Dear applicants for an internship (whereever),

pls allow me to provide the following advice on improving your applications:

When applying for an internship or a job, pls make sure to include a letter which explains why you want to work with Acme Inc. and why you think you are qualified for the position.

Pls format* your CV & letter in an eye-friendly way, e.g.:

  • one font
  • clear structure
  • no typos
  • save as PDF

I may be a bit too German aka the “grammar nazi” aka following a certain norm on this, but then: there sure is a reason why ppl sometimes are refused a position.

In other words: what’s the use of employing someone who even has a PhD in something if he/she can’t even write a proper business letter or follow simple formatting guidelines?

I have really come to appreciate formatting norms and – while you won’t have to use progs like LaTeX & Co to ueberformat your work – i’d really appreciate if ppl just stop this *copy & paste culture* and start preparing their work in an easy-to-read format.

I will also have to improve my own style, so I do not exclude myself from this mwalimu mkuu wisdom.

(* = you won’t have to be a design student or Apple user or even coder to understand this simple guideline. If in doubt, pls use a template!)

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

4 thoughts on “interns!”

  1. K1, what’s the backstory? Why the grumblings about C.V. of today’s Privileged Generation? BTW you are not alone!

    May I recommend another PDF creator (printer):

  2. Backstory: I am the guy who receives those CVs at work and forwards them to my boss. My boss then asks me: what do you think about this application, JKE? And I reply: They suck. These ppl may know something about our work, but they a) lack any imagination on how to apply in a proper way (= their chance), b) apparently don’t really care (in case of doubt, there’s Google), c) can’t be given any *peculiar* task which requires some amounts of 1. dilligence, 2. accuracy and 3. political sensitivity for a proper wording.

    In other words: someone who can’t even put it in simple words why he/she is qualified for a certain position, shouldnt apply.

    I know this sounds arrogant, sorry.

  3. It doesn’t sound arrogant at all.
    It’s just the “Generation SMS” which doesn’t understand the difference between writing business letters and chatting with friends.

    Simple logic:
    If somebody doesn’t deem it important enough to be written properly, then it’s probably not worth reading either.

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