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Career Services at the University of Zurich

Forms of Application

Applications in Paper Form


  • White paper only, from cover letter to certificate copies
  • A4 size, vertical
  • Printed on one side
  • Unfolded; no paper clips


On the one hand, it makes a good impression when the application documents are neatly bound. Special folders and clip files are available on the market for this purpose. On the other hand, manageability is appreciated, as HR staff often need to copy or scan the papers, and here a plastic sleeve would suffice. It is therefore up to you to decide whether to make an impression or do the HR manager a favor. In any case, ensure that the plastic sleeve or folder is brand new. Returned folders are therefore usually no longer suitable for use. Loose-leaf folders for holed paper are not recommended. The cover letter is placed separately on top of the folder.


  • Show all the contents to another person before sending. 
  • Address the letter legibly and correctly (company, name, title, department).
  • Apply the correct postage stamps and send it first class (A post).
  • Check that you have put the right application in the right envelope.
  • Keep a list of all the documents you send.

E-Mail Applications

E-mail applications have two advantages: They are inexpensive and they are fast. However, take just as much care as with classic written applications and avoid technical traps.

  • Only apply by e-mail when it is explicitly suggested or requested by the company.
  • Wherever possible, send your application to a personalized e-mail address.
  • Subject line: Make it clear for which position you are applying.
  • Signature: Put an e-mail signature at the end, giving your address, telephone and e-mail.
  • Attachments: The best format for attachments is PDF (Acrobat). Choose simple, logical file names.
  • Cover letter: The cover letter is either included in the e-mail itself (keep it as short as possible) or in an attachment (in this case, write a short and friendly e-mail referring to the application and the attachments).
  • Resume: You can give your resume a digital signature but this is not absolutely necessary. Add it to the e-mail as a PDF attachment.
  • Certificates: Scan your certificates, put them into one PDF file, and attach the PDF to the e-mail.
  • Pay attention to the layout and print quality of your attachments. Often, electronic applications are printed and added to the pile with the traditional written applications.
  • Size: Your e-mail should not exceed 5 MB.
  • Test: First send the e-mail to yourself. This enables you to check whether it arrives in full and correctly formatted (line breaks, tabs, umlaut marks, and special characters can be troublesome).
  • Monitoring: Don’t forget to check your mailbox regularly.

Online Applications

Certain companies or job platforms provide online forms for potential applicants to fill out. 

  • Only fill out the online form if you are convinced that your application will be treated in a professional and trustworthy manner.
  • Read the form through first to get an initial overview before filling it out.
  • Although online forms allow for little freedom of design, you can often upload your own resume and cover letter - which we would advise you to do.


Weiterführende Informationen


Following Up

Normally you will receive notification from the company confirming that they have received your application. If you haven't heard within around 10 days, you can phone them to check. This will also confirm your interest in the position.

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