The application file

The application file is one of the key documents when looking for a job, whether permanent or temporary. It can be concise or very detailed, however certain documents such as the curriculum vitae and cover letter are essential if you want to be invited for a first interview. A brief summary of the basics of the application file to hit the mark with recruiters.

There are two types of candidate files: the simple candidate file and the traditional candidate file.

  1. The standard application file, composed of at least:
    • A curriculum vitae
    • A cover letter
  2. The traditional application file is composed of:
    • A curriculum vitae
    • A cover letter
    • Your work certificates
    • Your diplomas and training certificates
    • Any other documents that benefit your file (job description, recommendations, language certificate, portfolio, etc.)

These documents highlight your professional career and enable the recruiter to get to know you better. Your recruiter needs to get an idea of the skills and experience that you could bring to the position, as well as to the company as a whole.

Creating your file

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How to present your application?

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Paper format

Application files are usually requested in digital format, however certain employers still prefer you to send a paper version. In this case, it is important to compile a bound, numbered and clear file, so that the recruiter can easily look through it. If the document is very large, it could be a good idea to attach a detailed table of contents to improve readability.

If you are presenting a written document, make sure that it is of high quality. Remember to store it in a protective case, and make sure that the whole document is consistent. The order your documents are presented in must be well thought through and efficient, because it reflects your personality and your organisational skills.

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Digital format

If your file is sent digitally, there are several things you need to pay attention to:

  1. Always make sure you send your documents as follows: Your CV + a single PDF file which contains all your additional files. Having a dozen attachments to download is never convenient for the person who receives them, and therefore risks some of them being overlooked.
  2. When you apply on job search sites, there is sometimes an upload size limit, which may prevent you from attaching all the files you would like. In this case, you can use a file compression tool to consolidate and then reduce the size of your document.
  3. If you wish to add an additional document to your file, which is not requested by the advertisement, make sure you think about whether it is relevant to the post. Too many superfluous documents could hamper your application; only send what you really think is pertinent.

Application file photo

Another important point to note when sending your application file is the addition of a photo. Some advertisements require a photo, while others specifically indicate not to attach one. You must strictly follow these instructions. Make sure that the photo is appropriate to the situation: avoid selfies, vacation photos, compromising postures or poor-quality images.

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Application file language

Your application file must be written in the same language as the job offer. To get started, find out how to communicate in the language you use. For example, the British attach great importance to the dynamism and personality of a text, sometimes even more than to the candidate's professional background. In this case, prioritise simple, punchy and energetic sentences that will give a good overview of your attitude at work.

Think about the register of your language as well as the presentation of your cover letter, which may differ according to the language or country context. Finally, don't hesitate to use a variety of translation and correction tools in order to be as precise as possible.A letter containing errors has a high risk of being disregarded directly.

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Is your file complete?

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