A job application in the Czech Republic should contain a cover letter and a Curriculum Vitae (CV). For the initial application no copies of certificates and references are needed. As for everywhere in the world, your application should be as concise as possible, pointing out why you are specifically qualified for the job you’re applying for.
In the Czech Republic, a CV should be no longer than two pages. It provides an overview of your qualifications and previous experience. Besides your personal details, including your name, address, telephone/fax number, nationality, civil status and date of birth, all information on your higher education should be provided. These are usually stated in reverse chronological order.
Information on previous positions held and language skills follow. To round up your application, any relevant, not job related activities should be included. Your active participation in social organisations, for example, can highlight your people skills. Also the inclusion of your hobbies and interests allow your potential employer to gain a better insight into your character.
Always keep in mind that a CV gives you a lot of freedom to choose which information you want to include. It can, therefore, be tailored for any job you apply for. Too many details that are irrelevant for the job are as bad as too little information on your professional career.
The cover letter is even more important for your job application in the Czech Republic than the CV. Whereas the CV only gives information about your past, you are expected to explain your future plans in the cover letter. Since recruiters and employers are usually more interested in their companies’ future, they want to know if you would be a good addition to the team.
You also use the cover letter to explain why you want to work for the respective company and what your special qualifications for the job are. Further, a connection to your CV should be established by explaining the previous positions you mentioned (do not, however, simply repeat what you have already said in your CV).
A cover letter is usually structured into three paragraphs. The first paragraph is used for a short self-introduction and a description of your future career plans. In the second part your educational background and skills are to be mentioned. This should closely follow your CV. The last paragraph includes your contact details. Make sure you provide an e-mail address.
Usually, cover letters are typed and not longer than one page. Handwritten cover letters may sometimes be requested.
If you have been invited to an interview, the most important and maybe hardest part still lies ahead of you. For the first interview – there might be up to four – you should take your CV and copies of the certificates you mentioned in the application. Since the selection procedure in the Czech Republic is very formal, being dressed appropriately is the first step to success. In some cases the interview is accompanied by tests in an assessment centre.
The questions you are confronted with commonly revolve around your personal and professional background. You should, however, also inform yourself about the company and the job offered beforehand. Knowing about the job will help you prepare for possible questions.
It is also important that you take the opportunity at your first interview to gather further information about the job and future career opportunities. This shows that you are interested in the job and, at the same time, makes it easier for you to decide whether or not you really want the job. The first impression you make at the first interview is very important since it usually lasts only 30 to 60 minutes.
The next job interviews are much longer and may sometimes take up to a whole day. A facility tour and interviews with different people at the company may be included as well as having lunch or dinner together with your potential new bosses. After these interviews you should have acquired a deep insight into the work environment and your job responsibilities and therefore be able to make a decision about any potential offer.