Application Package

The selection methods for each position may vary widely, but it is almost always necessary to put together an application package. The two most common elements of this are a curriculum vitae (CV) and a motivational letter. Less frequently, references (letters of recommendation) and other documents (e.g., qualifications, language skills, eligibility, suitability, references) may also be requested. Make sure that all the elements of your application package are consistent with each other, with your personality and with the requirements of the position you are applying for.

Application Package

Your documents should be consistent in both content and format (e.g., same style of font, header in case of multiple pages), properly structured and organized. Aesthetically pleasing, relevant and transparent content helps to create a positive impression of you. You should send your materials as an attachment; the most practical format is ".pdf". Always include a short cover letter with your application materials.

CV

Your Cv is the most important tool to introduce yourself, it’s designed to get you in for a job interview. Before you start, think about what are your strengths and competencies that will make you suitable for the job you are applying for; you need to communicate these clearly and effectively.

The time it takes for the selectors to review your application is quite limited, so it must be structured and easy to understand. The aim is to get your most important messages through at first glance, otherwise, they won't get through. You can be good at something, but if they don't know that about you it is useless.

An unorganized, difficult to navigate CV, even if it lists strong competencies, shows that the CV writer is either not motivated enough to take the effort to create an aesthetic, transparent CV that effectively conveys the information they are looking for, or does not understand which information is more important and which is less so.

The first step is to find a CV template that suits you. It's not important to make the design as extreme as possible, the goal is to make it clear and aesthetically pleasing. As an example, here are some useful, downloadable, offline editable, customizable templates, but you can find an infinite number of others that you can personalize.

Before submitting, consult the advertisement or the contact person for the required content.

Your CV should be short and to the point, with only those qualifications and competencies that are most relevant to the position. The 'traditional' CVs used in the past, which used to be full sentences, are no longer used at all.

Your CV should not be too long, it is preferable if it fits on one page, but not more than one and a half or two pages. From a selector's point of view, good structuring helps you to find information quickly.

Include up-to-date information and (if an image is included) a recent photograph. A photograph of a portrait that reminds you of an ID photo and is about the same size is enough.

Please make sure to include your full name and contact details (email and phone number) in your personal data. If available, you can also provide a link to your LinkedIn profile. Marital status, gender, nationality, birth data should only be included if you have a specific communication purpose related to the position. The personal section may be supplemented with links to more extensive, personal introductions (video CV or link to a more detailed web CV).

When providing your data, please also take into account the reader's point of view (e.g., provide the country code for international applications). Avoid using nonsensical email addresses.

Below we look at the most important elements of CV content.


Studies

In the case of studies and qualifications, include only the most relevant and necessary information to the position, and do not include information older than a high school diploma (preferably also do not include high school diploma). Details (specialization, thesis, main subjects) are not usually necessary, but should only be considered if you are applying for a position closely related to your field. In the case of a professional curriculum vitae, make this section more detailed. Also, indicate your ongoing training (e.g., expected date of graduation)!

Pay attention to spelling and grammar! Common mistakes include misspelling the name of the institution or qualification, using the wrong term in a foreign language, inconsistent use of date formats.

Work Experiences

In the Work Experiences section, it is usually recommended to list only relevant experience, in the absence of relevant experience, list your last few jobs.

For each experience, please include the name of your employer, job title and main responsibilities. For more important experience relevant to the current application, you can also include your achievements, your employer's website if required, or the names and contact details of references if you do not include a separate reference letter.

In most cases, it is best to put the Working Experience paragraph first, followed by the studies. In both cases, the information is generally given in reverse chronological order (with the most recent at the top).
In addition to chronological order, an alternative ordering principle might be to group the data according to some thematic theme (e.g., similar jobs in a group). This may be useful for shortening if it makes the material clearer, or if the chronology is confusing for some reason.

Competencies

Among the competencies, language skills, IT skills, driving license and other personal competencies (e.g., social, organizational, artistic, technical) are the most commonly mentioned. The skills list may be extended to include other professional skills in addition to qualifications (in the case of a CV of a profession, it is explicitly required to include further education, training, courses, competitions, publications, conference participation, membership of an organization, professional applications won, scholarships). As a newcomer to the job market, if your previous work experience doesn't tell us much about your competencies, and skills, this section is particularly important.

Credibility is important, for example, mark the language and level that you can perform and speak in practice.

Among the competencies, list those that you have a realistic experience of self-awareness and that you can provide concrete examples of on request (e.g., in an interview).

Hobbies

Any of your interests and hobbies can positively enrich your image if you highlight them in your CV. Those can help to make you unique as an applicant, attract the attention of the selector(s) and make your application memorable.

Motivational letter

It is more personal than a CV. A good motivation letter tells the reader about the candidate's suitability for the position, as well as his/her motivational background and future aspirations.

Use your experience and achievements to prove that you are a suitable candidate. Specific examples are easier to grasp and more memorable for the reader.

Highlight your motivational background, what led you to choose this company. Also write briefly about your professional ideas and plans, how your plans relate to the activities of the organization and how the tasks of the position relate to your plans.

This is a time-consuming process, but a demanding and easy-to-remember document for the employer will be worth the effort.

The interviewers know this and are looking for such candidates. So, try to show that you are one of them!

From a formal point of view, a motivation letter is a formal letter with all the necessary elements (sender, addressee, subject, object, addressing, date, closing phrases). It should be no longer than one page, divided into paragraphs, and its content should be consistent with the CV! If possible, attach it and do not write it in the text field of the application form, the ".pdf" format is the most practical.

The wording should be text-like, which is why clarity is even more important. Paragraphs should be short, logically structured and the opening sentence should refer to the content of the paragraph. In addition to sophisticated language, try to use clear, concise language.

A personal tone and sophisticated style can contribute to a more favorable image of the candidate. Take the time to pay attention to detail, to be specific about the recipient, to make the addressing personal. Avoid clichés, common formulas, generalities.

Read the letter later with fresh eyes, or ask your friends to look over the text for grammatical and stylistic accuracy. Your distant acquaintances can help you with their feedback to see how the cover letter might reflect your image in the eyes of a stranger.