So you have found a job advert for your dream job at this amazing company. How exciting! Writing an impressive English application is important because it may or may not lead to an interview – and one step closer to your dream job.
I know writing English applications is difficult, especially if English is not your first language.
Of course, you don’t want to do anything wrong when applying for your dream job. You know what they say, you only get one chance to make a good impression.
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However, you can absolutely write a successful application. Some creative people over at StandOutCV.com have created a very helpful infographic. It provides a great overview and very useful tips that you can use today. Read on for the most important steps for writing an impressive English application!
1. Keep it short
The purpose of a CV is to give a good impression so that you will be invited for an interview. Employers get many, many applications and have little time to look at each individual CV. Sadly, some employers won’t even open every application they get. That’s why your CV should be clear to make a good impression.
Remember: More is less. Focus on keywords you find in your industry and in the job description.
I like the word “sharp” which is used in the infographic, meaning the content of your application should be short, but meaningful.
Depending on your professional experience, the CV should be 1-2 pages in length and those pages should not be packed with text. If you don’t know what to cut, ask a friend to read it and what he/she thinks is irrelevant and can be left out!
2. Focus on the benefits for them
Whether you want to or not, you have to sell yourself and your skills a little bit.
Both in your CV and cover letter, you should show your qualities keeping in mind what the other side, the employer, gets from you. Don’t just list your experience. Focus on what you can offer them.
Think about 3-4 specific problems the company or department might have. Why are they looking for an employee? Now think about your achievements in previous jobs or in university. Can you make a connection between your experience and what the company needs?
The employer wants proof of what you can do. As the infographic shows, numbers make a huge impression, so if you can include numbers and specific results – go ahead! But remember not to make up any numbers and not to lie!
Here are some great words you can use to describe your value to the company:
- increased/decreased …
- achieved …
- improved …
- managed …
- created …
- resolved …
- influenced …
- acquired …
3. Include a section with your interests
You are human. Even though you spend a lot of effort to highlight how great you are and your impressive achievements, employers are interested in the person you are and what makes you unique.
Personally, I recommend including a section with a short list of your personal interests at the end of a CV, even though in the infographic below it is marked as “optional”. In the past, every time I did not include the “interests” section in my CV (in order to save space or because I thought it was irrelevant) I was asked: “What are your interests and hobbies?” during the interview. I will never leave it out again!
Of course, you should think about which interests you want to include here and they should be appropriate and relevant. Writing “My hobbies are partying and meeting friends” is not very relevant or interesting. (And, yes, I have really seen CVs like this…) I don’t recommend giving too personal details. It is better to keep it general, e.g. travel, cooking, baking, music, etc.
It can feel wrong at first, but it is great to give away some of your personality. Showing who you really are is very important, even beyond applications, because people want to work with interesting, professional employees.
Chances are, you are applying to work at a great company that matches your interests. So go ahead and tell them what a great match you are for them!
4. Have a clean structure
Last but not least, the CV should look clean and give a good overview. Again, employers have little time and receive a lot of applications. They most likely won’t read every word and don’t have time to look for important details if the CV is not clear. They should find the most important information quickly and easily.
Use clear sections with bullet points and don’t write long texts. Ask yourself: What is really important here? How can I summarize this?
Making your English application clean and clear should be your priority.
Write good headings for the sections. Look at CV templates online to get an idea of how to structure the pages well.
If you are located in Europe, I recommend the free Europass CV tool
It is easy to use, includes a clear format, and looks clean. I especially like how well it lets you profile your language skills. After creating your CV you can download it as PDF or Word document.
Have a look at the infographic below to see more helpful advice for creating an impressive application!
Now, over to you:
What is 1 thing you will improve in your CV? Tell us in the comments below!