What applicants can learn from job advertisement?

What happens often …

Many applicants tell of application processes where they hear nothing or are put off for weeks before or after the interview, if they even receive a confirmation of receipt. Then the question arises whether they should inquire by phone or whether this is perceived as intrusive and perhaps rated negatively. This causes unnecessary stress for applicants and the company does not leave a good impression.

In contrast, the clearly described application process above is very positive.

The job advertisement analysis

A detailed job description, which is not discussed in detail in this article, is followed by the list of requirements for applicants in the job advertisement:

The division into must and optional requirements

The usual formulations of KO criteria and optional requirements are not used in the job advertisement (lists with example formulations here).

This is why the list leaves room for interpretation:

The degree in the subjects mentioned is mentioned first, but in my opinion, the desired professional experience is much more important. Therefore:

Must requirements

  • At least 2 years of practical work experience in the desired areas
  • Work experience in developing countries
  • Fluent business English
  • Willingness to travel for 1-2 weeks a year

The following requirements are already given due to the necessary professional experience:

  • Commitment to environmental and / or development policy
  • Experience in sales and / or consulting


It makes sense to explicitly mention these requirements / experiences in the cover letter and / or letter of motivation, or to emphasize them in the résumé.

Optional requirements

  • Degree in the desired degree programs
  • Additional foreign language

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Is it worth applying?

Now is the time to decide whether an application makes sense. As a rule of thumb, 60-70 percent of the must-have requirements should be met.

Are there any hidden messages in this job advertisement?

No. Just an explanation of the “business English fluent skills”: This means a level at which, for example, complex contract texts can be read and formulated yourself.

More details on the page hidden messages in job advertisements?

Call before you apply?

Since the application process is described in great detail in this example and no specific contact person with contact details is not mentioned in the job advertisement, there is no need to call in this case.

Exception: There are real, concrete questions. Then maybe it would be better to write an email to the HR manager than to call …

Get information about the company

1. The company’s website

What does the company do?

For example, it is the site Atmosfair. Atmosfair is a non-profit company that saves CO2 in climate protection projects through voluntary contributions from users. It works like this: An air traveler, for example, uses an online calculator to calculate the amount of greenhouse gases produced by his trip and pays an amount X. This amount is invested in solar, hydropower or other energy-saving projects in developing countries the same amount of CO2 is saved that was generated by the flight.

Can I identify with the company’s goals?

Not only must the job suit me, the employer’s tasks and goals must also suit me.

In our example, the company is pursuing goals that are generally rated as very useful. So definitely a company whose goals you can identify with and a job with meaning.

2. Portals for evaluating companies as employers

How does Atmosfair fare as an employer?

Unfortunately there are no experience reports and reviews about the application process for Atmosfair .

As an employer, Atmosfair scores mediocre. With 5 ratings, 4 are good to very good, only a negative rating leads to a mediocre overall result. The main criticism is the accusation of exploiting interns in favor of charitable goals.


Go there, if you are invited, and get an impression of the atmosphere and the people or do research on other platforms.

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Which information from the job advertisement should I definitely include in my application?

Summary for the cover letter

In the cover letter:

  • My work experience
  • My motivation
  • My availability by phone between the 2nd and 6th of March.
  • My availability on March 12th and 13th If I can’t on one of the days, let me know in the cover letter.

In the résumé

The curriculum vitae should be checked and, if necessary, revised so that the desired experience and qualifications are highlighted, e.g. the experience in consulting and / or sales.

Letter of motivation?

Depending on the structure of the application and the length of the cover letter, it can make sense to supplement the application with a one-page letter of motivation. In our example, the focus would be placed on the area of ​​environmental and / or development policy and your own motivation to continue to get involved in this area would be shown.

Submitting the application

The following information can be found in the last paragraph of the job advertisement and provides important information on which application form is preferred and how the usual stumbling blocks can be avoided when applying by email.

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