Charlotte von Riess, Head of Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding
Thursday, 24. September 2020

Simple, straightforward application process

Ottobock no longer requiring cover letters

A cover letter is usually part of every application. In the letter, the applicant expresses their intention of wanting to work for a certain company and outlines the qualifications supporting their application. But how much does this cover letter actually say?

“We noticed that many applicants uploaded their CV twice rather than including a cover letter or that their cover letters tended to be rather short and generic,” says Charlotte von Riess (Head of Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding). “More often, the things that help us tell whether a candidate is really suitable for the role and the company are details on their CV, our initial personal phone call and an interview (either online or in person). For us, it’s also important that the applicant gets to know the company and their potential new job during this process.”

In light of these factors, Ottobock is doing away with cover letters, which were required prior to this. Going forward, a current CV is all that’s needed for an application. The key advantage of this new approach is that applicants can quickly express their interest in a job at Ottobock without a great deal of effort. Those who still wish to submit more documents – in addition to the CV – are naturally welcome to continue doing so. “It also depends on the role. For example, we’ve noticed that applicants in marketing and communications often use the cover letter to describe why they are a good fit for the job and what attracts them to it. Those applying for digital and IT roles, on the other hand, prefer to keep things brief,” von Riess notes. “Our new approach responds to the various types of individuals who might be interested in a job as well as their preferences. They can also send us a video application if they like. We even foresee that a voice message saying ‘Hello, I’m interested in the following job’ could be sufficient in future.”

The approach has been well received. Of the candidates who have recently applied for positions, over half have opted to apply with just a CV and without a cover letter. “We’re excited to see whether this will also mean we receive more applications from pupils for the training positions that will open up in 2021, which are being advertised now,” says von Riess.