Tips for assembling the perfect application packet
An application is often the first step towards a new job. Regardless of whether you are looking for a new job as a recent graduate, after completing training, or as someone with career experience, you won’t get very far in most cases without a written application. In this blog post by DEKRA Arbeit GmbH, you will find out how you can prepare an excellent application packet for each type of application, what belongs in it, and what else needs to be considered:
About us: DEKRA Arbeit GmbH, which has existed since 1998, is a personnel service provider from Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. We specialize in the placement of technically competent staff at interested companies. With us you can find out all there is to know about work, the job search, and the application process.
Important for your application packet: the application type
The first criterion for your application should be the application type: When it comes to the different types of applications, there is a fundamental distinction between a traditional application for an existing job opening and an unsolicited application that you send on your own. In addition, there are other forms of applications, such as blind applications or guerrilla applications, which play a less significant role in this article, however.
With traditional applications for a posted job advertisement, viewing it initially plays a major role. Classic portals for viewing job advertisements are, for example, online job portals such as the DEKRA Arbeit-Job Market, but various job searches can also be obtained via newspaper advertisements or eBay classified ads.
Things get a bit trickier with unsolicited applications, on the other hand: A characteristic of an unsolicited application is that you’re not applying for an advertised job opening, but rather for employment at a company on your own initiative.
Giving the application structure: Setting up a good application packet
A conventional application packet is commonly divided into three sections. An application packet usually consists of a cover letter, curriculum vitae (CV), and supporting materials. These three sections of an application will be discussed in detail below.
The cover letter in your application packet is addressed to the HR director of the company to which you would like to apply and is written as a formal cover letter. In addition to precisely specifying the position you are applying for, the cover letter also includes your motivation and the reason why you believe you are a good candidate this position. This can vary greatly and a lot of creativity is required here in order to stand out from the sea of competitors. It has proven to be a good strategy for job applications to combine personal strengths and abilities as well as one’s own interests with the field of activity and the philosophy of the hiring company. This way you not only provide factual arguments in favor of hiring you, but also demonstrate a high degree of identification with the company and its business and prove that you have gone to great lengths to familiarize yourself with your potential employer in the course of putting your application together. In terms of grammar and usage, always be sure to use active voice in order to give your written expression the right amount of assertiveness. The sentence “I look forward to hearing from you” seems much more confident and binding than the sentence “I would be happy to hear from you” (conditional mood).
In addition to personal information, your CV serves to communicate your previous job and your qualifications as well as any previous knowledge that was already mentioned in the cover letter. The structure of a tabular CV initially includes the most important personal information. This mainly includes your name, date and place of birth, address, telephone number, email address, citizenship, and marital status, but can also include more personal information in certain cases.
Following this personal information, your previous positions must be mentioned in your application packet, starting with the most recent and working backwards, followed by information on any training you may have and your educational background. Last but not least, there is also space for personal skills and knowledge in the CV of the application packet. This includes, for example, foreign language or IT skills, but also driver’s licenses or anything else that might be important for your application. However, the adage that less is more also applies here: A simpler, neat, and uncluttered CV looks more professional than a CV bursting at the seams that contains every possible shred of information about you.
Finally, the application packet also contains the supporting materials. These include all the important documents that the HR director might possibly be interested in regarding your recruitment. Depending on the job you are applying for or your personal situation on the job market, your application’s supporting materials may look quite different: While those just getting their career started will mainly include diplomas and certificates along with their application, those with more experience in their careers will also include examples of their work, letters of recommendation from former employers, or certificates from any additional training or education they may have attained.
In short: What you should consider including in your application packet
There are several steps to consider for your application: After viewing a company for an application to an existing job advertisement or via an unsolicited application, preparing an application packet is very important for the success of your application. In most cases, an application packet is divided into a cover letter, CV, and supporting materials, with different things to be considered in the individual sections.
Are you looking for a new job? At DEKRA Arbeit you will definitely find what you are looking for! In addition to our extensive job openings on our website, you will find a lot of useful information about the world of work and jobs in general in our Job Guide.