How to write your cover letter in German
Generally speaking a cover letter should be concise and to the point and definitely no longer than one page.
Points you should consider when writing a cover letter
To be effective, your cover letter should follow the basic format of a typical business letter and should address three general issues:
- First Paragraph - Why you are writing
- Middle Paragraphs - What you have to offer
Paragraph - How you will follow-up
Do not repeat your what is already in your CV, simply refer to
it! "As you can see from my CV, …".
If a particular work experience listed in your CV especially qualifies you for the job you can refer to it and emphasise its relevant points.
Your cover letter should NEVER be longer than 1 page.
In some cases, you may have been referred to a potential employer by a friend or acquaintance. Be sure to mention this mutual contact by name as soon as possible as it is likely to encourage your reader to keep reading!
If you are writing in response to a job advert, indicate where you learned of the position and the exact title of the position you are applying for. More importantly, remember to convey your enthusiasm for the job and the likely match between your credentials and the position's required qualifications.
If you are writing a prospective application letter - a
letter in which you enquire about potential job openings - state
your specific job objective. Since this type of letter is unsolicited,
it is even more important to capture the reader's attention.
It is a good idea to mention why you are interested in that specific company, esp. when you write a prospective application letter.
Do not give the impression that they are one of two hundred applications (badly copied CVs, serial letters, etc.).
In responding to a job advert, refer specifically to the
qualifications they have listed and illustrate how your particular
abilities and experiences relate to the position for which you are
In a prospective applicationg letter express your potential to fulfil the employer's needs rather than focus on what the employer can offer you. You can do this by giving evidence that you have researched the organization thoroughly and that you possess skills that are used within that organization.
Emphasize your achievements and problem-solving skills. Show how your education and work skills are transferable, and thus relevant, to the position for which you are applying.
Bid directly for the job interview or an informational interview
and indicate that you will follow-up with a telephone call to set
up an appointment. Be sure to make the call within the time frame
Even if you do not mention it explicitly in the letter, it is a good idea to make a follow up phone call. Timing is important: do not call on the very next day or after more than one week.
If you are applying from outside the employer's geographic area you may want to indicate if you'll be in town during a certain time frame (this makes it easier for the employer to agree to meet with you).
In conclusion, you should also indicate that further references are available on request. Also, if you have a portfolio or certificates to support your qualifications, inform prospective employers that they are also available on request.
Learn Business German at ActiLingua Academy in Vienna.