Applications – Tips for writing the perfect cover letter
APPLICATIONS – TIPS FOR WRITING THE PERFECT LETTER
The application letter is the part that – next to the cv – gives you the ability to present yourself to the company and your potential hiring manager.
How to write the perfect application letter
APPLICATION EXAMPLES AND CHECKLIST
The cover letter is part of every standard application. But how important is this part within the entire application? And how do you write a text that inspires personnel? With the CareersNow expert tips you will succeed in writing the perfect cover letter.
YOUR CHECKLIST FOR WRITING A COVER LETTER
Sender and address complete and correct?
Contact person built into the address?
Also your own address complete incl. telephone number?
Is the subject line correct? “Your job advertisement in … from … as …”
Are place and date correct?
Does the cover letter contain all the required information?
Are all spelling and character errors banned?
Are the “attachments” banned from the cover letter?
Has the cover letter been signed?
Writing application letters is not easy
The cover page is designed, the curriculum vitae is finally listed in chronological order – but there’s this one white page on the screen again that needs to be filled. How do I start my cover letter at all?
According to an application expert from the CareersNow.in network, the first impression is created even before the HR person has read even one word from the actual cover letter: “It starts with what the letterhead looks like and how the address field is labelled. If the letter goes by name to the personnel manager, to the owner or simply says ‘Dear Ladies and Gentlemen’. Are there any odd things at the end? For example, is there a ‘PS (Postscriptum)’ to highlight a particularity about me or another reference, or does someone simply write: ‘Attachments: cover letter, CV, photo’?
Right at the beginning, some things can be done wrong. With the title “Dear Ladies and Gentlemen” you have not made a brilliant start as an applicant. The best option is to find a contact person and write to them directly. If there is no name in the job advertisement, feel free to call the company and find the right person.
“I HEREBY APPLY …” – AVOID STANDARD PHRASES IN YOUR LETTER OF APPLICATION
You can quickly forget this standard phrase from the 80s and 90s. With such an entry your application will be put aside faster than you can say “interview”. There are two ways to start the content part of the cover letter.
On the one hand you can refer to something. This can be a classic job offer in the newspaper or on the Internet. You can also refer to a previous conversation on the phone, in person at the company or at a trade fair where the company had a stand. Of course, it is important to include the name of the interviewee in the introductory sentence.
If your application is a purely unsolicited application where you have not spoken to anyone before and there is no job offer, it is of course difficult to make reference to anything. At first you only have the opportunity to talk about the company and explain why it attracted your attention. Sentences such as “You are a company that …”, “I offer you …” or “I have been very interested in the development of your company for a long time …” are a good introduction in this case.
But beware! The professional warns of traps that wait right at the beginning of the cover letter: “If you write like ‘I am the best’ you don’t look very likeable. That would be, if you would write: ‘The job you offer suits me 100%. Do you already know me? In summary, it can be said that one should present oneself self-confidently, but not too arrogantly, in the cover letter.
POPULAR WITH THE APPLICATION LETTER: THE “I-YOU-US”-PRINCIPLE
Once the first steps have been taken, the really interesting thing comes: the content part. The CareersNow.in application expert advises: “Basically, it’s about a kind of moderation. I would recommend the ‘I-you-us’ procedure as the structure.
I: “The ego block is the most interesting, because the recipient wants to know something about the sender. That’s why this part should have the largest part in the text,” says the professional. The point here is to summarize: Who am I, what interest do I have, where do I come from, what do I offer, what strengths do I have?
You: According to the expert, a company doesn’t have to read anything about itself in the cover letter. This section is about mentioning the exciting job offer and communicating that “you” is a company that suits me as an applicant.
Us: In this part, the “I” and the “you” are brought together. This part serves to convince the “you” that the company benefits from working together and that joint development is possible. This could be formulated in the form of a sentence such as “I am happy to be able to actively contribute my skills to your company”.
Some job advertisements mention salary expectations. Since this point is often delicate, the question arises as to where this should be placed in the cover letter. Of course, it is not conducive to fall directly into the house with the door and to state a sum at the beginning of the text. First of all it is important to present your own motivation and qualifications. If it is then clear what you offer the employer, the point Salary expectations can be listed. The CareersNow.in expert advises to always give a range, since then still good negotiations are possible. He suggests the following sentence: “My ideas move with the annual gross income of … to …”. But for sure it might also be the right thing to leave the salary question out until the company you are applying to is hooked with your profile.
THE PERFECT CONCLUSION
The standard phrase “Herewith I apply?” is the worst choice at the beginning, but what about “With kind regards” at the end? The CN expert does not mind: “You don’t do anything wrong. There are also people who use it singularly, i.e. ‘With kind regards’, but I always find it a bit stingy. The cover letter can also end with ‘With kind regards from Bangalore’ or ‘With kind regards to Mumbai’. Especially the closing formula can be loosened up a bit and thereby mobilize sympathies.”
THE VALUE OF THE LETTER
According to our application expert, many HR experts put the cover letter virtually unread aside. How important is the cover letter at all? Isn’t it superfluous then?
“I am one of the few people who thinks that the cover letter is not so important. That doesn’t mean that now mistakes can be made and that effort are useless. But there are also candidates for whom the HR manager might have to rely on the application letter if the CV is not enough. He will then assess the applicant’s certificates again and look at how the cover letter is written. He will then try to find out whether the applicant is a candidate or not.”