What are the qualities of an effective job application? How to stand out? The most important function of a job application is to open the door to an interview for you.

A good job application is clear and distinctive

  • A good job application is clear and concise. Its optimal length is one A4 page.
  • Be clear: who’s applying and why, and what is the applied position.
  • The job application has to correspond with the job advertisement. Customise your application to each applied job.
  • Focus on readability. Clear and errorless standard writing is the safest option.
  • Show your personality. You can play with settings or fonts. Content is key, however; don’t invest all resources in impressive design at the cost of content.
  • The employer is interested in the following: what motivates you to apply for this job? Why do you think you are the most suitable candidate for this position? What are your strengths and qualities which contribute to your success in this job?
  • Avoid repetition: your cover letter is not an essay of the content of your CV but should rather complement it.

Structure of a job application

Raise interest by describing your motivation. What in the employer’s activities, ways of working or products interests you so much that you want to work to promote them? What inspires you in the applied job?
Next paragraphs should describe your expertise, experience and qualities which are relevant to the applied position. Try to meet the expectations of the job advertisement by stating your expertise for each requirement. Add examples if possible.

A polite and conclusive final paragraph includes a salary requirement if it has been requested. Use even numbers and add that you’re willing to discuss it as soon as you know more about the job content.
Set a reasonable salary requirement by using our Salary Radar (in Member Service) or by contacting our Salary Counselling.

Prepare your job application

Ask somebody else to proofread your application. Before sending it, make sure that your application portrays a correct image of you, your expertise and your goals.
Use all possible means to help you write a successful job application. The career coaches of The Finnish Business School Graduates help you in drafting your job application. If you’re a student you can also get help from the recruitment services of your university.

Call the employer if you’re invited to do so.

  • By calling, you can get additional information on the applied position and possibly also on your potential future organisation and team.
  • You’ll make a positive and professional impression if you ask job-relevant questions. Think about what information you would need if you started in your new position tomorrow.
  • Be prepared to briefly tell about our skills and goals.
  • Use the information acquired during the telephone conversation when writing your application.
  • Refer to the conversation in your application: with whom did you speak and when.

Send the application in a required file format or as pdf so that the recipient receives it in a required format.

•    When you send your application by email, write a short accompanying note in the text field and add your job application as an attachment.
•    If you submit your application in an online service, use possible open text fields as effectively as possible. They provide an opportunity to stand out and emphasise your expertise and personality.

Watch video on job application (in finnish)

”Before writing and sending the application the applicant should thoroughly think why he or she wants to apply for that particular position and how to convincingly justify it in your cover letter. Remember that all applicants usually meet the basic requirements, such as holding a Master’s degree in Business. Therefore, the recruiters, when selecting candidates for interviews, focus on those applicants who appear genuinely interested.”

Ernst & Young