A good job application will take you to an interview
What is a good job application like? How to stand out? The contents and form of a job application vary according to the applied position. The key function of an application is to open the door to an interview.
A good job application is explicit and stands out
- A good job application is explicit and compact. A suitable length for a job application is one A4 page, consisting of 3–4 paragraphs.
- The job application must clearly state who is applying for what and why.
- The job application must respond to the job advertisement. Prepare a tailored job application for each applied position.
- Invest in the opening of your application. Try and make the opening paragraph interesting enough to make the employer want to read the rest of your application.
- Invest in readability. Explicit and flawless standard language is the safest choice.
- Be honest and yet tempting when presenting yourself and your skills.
- Give credible grounds for why you are applying for the position and the qualities that would allow you to manage the job.
The structure of a good job application:
- An opening that arouses interest.
- One or two paragraphs presenting your competence, experience and strengths, and a polite, summary-like closing paragraph. Aim to respond to the expectations raised in the job advertisement by validating your competence from the viewpoint of each requirement.
- In the final paragraph, state your salary request (Set your salary request right) if asked to do so. You can express your salary request on an annual level and possibly mention that you are willing to discuss it once you learn more about the position.
Diligence improves job applications
- Make use of all possible channels that could help you prepare a job application. Our career coaches provide coaching for job application preparations. Students can also receive tips from the recruitment services of their schools.
- Ask an outsider to proofread your job application.
- Before sending, think about whether your job application gives exactly the kind of impression of your competence and goals that you want.
- It would be good to add a touch of personality to your application by using some of the layout features and font options on your computer, for example. You should not opt for excessive artwork, however.
- If required, you can receive further information on the position and your possible new organisation and team by calling the company. The employer may also remember you in a positive light if you ask for further information. Before making the call, make sure whom and when you can call. Be prepared to tell them briefly about your competence and goals.
- By asking questions essential for the position, you will give a good and professional impression of yourself as an applicant. Write down the main points of your conversation. Add a reference to the telephone conversation in your application, including its date and the person you talked to. When preparing your application, make use of the information you learned during the telephone conversation.
- Send your job application in the requested format or as a PDF file to allow the recipient to see it exactly in the intended form.
- Today, applications are requested by email or through a service on the employer's website. When emailing an application, you should add it as an attachment and write a brief cover letter in the message field. Even in an electronic service, you should make as effective use of open fields as possible, as they offer an opportunity to stand out from the rest and highlight your competence and personality.