Alumni Relations Management

Alumni in focus: Mirja Lena Brosche (Senior Human Resources Manager, OTTO) about no-gos in cover letters, interesting CVs and important soft skills for a career

Which skills are becoming more important in the working world? What makes a CV interesting? And what should you definitely avoid in your cover letter? A short interview with CAU alumna Mirja Lena Brosche, Senior Human Resources Manager at OTTO: read more

What can students do, even while they are still studying, to successfully master the transition to a career?

Maintain networks and interesting contacts. I would also go to a few additional things on offer (like seminars), which might not be directly related to my degree, but develop soft skills, agile methods or IT skills. Be curious and be active, try things out - even if you have setbacks along the way.

Which soft skills are currently becoming more important in the working world?

In addition to being up-to-date and well informed in your own specific field, these days other skills are becoming ever more important, such as being able to accept change, communication skills and interconnected thinking, but also your own ability to learn new things, to recognise yourself that you need to learn something new, what that something is, and be able to grasp new concepts quickly. Being confident living and working in a digital world is absolutely crucial as well, at the moment..

What makes a CV interesting?

I personally like CVs which are not completely ‘perfect’ - they awaken my interest and perhaps one or two questions will pop up that I would like to address in an interview.

And what should you pay special attention to in a cover letter?

Letters from guidebooks (printed books or online versions), or an application which doesn’t show that a candidate has really given some thought to his or her personal motivation are usually unsuccessful. Other points that frighten potential employers off include a lack of clarity and structure, bad grammar or typing errors. Absolute no-gos, of course, are classic copy & paste mistakes, like naming the wrong company and contact person, as well as applications that are incomplete for no good reason. The best thing to do is sleep on it for one night, and have another look through the application the next day when you are feeling refreshed.

Big thanks go to Mirja Lena Brosche for her time and for her helpful tips.

Mirja Lena Brosche

Photo: private