Cover letter in German – several recommendations

Our previous entry regarded the issue of preparing a CV in German. However, it is not the only document you may be asked to deliver to a prospective German-speaking employer. A cover letter in German in an equally important element of each application, even though it’s aim is a bit different. A CV is to present your professional career, education and gained expertise. In turn, a cover letter has to convince a given employer that he or she is reading the application of a perfect candidate for the post.

For this reason, a cover letter in German should be designed to include the most convincing information; it should present (in a reliable manner) the potential of its author. Most of all, it has to make the recruiter curious. If it succeeds, the enclosed CV will do the rest – prove that a job interview with this particular person is a must.

Within the framework of our CV Man project we have prepared a few recommendations which should be taken into consideration while writing you application documents in German:

Cover letter in German – we recommend:

  • A similar colour pattern or a template close to the one used for your CV. It will create a favourable impression of unity and organisation.
  • Using formal language. You may now the recruiters or the company, but it does not revoke the duty of submitting a document written in a proper register.
  • Adjusting your document to each position you apply to. Even if your choice regards the same position in a few companies, they may focus on different skills you possess.
  • Dividing your cover letter into paragraphs. There should be at least three: why you write it, what your skills are and a few summarising sentences with a call for action.

Cover letter in German – we do not recommend:

  • The letter cannot exceed one page, you need to be concise and specific. Using a smaller font will not solve the problem – it will make your application less professional and more difficult to read.
  • Don’t rely only on spell check. It’s advisable to as a native speaker to read your cover letter as the Germans are particularly perceptive when it comes to errors in formal documents.
  • Do not quote from the job offer!

We hope that the above remarks will make it easier for you to prepare a successful application in German. Let us encourage you to acquaint yourselves with our other posts within the CV Man initiative: CV and cover letter in English. Should you have any questions on translating or proofreading your applications by native speakers, do not hesitate to contact us.

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