The cover letter
Never write in a cover letter what is already in your vita. Do not write a novel! And allways remember the number 90. These are the seconds that your application has time to generate attention.
90 seconds to decide whether you will end up on the stack of rejections or whether you will get an invitation. Perhaps these are the most important 90 seconds in your career and you are not there to influence the process positively.
A cover letter has three parts on one page
You have already written in the reference line what you want and what the reader expects. Do not repeat this. This is one of the most common mistakes. At the beginning of the first paragraph, come straight to the point.
“I will finish my PHD in July 2014 at MIT. I am looking for a trainee program at a medical technology company in August.”
You have already read the job description very carefully. In the second part you will now describe the connection between your experience and the experience that the company is looking for. Here is an opportunity to describe projects which you have listed only briefly in your vita.
You want the reader to nod during this paragraph. The HR Manager needs to have the feeling the applicant has everything which is required. That paragraph is an opportunity to generate interest.
Paragraph 3 belongs to the figures, data and facts. Make it easy for your readers; tell them how and when you can be reached. Convert the time difference. Like
“From 6 pm German time you can reach me by phone or by Skype.”Say goodbye.
List below of “professional experience” part
- Where did you work? The name of the Institute, the University
- The name of the position / function
- Name three max 5 tasks for which you were responsible, describe what you did in short phrases
Use active words such as designing, implementing, and evaluating.
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