The aim of a job application is to get you called in for an interview. The job application will be the first impression you make on the employer. Therefore, it pays to work hard on writing a good application.
Analyse the job
The application you write must be a direct response to the text of the ad. You must, therefore, read the text carefully to see if you meet the job's requirements and carefully think through how you can show this in your application.
Tips on writing applications
Your application should tell the employer about you and why you are the right person for the job.
The application should be concise and to the point.
The most important points to emphasise are why you are applying for the job, why you should be hired and what you can add to the employer's organization. Highlight your strong points.
Write a new application for each job. You can of course use the same formulations but the application must be tailored to each new job.
The content and layout of the application must be tidy and should be no longer than one page.
The language should be simple and natural, and you should avoid providing patently obvious and overly detailed information. Facts like credits and course codes belong in your CV.
Focus on what you can do and not on which qualifications you lack.
Carefully check what you have written and double check that the names of the employer and contact person are spelled correctly. Spelling mistakes make a bad impression.
Get someone else to read through the application before you send it. They may see mistakes you have not noticed.
Writing a good application
Write a short introduction.
This should state where you found the vacant position.
Describe why you want this precise job.
Describe why your background is of great value and importance to the employer.
Describe how your qualifications and experience satisfy the employer's requirements.
Describe what you have done so far and why this is relevant for the job.
Describe any special experience and attributes you have.
Write a brief summary
Remember to say that you can provide more information over the telephone or in an interview.
Some people choose to enclose a photo with their application. This is normal in a lot of countries, but is not very common in Norway.
Checklist: before submitting your application and CV
Read through your application. Is it convincing?
Is your CV easy to understand and complete?
Have you marked the application with the right reference number (if one was stated in the ad)?
Have you got certified copies of certificates and diplomas if the employer has requested these?
If the application is going to be sent via post you have to ensure that the envelope is marked as requested in the ad.
Checklist: after your application and CV have been submitted
Be available by telephone.
Check your email frequently.
Employers will generally confirm they have received your application. If you have not heard anything for two or three weeks after the application deadline you can contact the employer to find out how far they have got in the hiring process.
You can send a job application even if an employer has not advertised any vacant positions. This is called an open application. Sending an open application can be a good idea for several reasons.
An employer may need people but not have had time or wanted to advertise a job.
You are not one of many applicants.
If you do not get a job there and then, the employer may keep your application on file for later. Many employers keep open applications on file.
The employer might suggest you to other employers.
How to proceed:
Collect information about relevant employers from their websites, telephone directories and your network.
You can also call the employer and ask whether it would be okay to send an open application.
After sending the application you can call and ask whether you can come in and present yourself. Come to such meetings well prepared.
It is by no means certain that you will be offered a job there and then, but agree on how you will stay in touch in the future.
Some major employers allow people to register open applications on their website.