Yes, because unlike what is commonly thought, the curriculum is not the most important part to apply for a job but just the cover letter.
And do you know why?
Every day hundreds and hundreds of resumes arrive at companies, often all the same.
Do you think they all read them?
I assure you no.
Very often, companies only read cover letters. From there, they will decide whether to deepen your knowledge, reading your resume first and then inviting you to an interview.
I’ll tell you more: many resumes that are not accompanied by a letter of introduction end up directly in the trash, which is the wastebasket and the trash on the desktop of the PC.
For this reason, you will understand well that you will always have to pay attention to the drafting of your letter of introduction.
Do you want to know how?
Read on then, and I’ll explain what you need and what you won’t have to write in your cover letter.
I also created Job Academy, a course that teaches you to step by step how to find work in Germany, born after years of experience in helping hundreds of Italians find work in Germany.
Inside you will find all the effective strategies that have enabled hundreds of people to find their dream job in Germany in less than 2 weeks.
The cover letter (Anschreiben)
The Anschreiben is nothing but the letter of introduction in German that you will deliver together with your Lebenslauf (ie your curriculum vitae) and your Zeugnisse (all the certifications and work references).
Very often the cover letter is mistakenly called Bewerbung but in reality, it is only a part of it.
The Bewerbung fact, as mentioned in several articles, is formed by:
- the CV ( Lebenslauf )
- the cover letter ( Anschreiben )
- the certificate, the qualifications, and references ( Zeugnis )
The main purpose of the Anschreiben will be to capture the attention of recruiters who will read it, encouraging them to read your Lebenslauf carefully.
For this reason, you will have to explain briefly and very convincingly who you are, because you are the ideal candidate for the job offered or because they will have to think of you if they need to expand their staff.
Reading your cover letter, the recruiter will have to think:
“Here, this is just the person I need!”
Be careful though! Under no circumstances should you write a standard cover letter to send to any type of company.
You will have to show instead to know deeply the company for which you are applying, trying to make your letter of introduction original and personal, just as I explained in Job Academy.
How to write a cover letter in German
Layout: the DIN 5008
The “classic” Anschreiben, let’s say standard, has very specific guidelines to follow.
Obviously, this standard is not a dogma, especially if you have written a creative curriculum.
However, it is good to know what this rule is so that you can decide freely whether to approach or otherwise depart from it.
This standard model is called DIN 5008.
Are you aware of the letters that you have probably already received at home and come from public offices? Almost certainly they were written following the DIN 5008.
The text size is 11 or 12 points with line spacing between 1 and 1.5.
But avoid strange fonts, opting for something elegant and readable.
Above all, it avoids Comic Sans: used and abused to the point of exhaustion in recent years, it has become the worst presentation ticket.
The first part of the Anschreiben has only one purpose: to gain the attention of the reader.
Write 3/4 lines in which you pull out your ace up your sleeve or give praise to the company, proving to know well what it does, perhaps citing its products or its company policy.
Do not even start by saying that you have read “with interest” the job offer announcement: it is obvious that you did, for this very reason you are applying, aren’t you?
In the guide La Bewerbung you will find however many phrases already prepared and letters of presentation already ready to be included in your Bewerbung.
2. Main part
In this part, describe your skills.
Attention: not all! Only those that can be strengths for the job you are applying for.
To complete this part, answer the simple question: “Why am I the right person for this job?”
Do not repeat even the things already mentioned in the curriculum.
The cover letter should not be a copy of the curriculum but something that completes what is written in the Lebenslauf.
Also, be concrete. In a cover letter, the facts are worth much more than words.
In fact, to say “I am creative” or “I am flexible” is not an objective fact but a personal opinion.
Explain how your skills could be exploited within the company, what benefits they will get, what your goals are, and what goals you have in common with the company.
Don’t forget that you are an investment for the company!
Ask yourself why they should invest in you and try to be convincing in responding.
The company decides to invest in a person with the hope that that person will bring an economic return thanks to his excellent work.
When you apply for a job offer, then, before asking the company for anything, it shows that it can offer something, that it can contribute in some way to the development and growth of the company.
The points you need to keep in mind by writing your Anschreiben and which must be explained are:
- Why are you applying for this job?
- What qualifications make you eligible for this job?
- What benefits can you bring to the company with your placement?
Don’t use hypothetical and subjunctive sentences that make the sentence weaker and therefore less effective, for example “in the case of your interest …”
Let’s start from the assumption that you are the best candidate they can take and therefore you are sure that they will not let this opportunity slip away.
Always use affirmative sentences, as if the personnel managers had no alternative other than your hiring.
Finally, conclude your letter with one of the standard greeting formulas:
- Mit freundlichen Grüßen
- Mit besten Grüßen
- Freundlichen Grüßen
Re-reading and correction
Once you have written your cover letter, let it read to a translator who specializes in presentation letters to make grammatical and syntactic improvements.
One last tip: always put yourself in the shoes of those who will read your e-mail and your Anschreiben.
The question you will have to ask both during and after the preparation of your cover letter is:
If I received this cover letter, would I hire this person? Would I want to read your resume? Would I want to meet you in person?
If the answer is no, well, I think you will need to make some substantial changes to your Anschreiben.