The letter of application (also: application letter or cover letter) often presents applicants with the most problems. In contrast to the curriculum vitae, which only transports facts, it is a matter of drawing an individual and at the same time convincing portrait of one’s own competencies and qualifications, of motivation and passion – and preferably without any phrases and the usual phrases. A well-written and professionally written cover letter can highlight you enormously from the crowd and increase the chances to be invited to the job interview. In the following dossier we will show you – step by step – how to manage how to perfectly structure, structure and formulate your cover letter and which frequent mistakes you should avoid …
Issue Application: Is it still up-to-date?
There are now some companies that allow applications without a letter of application. These include, for example, the Deutsche Bahn, Telefónica Germany, Rossmann, SAP … Most of the reason is that too few applicants to apply for jobs and employers so lower hurdles and want to look even more modern. But as much effort the cover letter makes: renouncing it is the wrong way. In fact, the cover letter offers a tremendous opportunity for job applicants – especially for new entrants and career changers – to explain themselves or to compensate for the rather thin CV and lack of work experience with good arguments. We recommend: Use this opportunity as a candidate! Precisely because so many do not bother with the job application letter, you can make a positive difference and allow more of your personality and passion to flash through. That often gives the rash
The way to a professional cover letter
The letter of application stands or falls with the text in it. In contrast to the curriculum vitae, which raises the applicant’s profile, the cover letter reflects its motivation and establishes a link to the employer. Especially the perfect combination of cover letter and CV convinced staff and forms the ticket to the job interview.
Questions about the preparation
But before you begin to write the letter of application, you should ask yourself a few more basic questions. They help enormously with the later writing of the letter or its contents:
- Why did you apply for this position?
- Why do you think you are the perfect candidate for this?
- What interests you at this point and this company exactly?
- Do you have any important information about the company?
That may be trivial questions. At first glance. The job application letter is about more than the requirements profile from the job advertisement for any job. Of course, you should fulfill all the required and optional qualifications listed there. But these usually come out of the CV.
Therefore, it is more convincing if you create a personal reference to the position in the company in the application letter – for example, because you have already done an internship there, perhaps even completed your training in the same company. Or because your CV has prepared you almost exactly for this job. In short: Show that you are the ideal candidate and highly motivated for the tasks.
The better you are, the more you know who the company is looking for and what knowledge and experience applicants should bring, and which of them you can optimally use in your job. It is at this first self-reflection that the above questions help.
In the end, this is the motivation and the connection to the company – like a letter of motivation. But please do not turn it into a 1: 1 rendition of your tabular curriculum vitae. That would be redundant. In your application letter, gather more and more additional arguments and personal motivations for the jobs you are applying for.
First the rough version, then the final touch
If the application is difficult, you should start with keywords. Formulate your application letter first as a rough draft, so to speak as the first sample. The writing style does not have to be perfect yet (please correct any spelling mistakes immediately), the phrasing is not yet final. The main thing is that you first have a rough structure, a first structure and get to the point.
After that – and with the help of the following tips and tricks – you will be fine-tuned.
Remove the subjunctive and confidently formulate your strengths and competences. Build more strong verbs and delete adjectives. Convince by concrete examples, not by statements of the type “I’m a team player, resilient, motivated …”.
Ideally, sleep over it for one night before you start fine-tuning. Let you also read friends and acquaintances over it. Not only do they discover spelling mistakes, they also give you valuable feedback: what was understandable, what not? What convinced, what not?