Your cover letter is one of your first impressions on recruiters and hiring managers. However, what a good and professional cover letter should look like tends to vary from country to country. Today on the India2Germany podcast, Advait Valluri, tells us his tips and best practices on what a good cover letter should look like for job applications in Germany. Advait is a Product Manager in Module Management Chassis, Powertrain and Autonomous Driving at Audi in Germany. For many years, he has been reviewing job applications and cover letters, and advising applicants on how to structure their cover letter to maximize their chances of landing their dream job.
Cover letter templates
Advait has prepared a cover letter template which you can download and use for your job applications in return for a small contribution (2 EUR) to support our blog and podcast.
Advait's cover letter template in Microsoft Word docx format:
Advait's cover letter template in LaTeX format:
CV and Cover Letter session with Advait
If you would like a thorough review of your CV and cover letter and help with preparing these documents, we recommend you to book a session with Advait at the link below:
Also listen to our previous conversation with Advait on tips for CV preparation.
Some of the topics discussed in this podcast:
- Why is a cover letter important?
- Should it be attached with every application?
Cover letter content
- Address of the recipient must be full incl. name, company, full address, pin code and city. In case of international applicants also country
- Subject must include position name and reference code in bold
- Include return address and contact details
- Add date above the subject
- Restrict length to one page
What is the importance of the cover letter in comparison to the CV?
- DO NOT add things which are already mentioned in CV or the application form
- How to go about adding content?
- First read the job posting carefully and understand what is expected of a candidate
- Then address the top points in the requirements in your letter with concrete examples. Let’s say the requirements say “good team management skills needed”; writing I am a good team player does not prove anything. It’s an empty claim. Try to quote an example from the past or your work life where you managed a team, what role you played exactly and how it contributed to the success. You need to do this for the top 2 or 3 requirements. What these are is left to the candidate to decipher from the posting.
- Address the recruiter personally in the opening if known. If unknown, use a generic addressing like Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren
- In general you have to answer the following questions in your letter
- Why are you interested in the company you are applying to and what is your motivation? Justify why you want to take the job
- What skills do you bring to the table which will help you in the position (orient yourself as per requirements and compare those to your skills)
- Do not make empty claims. ALways use examples to prove a certain claim.
- Include any relevant experience from the past which can be interesting for the particular posting
- Add the availability and notice period of previous job (if applicable)
- Cover letter cannot be “generic”. It needs to be adapted to every position you apply to
- Add a signature with your name at the end. If place permits, you can also add place and date. You can use a scanned signature picture. You do not have to print, sign, scan and upload.
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