CV, cover letter, resume, ansøgning?

Hello again!

I know it’s been a while, but I don’t think any of you expected any different when you heard I was moving, haha!  The past three weeks have been an incredible challenge, with rewards here and there, and some extra challenges-on-top-of-challenges along the way.  The good news is that we’re mostly pretty much moved in and settled!  While there are still several boxes unpacked, and lots of things that don’t really have a home yet, we’re getting there, and the worst is over.  I was going to wait until everything was done to do a small house tour and photos, but I realized that if I do that, no one will see the new place until next June, so I’ll be back soon with all of that!

But for today, you get to hear about my job search.

As I said, I was going to start my job search after we moved.  In my head, I was thinking of November sometime, but as a friend of mine heard of a an opening at her workplace, I got a kick in the butt, and got started on my first application just a few days after the move.

Here’s where it gets embarrassing.

See, I’ve never really applied for a “real” job before.  I did volunteer work, and worked as a catering server, a janitor, and a nanny.  These jobs mostly required a patched-together resume, and an application with personal and contact details.  As I was writing my CV for this job, Andreas kept asking me if I’d written my “ansøgning” (literally translated to “application”) to which I’d reply, “well, sure…” figuring that I’d fill in an application when I uploaded my CV.

Little did I know, an ansøgning is a cover letter, not an application.  Luckily, we caught our miscommunication early enough, but after struggling with my CV, I was quite dismayed over the fact that I’d now have to write a cover letter–something that seemed ten times harder!

It wasn’t exactly ten times harder (probably closer to three), but I finished in time, sent out my application, and was very pleased about the fact that I’d done it!  I’d applied for a job in Denmark!

I’ve written another one since, but today I decided to apply for my first Danish job.  In Danish.  I managed a translation of my CV, which wasn’t so bad, but now I’m supposed to be writing my cover letter, and…well…I’m writing this instead.

The biggest problem is not even the language–it’s that the format seems so foreign to me.  And then, well, there’s also the language.  I haven’t even gotten a single word down yet, and I’m already exhausted just thinking about the fact that I’m going to have to write a whole new one of these for each job I apply for.

It’s not even that I’m feeling discouraged, exactly, because I think I’m actually quite optimistic about my chances and all, but I do feel like a very small person looking up at a very large mountain, letting out a medium-sized sigh before I find my first toehold.

This is hard, guys.

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3 thoughts on “CV, cover letter, resume, ansøgning?

  1. I have been where you are, I moved to Ireland almost ten years ago, and stayed for 7 years before moving back home. My English is fluent now, but at the time it was still at that untried, “just graduated”-level. I remember my first application and how foreign the whole work culture felt.

    Of course, now I can’t get my head around the work culture back home.

    I am sure you will get there in the end though. Looking for work is a full time occupation, but I am sure you will do well. Just remember these rules:
    ALWAYS adapt your CV and cover letter to suite the job you are applying for. Use the job description as a guide, highlight the words that best describe what they are looking for, and use these words and equivalent in your cover letter/description of your work experience.

    Always treat any interview as a two-way street. They are not just interviewing you, you are interviewing THEM to see if this is a place you want to work, if these are people you think you will enjoy working with. This is why you should ALWAYS have prepared some questions for the end of the interview when they ask if there is anything you want to ask them.

    Those are my two top tips for applications and interviewing, and they have helped me and many, many of my friends to get some pretty amazing jobs over the years. Hope they help you too.

    Good luck!

  2. Oh yeah, cover letters… ugh!!! Cover letters were always hard to write. It was hard enough back when all I had to worry about was applying for a job. If I had to write a cover letter now in between taking care of the kids and everything else I do I think my head would explode… literally.

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