Recruiters immediately recognise whether an application is just a copy or a carefully crafted message. Only with the latter can you present yourself as a fully rounded and goal-oriented individual. Below are some guidelines.
Your curriculum vitae (CV) describes you as a professional. Both your professional competencies and where you developed them should be clear. Non-professional activities can also be listed for this purpose. Do not peddle a standard CV that you have only tinkered with around the edges. Rewrite your CV for each application so that it is tailored to the position. Ask yourself what information the recruiters require to be able to judge your suitability for the job. What is less relevant for this particular position?
Seize the opportunity of this letter to emphasise why you want this particular job, why you fit the position and how the position fits into your career. Present selected competencies, expand on them and relate them to the position. But, please, do not repeat your CV or relate your life story. What you choose to write demonstrates whether you have understood the challenges of the job.
Do not waste ink on phrases like «I am convinced that I am the outstanding candidate». Instead, write about what it is that distinguishes you.
Job references, details of referees, diplomas and, if relevant, a list of publications should be included as attachments. If you are sending your application electronically, it is important to attach them as a single document in PDF format so that the recipient does not have to organise dozens of documents.