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I've been working about 5 years for the engineering industry. The last 4 years have been in Europe. I'm now looking for a new position, and would like to ask for some feedback regarding the documents which make up the job application:

  • When given the option, I merge the document as follows: Cover letter, followed by CV, followed by References. 3 pages total.
  • I'm still going with the conventional US 1-pager resume, short and to the point. Do European companies typically expect longer resumes? Or is 1 page still OK?
  • Over the last 5 years, I have not included the recipients address in the cover letter. I fail to see the utility of this, since job applications are typically done online nowadays. I do, however, tailor the cover letter to the hiring manager responsible for the position, and address them by name. Is not including the recipient address frowned upon?
  • In all pages of the job application, I include a header with my name and title. The header also includes my address and contact details (similar to this). I do this to give the entire application a consistent feel. Is this acceptable?
  • The References page includes past colleagues appreciations of my work. These are typically verbatim quotes such as "I've known David for 3 years in his last position as .... He is diligent, a hard worker etc.". I realize this is atypical. Would it come across as overdoing things? Or would a hiring professional appreciate having the added insight?

Thanks for your consideration.

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    I'm afraid "Europe" does not have standard rules around this, it's pretty much country specific. But recognizing that you are in another part of Europe, what you described would be acceptable. Probably a little different from all the offers from inside my own country, but not in a bad way.
    – nvoigt
    Aug 18 at 9:28
  • I'm in the Netherlands...
    – user32882
    Aug 18 at 9:30
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From my perspective (I've hired people in the Netherlands), for each of your questions/comments:

  1. Documents I encounter are usually separate. Easier for usage since sometimes tracking systems will provide options to store these documents independently, and then the recruiter/HR person would need to split them by hand, and when sharing with other colleagues this also allows to share one of the documents instead of all of them.
  2. Can be longer than the default 1 page, but don't go over 2 pages.
  3. This is fine, not doing it doesn't bother anyone, including the address might be seen a bit unusual these days indeed, but most people wouldn't care.
  4. Yes that's fine.
  5. That's odd. You'll be asked to provide references when you're progressing through the interview stage. Verbatim quotes sound very off to me. I can check up to some point what you put on your resume, I cannot check what somebody did or did not say about you, and of course you will only include the most positive things anybody ever said about you. This feels like tooting you own horn. I would look at this very skeptically and would not appreciate it. If I want somebody's opinion on you, I'll ask for references.
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    Awesome. Thanks a lot for your input. I guess I'll provide references when and if asked.
    – user32882
    Aug 18 at 11:55
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    In my experience, it's typical here to only provide references when progressing to later interview rounds. And #4 is greatly appreciated. Mixing up two cover letters is immensely unprofessional, so I mark letters and CV's to match visually. Your inclusion of a visual aid subtly smoothes my interview process - and if that's your approach to workplace interactions - it's a plus in my book.
    – MvZ
    Aug 18 at 12:21
  • @user32882, References? You were talking about testimonials. Those are not necessarily the same thing. Be careful, the expectations of references will differ depending on which country you're targeting. Also, LinkedIn is a great place to capture the kind of testimonials you're talking about. Aug 18 at 16:19
  • Yes @StephanBranczyk I think that's the proper term. Either way, I think the "tooting one's own horn" observation still applies here...
    – user32882
    Aug 18 at 16:42
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    @user32882, What I mean to say is that references in a place like Switzerland means letters of recommendations, but in a place like the UK, it means contact information (without any testimonial and without any letters of recommendations). In fact, in the UK, you want to guard your references very closely, and call your references just before you give any of them out, so that they're warned that they're about to receive a call. Aug 18 at 17:15
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Answer for France :

Cover letter, followed by CV, followed by References : One page CV is OK in France, unless you've got a very long experience. Cover letter is not always mandatory, neither are references. They are a bonus, though.

It would be better to separate the cover letter from the rest. Unlike the other answer for the Netherlands, References within the CV is not a problem. NB : if you aim for consulting companies (called SSII or ESN over there), they might ask you the "true" CV as well, which is several pages of details.

Cover letter : As long as the person you're aiming at is cleary named, the lack of adress should not be a problem over there.

Header on each page : Not a problem here ...unless your career was long and you need a 2 pages CV. In which case it should be only once on the CV part.

References : France is shy on this topic. Giving names & contact info is already more than 99% of other condidates. At least here, don't do more.

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