Craft a credible application

The job application is a prospective employer's first impression of you. Therefore, take all possible steps to ensure that the impression is credible.

2024-05-07 17:36:00
Move On

Some kind of individuals we simply listen to. Such a person could be a politician, an expert, or a colleague whose speech and presence can convince us of what they say.

What they all have in common is that they appear credible. Credibility is crucial when persuading others of your message. By establishing credibility in your application, you're one step closer to convincing your prospective employer that you're the one who belongs in the office.

Harness the Wisdom of Antiquity

When discussing the concept of credibility, one cannot overlook the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Already in ancient Greece, Aristotle believed that a speaker could only persuade their audience by being credible – what he referred to as having good ethos.

A good ethos was measured by three factors: the speaker's goodwill towards the audience (eunoia), the speaker's moral qualities (areté), and the speaker's 'sound judgment' (phronesis). Although Aristotle's theory is thousands of years old, his concept of ethos is still widely used by politicians, communicators, and journalists.

Establishing Ethos in your Job Application

Aristotle's concept of ethos has been translated, analyzed, and interpreted for centuries. However, the three ethos factors can also be beneficial to keep in mind on a broader level. Translating the three factors into the job application, you should therefore strive to:


1. Show goodwill towards your recipient

It's a good idea to demonstrate your goodwill towards the recipient right from the start of your application. You can do this by explaining why you'd like to work for their company specifically. For example, you can point out interesting areas of work or the company's values. But be careful not to overdo the praise - everything in moderation.


2. Showcase your competencies

A job application should reflect your competencies. Therefore, you should showcase your professional experience by highlighting the specific strengths your previous jobs or education have provided you. However, you should also demonstrate social experience and situational awareness, for example, by describing your experience in collaboration.


3. Demonstrate that you are a good person

It's important that the employer not only gets a picture of your skills but also gets an impression of you as a person. Therefore, show that you are a good and moral person who adheres to common rules and does not resort to "dirty tricks". You can do this by being humble, honest, and sympathetic and avoiding exaggeration of your own abilities and fancy phrases. Volunteering can also demonstrate that you are a selfless person.


Read more:

Rhetorics, Aristotle: J. H. Freese, Ed.

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