When responding to an ad published on the Internet, it's best to submit your application online by using the “Apply now” button which is normally found on job sites. If the ad is published in the press, unless the employer expresses a specific preference, it is up to you how to send your application.

Manpower’s tip: When you find a position or an assignment that matches your profile on our website, the easiest way to apply is by clicking on the “Apply now” button above the ad. This is the same format as on many job sites or placement company sites.

By mail

Follow the advice regarding the CV and cover letter to prepare your application file.

  • Put all of your documents in a file (plastic sleeve or presentation folder for example)

  • Put the cover letter separately on top

  • Make sure to attach sufficient postage to your letter (and send it by A Mail)

  • Address the envelope legibly

  • Write your contact details on the back

The electronic application

Most job searches are currently done via the Internet. Many companies publish their openings online and generally provide the option of responding directly via a form or by sending an application by e-mail.

The content of an online application is similar to that described in the CV and cover letter sections. However you should pay attention to the format of the documents and their size.

Job application via e-mail

The application by e-mail presents a number of advantages, in particular synchronized and easier sending and receiving. However, it is essential to polish the content and treat the cover email just as seriously as the cover letter.

  • In your e-mail as with your cover letter, you are addressing an individual person, so always start with a title of respect, followed by the person's name, for example Mrs Rochat.

  • If you are responding to an ad that does not include the recruiter's email address, call the general secretariat or the contact person in order to get the precise address. The exception to this is if there is an application button, in which case, click on it.

  • Even more than with a paper application, your e-mail needs to hook the recipient.

  • Don't work too quickly. Just because an e-mail application is fast doesn't mean you shouldn't spend time writing your cover email and your hook, and check the spelling! This is all the more important since your recipient could forward your file to other people with a simple click.

  • If you are responding to an ad, your cover email and CV must be in the language of the ad.

Online forms

Many companies have an Internet platform on which you can store your application documents; the same is also true for websites of placement agency like Manpower.

  • Fill out the available form scrupulously.

  • Target the job that interests you.

  • Most often you will receive or create an ID and password that will enable you to modify parts of your file, your status or your data at any time. Make a note of these in a notebook or agenda so that you don't lose them.

  • Prepare your cover letter. Be careful: there could be a limit on the available space for text. In this case, choose your words carefully and highlight the 'know-how' that you could bring to the company.

  • If the website allows it, upload your CV in PDF or DOC format. Be aware of document size limitations.

Don't forget to check your e-mail inbox regularly. If you don't get a response within 10 days, call the contact person to find out whether your e-mail was received and, where applicable, the current recruitment status.

Manpower’s tip: Job ads on our site systematically have an “Apply now” button. All you have to do is click on it to send your application, as long as you have completed your file.

Why not apply with a complete profile?

The ABC's of online application

  • Create a "professional" address such as firstname.surname@e-mail server (e.g. bluewin, sunrise, yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc.) and check it regularly!

  • Ideally, format your CV as a .PDF file (so it doesn't undergo any formatting changes).

  • If you don't have the software for this, then attach the documents in Office Word (.doc or .docx) format, which all companies use.

  • Be careful not to use software that is too recent, in case the recipient doesn't have the same technology as you and isn't able to open your document.

  • Give your document a clear name so the recipient knows immediately what it's about. For instance: CV_first name_surname.pdf

  • Make sure that your documents don't exceed 500 MB. (Companies' e-mail servers are often limited.)

  • If you are attaching a complete application (work certificates, diplomas, etc.) then combine it into a single PDF document made up of 8 to 10 pages. Limit yourself to the documents requested in the ad (most recent work certificate and the prerequisite diplomas for the job).

  • Write your cover email in a Word document that you can easily copy and paste into an email.

  • The message should have a title in the subject line. If you are responding to an ad, write the reference number of the ad and the job title. If you are making a spontaneous application, write "Inquiry - xxx position" or "xxx specialist - application".

  • Follow our tips on hooks for the title.

  • Only type the recipient's address once all documents have been attached to your e-mail and you have re-read your message. This will help avoid an error or omission.

  • Put your full address along with your phone number at the end of the e-mail after your signature.