Application Tips

Besides a cover letter and up-to-date résumé, your written application should include a current photo as well as relevant certificates and a recommendation letter with reference to your study program. It is moreover advisable to enclose a brochure with information on the respective degree program.

How to write a cover letter

Individual European states may have different expectations on how to write and what to include in a cover letter.

There are, however, two main types of cover letters depending on whether you make an application with reference to a job advertisement or an unsolicited application. In the latter case you must explain how the company you apply for attracted your attention and why you would like to work for this company in particular.

Bear in mind that the point of your cover letter is to attract the company’s attention. You should therefore not only make sure that your cover letter has a clear layout and fulfills any formal criteria, but also give it a personal touch. Ask yourself why the company would choose to hire you from a pool of applicants with similar qualification! Explain your MOTIVATION to work for or make an internship at THIS PARTICULAR COMPANY and in THIS PARTICULAR AREA.


Two people sit together at a table with various documents.

A résumé shall be brief and concise, and refer to the major steps of your education as well as additional personal qualifications.

A lecturer supports two students

Explain your motivation to work for or make an internship at this particular company and in this particular area.

How to write a résumé

A résumé shall be brief and concise, and refer to the major steps of your education as well as additional personal qualifications such as language skills, computer skills, internships, holiday jobs, or club memberships. Above all, a résumé must be clear and well-structured.

Visit the homepage of the "European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training" (Cedefop) to download sample résumés (in tabular form) and detailed instructions.

How to succeed in a job interview

Thorough preparation is half the way to success! You should therefore pay special attention to the following points:

  • Be prepared to get to know the company: gather information about the company by reading business reports, brochures, homepages etc. Think about why you chose to apply for exactly this company.
  • Be prepared to present yourself: at the beginning of a job interview you are usually asked to introduce yourself, talk about your professional background, your (positive and negative) qualities as well as your career plans and specific goals you have for the respective internship or job. Go through the interview situation in your mind or act it out with a friend.
  • Be prepared to dress appropriately: make sure your appearance is neat and clean. Adapt your clothing to the interview situation and corporate culture, but also to your personality.

Job interview

Job interviews are usually conducted according to the following procedure:

Greeting and introduction, presentation of the applicant

  • questions about personal situation
  • questions about educational background
  • questions about professional development
  • questions about the company

Presentation of the company

  • information about the internship or job position
  • information about the company
  • information about the employment contract (including salary, social benefits, further training etc.)
  • conclusion and arrangement of future appointments, if necessary

Linktipps für die deutschsprachige Bewerbung - The effects of different typefaces, colors, and layouts including samples - Practical tips on how to organize application papers - Information on and samples for résumés in tabular form

Appications in English

English-speaking countries and companies may have different expectations as to how your application should be formally structured: they generally demand a more concise and trigger-oriented presentation of personal skills and achievements. An overview of what applicants must consider in more detail can be found here.

For tips on how to write a CV and a cover letter in English click here:
Links to websites with tips for an international career: - specific information for more than 50 countries - a collection of useful phrases and expressions for international applications - translation skills
Social Media
Nearly half of all employers research job candidates online. Two great resources that you can utilize to promote a positive online presence and get your qualifications out there, are XING and LINKEDIN. Your LinkedIn profile can be an important supplement to your resume. This portal serves as a professional social media outlet, where you can connect with people, organizations, jobs, and news, all within a professional setting.
Spend a little time reviewing the numerous tips and resources created to help students get started at LinkedIn for Students.

Useful Links

Application photo
It is a general rule that no application portfolio is complete without a photo. A good photo will create sympathy. Find out how to present yourself authentically and appropriately.

Dress code
Appearances matter – never underestimate effect of your appearance!
Your appearance is your personal business card
Dress appropriately for your job interview with tips for women and men.

EU requirements for application résumés
For decades résumés have been based on the same principles. But with Europe drawing closer together, new rules for writing applications have been introduced. The EU model for writing a CV has become more and more popular. Europass provides several CV templates.

Sample application
Download free application samples from various career websites like

Online application
The ten commandments of online applications.

Telephone interviews
Never underestimate interviews conducted on the telephone. Visit for tips on how to prepare for telephone interviews.

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