Are job applications a closed book to you? Don’t worry – help is at hand. You simply need to follow a few basic rules. And then nothing should stand in your way.
What should go into a job application?
As a rule, an application consists of three sections: Letter of Motivation, CV and References.
1. Cover page
The first page of your application will either be the Letter of Motivation or a separate cover page. If you decide to use a cover page, then you should include a title like “Application for a training place as…”. Your photo should be centered on the page. If you don’t use a cover page, then the photo is placed on the CV. Don’t forget: Name and contact details.
2. Letter of Motivation
This is where you introduce yourself to the employer. In the letter, you should explain why you are interested in training for this kind of career and why you are the best candidate. Try to impress the employer and make them interested in reading your application.
Tip: A clearly laid-out, well-written letter with no spelling or grammatical mistakes is certain to help impress your reader.
But you don’t need to write a novel. The key thing is to keep it to a single A4 sheet (Arial 11 pt, Times New Roman 12 pt). Don’t forget: Address, recipient’s address, date, subject line and signature.
As your “business card,” your CV is the most important section. Dates should have no gaps and be organized chronologically. Make sure that you include the following information: Your name, birth date/place, address, details of your school education and specialist knowledge (e.g. IT skills or foreign languages), references to work placements, voluntary work, driving licenses held and civilian service (e.g. service completed in social or environmental work, etc.).
You can also list any interests or commitments you have in social, political, cultural, musical or sporting areas, since these tell the employer a lot about an applicant.
In a CV, the photo is always put in the same place: at the top right on the first page. End your CV by giving the current date and signing your name in full.
All of the statements that you make in your CV should be backed up by references or certification. Don’t forget your last school certificate! You should also include work placement and vacation job testimonials with your CV. Important: Never send originals!
Paper application or email?
Whether snail mail or electronic mail – both formats are welcome. You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy dossiers. A simple binder – e.g. with a transparent cover – is perfectly OK.
The key thing is that your folder is clean and tidy. For email applications, aim to save your documents in PDF format. This ensures that printouts of your application always look the same.
Your application is the proverbial “first impression!” Whether on paper or emailed: your documents must be complete, organized and clearly legible.
Tip: Why not ask your parents, friends or tutors to check your application for mistakes?
Any further questions? Just ask!
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X-FAB Dresden GmbH & Co. KG