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YOUnique4Europe - Mapping and presenting your unique personal and social competences for better employability in a digital world
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Exercise 2.3 - Create your Cover Letter

In contrast to the CV (Curriculum Vitae), which only contains facts, the cover letter is about an individual and convincing portrait of your own skills and qualifications. In the cover letter, you explain to the addressee what your motivation for the advertised position is:
Why you applied, why you are the right candidate for the position and why the company should hire you.

Before you start this exercise

  • Read the info sheet “CV and cover letter” (see Annex 3).
  • Have your results of the YOUnique mapping process at hand. If not done yet, you might want to mapp your soft skills first here.
  • Check out these cover letter examples on Zety and Indeed.
  • If you have, get your own old application documents from previous application processes.
  • Online job portals: XING, LinkedIN, Stepstone, Indeed, monster.de, jobpilot.de, jobscout24

How to complete this exercise


Step 1 - Compare different cover letters and write down important ideas / examples regarding soft skills.

Use the links provided for this task (cover letter examples), where you can also differentiate between job positions. Note the following questions when comparing:

  • Which soft skills are presented?
  • How are the soft skills presented? (naming examples, numbers, situations etc.)


Write down particularly successful formulations and examples for your own application.

Step 2 - Compare several cover letters in terms of structure and layout.

Now take a closer look at the structure and layout of the cover letters. Which elements (colors, shapes etc.) are used? How do they contribute to clarity and an appealing overall impression? What appeals to you in particular and suits you and the job position?

Of course, the layout should also match the CV. When comparing different cover letters, take notes of the elements that ensure an appealing design and clarity and that suit you.
Note: You can of course also compare the cover letters on the basis of other aspects such as the description of the motivation.

Step 3 - Find a job advertisement that interests you.

Search on various job portals, company websites, social networks or with the help of career apps. Find at least one job advertisement that interests you and for which you would write an application.

Congratulations - You made it!

Only one step to go: Gather all the important information that a cover letter should contain (see checklist cover letter, Annex 3). Write your own cover letter for the job advertisement from step 3 and refer to the results from step 1.

Finally, design the layout that suits you, the job position and the CV (see results from step 2).

 

Educators' area

Background information and teaching material for guiding your students through the exercise or offering it in your classroom

  • Info sheet “CV and cover letter” (see Annex 3)
  • Info sheet “types of application” (see Annex 4)
  • Info sheet “mandatory and optional components of an application” (see Annex 5)
     

The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

  

 

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