You have to convince the recruiter that you're the ideal candidate in just a few sentences, and you have to do this in your application letter. It seems so simple, but just how do you get started? Here are a few tips for you.
An application letter or covering letter needn't always be an actual 'letter'. It's best to send a covering letter with every job application you make, but you can either post it, email it or send it with an online form. For simplicity's sake, we just talk about a 'letter' in this article.
Your CV has to summarise the facts: what you've studied, your experience and anything else that might be important to your career. You can use the letter to repeat information that's already in your CV, but then you can expand on the details. For instance, you can give some more information about your thesis topic, or the sort of work you've already done with another company. Only do so if it's relevant to the job you're applying for.
Limit yourself to information that will be relevant to whoever reads the letter. Don't bother to include any experience or facts that are irrelevant to the job you're applying for. For example, if you're applying for a job where one of the requirements is a thorough knowledge of Dutch, don't write too much about the fact that you're really good at French! You'll have mentioned all of your language skills in your CV, of course.
Be clear in your letter about the job you're applying for, and why you want to do that job. You might, for instance, have a specific interest in the sector the company operates in; if you do - say so. Maybe you've done a similar job in the past, or gained some relevant experience during an internship? All these can be important supporting arguments for you.
Examples always have the biggest impact. Are they asking for experience of organising events for this job? Then give an example of an event you've helped to organise sometime, and maybe briefly describe exactly what you did yourself, how many people were involved and so on.
You can describe your personality in a few words in your CV, but use your covering letter to expand on this a little. If, say, you're applying for a position in sales, you might say that you're strongly motivated when it comes to achieving sales targets and helping the company to grow.
Always try to send a covering letter with your application, whether this is done by post, email or an online application form. Your covering letter can be really important. Maybe not every recruiter will read your letter, but that doesn't make it any less important. If a recruiter has any doubts after reading your CV, for example, your letter might still convince him to invite you for an interview.
Companies are not only looking for people with a good knowledge of the subject, they are also looking for a specific personality. This is why many companies ask you to do a personality test before your initial interview. Many people find this a bit frightening, but you should not be put off. There are no right or wrong answers, you just need to answer the questions asked as honestly as possible. Here are a few tips from StepStone to get through the personality test:
When you find an interesting job, you are usually able to apply in different ways. You can send a letter or email, however, in many cases, you can use an online application form.
A few weeks ago, we shared some tips for online applications. If online application forms are not available, you can always email your CV and motivational letter. Here are a few tips for applications via email.
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