Job Application

What should your application include? 

  • Cover letter: write an individual one for every company you apply to
  • Curriculum vitae: in tabular form with a professional photo
  • Certificates and references: include only those relevant to the vacant position

 

Cover letter

It is not advisable to submit a uniform application to various companies. Always adapt applications to the respective vacant position and the company. The cover letter should be one page in length, ideally answering the following questions:

  • How did you find out about the vacant position?
  • What are your strengths, what motivates you, and why are you the right person for this job?
  • Reference to added documents (curriculum vitae, school certificates, relevant references)

 

Curriculum vitae (CV)

The curriculum vitae (Lebenslauf) is the most important element of the application and, as a rule of thumb, should have a maximum length of two pages. It should be set out in tabular form and include the following aspects as concisely as possible:

  • Personal information: contact information, date of birth, add a professional passport photo
  • Education: chronological list of education institutions attended (name and place, specialisation, duration, topic of diploma thesis in case of academic graduation)
  • Work experience (names of the various companies, place, date & length, responsibilities)
  • Relevant skills: languages, computer skills, further training, etc.
  • Additional information: voluntary work, extensive stays abroad, driving license, etc.
  • CV should not contain more than 2 pages

Only add information which might be relevant to the company or the vacant position, and make sure to have an explanation for gaps in the CV.

>> find some useful tips for writing your CV


What should you do after applying?

  • Prepare for the job interview
  • Shine in the assessment centre
  • Observe the dresscode and business etiquette
     

Job interview

You have been invited to a job interview? Congratulations, you have reached the next level! Job interviews are the most common method in Austria to learn more about the expertise, personality and motivations of the applicant. On the whole, the points covered are more or less the same in every company:

  • Welcome
  • Small talk
  • Questions about education, qualifications, experience, strengths/weaknesses, where you see yourself in 5 to 10 years, why you are the perfect match to the vacant position, etc
  • Sometimes tasks have to be presented that had to be prepared for the interview
  • Further information about the vacant position
  • Possibility for the applicant to ask questions
  • Definition of the further procedure
  • Goodbye

After the first interview, one or two further interviews may follow until the company decides who to employ for the vacant position. There may even be an assessment centre where you have to compete directly with other candidates. Sometimes there is even a test day offered in the last round, where you can get in touch and become familiar with your potential new workplace and colleagues for the first time.


Assessment centre

An assessment centre is mostly used for the selection of candidates for management positions. Candidates are given various exercises to test their abilities, competence and solution-oriented thinking. The test may include the testing of general knowledge, memory, special expert knowledge or the ability to concentrate, which often consists of tasks that are part of the later job profile. An assessment centre usually takes from half a day to up to two days.


Dresscode and business etiquette

You know, there is no second chance for a good first impression. So, find out about the company’s dresscode and dress appropriately for the job. If in doubt, dress formally, but don’t use too much perfume, make-up, jewelry or other accessories. Less is more. When communicating, use a firm handshake and keep eye-contact – but make sure not to invade others’ personal space of one arm’s length. When talking, don’t talk about too personal things. It is better to stay formal and choose neutral topics. Also, use the formal you (Sie) until your counterpart suggests otherwise (du). This is what is perceived as polite behavior.