In addition to the CV, most companies also require a letter of motivation, which is the first page of the application. You should make sure that you do not send a standardized letter to different companies, but that you design each one individually and tailor the content to the respective company. The CV and cover letter should always be coordinated so that they complement each other. Of course, both should convince the recruiter of you and your abilities and therefore it is very important to attach great importance to the way you express yourself. Spelling and grammatical errors are an absolute no-go! In general, a letter of motivation usually has 3 sections – introduction, main part and conclusion. In the following we will go into each individual and explain in more detail so that you know exactly how to write a perfect letter of motivation and thus increase your chances of getting your dream job. However, keep in mind that a recruiter receives a large number of applications per day. It is therefore important to stand out from the crowd with your application. Keep your cover letter short and concise and make it individual yet authentic. A maximum of two pages should not be exceeded. A DIN A4 page is ideal. Keep your cover letter short and concise and make it individual yet authentic. A maximum of two pages should not be exceeded. A DIN A4 page is ideal. Keep your cover letter short and concise and make it individual yet authentic. A maximum of two pages should not be exceeded. A DIN A4 page is ideal.
The introduction of a letter of application
Also known as cover letter, a letter of motivation always begins with an introduction. This should ideally attract attention and arouse sympathy so that the recruiter is encouraged to read on. Here, too, “the spice is in the brevity”. If possible, avoid the salutation “Dear Sir or Madam” but address a direct contact person. If no one is mentioned in the ad, you can first research it on the company’s website or ask by phone. You should also avoid sentences like “I hereby apply for the position…” or “I read your job offer with great interest”. Many paradigms still use these phrases, but these are now standard phrases that won’t help you stand out from the crowd. Instead, write a short sentence about what particularly fascinates you about the company, for example the corporate strategy or a specific activity that you find particularly interesting. Maybe you are a convinced customer of the company’s products yourself or can identify well with the corporate culture and values.
The body of a cover letter
In most cases, the main part of a letter of motivation consists of three to four paragraphs. In this part you should make sure to establish a direct relationship between you and the company.
- In the first section, you briefly describe your current situation, for example that you are currently a student and are pursuing a bachelor’s/master’s degree at university XY and are looking for a part-time job, internship or holiday job. Furthermore, you should name your course of study and, if applicable, your focus. In this section you can wonderfully show initial interest in the respective company by picking it up in connection with the search for an internship etc. and cleverly incorporating it into the text.
- In the second section, you then go into your professional skills. Since as a student you often don’t have too many professional qualifications, or at least little practical experience, you can instead go into detail about what you are looking for and why you want to work in this area and company. For example, if you are most interested in the marketing lectures and seminars, you can mention this. Here you should go into the respective company individually and also include some previously researched information. Have you already had a working student job? Perfect! Be sure to include it in your letter of motivation. Either in the second section or the following, depending on what it fits better in terms of content.
- In the third section you can then name your personal and professional skills. Make sure, however, that you don’t just repeat the points from your CV, but also include a few more. Incidentally, this also applies to the previous section. Certain skills were required in the company’s job posting. You can incorporate these perfectly in this section and possibly prove them with personal examples. For example, if you learned important skills in your previous part-time job, name them. If you are a volunteer, you can also write this here perfectly.
The final part of a letter of application
Your CV and your letter of motivation should of course be convincing and thus aim to get you invited to an interview. You should also base the last section of your letter of motivation on this. It’s good to start by briefly thanking the recruiter for taking the time to read your application and resume. You can then write a sentence such as “If my application convinced you, I look forward to hearing from you/ I look forward to being invited to an interview! I am at your disposal for any further questions.” With this last sentence, you should be careful to avoid the subjunctive and use the indicative instead, i.e. not “I would be happy to be invited to an interview”, but rather “I am happy to be invited to an interview”. This radiates more self-confidence and security. You should also indicate in this last section when you will be available for the position. This is very important for the recruiter to know and can also be decisive for filling the position.
Formal structure of a letter of application
Both the CV and the letter of motivation should have a suitable format, be structured and clear. Your letter of motivation should be on letterhead. First you give your own name and address, then that of the company. Put the place and date right below it. Then comes the subject. Here you should choose the same one as in the vacancy and mark it in bold. At the end of the letter of motivation you should sign and also mention your name. It is best to scan your signature once and save it. So you can use them again at any time and simply paste them into another letter. It is very important that you save your application letter and letter of motivation as a PDF document.
Below are a few more tips that will help you with your application.
- Reputable e-mail address:The e-mail address from which you send applications to companies is very important and should not have any dubious or embarrassing names.
- Descriptive subject:The subject of your email should be descriptive. If a reference number is mentioned in the job offer, enter it directly in the subject line.
- Content of the e-mail:The text in your e-mail should not be too long and it should not simply be a copy of the letter of motivation. Think of a short text and mention at the end that you have attached your CV, your letter of motivation and any other documents as PDF documents.
- E-mail signature:It is best to create an e-mail signature with a greeting, your name and your profession. This will make your email look very professional and appealing.
- Test e-mail:Before you send your application to the company, you can send yourself an e-mail with the application to see if everything works and all attachments can be opened.