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Online guide

The cover letter – application in Germany

A perfect covering letter is the most important part of an application. It provides the employer with a first sample of a potential employee’s work. In addition, the employer gets an initial impression of the applicant. The cover lettering should be written in a style which awakens interest. Here, you should convey to the reader why you are the best candidate for the advertised position. If you achieve this, then there is a high likelihood that the HR representative will continue reading your application and not eliminate it.

What should the covering letter look like?

Sender: first of all, the sender’s details including name, address, postcode, town and country should appear either in the letterhead or in the top right corner. Contact details such as email address and telephone number should also be provided. Take care that your details are complete.

Addressee: the addressee’s details also need to be complete and correct

Subject: the covering letter’s subject should be written in bold letters above the actual text. Here, you briefly mention the reason for your letter.

Salutation: if possible, address the recipient personally. If the name of the recipient is not mentioned, try to find it out through a telephone call.

The main part of the covering letter: the letter is divided into three main sections. There are also introductory and closing phrases of course. In the introductory section you need to capture the reader’s attention and motivate him or her to continue reading the letter. In the main part you convince the reader why you are perfectly suited for the advertised role. To this purpose, it may be helpful to refer to experience in your CV which is useful for the desired position. Furthermore, the applicant should describe which aspects of the role interest him or her, and why he or she would particularly like to work in this company.

At the end of the covering letter you should indicate your willingness to meet for a personal discussion and close with “Yours sincerely”. Note: remember your own signature.

The complete covering letter including address, etc. should never be longer than one page. The sentences should be short and concise. The application should always be tailored to the company in question and the particular position. Mass applications are not looked favourably upon. It is important to provide your contact details in the covering letter. Regarding the format of the covering letter: the paragraphs should be clearly distinguished. It is best to use ragged margins, as it creates a more readable look

The CV