How to write a good application when applying for a job in Denmark

A good application consists of a personal letter and a CV. A good CV gives the reader a quick overview of your experience and skills. In the letter you describe why you are applying for the job and highlight some of the skills you have described in detail in your CV.
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Read and understand the Danish job advertisement

Start by understanding what the employer is looking for for the available position and decide whether you have a matching profile. The qualifications mentioned in the advertisement are often a wish list, and you do not need to match them all to apply for the job. Aim to emphasise the qualities you think will meet their requirements.

 

What language should I use?

The job advertisement will give you an idea of the main language used in the company/organisation. If you do not master Danish, write the application in English. 

 

Tips for writing a good CV

Structure your CV logically

  • Divide your skills into categories to create an overview. In that way, you enable the reader to quickly identify the areas which he/she thinks are the most important. Include categories such as: education, work experience, volunteer work, courses, language skills and IT skills. 
  • List your experience in chronological order under each category. Begin with your most recent experience, then the second most recent experience, and so on. You should always start with the most recent experience.
  • Mention how long you studied/worked at the mentioned institution or workplace. It is best to write the year you started and the year you finished.
  • How to write dates in Denmark: If you want to write 20 May 2018, you can also write it exclusively in numbers: 200518.
  • Something about your leisure interests. In Denmark it is common to write a bit about your private life/leisure interests at the end. Decide for yourself whether you feel comfortable mentioning some of your interests.

Be brief and concise

What is most important in a CV is to be brief and concise; max two A4 pages. The easiest way to do that is to start by describing the main areas that gave you your experience. What were your most important tasks? Did you have any special areas of responsibility? Did you take part in any special activities while studying?

After each work experience we suggest you mention what you got out of it and what skills it gave you. In that way, you link your experience with your skills, and you are able to explain in a practical way that you are proficient in the skills you mention.

 

Tips for writing a good personal letter

Structure it well

Structure your application so it contains a good introduction, a middle section and a conclusion. Think about what the various parts should contain so they follow the structure.

  1. A good introduction should mention why you are applying for this particular job.
  2. A good middle section can, for example, describe how your skills match what the employer is looking for.
  3. A good conclusion should be forward-looking. What can you contribute to this particular job? How does the potential employment match your personal goals and visions for the future?

Capture the reader’s interest

Write a brief and concise job application. Your personal letter should not exceed ½-1 A4 page with 1.5 line spacing. Sometimes employers receive hundreds of applications, so you gain from highlighting the most important points. In that way, it becomes easy for the reader to skim the text and grasp the most important information. One common mistake is to highlight too many skills. This makes the text long, and it becomes difficult for the reader to get an overview. Your application should pique the employer’s interest and make him/her interested in meeting you.

Avoid the following in an application:

  • Never mention what you cannot do; instead highlight what you can do.
  • Avoid using too many descriptive words such as ‘ambitious’, ‘flexible’ and ‘enterprising’. Use the space to describe what you can do.
  • Don't use exactly the same words as the job advertisement. Try to find other ways to describe the same points.

More tips and help with job applications in Denmark

It is quite common for job portals to have people who can give you feedback on your letter and CV. Certain job portals may require that you upload your CV to their website. The link below takes you to the Danish company Jobindex, which offers personal advice to people applying for jobs:

Free job advice via Jobindex (in Danish)

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We can help you

You are always welcome to visit our Information Center in Malmö to get help with your questions regarding working, moving or studying in Denmark.

Monday - Friday 10.00 - 15.00

 

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