Cover Letter - Sweden
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Sweden Cover Letter Tips: Crafting the Perfect Application
The art of crafting the quintessential Sweden cover letter can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Hold on a second—
Is it the compelling need to put your best foot forward that drives this anxiety? Is it the realization that a stellar cover letter can be your ticket to an interview? Or maybe it’s the competitive job market making everyone nervous?
We took a deep dive, seeking insights from both the hiring professionals and job aspirants, to demystify the Sweden cover letter.
Come with us on this journey to unveil the key elements of creating a compelling cover letter for the Swedish job scene.
Let’s delve right in:
Structure of a Sweden Cover Letter
Sample sweden cover letter, tips for writing an effective sweden cover letter, formatting and font, do’s and don’ts for a sweden cover letter, addressing gaps or unusual circumstances, sweden cultural nuances and expectations in cover letters.
- Personal Details: Begin with your name, address, phone number, and email.
- Date: The current date goes after your personal details.
- Recipient Information: Address the hiring manager directly, if possible. Include their name, title, company, and address.
- Salutation: If you know the hiring manager’s name, use “Dear [Name].” Otherwise, “Dear Hiring Manager” is acceptable.
- Introduction: Briefly mention the position you’re applying for and where you found the job listing.
- Body: Highlight relevant experiences and skills that make you suitable for the role.
- Conclusion: Reiterate your enthusiasm and provide contact details.
- Formal Closing: Use phrases like “Best regards” or “Sincerely” followed by your name.
- Clarity: Be concise about how you can contribute to the company’s goals and visions. Avoid verbosity.
- Highlight Key Skills: Emphasize skills and experiences that align with the job requirements.
- Avoid Clichés: Common clichés like “att ha många bollar i luften” (ability to multitask) and “att brinna för något” (being passionate) should be avoided. Opt for original phrasing.
- Be Audience-Centric: It’s essential the recruiter finds your cover letter compelling. Ensure consistency and a clear storyline.
- Stand Out: Aside from content, visual elements can make your letter memorable. For instance, adding a color to the header can capture attention.
- Contact Information: Always include your contact details and consider adding a professional photo.
- Consistency: Your cover letter and CV should complement each other, providing a holistic view of your professional journey.
- Font Choice: Stick to professional fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.
- Font Size: 11 or 12 is typically most readable.
- Margins: Use standard 1-inch margins all around.
- Alignment: Left-align your text for a neat appearance.
- Length: Your cover letter should be a maximum of one page (A4 size).
- File: Cover letter must be in PDF format.
Tips for writing a good cover letter for a job in Sweden:
- Be Honest: If there’s a gap in your employment, explain the reason briefly.
- Focus on Skills: Emphasize skills acquired during the gap that can benefit the job.
- Stay Positive: Frame any challenges or gaps as growth opportunities.
- Honesty: Swedish culture values transparency and honesty, so avoid exaggeration.
- Humility: It’s appreciated to present yourself humbly and not oversell.
- Work-Life Balance: Mentioning respect for work-life balance can resonate with Swedish employers.
Is it common to send cover letters electronically or by mail in Sweden?
While both methods are acceptable, most employers in Sweden prefer receiving job applications, including cover letters, electronically unless otherwise specified in the job advertisement.
What happens if I address my cover letter to the wrong person?
While it’s always best to address your cover letter to the correct individual or position, a minor error like this is typically forgivable. However, it might give the impression of a lack of attention to detail. Always double-check the job listing or company website if possible.
Can I write my cover letter in English, or does it need to be in Swedish?
If the job listing is in English, it’s safe to assume you can send your cover letter in English. However, for jobs requiring fluency in Swedish or roles in predominantly Swedish-speaking workplaces, a Swedish cover letter would be more appropriate.
How formal should the tone of my Swedish cover letter be?
While professionalism is always key, Swedish business culture tends to value humility and straightforwardness.
Are there any taboos I should be aware of when writing my cover letter for a Swedish employer?
Yes, avoid being overly self-promotional or using hyperbolic language. Swedes generally prefer modesty and directness over excessive self-praise.
If I have no prior experience with Swedish companies, will that affect my chances?
Not necessarily. Highlight any transferable skills or experiences that would benefit the role. However, showing some understanding of Swedish work culture, as demonstrated through your cover letter and other interactions, can be advantageous.
How often should I follow up after sending my cover letter and CV?
Typically, if you haven’t heard back within two weeks, it’s acceptable to send a polite follow-up email. However, make sure to read the job listing carefully, as some companies might specify a response timeframe.
And there you have it—
The comprehensive guide to mastering the art of the Sweden cover letter. Navigating the Swedish job market can be tricky, but with the right cover letter, you’re already a step ahead.
But tell us—
Have you tried any of these tips? What was your experience like when applying for a job in Sweden? Share your insights in the comments below.
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Alison Adams, a Philly native and proud University of Pennsylvania alum, is your go-to Career Expert with a laid-back approach. She’s been in the job seeker’s shoes and knows how to navigate the wild world of work. Alison’s all about sharing practical tips and tricks with a personal touch, making her a favorite for those looking to level up their careers.
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How to structure your covering letter – to get your dream job in Sweden
by LYS editorial team | 2019, Nov, Fri | Make Sweden your Home , Working in Sweden | 0 comments
Your CV lists your education, work experience and skills. Your covering letter will tell your prospective employer who you are, why you want this job in particular, and why they should hire you. The two should complement each other, to give a clear idea of who you are and what you can do.
In what language should I write?
If you speak Swedish well enough to use it at work, and the vacancy is advertised is in Swedish – then write in Swedish. Ask a native speaker to proofread it for you. This is not cheating! Writing a covering letter is not a test. Instead, presenting a well written and correct cover letter will be interpreted as you being professional and serious. Being aware of your imperfections and asking for help means you are humble – remember the concept of prestigelös in my previous article. Not just in terms of language, it is always good to have another person’s point of view.
If you do not speak good enough Swedish to use it at work, or if the advert is in English – write your covering letter in English. Again, ask someone to read it, and give you some feedback.
How formal should it be?
Swedish is a language lacking huge difference between formal and informal language. There are differences, but from a European point of view, they are almost negligible. If you are writing in Swedish, keep it correct, accurate and simple. Swedes are not impressed with long, complicated sentences, and we even find it difficult to understand their content. Native speakers of Latin languages should pay extra attention to this piece of advice.
Even if you write in English, you should be aware that even when we deal with foreign languages, we tend to apply the use of our native tongue. Swedes do not exactly understand the purpose of formality, and have a neurotic relationship to formal language. Many of us are charmed, whereas others interpret advanced vocabulary and formulations as an attempt to prove superiority, which is not considered a desirable trait in the Nordics.
With this complex attitude in mind, I am not entirely sure what advice to give you. I believe the interpretation of this is highly dependent on what sector you are addressing, but also the very individual who will read your application. Without much to back it up, I believe that it is more important to keep it simple, objective and professional. Use technical terms if applicable.
How long should it be?
Short. I normally recommend ¾ of an A4. That is very generous. Recommendations of 2/3 of an A4 are not uncommon.
How should I structure it?
At the top, you need to specify your contact details, including full name, postal address, phone number, e-mail, and your LinkedIn profile. These days, your postal address is a mere formality, as all correspondence will be per phone or e-mail. I would, however, advise you to do give your Swedish postal address, as it will reassure the recruiter that you are indeed living in Sweden. It could be added that, especially in Stockholm, many Swedes believe that they can deduce who you are from just looking at your address. This is, in my opinion, very unfortunate, especially considering the difficulty finding housing, that often leaves no choice in terms of location to newly arrived professionals, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Today’s date is also necessary. Double check this when you send it if, like me, you tend to work on a document over a few days.
The name of the company, reference number, and (if applicable) a contact person. Not many covering letters are sent by post these days, but if you do, the postal address of the company is necessary.
Why do you want the job?
Your first paragraph is important. If someone has recommended you to apply for this job (this could perhaps be a useful reference) state it. Explain why the company is interesting to you. This requires a bit of reading, it will be obvious if you have not done enough research. Also clarify why the position in particular motivates you to apply. It is in your employer’s interest that the job in itself gives something to you, perhaps a chance to get more responsibility, develop a particular skill, or even learn something.
Why should they hire you?
The second paragraph is your chance to sell yourself. Many of my clients make the mistake of merely repeating their CV here, in prose. This is often extremely boring to read. It is suitable to refer to your CV, but the most important thing here is to match you experience and competence to the position you are applying for. What can you do for the company? Why is your expertise particularly interesting to them? Always use concrete examples to illustrate you skills and personal qualities. Describe a professional situation where you made a difference. Summarise your attitude to work, and what gives you motivation. Make sure there is some personal touch.
Why will you be a great addition to their existing team?
As I must have mentioned before, Swedes value people skills. Present the people/team working skills you have. Perhaps you are very good at explaining technical solutions to your colleagues, perhaps you spread positive vibes when the organisation goes through a change, or you are really good at making sure everyone in the team feels they are playing an important role. Spend some time thinking through your personality, to be more personal, and to avoid clichés.
What is the next step?
Last, there is your chance to communicate any practical information regarding your application. Specify if there is any online material (LinkedIn, professional page, portfolio etc.) that the recruiter/employer should look at. You are maybe abroad for the coming week, but can be reached via e-mail, or you are currently on paternity leave but can get a babysitter with a day’s notice.. Say that you are looking forward to the interview.
- Too long. Filter what information is the most relevant for this position.
- Referring to another company/position. If you have used another covering letter as a sample, double-check at least three times that you have not forgotten to edit all information.
- Too generic. Your covering letter should clearly show that you are applying to this particular company, and this particular position.
- Too impersonal. Your covering letter should give a picture of your person, what you care about, what is your work ‘philosophy’, why you are a unique person.
- Too private. This is not the forum to express concerns over your health, family or economic situation. Be professional.
- Too similar to your CV. The two should complement each other.
Make sure someone reads it!
Swedish recruitment processes are often fast, and interviews will have often started long before the closing date. Double-check your CV and covering letter one more time, and send it before it is too late.
- Svenska ( Swedish )
Need to learn about Sweden?
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Applying for a job
E-mailing your cv with cover letter is usually step 1 when applying for a job in sweden., writing a cv.
A curriculum vitae, or CV (also known as a résumé), is a summary of your professional background. Your CV should be one to two pages long and include an overview of your work experience, studies, achievements or awards, special skills and references. Your contact information should always be included at the top of the first page.
- Example CV 1: chef
- Example CV 2: engineer
- Example CV 3: nurse
What to include in your cover letter
No more than one page long, your cover letter ( personligt brev ) should outline why you are the right person for the position. Rather than simply listing your CV merits, try to make connections between what the company asks for in the job listing and your own skills and experience. This is your chance to show the employer why you are the best person for the job.
Other documents required?
Some fields may require other types of documents or samples of work, such as a portfolio or certification. If you are not sure what is being asked for, you can either contact the employer directly to ask for a clarification or contact the relevant union for advice.
Links to Swedish unions
- The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO)
- The Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (SACO)
- The Swedish Confederation of Employees (TCO)
How to apply for a job in Sweden – a film from the Swedish Public Employment Service, for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens
How to prepare for an interview.
The company will review your documents and contact you if you have gone forward to the interview ( intervju ) stage of the recruitment process. The employer already knows your basic qualifications; during the interview, you have the chance to show your enthusiasm for the job at hand and give the employer a sense of who you are as a person. Don’t be surprised if some of the questions asked are not directly work-related – be prepared to talk about your family and what you do in your spare time.
If you apply for a job in Sweden from abroad, your first interview may take place via phone or video conference (e.g. Skype). If you are invited to come to Sweden for an interview, bear in mind that citizens of certain countries may need a visa. See the Migration Agency’s website for details.
During the interview, the employer should let you know what the rest of the recruitment process will look like. Depending on the field and type of position, you may attend several interviews or complete a test.
What happens next?
After your interview, the employer will contact you to let you know if you have been selected for the job. Once you have a job offer, your country of citizenship will determine your next steps. Read about work permits to learn about the process for citizens of your particular country.
Last updated on 6 July 2023
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Write a résumé and cover letter
Below you will find a detailed description about how to structure your résumé and cover letter. You will even find a quick overview of the same information as well as checklists and some good examples.
What to include in a résumé, cover letter and email
Use this document to help you to prepare a résumé and cover letter that recruiters will notice
Use these handy checklists to improve your résumé and cover letter
Here are some quick and easy videos that give our top 5 tips to improve your job search.
A standard résumé with good layout
Notice how this student markets his exchange studies in both his résumé and cover letter
Notice how this student has used graphical elements (shaded dots) to show competence level
This student volunteered as a Student Guide and Swim Coach. See how he describes those and other jobs he has had.
This student is studying jurisprudence and is applying to the legal position at the county administrative board
Since this student didn't have IT or computer skills other than Microsoft Office, this section was named simply "SKILLS".
This example shows how two people can together write an application for a thesis project
This is an example of a PhD applying to an industry position
This example shows how a doctoral student can write applications in industry.
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Sweden CV Format 2023 With Cover Letter (Very Important)
The first ✅ step to getting a Job offer from a Swedish employer is to impress them with a Sweden CV Format 2023 With a Cover Letter. The sweden.se 🇸🇪 is the official website of the sweden Government that has published Guidelines on how to make a Swedish-style CV in 2023 if you are applying for Jobs in Sweden. For Sweden , a Cover Letter is also an important ❗ part. In this post, I will tell you Sweden’s CV Format 2023 With Cover Letter.
Sweden Encourages foreign workers to engage and work in Sweden. Sweden encourages innovation. Sweden is home to some of the largest companies like IKEA, Ericsson, and Spotify 🎶. Getting a Job in Sweden means doors are open for your brightest future. But this needs proper steps and guidelines. CV, Cover Letter, Job application, work permit process. All you will get under this post. More details are given below.
Details About Sweden 🇸🇪 CV Format 2023 With Cover Letter
This Blog Includes:
E-mailing your CV with a cover letter is usually step 1 when applying for a job in Sweden . If you are unable to find a Job offer still, you can come to Sweden on a Sweden Job Seeker Visa.
Writing a CV for Sweden
A curriculum vitae (CV) also known as Resume is a summary of your professional background. Your CV should be one to two pages long and include an overview of your work experience, studies, achievements or awards, special skills, and references.
Contact Information on Page Top
Your contact information should always be included at the top of the first page.
Examples of Sweden CVs 2023
These are the perfect examples of CV styles for Sweden. Make your CV like this.
Sweden CV Format 2023
- If you are a Chef or you are in a Profession of Cooking: Example CV 1: chef
- If you are an Engineer or you are in a Profession related to Engineering: Example CV 2: engineer
- If you are a Nurse: Example CV 3: nurse
SWEDISH WEBSITE ON CV AND COVER LETTER
How to Make a Cover Letter for Sweden Jobs?
The Cover letter is also the most important thing. It describes why you are fit for that role. In the cover, you should make the connections between what the company asks for in the job listing and your own skills and experience.
The Cover letter is your chance to show the employer why you are the best person for the job.
How Long Should be a Cover Letter? 🤔
- No more than one page long.
- Should outline why you are the right person for the position.
- Make a connection between the Job you are applying and your skills.
You can search for excellent cover letter templates, and formats on the web.
Swedish Interview Process
Once you have applied for a Job and uploaded your documents such as CV and cover letter. The company will review your documents and contact you if you have gone forward to the interview.
The company already know about your qualification now. During the interview, you have the chance to show your enthusiasm for the job at hand and give the employer a sense of who you are as a person.
Applying from Abroad for a Job in Sweden
If you apply for a job in Sweden from abroad, your first interview may take place via phone or video conference (e.g. Skype).
During the interview, your employer will further tell you about the rest of the recruitment process.
After the Interview
After your interview, the employer will contact you to let you know if you have been selected for the job.
Once you have a job offer, the next step is to apply and follow the Sweden Work Visa Process 2023 . There are different types of work permits for sweden. Your employer will tell you in the process of obtaining a Work permit.
Finding a Job in Sweden
Looking for work in Sweden? Here are your starting points.
- The Swedish Public Employment Service offers support to people looking for work.
- EURES – the European jobs network : The EURES is a good starting point for job seekers. A collection of public and private job listings.
- Sweden Companies Jobs: You can also apply directly to the Swedish companies that often sponsor work permits for Foreign applicants.
- To study in sweden please checkout Sweden Government Scholarship 2024
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This webinar has been broadcasted before so you can watch it whenever you want.
How to write a cover letter
10 minutes 2 seconds
The way you write an application can vary from country to country. In this webinar we will discuss how to write a cover letter when you apply for a job in Sweden. We will also give you tips on how to present your application professionally in order to catch a recruiter's eye.
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Submit your comments and suggestions for improvements on this webinar.
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Read a collection of useful tips and tricks about working in Sweden
Find available jobs near you (information in Swedish)
Useful information about the Swedish Public Employment Service
Register a profile and look for jobs
10 minutes 42 seconds
Do you need to get an evaluation for your foreign qualifications in Sweden? Do you h...
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In this webinar you will learn how to find a job in Sweden: how to use and expand yo...
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How should you prepare for a job interview in Sweden? What kind of questions can you...
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The way you write an application can vary from country to country. In this webinar w...
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Apply to KTH: how to write a convincing cover letter
Hej everyone! In today’s post, I will give you some tips and tricks to write a convincing cover letter (or “letter of motivation”) to apply to KTH, since drafting one may be challenging if you’re not used to writing in English or have never written something like that before. You can find out whether you are required to present a cover letter by checking out your programme’s requested documents .
Keep it structured and straight to the point
When it comes to cover letters, you have to treat them like proper English texts. As such, they should have a rigorous structure: an introduction, a couple of main paragraphs, and a conclusion. Remember: every section must have its purpose. For instance, you may want to use one paragraph to state why you’re writing, then talk about your past experiences, what made you choose KTH or why you chose that specific programme, and then conclude by summing all up and thanking the reader. Also, don’t forget to use the right tone in your letter: it is a formal document and while it may be okay to put some irony here and there, maintaining a respectable tone is still very important. Finally, keep your letter relatively brief: some courses indicate a maximum number of words you should not exceed but, generally, try never to write more than one page – focus only on what’s really important!
Realistically show your motivation
When writing a cover letter, what matters the most is to transmit to the audience your motivation and make them understand what is pushing you to study at KTH. However, to be persuasive, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the classical “I’ve always dreamt of being admitted to KTH” or “Being an Aerospace Engineer has always been my dream”. Instead, you should show that you’re actively interested in what you are about to study. You have always wanted to study at KTH? Then you should talk about how KTH ideals reflect yours, proving that you’re actually involved and informed about the university. And if being an Aerospace Engineer has always been your dream, what did you do to make it your reality? Have you been involved in any extracurricular activity? Do you read a particular magazine? Do you like watching airshows? In general, you should not only say what your dream is but also show what you’re concretely doing to realise it.
Get informed on your programme
Showing that you’ve done your homework and you’re informed about what the programme entails may come in handy to prove your active interest in what you want to study and KTH. Also, it is particularly useful if you do not know what to write in the cover letter – e.g. when talking about how your experience would make you the perfect fit for that specific programme. Knowing where to focus in your letter will help you make it straight to the point and down-to-earth.
Tell your personal story
People love hearing personal stories! When talking about your motivation and past experiences, why not use a story to tell the audience something more about yourself, your past, or what made you choose to study what you study? Sharing a personal anecdote may help you give your cover letter a pleasant feeling of uniqueness and personal touch that, in the end, may make the reader remember you.
That’s all for today. If you have any other suggestions or if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
Also, check our last posts on how to write a good curriculum and portfolio and stay informed on our upcoming webinars !
See you at the next post!
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2 thoughts on “Apply to KTH: how to write a convincing cover letter”
Thank you so much. This will really help me with my applications. This is very helpful.
Thank you Oyagah! We wish you the best of luck with your application 🙂
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