You are sitting in front of the white screen of your laptop.

The text program is open, but empty.

Because you have no idea what the hell you’re supposed to write in there.

Fuck.

You were motivated and resolved to finally finish the cover letter for your application.

But then you have doubts that slow you down.

  • Do you still need a cover letter these days?
  • And what the hell belongs in it?
  • Won’t I just get lost in the crowd with my text?

Such thoughts drag you down.

It doesn’t help that you’ve heard a million times from relatives and read in clever articles that applications have to be individual.

That’s all well and good, but an individual approach takes up a lot of time, which you don’t have between the lecture hall and your part-time job.

Is there a better way?

Yes! 😊

We’ll show you smart ways to apply correctly, have fun doing it and significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job!

A brief overview: These are the basics

A classic application contains the following basics:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • References / Certificates

That’s all it is.

But the devil is in the detail. Every company has different expectations when it comes to applications.

That’s why the most important tip before you do anything is to find out about the requirements for applications from your chosen company.

Many companies have career pages on their websites where you can find all the essentials, or at least the contact details of a contact person you can get in touch with.

You should definitely ask for this information. Knowing what your potential employer specifically expects from you will give you security and save you a lot of work when preparing your application.

Only then should you move on to step two: the cover letter.

How to write a banging cover letter

The most important thing about a strong cover letter is that you avoid boredom. Memorize these three “u “s and declare them your absolute no-gos from now on.

Print them out, make wall tattoos of them, whatever helps you to remember them.

It has to get into your head that cover letters should never, never, never be

  • impersonal,
  • uninteresting or
  • unoriginal.

Nowadays, the cover letter is the most important component of an application. This is due to the attitude of many employers in these times of skills shortages. They believe that motivation, drive and willingness to learn are much more important than grades or which university you attended.

The cover letter gives you the chance to express precisely these qualities. But this is precisely what many young professionals who have to write cover letters find difficult. They feel the pressure, they lack experience and not all of them are born copywriters.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be! Use AI tools to formulate killer cover letters. You should use AI tools to create your application in general, e.g. in our 10 creative tips further down in the article.

ChatGPT, for example, can really help with creative text drafts. But be careful: remember the three “u “s? You have to avoid them with ChatGPT as well, otherwise you’ll only get generic stuff (also called grits by us 🍮).

So tell ChatGPT what you want with a specific prompt.

Bad prompt:

Write me a cover letter for a job in marketing.

Good prompt:

Provide me with examples of strong, specific, powerful cover letters for marketing job applications.

You will then receive a wealth of examples and suggestions that you can refine and use as a starting point for your customized cover letter. The good thing about this prompt is that you comply with data protection regulations because you do not mention any company names or names of individuals.

The cover letter is the most time-consuming and most important part of a classic application. Of course, your CV should also be neatly written and your supporting documents (references, certificates) should be complete, but unlike the cover letter, this is a one-off job and you don’t have to redo these documents every time you apply.

So much for the traditional application and cover letter.

But hey, we live in 2024.

Aren’t there smarter ways to apply?

Of course there are!

Application yes, but original! 8 creative ways

Stand out from the crowd with these 7 creative applications. This is the single most important reason why you should be imaginative in your application.

Let’s get started!

#1 Create an application video

You have everything you need in your pocket to shoot a cool job application video – even inexpensive smartphones that have come onto the market in recent years have good to very good camera quality. The old bastard writing this article for you could only have dreamed of this over ten years ago when he was applying for jobs after university!

You can easily produce videos in HD or UHD quality with your smartphone. That’s quite enough. However, the microphones on most smartphones are shitty. We recommend upgrading here: Bluetooth microphones for video recording are available from Amazon for less than 15 euros. You won’t be able to record studio songs with these, but the audio quality will improve significantly. Plus, it just looks cool and influencer-like to wear one of these visibly on your shirt or blouse. 🤭

And what goes into a video like this? Above all, it has to be short, under a minute is ideal, even better under 30 seconds.

Use the video as a pitch. Tell why you are perfect for the job, what experience you have in the field and what you would like to tackle on your first day at the new company.

An application video has the strong advantage of being personal. The decision-makers at the company can see your facial expressions and gestures, hear your voice and get a first impression of you. So make sure you wear clean clothes, as you would in a job interview, and that the lighting is good, so that you are neither too bright nor too dark.

Yes, it’s all work, but you know what? This is precisely why you stand out, because the majority of applicants are not prepared to invest this work in an application video. So seize the opportunity!

#2 Create an application website

Nowadays, websites can be built in a weekend, and with a little practice it can be done even faster. There are two options that make sense for students on a budget:

  • WordPress (open source system)
  • Website builders (Wix, Jimdo, Squarespace etc.)

We recommend website builders because they are much easier to use than WordPress and because the leading providers offer attractive student discounts (Wix, for example, 50%). With the cheapest tariffs, that’s a few euros a month that you should definitely invest.

Why?

Because website builders allow you to use stylish professional templates for your application website that work flawlessly right from the start.

In just a few hours, you can create a professional online presence that will make you stand out to your potential employer. The providers ensure a smooth technical process, whereas with WordPress you often have difficulties with jumbled plugins … oh, trust us and just use a modular system, okay? 😉

Remember to include a link to your website in your application to the employer so that you can be found.

#3 Create a puzzle

People love puzzles.

Okay, not everyone, but most of us like to puzzle, whether it’s old-school Sudoku or gaming on a smartphone, PC & co. From simple word puzzles to complex mazes, there are no limits to your creativity.

Your puzzles should

  • be related to your job or industry,
  • be challenging, but not too difficult,
  • emphasize your skills and
  • be visually well designed.

Of course, your puzzles should also be solvable. If this seems like a no-brainer to you now, you’re absolutely right, but some people come up with the strangest ideas… 🤭

You can also use AI tools like ChatGPT to create puzzles. Theoretically, anyone can do this, but who is crazy enough to actually do it in an application?

Exactly!

So go for it.

#4 Develop a mini-game or an app

A mini-game or an app is even more ingenious than a puzzle, but also more complex. This tip is therefore particularly suitable for those of you with programming experience.

Meanwhile, there are also ways to program without code, but this is a topic that requires time, and you don’t have that if you want to create high-quality applications at the end of your studies.

These are fresh ideas for a mini-game:

  • Quiz App
  • Endless runner game (avoid obstacles, jump, collect rewards)
  • To-do lists with rewards

And these are great helpful apps:

  • Social media analysis tool
  • Time management app
  • Notes app with special features (e.g. handwriting recognition)

As I said, developing a mini-game or an app is a fine art, but that’s exactly why it’s so interesting and convincing for an application.

#5 Suggest improvements

If implemented correctly, this is an extremely effective and impressive way to land your dream job.

And it works like this: You specifically look for weak points that you notice as an outsider at your dream company. These could be, for example, spelling or forwarding errors on the company’s website that you have noticed. Pointing out such errors shows that you can work conscientiously and accurately, which is required in many jobs.

It doesn’t always have to be mistakes that you point out. For example, if you are applying for a job in marketing, you could share suggestions on how to better implement social media campaigns. Perhaps you also know of channels that the company is not yet using or is using insufficiently. Create a mini-concept for this and submit it as an application.

But be careful, it can backfire if your criticism seems to come from above. Always remain friendly and respectful in your explanations, and you should always refer to your ideas as suggestions or approaches. Ultimately, it is up to the company to decide whether or not to accept your suggestions.

#6 Use the audio application

Applications via voice message are booming. For example, companies send you questions that you can conveniently answer with voice messages. Or you can instruct your voice assistant to start the audio application process with a simple voice command – if you have a voice assistant.

Companies that offer this want to make it as easy as possible for applicants. Often both sides, employers and employees, are happy about this because it eliminates the time-consuming cover letter. What’s more, voice messages are more personal than text and far less time-consuming than producing application videos.

Nevertheless, there are a few things you should bear in mind:

  • Use a good microphone, upgrade if necessary
  • Speak in a quiet environment without distracting background noise
  • Avoid filler sounds such as “um”, “ooh”, “uh” and clearing your throat
  • Keep it short
  • Write down what you want to say

Also practice out loud several times before recording and sending the voice messages. Voice messages for a job application should not be confused with the everyday chatter that we send back and forth via WhatsApp. The recordings must come across as serious, professional and clear, then you have the best chance of success.

#7 Write a story

Do you enjoy writing?

Then put your talent to good use and create an exciting story that captivates the reader.

How about the story of your own application that ultimately leads to you getting the job and achieving success for your dream company? The story can and should definitely come across as relaxed, with a pinch of humor and surprising twists. So it’s about entertainment, a bit like coming up with an exciting story for Netflix.

If the story is well written, you’ll make an impression. And by the way, storytelling is an important skill, especially in PR work, but also in product development and employee management.

Strong stories boost sales, motivate employees and attract investors. So your storytelling talent makes you even more valuable to the company.

#8 Send merch

The idea is so absurd and funny that it’s genius again: send your personalized merchandise to companies to draw attention to yourself.

Here are a few ideas of what you can now create yourself cheaply, quickly and with an individual design:

  • T-shirts
  • Stickers
  • Mugs and cups
  • USB sticks
  • mouse pads
  • Key rings
  • Calenders

Design tools such as Canva or NetSuite can help you with this. However, you should use the merch very discreetly. Imagine sending 500 unsolicited mouse pads to a company that nobody there needs. This is not only spammy, but also anything but sustainable. In the worst case scenario, you will attract negative attention from the company.

Merch should be used discreetly; it’s about the gesture, not the product itself. You can also cleverly combine different ideas, such as sending your video application on a USB stick with your logo or photo. However, you should definitely announce this in advance by email and be aware that IT will check your USB stick.

Apply passively: Let yourself be found!

This method is becoming increasingly popular and saves a lot of time: you create and activate profiles on portals such as Xing, LinkedIn or Znapp, upload your documents and – wait. But there’s a catch: because it’s so convenient, many people are jumping on the bandwagon.

You also take on a passive role and have to wait for companies to get in touch with you. And then it is far from certain that these are companies that suit you.

Our conclusion: The passive application is a nice-to-have that you can use. However, you should not rely on it alone, but always keep the sceptre in your own hands by actively approaching your desired companies with applications.

More articles in our blog

Are you ready to get started in the world of work? We have more super handy articles for you to help you find your dream job!

Read on right now:

We wish you lots of success and fun with your application, because never forget: the journey is the reward. And if your application is creative, you’ll end up at a cool company.

All the best and ahoy!

Your Staytoo team

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