Most applicants talk more about their past and speak too late about their future job. I experience this time and again in corresponding career coaching sessions – including the Career Days in Düsseldorf and Bonn in September: the trade fair where applicants look for interesting jobs and network with employers in the region. My talks on presenting in job interviews create an “aha” moment for the audience.

I experience the same in the coaching zone: competent people who are well versed in their subject, but here, too, 90% of the cover letter is stuck in the past.

It sounds like a formulated version of the resume in the style of: “First I did this … then I worked here …, after that, I gained experience in … then I did this …, and now I want to develop in your company …, that’s why I fit in with you.”

Too much past, too much “I”, too little “we”. If I were the employer, I wouldn’t read anything about the additional value candidates bring to the company.

A much better approach would be to change the perspective as follows: the resume covers the past, the application connects the past, present, and future, and the interview is even more about the future by connecting expertise and experience with potential activities in the employer’s company.

What are your experiences with job applications and interviews? What does it take to make a convincing impression?

This post is also available in: German

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