to make a good first impression and therefore might risk ruining a good prospective job or internship with a poorly written CV or application. You are welcome to book counselling or visit the career counsellors, if you want us to have a look at your application and CV, and give you some advice on how to improve it before sending it to the company.