Is your future employer a princess? – then learn from Clumsy Hans

We know that well. We need to show what we can do when we apply for a job. It also needs to be made relevant and interesting. But why do I not get the job when I can do so much now? Sometimes we all become like the wise brothers in the fairy tale Clumsy Hans when we write a cover letter. Here you get some tips to become the one who gets both wife and throne – just like Clumsy Hans.

In a job posting, there can easily be described between 30-40 tasks and competencies. It can therefore be difficult to write a targeted application, but even with only one requirement, the job is not always easy to get. We see this in H.C. Andersen’s fairy tale about Clumsy Hans.

The job posting

“The princess had announced that she would marry the man she thought could best speak for himself.”

This is what the first section of the fairy tale says. It is also the job description for the job as future husband and king. The employer just wants you to be able to speak for yourself. How hard can it be?

That thought seems to have stroked the two eldest brothers in the fairy tale. Because as it says further, “they had prior knowledge and they were useful”. They are now preparing for the job interview for eight days.

Cover letter

As you probably know, the two brothers ride off on their black and white horses, respectively. But they are not alone for their youngest brother, Clumsy Hans, jumps up on his billy goat and go along with them to the royal palace.

Basically, the two brothers are probably best suited, as they really are capable of many things. And they can talk about the things they themselves can. It is just the fewest princesses or employers who only want to hear about what you can. Your skills need to be translated into something that your next employer can use and see themselves and the organization need.

But let us see how the three brothers cope with that task.

The interview

While the two brothers have been rehearsing, Clumsy Hans first heard about the job just before the interview, and he must therefore use the journey to the castle to prepare. Here, he picks up a crow and other stuff from the road.

Inside the castle, they meet something that neither of the two eldest brothers had foreseen. They have knowledge and they had practiced repeating it aloud, however, they had not thought about how that knowledge could be useful to the princess. They fall short and get the standard answer: “No good! Take him away!”

What the brothers lack in translating knowledge into potential results, Clumsy Hans has in abundance. He has not learned the same things as the brothers, but he shows how the experience and skills he has in his pockets, in shape of the crow etc., can be useful to the princess. She even ends by saying, “Cleverly done! I could never have done that, but I will learn in time!”

Clumsy Hans gets his wife, crown, and throne because he can show how he is going to contribute.

How to get close to the job

Next time you are to apply for a job, see if you can tick these points:

Introduction: Motivate why you are applying for the job and the organisation. That a position is vacant is not enough to arouse their interest in you. Instead, show in the headline and first paragraph how you create value.

How you match the job: Do you list and have, for example, written: “I have strong skills in project management and motivate others through good communication.” Then instead, show how you use your strong abilities and motivate. Give examples of how you want to use your skills in the new job, such as here:

I am definitely action-oriented, self-employed and extremely structured, and I look forward to getting started with defining the data model, so that the configuration management database will contain the right configuration items (CIs), the necessary attributes for these and the relationships , which is needed to bind CIs together.

This must of course be done in collaboration with change management, other internal stakeholders and the supplier’s configuration managers, as in this process it is extremely important to listen to and involve all parties involved, so that we do not overlook relevant information. ”

The applicant does have a list in the beginning, which could have been differently, but afterwards it is demonstrated how these skills will be used for the task at hand in the vacant position.

Closing. They should want to hear more about your ideas, what you can contribute with or how you handle specific tasks. Therefore, at the end of the cover letter, do not write that you are hoping for an interview. Mention what you bring to the interview, e.g. three or ten new ideas to involve customers, how to lead the company safely through a given project or ensure stable operation. Keep bidding on how to make a difference.

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