Don’t just apply for the job – do it right!
What moves a person to become interested in a new job? Some people wish to advance their careers while others might be looking for their first real job, be unsatisfied with their current position or even be faced with a struggling employer whose business has gone bad. A person who’s been dismissed or is already registered as unemployed usually has to deal with significant mental burden throughout the search as this situation exerts a different type of pressure on mind, body and spirit.
When we as recruitment consultants have the feeling you might be just the right person for a certain job, you have the potential of benefiting from our support in a number of ways. We approach you when your professional qualifications appear to match the listed requirements. Then we get to know you personally in order to gain a better understanding of who you are as an individual. We share our impressions with you and make sure you know what aspects of your profile make you suitable for the role in question. We also point out those issues that could potentially disqualify you. We express what we appreciate about you and your CV (curriculum vitae), also taking care to highlight those elements we don’t value. This open feedback is intended to be of benefit as you apply for other positions in the future.
If you decide to contact us, please consider the following points to make the process as smooth and simple as possible.
The initial contact can take place in one of three forms: sending us a well-developed CV packed with the relevant details, filling out the application profile on our website or scheduling a phone call for which you sufficiently prepare.
If you would like to send your application directly to one of our consultants, please do so via e-mail. To avoid the spam filter or any other form of other mishap, be sure to formulate a subject line that is as specific and clear as possible.
For assistance (including examples) in preparing a European CV – an initiative of the European Commission – please click here: "creating a Europass CV". This type of CV is becoming more and more common among internationally active enterprises.
The right way
When preparing your written application, please take care to comply with a number of requirements regarding structure and content. As you design your CV, be certain to align it with your professional objective.
Draw attention to yourself – for good reasons!
Use a maximum of two different fonts, preferably only one. Resist the urge to experiment with text formatting options such as bold, italics and underlining. If you decide in favor of one of these, limit yourself to only one. Use the left quarter or third of the page for the dates of each position. You can insert your address, mobile number and e-mail in the footer.
You can spread your content over two pages if you have more than ten years’ professional experience. A three-page CV is absolutely taboo! If you do need to use two pages, be sure to include your name and contact data on the second page.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Your CV, generally the first and most important document received by a potential employer or a recruitment consultant, is used to evaluate you from the very start of the hiring process. The text should be professional, objective and concise, providing answers to any foreseeable questions that would arise concerning your career path. For electronic as well as printed versions, the following checklist holds true. Please take care to follow this guideline.
- Structure the document as such: Personal Data (10%), Education (30%) and Professional Experience (60%). Young professionals at the start of their career should adjust this structure: Personal Data (20%) and Education (80%).
- Your person should be clearly visible but not the central focus. Avoid listing standard information about your general, everyday interests/hobbies, e.g. reading, swimming, gardening, football, etc.
- At the beginning state your birthdate and birthplace, as well as your family status (in this order). If you have children, state their gender and age, e.g. two daughters (3 and 7 years), one son (5 years). Do not include the birth name of a wife/husband, date of wedding anniversary, name of the children, etc.
- Your educational and professional training background should not be exaggerated. Share only truly relevant information. Do not even mention qualifications that are not required for the job in question. Course titles such as “Introduction to Windows” or “Electronic Data Processing“ come across as negatively.
- Your various career steps should be clear and well-structured: company name, location, job title, scope of responsibility. You can also consider including details about budget responsibility, turnover, employee leadership and results. If you changed positions within the same company, do not emphasize this in the left column (reserved for the date). Be careful not to have any unexplained gaps in your CV. Even short periods without employment need to be clarified, e.g. “Nov. 2010 - USA trip” or “Jun. 2011 - Unemployed”.
- It goes without saying that the application, including the CV, is presented in the same language as the advertised job description. If in doubt, do your best to make contact with the appropriate person to clear up your question(s).
A picture says more...
No, your passport photos nor any others in your personal collection are not valid options. Instead you should book a photo shooting with a professional business photographer. The € 50.00 to € 100.00 you spend will be a worthwhile investment. The format of the photo also plays a role in the impression you make. 4x6 cm comes across as less intrusive than 6x9 cm. Your photo should not be smaller or larger than these sizes. Insert your photo in the upper right corner of the first page of your CV.
A convincing cover letter
Let’s start this point by getting one thing straight: the cover letter is very important but not decisive. Many job application guides overrate its significance. Your CV, as already stated, is the critical document for the all-important initial evaluation. The cover letter introduces the CV and should be used to awaken the reader’s interest. Be sure you get them to notice and be interested in the right thing – your person! Before you start grappling with the exact formulations for your cover letter text, take a very careful look at the job description.
Structure the letter into three areas (without emphasizing this structure):
- Your qualifications in relation to the position’s requirements.
- Your motivation in applying for exactly this job.
- Your interest in speaking personally in order to give further convincing proof of your suitability.
A final tip
Your application is likely one of many that will be received. You draw attention to yourself in a positive sense by avoiding sensationalism while doing your best to make the reader’s job as simple as possible. Including your name, address e-mail and telephone number on all of the application documents is one way to support the reader.