How to write an application letter and CV

You must tailor each application letter and CV to the specific needs and characteristics of each company/organisation - never send out standardised application letters!!! The application letter should be brief - one page of four or five brief paragraphs consisting of short, simple sentences.

Start the letter with the name and address and contact person of the company/organisation. The letter should follow the general guidelines for all business letters. It should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

  • The first paragraph - the introduction - should be brief and to the point, indicating that you are applying for a traineeship (including a trainee reference number if there is one).
  • In the main parts of the letter you present yourself - your education, work experience, skills - whatever makes a connection between you and the company/organisation and explain why you want to undertake your internship at their company/organisation. This will show you have done research into the company/organisation.
  • In the last paragraph of the letter you indicate how the prospective internship host can get in touch with you. It is important to end the letter strongly and on a positive note. Finally do not forget to state your name (and sign the letter if you send by regular mail).

When you send an application letter always enclose your CV. Like the application letter the CV should be tailored as much as possible to the particular company/organisation. Your CV should be easy to read and short - max. two pages so that it is easy to skim.

A good idea is to organise the CV in reverse chronological order with sections for personal details, education, work experience (including voluntary work), achievements and skills, and finally interests.

Your CV should not contain large blocks of text - it simply will not be read. Instead split the information into focused bullet points and highlight what is most important.

Overall try to use a consistent style and format, and remember to check spelling and grammar.


Find more inspiration at AAU Career