Your first job, a career switch, a promotion…in your work life there will be many times that you will have to go through the job application process. Sometimes a new post will miraculously appear on your path, other times you go looking yourself, and sometimes you will be approached by someone who has the perfect job for you. In any case you won’t get the job just like that, you will have to go through the intensive process of applying for the job, from writing your CV to the final salary negotiations.
The perfect CV
Applying for a job is an important moment for us all. Especially if it involves a position you really want to have, or if expectations of the new job are very high, it is best to prepare very well. The most important part of the job application process is the curriculum vitae, in which you show who you are and what you have done. You can play with the format of a CV, however, the content is always the same: your personal data, your education, your work experience and additional information such as skills and your personality.
An overview of your work experience
Alongside your educational background, the most important thing is the information about your work experience, with a short description of your position and responsibilities. Also include internships and relevant activities outside of your study (for example committee membership) in your work experience. If there are management positions in your work history, also indicate how many staff members you managed. At the end of your CV, list a few references. Finally, make sure your CV offers a clear and easy overview of all the information and is no more than two pages. A striking CV does draw attention, but make sure it all looks neat and tidy.
Your motivation in writing
Your CV needs to be accompanied by a good cover letter. You always – except in the case of an open job application – write this letter in response to the job vacancy text. This letter is a personal statement in which you introduce yourself, explain what interests you about this job, and why you think this position is right for you. You can use relevant successes in your past work or significant skills as examples, but don’t exaggerate. Listing successes or emphasising talents can come across as boasting. It is better to mention your work experience and qualifications, especially if they are relevant for the position. Always read the job description carefully, and refer back to it in your letter. Your cover letter is your potential employer’s first impression of you, so make sure it is a good one.
The first interview
If you are invited to a job interview, it is important to prepare yourself properly. In many job interviews, open questions are mainly asked of the candidate in order to obtain a good picture of their qualities. So practice with the various standard questions and prepare your answers in advance – you can find the most frequently asked questions online. It is a good way to introduce yourself and to indicate why you are the right person for the job. This interview provides you with the opportunity to elaborate on the motivation you wrote about in your cover letter, and to show your self to your best advantage.
You can learn how to apply for jobs
Writing a CV, writing a cover letter and preparing for the first interview…these are important moments for each job applicant. Luckily you do not have to do it all alone, you can find lots of assistance and tips online and offline. With some practice and the proper preparation you will become fully confident in the job application process.