The Covering Letter

The letter is a vital part of your application. It is the element of your application in which you justify why the company should hire you on the basis of your skills and motivation. It aims at building a bridge between your own skills and the interests of the employer. You must respect the following formalities:

  • Scope: Be brief and try to fit the three most important key messages within a few sentences. Although it is useful to substantiate your statements by good reasoning, your cover letter should fit on an A4 page.
  • Information on sender and addressee: Make sure your contact information is given in full. If a particular contact person is indicated in the job announcement, you should name them in the address field. An empty line between street and town is no longer necessary.
  • Subject line: This is where you indicate the reason of the letter and possibly the name of the position / the internship. Do not start the subject line by writing “subject”.
  • Form of address: If you know the name of a particular contact person, address them by their name. Also pay attention to any title in the address. For example, "Dear Dr"
  • Introduction: Spur the interest of the reader in the first sentence. Show that there is a direct relevance between your qualifications and motivation and the employer or the job for which you are applying.
  • Main section of the letter: Focus in two or three paragraphs on the keywords and start with your most important qualifications. Use key terms from the job announcement and explain in comprehensible examples how and where you acquired your existing skills and knowledge. Doing so gives you not only credibility, but also refers to past achievements or specific experiences. Ensure that you make clear why you are suitable for the job.
  • Conclusion: There, it makes sense to mention formalities, such as salary (if required your availability in time). Make it clear that you are looking forward to a response and choose a friendly concluding expression.
  • Signature: Remember to sign by hand. In digital applications, you can scan your signature and insert it accordingly.
  • Enclosures: At the end of the letter, you can still use the term "enclosures" to point out to what you attach to your letter.

Other things to be taken into account:

Personal contact is very important. If and when possible, try to make contact by visiting a job fair before sending in your written application. In the cover letter, you can mention that you already met there. Avoid introducing the letter by „Dear Sir, Dear Madam“… if you know who the contact person is.
Focus on a maximum of 2-3 particularly important facts of your previous experience! Compose your cover letter so that it fits on a Din A 4 page.Avoid repeating chronological descriptions of your resume in the cover letter.
Always update the day of the cover letter and adapt each and every cover letter to the company and the position you are applying for.Do not compose serial applications, even if every application is very time-consuming.
Please write short, concise sentences in the active form. This will make clear that you built your past experience on the basis on conscious decisions. Use confident language.Avoid using the conjunctive mood in your formulations and avoid expressions such as “I would…” or “it would be…”.
Substantiate practical experience and competencies with appropriate examples. Do not simply enumerate your experiences and competencies.