Avoid application faux-pas

For a successful application procedure the candidate needs predominantly to be professional qualified. But it is not alone the qualification that counts! If the submitted application documents won't meet formal criteria and if our recruiters are therefore not able to read out the specific information they are searching for, this can immediately lead to the rejection of the application. Of course we want your application to be successful and thus we have prepared some tips for you how to be convincing with your application documents. Thereby all the examples we are referring to in the article below are borrowed from the experiences our recruiting experts gained throughout their every-day job.


An applicant's view:

Graduation day comes closer and closer. So it's time to take a closer look at the job boards and review sites of different companies who are hiring. Very soon I come to the conclusion that there are plenty of interesting jobs. But if I start thinking about my fellow students I also have to admit that there are also plenty of highly educated and experienced applicants. Your rivals never rest! So how can I manage to shine out – with my application documents – of the great quantity of application letters, CVs and other certificates? Maybe with some creativity and an appealing design? Or a fancy photo? An interesting hobby? I mean: why not! Let's give it a try!


Maybe it's the best t start immediately with the CV. A couple of weeks ago I made some reliable application photos which I do not like anymore. They are nothing special; they are standardized and too serious. With these photos my application will never ever be an eye catcher. Whereas the photo I took during my last vacation and which shows me with my sunglasses and my tanned skin is really lovely and appealing. The Acropolis in the background is furthermore a proof point for the fact that I am cultural interested and adventurous! Reliable? Anybody can do this! And thus I am replacing the original photo with the picture taken during my last vacation.

The question regarding my civil status is easily answered. I am single. Even though I am living in a relationship! Wait. Single – but in a relationship?! Such an answer would definitely get the attention of a recruiter, right? Absolutely! So I spontaneously made the decision to add some spice to my CV with such a funny "outside-the-box" answer. After completing my CV with my professional experiences – of course I highlighted some abstracts of the CV with some colors and design-effects because in the end creativity is always a key selling-point – I am starting to think about my hobbies. What are my hobbies? What should I write down? Sports? No, nearly everyone is doing at least some kind of sport! Reading? Who is not reading! What I really love is photography! I especially love to take pictures of beautiful women. I am sure that this is a hobby which is really interesting for a recruiter and that this would automatically gain his or her attention.

After finalizing my CV I have to think about the content of my cover letter. But this one of the simple tasks and thus I just insert some filler words in my CV and I am done! Due to the fact that nowadays English is a basic requirement for many jobs I am parallel preparing my application documents in English. Thanks to Google Translate this will not take up a lot of time.

So I am conclusively writing my email respectively I am uploading all my application documents up on the review site and…send!

A recruiter's view:

Lately we are receiving many applications which attract our attention not by their content but unfortunately by their design and layout. Many applicants try to set themselves apart from their competitors with such an application but very often the applicants are not aware of the fact that it is more difficult for us to the read out the facts we are interested in when the design is too creative and fancy.

Every little while we also receive applications with really unprofessional photos! These photos are either made at home in front of some interior, during the last vacation or they sometimes even show the beloved family pet. So I especially remember one applicant who submitted together with her or his CV a picture of her or his dog with the explanation that she or he feels such a deep connection to this pet that the two resemble one person. I really can give the advice to our applicants: take the time you need to make really professional pictures which show you in your current look!


Another point I want to mention is the résumé. Many résumés we are receiving are more or less a CV prettied up with some synonymous words. But we are especially interested in additional information which doesn't come out of the CV at first sight like why are you convinced that you are the right candidate for this specific job profile. What is also interesting for us is the question why the applicant is attracted to this particular job in our company and why she or he is willing to resign from her or his current position. However the most important point is that the applicants generally stick always to the truth regarding their application letter and their CV. An accurate writing and sentences which are grammatically correct are furthermore essential. When it comes to applications which are written in English the applicants should take their time for their preparation – which is just simply contradictory to Google Translate.

If an applicant attracts our attention we are going to invite her or him to a personal interview. It is important that your appearance is professional, confident and authentic. Within the frame of an interview we normally bring up the question regarding some situations she or he had made in the past – in an old or current job, during university or school. Here it is important that your argumentation is authentic and convincing – we always realize if the candidates are not talking about their personal experience but instead referring to someone else's experiences. Likewise it is important to also stick to the truth when it comes to the question regarding your individual strengths and weaknesses.

Eventually the best way to convince us is to be professional, authentic and well-prepared!

Tags: Career Blog, Germany