Working in the Parliament and the EU Institutions – Application Advice
The job market is incredibly competitive at the moment so it is important that you maximise your chances when applying for jobs and internships. When applying for an internship or job in the office of a Member of the European Parliament, there are a number of simple things that you can do to dramatically increase the chances of your application being successful.
One of the most important things to consider when you apply to jobs in the European Parliament, and indeed any job, is the layout of your cover letter and CV. You would be surprised how much of a difference this makes to your chances.
In addition to the usual criteria of a standard cover letter, which can be found online, there are certain things that it is important to do when applying to a MEP’s office.
- Avoid starting with ‘Dear MEP’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’- make sure you address the email or letter to the MEP personally, e.g. Dear Mr. Sturdy.
- Avoid a generic email – when applying do some research on the MEP and tailor your CV to them; their websites are a great place to start. Try to find out which region they represent, what committees they are on whether or not they have any specific areas of interest. It is incredibly important that you mention this information in your cover letter and, if possible, relate it to your experiences and interests. This should also mention why you are attracted to working in the MEP’s areas/ for the MEP, and why you are suited for the position.
- Include specific information about the MEPs work – for example, if the MEP was involved in an important piece of legislation, recently made a speech or attended an event, it really makes your application stand out from the rest if you at least mention that you are aware that this occurred, as it shows that you have taken the time to research the MEP and their activities.
- You are applying for a political position so it is important to mention this in your application. You don’t necessarily have to be a party member or have previous party experience, although this may help, but you should at least be supportive of the party and its policies.
- I often get emails from students and recent graduates asking for internships in their summer holidays. As Parliament is on recess from mid-July to the end of August/beginning of September, this makes internships over this period difficult.
Just like the cover letter, good CV templates can be found on the internet but when applying to a MEPs office there are certain things that you should add and emit.
- If possible, try to only include directly relevant work experience. I realise that many of you may be applying either during or just after university and may not have had the opportunity to gain such experience. In this case, it is essential that you relate the skills acquired in your job to the work that is undertaken in a parliamentary office. The same can be said of the inclusion of interests, they should only be included only if they are relevant to the position that you are applying for.