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Cover Letter - Sweden

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Once you've prepared your resume, it's time to highlight your achievements in the cover letter. How you go about doing that can also vary from country to country. In this section you'll find some general as well as culturally specific tips about how to make your letter (and yourself!) stand out when applying for a job in Sweden.
Cultural Dos and Don'ts

- The documentation you need to include will ususally be made clear by the ad.

- You might choose to give them your age in your letter but it is not mandatory.

- Do not exaggerate or flatter yourself (quite different from some countries where it is common to go on and on about how wonderful you are).

- It is not customary to attach a picture to your application.

- Most people give references but only if they are sure they will most likely be positive.
 

 
 
Presentation
 
  • Put the date in the top right corner.
  • Write the companies adress in the right upper corner. If you know the name of the person you are writing the letter too or his/her titel/position, write it above the companies name.
  • Write your name, address, phone number and e-mail address at the bottom of your personal letter (below your signature).
  • Give the letter a title (For example: "Application")
  • Leave space between paragraphs.
  • Don't use abbreviations.
  • Use short sentences.
  • Make sure the cover letter and CV are both written on a computer, printed on the same paper, and in the same font with the same basic design (unless they ask for a handwritten letter but that is very unusual).
  • Always try to get the name of the person to whom you should address your letter (or at least his/her position at the company).
  • The heading "To whom it may concern" isn´t used in Sweden and would sound nonchalant to most Swedes. You should always try to find out the name of the person you are writting the letter too. If you can't find a name, address the letter to the position of the person you are writing to:
    • "Till personalchefen, personalavdelningen Volvo" which means "To the chef of personell, the department of human resources Volvo".
    If you dont know the postition of the person you are writing to address the letter to the department:
    • "Till personalavdelningen, Ericsson".
  • Direct the letter to:
    • "Bästa" Name Surname
  • Close the letter with
    • "Med vänliga hälsningar" (it means; with kind regards). Leave a few lines and type your name underneath then sign your name inbetween.
 
 
Content
 
First paragraph:
  • Make it clear whether you are writing to a specific contact person, writing a "cold-calling" letter (when no position has been advertised), or if you're answering an ad.
  • Its not mandatory but most people tell a little bit about themselves in the first paragraph and their current situation. For example, where you work now, if you are married, how old you are, how many kids you got, etc. Just one or two lines.
 
Second paragraph:
  • If you are familiar with the company, this is where to show that in a few lines.
  • Give reasons for your interest in the job and clarify which position you're interested in.
  • Explain why you are interested in working for their company and how can the company will benefit from your employment.
  • If you have experience other than work that it would be in your favor to highlight, do so—preferably in the second or third paragraph.
 
Third paragraph:
  • Tell them a bit about your personality and your experiences.
  • Employers want to know if you are: a good problem solver, a good team worker, a fast learner, efficient, organized and punctual, and/or a "people person".
  • Emphasize your qualities that best fit the position/company.
 
Fourth paragraph:
  • End. Stress that you're looking forward to their response.
  • Finally, remind them how to contact you.
  • Sign the letter.
 
Other things to keep in mind:
  • Make the letter personal. Don't give the impression that this is a standard letter.
  • Do not exaggerate or flatter yourself. Swedes are humble and like it when other people are as well.
  • Unless it is a "cold-calling" letter you wouldn't ask for a interview. The company will pick the applicants that they like the best and call them to an interview.
 
Now that you've read our guidelines for writing a cover letter, check out our model Swedish cover letter.
Or continue on to our page on writing a resume for Sweden.
 
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