Have you found a job vacancy that interests you and that matches your skills and qualifications? If you have already prepared your application in advance you can get going straight away. In the third part of our series on finding and applying for a job we tell you how to write an effective job application.
Assemble your supporting documents
Before you put pen to paper on your covering letter, you should think about what documents you want to submit in support of your application. Pull together work references, exam certificates and qualifications as well as samples of your previous work. Check which qualifications are required in the job advert and include documents that show you possess these skills in your application.
Refer back to the job advert
Carefully read the job adverts you are interested in and decide which points you want to address specifically in your covering letter. If necessary, make notes beforehand rather than simply writing the first thing that comes to mind. List your strengths and soft skills so that the person reading your application can see that you have some of the necessary qualifications. Attention: Don’t just repeat everything in your CV if you want to keep it interesting.
Don’t be tempted to send off a standard covering letter
You should tailor your application to the vacancy. Make sure you mention the company and outline in the first lines of the letter why you are interested in the job and working for them. If you skimp on this area, your letter can come across as mechanical and mass-produced for any company. Above all, make sure you spell check your letter for mistakes.
Use the AIDA formula
Have you heard of AIDA? AIDA stands for
A – Attention: Grab the reader’s attention
I – Interest: Stimulate their interest
D – Desire: Make the reader want to read more
A – Action: Conclude with a call to further action
Use the AIDA formula to help you write the first sentences of your covering letter and ensure that the person reading it wants to continue to the end.
Important: your CV
An up-to-date CV is a crucial part of every application. This is where you list your qualifications, skills and previous experience. A simple layout and clear structure are preferable. A good CV should cover no more than two pages of A4 paper. The following should be included in your CV:
• Personal details,
• Professional experience (current or most recent position at the top) and
• Qualifications (professional training, certificates, skills)
Optional supporting documents
In addition to the important documents (covering letter, CV and references) you can include other optional documentation in support of your application. A cover page is an optional addition. Use it to list your contact details and the vacancy you are applying for. You can also add a photo to the cover page.
If you want to make a good impression on the person reading your application, you can add an optional letter in which you go into more detail about your motivations for applying for that particular job and the reasons why you want to work for the company. A letter explaining your motivation can complement your covering letter, but it is by no means a must.
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