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Application documents

“What is in my application?” - This question is probably in the top 3 of the most common application problems. “Actually, it shouldn't be that difficult,” many might think. But not every application is the same: There are many differences, from applying for a permanent position to applying for an internship to applying for a degree. Get the best tips! In this text you will find out which application documents belong in your application, which exceptions there are and you can check whether your application portfolio is ready for the new employer to review.

Standard application documents simply explained!

Before we deal with various application situations and the associated application documents, let's start with the Basic concepts to clarify. You should know the following documents if you want to put together your application portfolio:

Are you worried about preparing your application documents? No problem! With our emergency aid package, you benefit from concentrated expert knowledge: From the cover letter to the résumé to the online profile in a career network, we support you in creating it.

Write to

The cover letter (also: cover letter) forms the first page of your application and must never be missing. It is addressed to the person who decides on your recruitment and contains a text in which you explain why you decided to apply to the company of your choice, to what extent you meet the requirements and have the right qualifications.

cover sheet

The second part of your application is usually the cover sheet. However, this is more of a optional side dish and not a must. It is primarily used as a placeholder for application photo, names and contact details. By and large, it should emphasize an applicant's first visual impression.

curriculum vitae

On page three is usually the curriculum vitae. This must not be missing in any application and is the most important document after the cover letter. Here the HR manager will find a list of your previous career, which represents your academic and professional stations antichronologically up to the present day. You can also state further qualifications, core competencies, special achievements and social commitments in your career.

The "third side"

The so-called "third page" is a popular term that many documents can be assigned to. Basically, these are the documents that are behind the curriculum vitae, but not yet attached to the application (references and certificates). Below we go to the five most common third pages one that you should know.

1. Letter of motivation

When preparing the cover letter, one A4 page is the upper limit. After describing your qualifications as well as hard and soft skills and the usual information on availability and salary expectations, there is not always enough space to express your motivation appropriately.

If you run out of space, you can refer to the letter of motivation. As an optional third page, it can be used to describe your motivation more precisely and is used, for example, by job-experienced applicants and managers, but also by students and graduates.

2. Short profile

In contrast to the other third pages, the short profile usually comes before the résumé. All skills and qualifications of the applicant are clearly listed here. Two to three introductory sentences that provide information about the applicant's objectives and future career plans are optional.

3. Project list

The project list is behind the curriculum vitae and is similar in structure. But instead of the professional stations, here you state the projects in which you were involved within your work. You can go into the duration of the project as well as your role and tasks, list the tools and techniques used and describe the result of the project. Popular examples are construction projects carried out by architects, events carried out by managers or technical projects by IT experts.

4. Work samples

The desire for work samples is usually expressed openly by employers in job offers. But the voluntary supplement can also give an applicant plus points. Especially in industries in which creativity plays an important role, text or design samples in particular should show the applicant's talent.

5. Publications / further training

Publications are particularly recognized in science. Anyone who has already made a name for themselves through articles and articles in specialist journals should not fail to mention this. These are given as well as project work (in this case including author / co-author, date, medium, page number, etc.).

Further training can also be shown on a third page. If you can fill a whole page with completed advanced training, you should not drag out the résumé, but add a separate list as a third page.


The attachment seems to be its own little microcosm in the universe of the application documents. Because there are just as many perplexed applicants and need for clarification as there are with the application documents themselves.

Online application - documents on the net

Nowadays, online applications are not only sent by e-mail, but are also sometimes made available on the Internet for potential employers to review. The following options offer you the chance to present your application documents on the Internet.

Application homepage

An application homepage is yours own websitethat you can design yourself or that can be created for you by a service provider. On this you can present yourself and of course make your application documents accessible.

The clear advantage: Your application is accessible to every Internet user through an application homepage - even those who do not yet know that they want to hire you.

Social media profile

Social media doesn't just mean Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Business and career networks are up and coming and Recommended for every applicantwho does not want to lose touch in the age of the Internet.

The most famous network in German-speaking countries is called XING and offers applicants the opportunity to create a profile. This records what job the applicant is looking for, what skills and qualifications he has and what other details are important to him.

In addition, applicants can make contact with employers or other applicants or industry colleagues, exchange information via e-mail and be found by HR managers. The Counterpart for the English-speaking area LinkedIn is now enjoying growing popularity in this country too, but offers fewer additional functions compared to XING.

Job search engines

Job search engines are not only suitable for looking for the right job offer. If you don't want to rely exclusively on your social media profile, you can also leave your application documents for viewing on many job search engines. Well-known job search engines, such as monster.de and stepstone.de, offer the function of being able to upload your documents as files to be there available to HR managers and employers to be.

Application documents uploaded or sent online must be submitted by the company deleted immediately after the application process has been completed and the data contained in the documents are no longer relevant. You can find more information on data protection in your application at bussgeldkatalog.org.

Special cases - optional or mandatory?

There are always special cases and some documents are not always used. We'll tell you the right time!

The beginner

The young professional should be a cover sheet because it makes the application folder more voluminous and highlights the applicant (also recommended for the average application!). A Motivation letter can also be beneficial if it can be filled with relevant content. A project list or a short profile are not likely to be used in this application situation.

The (professionally) experienced applicant

Applicants with extensive work experience can if necessary, do without a cover sheetif this makes the application leaner. For example, if the curriculum vitae exceeds several A4 pages and the application folder also contains several work samples or lists of further training courses, etc. However, the latter (optional third pages) are particularly desirable with increasing professional experience and should, if possible, be included in the application.

The (long-term) job seeker / the lateral entrant

Both types of applicants benefit from additional documents because they are in a special situation. The job seeker has to prove through his application documents that he has nothing to do with his Skills and motivation has lost, while the lateral entrant has to prove that he is for his Ready and qualified to change jobs is.

The student / graduate

Sometimes an application also has to be made for a course of study. Private universities often require a complete application portfolio. A A cover sheet is recommended and also a letter of motivation for studying if there are few vacancies or if the university has very high demands on its students.

Also need to Officially applying for a semester abroad (also at state universities). In this case, the third page is an (Erasmus) letter of motivation for a semester abroad. A letter of motivation for a master’s degree is also often required. For graduates who apply for an entry-level position in a company, the same applies as for young professionals. When looking for a suitable position, it can be helpful to become a “trade fair scout”.

The trade fair scout

All kinds of employers and interesting contacts can be found at career fairs and events. In order to be able to hand out applications spontaneously, applicants rely on short applications in this case. These only contain one Cover letter and a résumé (Application photo: optional) and can even be limited to one page as an application flyer (cover letter on the front; curriculum vitae on the back). In the cover letter, however, the recipient is always given the option of having the remaining documents and information forwarded.

The service provider / freelancer

Service providers and freelancers can also access a cover sheet to emphasize the first visual impression and thus make the freelancer application more personal. We recommend this because service providers and freelancers often apply directly to customers or companies and thus make their service more transparent.

In addition, we recommend one here Short profile, because the focus should be on the services offered so that customers are convinced of their own offer.

You can find more tips for optimizing your application documents and the optimal strategy on our “Apply correctly” page.

Application.net - tips about applications & résumé

Here we use our application knowledge on cover letters, résumés and interviews to prepare you for your application - regardless of whether you are just starting your professional life or have already gained experience.