The primary purpose of your job application is to make the employer want to meet you for a job interview. An application/cover letter is often just as important as a CV in Denmark when you apply for a job. It is important to write an application/cover letter specifically tailored for each position you apply for. This video explains how to write a good application/cover letter that catch the attention of Danish employers.
How to write an application/cover letter
Here are five guidelines on how to make your job application stand out from the crowd:
- Explain what you have to offer: See things from the employer’s perspective. Focus on what you can offer. Get to know your competences, also the ones which you have not been aware of in the past, and especially the ones which may be more special in Denmark than in your home country (e.g. your language skills). Besides your professional competences, such as technical or economic skills, be sure to include your social competences, such as negotiation or teaching skills, and last but not least your personal competences which round up your profile. In Denmark it is essential to show a complete picture of yourself: an employer will be interested not only in your diplomas, but also in your personality and your interests. In short: what drives and motivates you.
- Address the criteria in the job ad: Describe how you fulfil the criteria specified in the ad. Be specific when you translate your experiences and personal qualities to match the job criteria.
- Find a suitable style: Write your application in a style that matches the type of company you are addressing. For instance, your style will be more informal and creative when applying for a job at an advertising agency than a financial institution.
- Write with clarity and precision: Avoid long and complex sentences. Use shorter paragraphs and break up your application in sections. An application should be no longer than one A4 page.
- Avoid mistakes: Always check your application for language errors – particularly if you are not writing in your mother tongue. If possible, get another person to carefully proofread your application. Mistakes suggest sloppiness and no employer responds positively to that.
What should I enclose?
An application/cover letter must always be sent together with your CV. You should also consider enclosing:
- A photo: You may choose to attach a recent photo of yourself to your CV, but it is not required. Choose the photo carefully and pay attention to its quality and context. It is better not to enclose a photo than to use one that is not suitable.
- Education certificates: If you have graduated recently, it is a good idea to enclose a copy of your degree diploma. If you have years of work experience, you should only enclose such documents if it is requested in the job advert. If you do not enclose any certificates, make sure to bring them along for your interview.
- Assessment of your educational qualifications: It may be helpful to obtain an assessment of your education.
- Letters of recommendation, reports, etc.: You may enclose letters of recommendation etc., but only if they are relevant to the position you are applying for. If you do not enclose them, bring them to the interview.