How to Write a Good Job Application

Our Consultants Share Their Experience with You

Our office is full of friendly and skilled consultants. They are experts in assessing you and your skills. They know how to make a match between companies and employees. They know what companies look for. We have gathered their best hints for a good application here.

Stop and Think: ”What is the Purpose of My Application?”

Consider what the overall purpose of your application is, before you start describing experience, personality and competences. A lot of people start with the wrong focus in mind. The phenomenon can be described in three words: Me, me and me. A good application should not only be about you. The purpose is to show the service, the solution and the results, which you can offer the company.

You should explain how your qualifications and your experience can fulfil the company’s needs. If possible with focus on the qualification requirements from the job ad. (or what you can infer from the priorities on the company homepage.)

Show Interest in Your Application

Show that you are interested in the profession, the industry and the company. A good application proves that you have a special interest in them. They need to feel special just as when you meet new people. You should show them that you listen and is dedicated to help them. 

This means that you should explain, why you are interested in the company. This requires research. Take a look on their homepage. Read their “About Us” page and read what others write about the company. Or give them a call – a direct contact shows your interest.

When a company feels heard, you strengthen the relation and create trust. This is a natural reaction which is of your benefit.

Personal Competences

This is not about your personal and private life with family, friends and spare time. This might be relevant but it depends on the job. Personal competences are however always good to include. A company would like to know how you tackle challenges and possibilities. How you solve a task, how you cooperate and take initiative. This paints a picture of how you fit into the company.

You can describe these through concrete stories e.g. in connection with a deepening of your qualifications and experience. Make a brief description of how you will use a qualification for creating a possibility of the company.

Tell a story about concrete experiences and back your statement with your colleagues input. Story telling creates a better picture of you and provides knowledge that is remembered and this makes a good application.

A Good Application Is Adapted to the Recipient.

”Who Am I Writing to??”

You should consider which type of company you are writing to. It can be difficult to assess but your research might give you an idea. How is their use of language and their attitude on their homepage and in the job ad?

Some clear examples are to make a creative application for an advertising agency, make some extra structure in an application for an accountant job and to use sales tricks in a job application for a job as sales manager. Show them that you have the same qualities as the company has or is looking for.

A Short a Long – How Long Should a Good Application Be?

A good application should neither be too short or too long. But what does that mean ? This means that an application rarely is longer than 1-2 pages. But you need to show that you are qualified to tell why you are the right person for the job.

It shouldn’t be your life story. Don’t write everything about yourself but only the most important things, which are relevant to the job. And remember to highlight relevant competences – no need to repeat your entire CV:

Create a Clear View in Your Application

It is important that you have structure in your application. Structure creates overview for your recipient. And overview means that your recipient quickly can evaluate if you are a candidate for a job interview.

There are many ways to create structure in an application. As mentioned before there is a difference in, who you are writing to. The accountant job can be created as a very strict Excel-format application, so don’t take the following suggestion for structure as the only solution. You are more than welcome to find inspiration elsewhere.

Opening: A short summary. Why are you applying for the job and why do you think you are the right choice? Begin with a title. Make it an appetizer which makes your application memorable.

Content: The content of a good application  can be divided into three subjects: motivation, professionalism and personality. These three elements needs to be described and preferably in that order. Here are some questions that you should try to reply on:

  • Why is your experience relevant for this job ?
  • Why do you fit in and how can your effort improve the results?
  • Why are you interested in the profession, the business and/or the company (do you remember? “show interest”)
  • Which relevant qualifications can you contribute with? Do not repeat your CV, but refer to it.
  • Which personal competences do you use to create results ?
  • Possibly: Your future ambitions for your career

Closing: Summarize and make a conclusion on why the company should hire you.