How to write an application

How to write a good application...
Text: Stein Tore Nybrodahl ©

Here are some tips & tricks for how to write a good application. This is taken from a course I've used several times for internal de-recruitment in down-sizing processes.

Writing an application is not easy. Here are som steps to structure an application to a new employer:

1. Name and adress on top: In the upper left corner you start with your name and adress with the date and place on the right side of the paper one line below.

2. Some line breaks below you write the name and adress of the employeer - Name of the company if no contact person is stated. Then the top of the application would look like this:

Stein Tore Nybrodahl
Sandmarkveien 8A
7550 Hommelvik                                                Trondheim, 11th of June 2016.

Company ABC
DE Road 123
Dymmytown 456

3. In the next header line you state your application for the position (in bold): Application for position as HR Manager in Company ABC.

4. In the first text line you address where or from who you got information about the position. Mention job title, any reference number and where and when you saw it. Then make a line saying that you're applying for the position.

5. Briefly outline your current situation and why you are seeking the job/ change. Do a short summary of your current or last job. Be honest!

6. Tell the potential employer why you are interested in the job and why you think you could do a good job in the actual position. Be short!

7. Next chapter is about yourself and what value-add will you give to the new position and why should the employer choose you. Read the job description, talk to people who works in/ knows about simelar positions, and consider to take a phone call to the contact person in the job ad to get as much information as possible. Make a personal list of the 3-5 most important things you consider to be the most valuable work experience/ other things for the employer. ? Try to be crystal clear without overselling yourself. This section should be max. 3-4 sentences. Describe your strengths and possible contribution to the new employer. What will be your contributions in a new job? Stay on a high level, and do not go into details. This could be related too:

- Your education
Transferable skills and work experience
Achievements and personal results (describe your contribution)
Personality traits relevant to the role applied for
Do not appear to be too positive or subjective… (Balanced and trustworthy)
- Your take on this should be: I got something you need = meet me for an interview!

8. Don't go into the trap and reuse a former application to a new employer. Don’t copy! Each application is special and needs to be tailored... It is nothing worse than an application letter you easily see has been written for another position…

9. Never ever mention salary or benefits in an application. This is for the interview!

10. Close your letter with a polite expression of interest in further dialogue with the company. Please remember phone number and email address, and be available. They may just try to contact you once!

11. Remember to sign your letter (Yours sincerely/ Yours Faithfully).

12. Check that things mentioned in the CV are not duplicated in the application.

13. Proofread your letter very carefully for any errors.

14, And don't forget to upload the expected documents (like CV and application) if the employer make use of a recruitment system!