Applying is hard work. Prepare yourself with a good application that stand out from the crowd and be ready for the interview.

Everybody must seek work at least once in their lives. Since fixed-term contracts are increasing in number, you may have to look for work several times a year. For example in creative industries careers are often advanced project by project.

What documents do I need when applying for a job?

Job application

The job application should show that you have the qualities required in the job advertisement or that you want to develop your skills. You should emphasize those strengths that make you suitable for the position. If you don’t have all the required qualities, you can simply say so. In many jobs a young job-seeker can compensate for the lacking extensive work experience with the right attitude and eagerness to learn new things.

Write a new job application for each job, so you can emphasize exactly those qualities that are required for the job in question. You should not send the same application to many companies.

Applying and writing an application

Explain in your application why you want to be the one chosen for the job. List your work and education history, the type of duties you enjoy and describe yourself as a worker. If you have no previous work experience, you can write about hobbies, positions of trust and other positions with responsibilities.

Don’t be too modest, yet stick to the truth. The recommended length for an application is one page (A4).

Video application

A video is a good way to bring out your personality, since your attitude is well conveyed to the employer via video. Video applications are becoming more common and sometimes employers can ask for a video application instead of a written application. You can also make a video in addition to the written application. It is a good way to stand out from the other applicants.

A good video application is compact. When preparing the video, emphasize the same things as in a conventional application. Also video applications should be made specifically for each job, so that you can effectively explain why you want the job in question.

Pay attention to lighting and the quality of sound on the video. You don’t need any particular equipment since a smart phone is enough for a high quality video. Make sure the video is shot in a light, quiet and peaceful space.

If you cannot shoot and edit the video yourself, ask for help. One of your friends or family is bound to be keen on making videos.

Check out the tips for the best video application on Instagram!

Resume or CV (curriculum vitae) complements the job application. It shows your competence, education and work experience. The information in the CV is presented in chronological order i.e. the most recent information first.

A good CV is flawless, clear and compact. It emphasizes relevant things for the position applied. The recommended length for a CV is not more than two pages (A4). If your work history is not long, it might be worthwhile to mention all possible work experience in the CV. In addition you can tell what else you have done, such as roles in students’ bodies or unions as well as voluntary work or participating in language courses. Download a free CV template! ( )

A conventional CV can get lost among other CVs if there are many applicants. You can use e.g. free Canva or Word/Pages templates to create a CV that stands out visually. Keep the job you are applying for in mind while compiling a CV and think what kind of CV would suit the style of that particular job.

Keep the portfolio constantly up to date, particularly in creative industries. Collect work samples and select the best for your portfolio. A portfolio is a good way to convince the employer of your competence already at the stage when you don’t have work experience. It allows you to present your competence and skills more freely.

References are often requested during the job-hunt process. You can ask e.g. your supervisor or teacher for references. Referees should have experience of working with you. Hence, do not ask anyone for references if they are your supervisor on paper only and have not actively monitored your work! ⁠Always remember to ask the referee for a permission in advance, before you enter him or her as a referee in the application.

Job interview

If your job application raises the employer’s interest, you will get an invitation to a job interview. Prior to an interview, go to the employer’s website. Make sure you know the exact location of the company so that you will be there on time on the interview day. You must get to the interview on time and in good shape. The interviewer will already create an impression of you based on your handshake and the first impression may be difficult to change later. Good, polite manners are key as well as a neat and well-groomed appearance.

Choose your outfit based on the job you are applying for. Consider whether you are applying for a job in customer service, manufacturing industry or management. However, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and easy in your clothes. Also non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions and gestures, affect the impression the interviewer will make of you. Take your portfolio with job and school certificates or work samples to the interview. There are many ways to succeed in a job interview so it is important to be yourself and try not to be too nervous.

You can practice the interview in advance and think about answers to questions that may be posed. Only questions related to the job may be asked in the interview.

There are also issues you do not have to reveal in a job interview, even if the employer asked about them. These include questions about the family situation and plans, religion and political conviction. The employer must not place applicants to unequal position based on their answers or decision not to answer.

Video interview

Video interviews are frequently used in the job search. Pay attention to the same issues in video interviews as in conventional interviews. Neat and well-groomed appearance and polite manners are conveyed to the employer in video interviews, too. Be yourself on the video and don’t forget to smile. It is important to make sure that the background in your video is neat and the surroundings are quiet and peaceful.

Preparing for a video interview:

  • If the questions are available in advance, study them before the interview starts. The questions may contain information on how long they hope the answers to be.
  • Practice your answers and try out different camera angles, for example by lifting the computer camera upwards.
  • Test your microphone and loudspeakers in advance.
  • Remember to switch your computer on well in advance for the interview.
  • Check that the computer and the internet connection are working.

Aptitude tests

During the application process the employer may invite you to an aptitude test to find out if you are suited for the job. Participating in an aptitude test is voluntary but recommended, if you are interested in the job.