The application

The art of writing applications is a genre not like others. The most important to emphasize and remember is that the CV points backwards and shows your competencies and experience, while the application points forward bringing relevant competencies in connection with the job, that you are applying for. Therefore, the application should not be a summary of your CV. Also, try to keep it on 1 page.

The job advert

Make sure to read the job advert thoroughly and find out which specific tasks the company wants you to solve. Frequently, job adverts are quite vague and superficial, which makes it relevant to call the employer and have him/her specify the tasks and responsibilities. 

Calling the company

Even though it can be difficult and transgressive to call a potential employer, it is often a good idea to do so.  There is usually a contact person listed on the advert - this is an open invitation.

A good question to ask is "Which of the tasks has the highest priority during a work week?" If you do a draft for the application before you call them, and thereby have considered how you will solve the tasks, you will probably also have some practical questions you need answered in order to do the best possible application. For instance "What IT system do you use for data processing?" or "Can you elaborate on the team I will be a part of?".

Most important is that you now can refer to the call and the contact person in the application, and they will probably remember you, when they read your CV. Calling the company is a sign of motivation, which Danish employers highly appreciate.

Presenting your competences

When you have a clear idea of the tasks the company wants solved, make sure to emphasise what you can do, how you do it and how you will implement that in connection to your specific tasks. Use your knowledge to make hypothetical situations if you don't have relevant or specific experience. For example how will you approach and solve a given task? What value can you create for the company?

The reasons for doing this are 1) You relate to the specific elements in the job and show that you know what it is all about and 2) You imagine yourself as part of the day-to-day running. Day-to-day running is a vital aspect no matter where and with what you are working. 

The hard introduction

Many experience that it is difficult to make a strong start in the application. Some advice would be to show that you have studied the company and the projects they are doing. Make sure to point out that you want to work for them. Avoid writing about what they can offer you. 

A no-go is a phrase like: ”…and therefore I'm looking for a job where I can develop…” Write in stead: ”I like working with food and see Arla as most outstanding manufacturer of XXXX… When we need to do the best possible quality control of XXXX, my experience is that …”  

Imagine yourself in the job and state your motivation for applying at that company.

"Kill your darlings"

Keeping your application on 1 page can be a challenge. Therefore think about relevance. What is relevant for the employer to know? Remember that they have read your CV so they already know what you are capable of. Now they want to know how you are capable of it and if you will fit in the company. Relate to the tasks they want solved. They rarely want to know other competences than the ones you already stated in the CV. Cut away all irrelevant info even though it hurts your professional pride : Kill your darlings. Remember that the application and CV is the ticket to the job interview and you can present your "darlings" then.

Adjectives can also be risky. Create images. Instead of stating that you are organised, motivated, independent, etc. you should show it: Show it, don’t tell it. Often these are already visible when you have written how to solve tasks.