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Job application – but different

Remember them? The classic application portfolios, including a cover letter, cover sheet, detailed CV and other enclosures, such as work references and diplomas or certificates. No? Then you’re probably a member of the youngest generation, Generation Z. For everyone else: yes, I too was taught at school which documents belong in a complete application portfolio and that it is best to print out a cover letter and sign it by hand. The fact is that a lot has changed in recent years and decades. Here are a few examples.
Jelena Pejic
Jelena Pejic, Talent Acquisition Manager
24 March 2021

Cover letter, yes or no?

Some companies have already ditched the cover letter requirement while others remain intransigent. There are of course many arguments for and against. Modern application paths clearly support a move away from classic application letters and allow the professional experience and skills in the CV/profile speak for themselves. One argument in favour of a cover letter is that it can tip the scales in an initial applicant shortlisting. However, if we are honest, most people make little effort and do not spend enough time on drafting these lines. If you opt to submit a cover letter, it should ideally be tailored to the respective position and the company. However, if you are a company looking for highly qualified specialists, you are more likely to attract the talent you are looking for if there are no additional hurdles in the application process. Especially if there is not a sufficiently wide talent pool on the market to recruit from. Any additional application steps and requirements are barriers and thus ‘deterrents’ for potentially interested talent. A modern and attractive employer such as Swisscom does not require a cover letter.

Online profile

Many applicants advertise themselves through their online presence, whether on LinkedIn or Xing or with a personal, specially designed website. The creativity and individuality of your own website can help you impress a potential employer. It could include an online CV or a homepage on which you write about yourself and provide samples of previous work. This gives your future employer an idea of what to expect should they take you on. It may also attract headhunters as well as Active Sourcers, who will be directed to the sites through online searches. Whatever type of profile an applicant chooses, you should make sure that the website and profile is up to date at all times. Better no profile or website, than an outdated or poorly maintained one. As a minimum, it should also provide information about previous positions, education, training and special skills. Did you know? If you apply to us, not only do we not require a cover letter, you can also apply directly without a CV. Simply provide a link to a social media or other profile with your application for our consideration.

Applications are a thing of the past

Imagine if you could apply for a role without actually submitting an application. Why not? We are referring here to applications that do not follow the ‘textbook’ application process, but where the two parties (usually the employer and the applicant) instead get to know each other during a conversation and mutually decide whether the applicant is a good fit for a particular vacancy or role. The primary focus in such a scenario is getting to know one another, asking questions, gaining a first impression and only then considering whether an official application makes sense. How many times have you wanted to know more about a position without needing to apply first? If you have ever gone through a period of applying for different roles at the same time and reading countless job advertisements, you will know how ambiguous some job descriptions can be. This is precisely why we introduced Coffee Talks, which we offer for certain jobs at Swisscom, giving you the opportunity to apply, but without having to submit an official application.

Cultural Fit

«Hire for attitude, train for skills!»

Herb Kelleher

Are you familiar with this quote? Many hiring managers believe that you should hire people who have the right attitude, motivation and personality regardless of their professional skills. But what does ‘right’ mean? We mean a person who, in addition to a good aptitude for learning and rapid comprehension, brings, above all, flexibility, a willingness to embrace change and adaptivity. It is also important that your values are in line with those of your employer. Personality plays an important role in this; how well developed are your social skills and to what extent can you pursue both your own vision and that of your employer?

 

Have you ever wondered what type of employee you are? A growing number of companies are using Cultural Fit Evaluators to support them in this. These are tools that help a company determine whether a potential employee’s values and ambitions align with their own. This can only be a good thing considering the growing number of employees who quit their jobs because they do not, or no longer, identify with the corporate culture. This issue is incredibly important to Swisscom; we expect our employees to reflect our values (trust, commitment, curiosity) and impress these on our customers.

An article by:

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Jelena Pejic

Talent Acquisition Manager

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