Trouble writing a good job application? Check out our 5 step guide on how to write a great job application, and land that dream job of yours!

5 steps to a good job application

You sit in front of the computer, open your typing tool and try to start writing your application - but get stuck right away. Sounds familiar?

It can be difficult to write a good application, especially when you are a student and likely a newcomer on the job market and without much relevant experience to draw on. To help you out we've put together a 5 step guide for you on how to write the perfect job application.

Before you read on, our first advice is to take time with your applications, really think them through and invest in them - rather send 10 really good ones than a 100 bad ones! Our 5 step guide will help you through the process starting from what kind of jobs you'd like to apply to to sending your application.

Step 1 - What would you like to do?

Stating the obvious, but when you are applying for a job, it is it is important to be aware of the work tasks / areas you would like to work with, and the tasks you certainly do not want to work with.

Once you have answered the following questions, you are ready for step 2.

  • What tasks would I like to have at my future job?
  • Which industries would I like to work in?
  • Do I want to be in a formal or an informal work environment?
  • Am I willing to commute or move to another city?
  • Would I like to work in a big or a small business?

Step 2 - Make a list

After answering the questions in step 1, make a list of the companies you would like to work for. Maybe you already have a few pieces in mind, or you may want to look for inspiration online. Remember that many companies accept open applications even if they do not currently have any job openings, so if you are really interested in a company/business, do not hesitate to contact them about opportunities. 

Make sure you make a good list that is not too long, so that you can have some good and specific applications written for all the companies on the list.

Of course, you have to be realistic, but you must also dream big - it is hard to be rejected, but the only way to land a job you really want is to apply. 

Step 3 - Preparation

Preparation sounds heavy but is worth the while every single time. Our thorough preparation consists of two parts.

Firstly, start with yourself - sit down, forget about your computer, and proceed by analogy. Take some paper, post-its, napkins or whatever you can just find and write down your most important buzz words or bullet points. You can then use your buzz words/bullet points when you proceed to writing the application.

Divide your buzz words into 3 categories: who you are, what you can offer the company, and what they can get from you as an employee or an intern.

The second part of the preparation consists of researching the companies. Find out if they have job postings lying around - if not, try finding old postings so you get an idea of ​​what profiles they are looking for and what the job you are applying for consists of.

Read about the companies, write down key words about their values, job descriptions, what they offer / sell and what language they use. If possible, come up with a couple of questions about them, their history and their operations to boost your own thinking and writing.

Step 4 - The application

Once you have completed the 3 preceding steps, you have a solid tool set to write your application.

Divide your application into 4 sections:

Section 1: Why are you passionate about working in that particular business

It may be that the tasks are exactly what you would like to do, that you identify with their values ​​or something else. Section 1 is the most important section as this section can be crucial to whether the rest of the application is read - be careful, inspiring and concrete.

Section 2: Who are you

It's time to get back to your buzz words and use them. Write an inspirational text about who you are, both personally and professionally. Here you need to draw on your experiences and skills and explain how you can use them in the job. Remember, it is important to be relevant. If you have been an educator in a kindergarten and are looking for a job in a communication business, do not write that you are good with children - use your experience and turn it around and say instead that you are good at keeping calm in stressful situations or that you can have several balls in the air and still keep calm and collected, seeing the bigger picture. 

Section 3: What Gets the Business Out of It

This section is not about you and your needs - it is about what the company gets from hiring you for the job. This is where you need to be very specific about how your skills that you presented in section 2 benefit the company. In this section, you can also discuss how you would solve problems, tackle issues or generally manage the situations at work in relation to the tasks described in the job posting.

Section 4: Completion

Summarize in one or two sentences why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Finish off with a concrete suggestion, example, enthusiasm or prospect of employee growth, and hoping to become part of the team and look forward to hearing from them soon. 

Step 5 - Send the application

First of all, check your application for spelling mistakes and poorly worded phrases, and make sure that the common thread of your buzz words, the company's expectation and the key points in the job description runs through them. Have your family member, a friend or a tutor or career adviser at your school read your application. 

Your prospective employer may want you to send your application through an recruitment system or they may request it by email. Make sure you have all the documents you need ready when you start the sending process. Many online recruitment systems require you to both upload and write down your CV and cover letter, which may take a lot of time. Before clicking send, make sure you have attached all required attachments and double check your contact information. 

If you send an email, write a short text about what position you are applying for, who you are, why you are the perfect candidate for the job and that you hope the company will spend 5 minutes reading your application. Do not forget to attach your application and resume to the email. Think twice about writing your entire application to the email text box. The recruiter may want to print out all applications and it is an extra hassle for them to have to print out an email instead of ready PDFs or other finalized files. Before clicking send, make sure you are sending it to the correct person and that you are addressing them correctly by their title and name, and that you have attached all required attachments and have double checked your contact information. 


With these 5 steps you can tackle the tricky process of writing a good job application and sending it too. Good luck job hunting!