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Decode the job ad

The key to a good, targeted CV and cover letter is the job advertisement. So start by decoding it. This can help you understand the company and their needs. But how do you do that?

See our guide to decode the job ad

Decode the job ad

The key to a good, targeted CV and cover letter is the job advertisement. So start by decoding it. This can help you understand the company and their needs. But how do you do that?

See our guide to decode the job ad

Tool for understanding the job advertisement

Read the job posting carefully. Familiarize yourself with the company and try to understand their needs.

You can start by trying to color-code the post based on the 4 categories:

1. What?

Look for tasks and methods, professional competencies as well as experience and education.

2. How?

What personal competencies, personal values and motivation do they demand?

3. Who?

Which target group will you work with?

4. Where?

Here you look at company culture, colleagues and values.

Once you've done that, you'll probably have a much better sense of what they're looking for - and thus the elements it's important to include in your cover letter.

Example on a decoded job ad
Example of a decoded job ad

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The online course helps you decode the job ad

In the e-learning course, you can e.g. learn how to decode the job ad and how to understand the companies.

Read about the online course about job and career

In the dialogue with the company, you can really get a sense of what the job entails. Here you may gain knowledge and insight that the other applicants do not have, which makes it easier for you to write a targeted cover letter and CV.

Find important topics in the post

Which professional areas, tasks, personal competencies, values, etc. are prominent in the advertisement? There are usually some elements that recur. These are the ones you need to use as your starting point.

You can use the important topics as guidelines when you write your targeted CV and cover letter. You need to match your professional competencies with what they are looking for and it is your job to show them with your CV and cover letter that you know this. You do this by highlighting your relevant experiences and competencies and giving examples.

Ask questions and find answers

Use your personal and professional curiosity to ask relevant questions based on the job ad. When you dive into the ad this way, you will probably be in doubt about some of the things they write. What exactly do they mean? And there are probably some things you will be curious to know more about.

First, try to find the answers yourself. You can, for example, google your way to some answers, or read more in-depth information on the company's website, social media or in the press.
When you can not move on, it's time to ask others. Maybe you know someone who works in the industry or in a similar job? The contact person on the ad is the very best to answer your questions.

Get a guidance session with AAU Career

Throughout your time as a student at AAU, you can get free career guidance on everything to do with your career. You may be in doubt about what you can do with your education, how you can put your competencies into words, or perhaps you need professional eyes on your CV.

Contact the career counsellors and have a chat about exactly what you need.