Showing personality in the application is, according to Hesse / Schrader, one of the three “essentials” in the application, along with motivation and competence.
The anonymous application has no future and is out of date.
What counts are applications with a personality profile and not just with the right competence. The personality of applicants is not only shown by a professional application photo, but also, for example, by information such as hobbies, honorary positions and trips abroad.
Ideally, a reference to the company can be established. Then it makes sense to mention this briefly in the cover letter and to go into it in more detail in the résumé and / or the third page. Otherwise, the information in your CV is in good hands.
Here are the 7 practical tips on how the personality can be optimally shown in the application documents:
1. State hobbies and leisure activities in the application?
We questioned HR decision makers and the survey came to the following results:
- For the vast majority of personnel decision-makers, hobbies and leisure activities give the application a pleasant note and round off the applicant profile.
- Only 18 percent of HR managers consider the information to be unnecessary.
However, specifying hobbies is not mandatory. This information is not usual for international applications , e.g. in the USA.
2. Specify honorary positions in the application
Honorary positions and leisure activities related to the job should definitely be specified, e.g. the involvement in the sports club when applying for a sporting goods manufacturer or similar.
Not only relevant for graduates …
For applicants who have just graduated from university, it is particularly useful and effective to individualize the application through voluntary commitment and to show personality.
Not only for applicants with little or no relevant work experience, references and letters of recommendation are a very good way of building trust and increasing the credibility of your own application.
Beware of unsubstantiated self-praise
Beware of blank self-attributions in the application. Attributions of personality must always be substantiated, e.g. through references:
3. The application photo
The application photo gives your application a face, generates sympathy and shows how applicants want to present their employer externally in the future.
That is why the application photo plays an important role in the pre-selection. In addition to the liking, the professional quality of the photo is particularly important. This means that applicants are more likely to be rejected because of a bad photo than invited because of a good photo.
What applies to the application photo also applies to all other application documents:
The other application documents
Application documents, which are created with care for detail and high-quality materials, appear professional and thus reflect your professional attitude to work.
4. Formulate content for the target persons
Care in the creation of the content, e.g. individual cover letter without text modules from samples, adaptation of the CV to the requirements of the position. With this you prepare the application documents for the personnel decision maker so that he can quickly get a good overview of your qualifications and experience.
5. Layout and design – “The eye eats too”
The most important criteria for the layout of the application documents are a uniform design of all self-created documents and an appealing and clear layout. Details are described on the Layout page.
6. Material selection
If the application is sent by post, and there are many reasons for it, then high-quality materials should be used:
- A good application folder that feels strong and has an insensitive surface
- A slightly stronger paper, e.g. with a grammage of 100g
- An envelope with a reinforced cardboard back so that the application folder arrives as undamaged
- Signature with a fountain pen or a rollerball that writes something like a fountain pen
- A matching stamp
- The application photo was already mentioned above
With all these points, a value is conveyed that speaks for your personality.
7. The personality profile
The so-called “third page” is a freely configurable additional page in the application on which applicants can present themselves in a personal form. For many personnel decision-makers and applicants, the third page is now standard in their applications.