It takes time and effort which is why a lot of students don't bother. But if you take your time to research well, it may pave way for new opportunities.
Trust us: This may open doors for you!
How do I "answer" the workplace's need?
It may seem obvious, but remember that your cover letter and your CV are ‘answers’ to an often quite vague ‘question’; the job advert.
Your research should help you make ‘the question’ a little more concrete, making your answer as relevant as possible to the recipient.
If you can identify what the company is looking for – or to what questions they want answers – your chances of succeeding with your application increases.
It may seem somewhat complex and time consuming to focus so much on each company in which you want to apply, but it is precisely this very close understanding that will make you able to live up to the godfather of buzz-sentences within CV and cover letter: "Stand out from the crowd”.
It is the fact that you with your competencies can solve a task in your way – and that you are able to convey this fact to company – that makes you stand out.
Whether you need to find a contact for a project-oriented course, or want to find a company where you can apply for a job, research is the great way to begin.
Where can I learn more?
How do I research?
Research is an analytical discipline.
Your most important tool when you are researching is one of the things that you have trained and used during your time of study; your ability to analyse.
Basically, this skill enables you to find, understand and organise information so that you are able to respond to the company’s request. This also applies, when you are researching an unsolicited position – though some of the information is not readily available.
Even when the company itself has defined some of the tasks they want solved, it can be difficult for the applicant to know what is meant by the words in the ad.
How do I use my research in my cover letter and CV?
In the CV:
Once you've found answers to some of the above questions, you'll need to show that you can use that knowledge for something. Therefore, you need to find out what you can do to help the company with what challenges you’ve identified in your research. The hard thing about this exercise is that you have to talk about it on the company's terms. In the CV you need to include your most relevant experiences and express it in a way that makes it clear why you mentioned it. To do this, it can be a very good idea to incorporate a profile text that can help clarify how your different experiences create your collective profile.
In the cover letter:
In the cover letter, it is important that your point of departure is the company and not yourself. You are of course the second most important ingredient in the cover letter – second only to the company. A fairly simplistic rule of thumb that can help keep a focus on what the company does and needs is that you start your sentences with ‘you’ or the company name more than ‘I’. It can help make the cover letter less of a biography and more of an ‘answer’ to the company’s needs.
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.