e-Xplore Words

Job Applications, CVs, Covering Letters & Interviews

1. Effective Applications

Job applications are the first step on the road to successful job hunting. Good preparation is essential, as this is your opportunity to market yourself to the employer and make your way to the interview stage. You need to think carefully about what to include and how to present yourself. You need to consider:

  • requirements of the job, qualifications, personal qualities, experience
  • how to relate your skills and qualities to the job criteria
  • how to communicate this effectively in your application form


Firstly, you need to find out about the employer and the job. Most employers have set criteria for recruitment. These can be specific technical abilities and/or personal qualities and are generally outlined in graduate brochures, job descriptions and job adverts. Questions on application forms are designed to give you the opportunity to prove that you have these skills.

Study the vacancy information or job description and make a list of what you think the employer is looking for. This might include the ability to work as part of a team, good communicative skills, flexibility, and use of initiative. Also consult the employer website and company publications.

Effective application forms provide the employer with examples and evidence of your suitability for the job. Find examples from your experience using your education, work experience, and leisure time.

Gathering Evidence

Successful applications should prove that the skills and qualities that you have match those required by the employer. Using your list of skills required for the job find examples of situations in which you have demonstrated these skills.
In short, you need to support everything you say in your application with evidence.
Example: "My part-time work in a busy local restaurant has developed my organisational skills and ability to work under pressure."

What Makes a Good Application?

Match your skills with those in the job description.
  • Always provide evidence and examples of your skills.
  • Information should be positive, relevant and interesting.

And remember:
  • Complete all sections.
  • Read the whole form first and draft your answers.
  • Get a second opinion - HTWK Leipzig students may arrange an appointment for one of the individual Correspondence Support lessons offered by the University Language Centre.
  • Keep a photocopy - you may need it for interview!