Attention: International talents – Tips for a good CV and application letter!

2.3.2015 / Anna Nikkanen

How to get closer to the desirable job position in the Finnish job market? What is the recipe for a good CV and application letter? These were the themes we wanted to discuss with international talents in a lecture at Lappeenranta University of Technology. After a 1,5 hour presentation and good discussions and questions, we got the feeling that all the most relevant ingredients were highlighted and talents were ready to convince recruiters with their application documents. Here are some of the key points we discussed at Lappeenranta.

 International students and graduates have high potential and a lot to give in the Finnish job market.

Therefore, we at aTalent do our best to unleash this potential and create interesting and professionally developing job opportunities also for international people. When an interesting job opportunity presents itself, well written application documents play a big role in convincing recruiters of your potential and moving forward with the recruitment process.

Before applying you should familiarize yourself with the company and think, why this company and  position interests you. Go through the job advertisement carefully and target your CV and application letter to “answer” to the requirements of that particular job advertisement as well as possible.

The recipe of a good CV:


  • Contact information (Name, e-mail, phone number, address, date of birth. Professional photo and a link to your LinkedIn -profile, which are not mandatory, but a great flavorings)
  • Education (Chronological order from current to the oldest, starting year and graduation/estimated graduation time, major, minors, credits, the name of your thesis)
  • Previous work experience (Chronological order from current to the oldest, time periods of employment, title, company, description of your main tasks and responsibilities and your achievements in your position. Especially in IT/technical positions, add also the technologies you have used in your work. Tell about your previous work experience, which is relevant for the position you´re applying to
  • Experiences on different projects and what technologies you have used on them (especially in IT field). In addition, describe your role in the projects and add the links if possible
  • Language skills and IT-skills (with evaluations of levels)

Great flavorings:

  • In the beginning of the CV, write a short summary of your main qualifications / characteristics. Remember to argue how those qualifications / characteristics have been reflected in your actions. Avoid just listing things and adjectives.
  • Hobbies (especially if they are relevant for the position you´re applying to)
  • References (tell the name / title / company / contact information of your referee, or just write: References are available upon request)

Remember: Length max. 2 pages! PDF-form, clarity and easiness to read! Target your CV carefully for the position you are applying to!

The recipe of a good application letter:


  • Motivation! You should justify your motivation and tell why you are applying for this position. What interests you in this particular position and company?
  • Work / Study / Other experiences: Tell about your experiences that will help you succeed in the position you are applying for. Respond to the criteria outlined in the job advertisement.
  • Working habits, personality: Emphasize the things that are relevant for the position you’re applying to. Remember concrete examples, and avoid just listing adjectives. If you have gotten good feedback in your previous positions, telling about those is a big plus
  • Bring out your current educational and -work situation, as well as your salary request (if it´s required in a job advertisement). Express that you will be waiting for them to contact you.

Remember: Length max. 1 page, PDF-Form, clarity, good linguistic form. Avoid “mass applications” and target your application carefully for the position and the company you are applying to!

Although these were “recipes” for a good CV and application letter, you should always consider the company and the position when applying. For example for the bank industry, a more formal application is recommended. For the more creative field, you can use more imagination in your application documents. Also, every recruiter sees the candidates and application documents from their own subjective perspective and thus, there are no one and only right and specific answers to what is a good CV and application letter. However, by following these recipes, you are closer to the “right”.

We admit that writing application documents is really not the easiest job to do, but often the effort pays off and practice makes perfect. Hopefully you thought these tips valuable! At aTalent you have a possibility to ask personal feedback on your CV and application after every recruitment process. We gladly answer all your questions!



Anna Nikkanen

Anna Nikkanen

The writer works as a Talent Coordinator at aTalent Recruiting, a company owned by Aalto University student and alumni associations and specialized in recruitment and professional development of young tech and business students.

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