Tag Archives: cover letter

Share This

Time to apply – who are we looking for?

Category: Business Processes European Finance Global & European Market Access Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement Product Supply R&D Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control Graduate Programme R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (30) comments

The deadline for applying for one of the graduate programmes is closing in – you have to send in your application here no later than 12 February 2017. I can imagine that many of you who are considering applying for one of the graduate programmes have thoughts about what type of people Novo Nordisk is looking for. So to clarify this, I will briefly go through the formal qualifications needed to apply, but also the profile and characteristics we hope to find and how you can implement this in your application.

Formal qualifications needed to apply:

  • A Master’s degree from 2016 or 2017 in a relevant field (depending on which programme you apply for, but it could be economics, international business, public health, marketing or similar).
  • Above average academic achievements.
  • A minimum of 6 months of relevant work experience or extracurricular activities.
  • International experience from working, studying or volunteering.
  • Professional fluency in English.
  • The right mind-set with a can-do attitude, high ambitions and excellent interpersonal skills.

The graduate profile we are looking for is characterised by being:

  • Driven – You have to know why you want to work for Novo Nordisk and why you want to be part of the graduate programme.
  • A team player – You should be able to work well in teams and have a humble attitude. Great work is not done by one person alone, but in a team, so we expect you to have a team player mind-set.
  • Proactive – You have to be ready to take initiative and show enthusiasm. We need people who are proactive and not sitting around waiting for someone else to do something.
  • Ready for change – You will be put through three different rotations (read more about the rotations in European Market Access here), so we want someone who can adapt and enjoys change.
  • Result oriented – You have to be able to deliver results and be a high achiever. We are looking for talents who knows what they want and who can deliver great results.

A good way of demonstrating that you possess these characteristics is by giving concrete examples! This applies to both your cover letter, but also in interviews. Examples are great because your previous behaviour in job situations is the best indicator of your future behaviour. The examples shouldn’t be too long, so don’t explain all the details. Instead you should emphasize your role, who was involved and what the results were. And most importantly – what did you learn from it? Remember that the best example may not necessarily be one where you achieved the best result, but where you played a major role and your great competencies were expressed clearly. If you are lucky, it might be the same example.

So, use examples in your online application (including the 1-minute video) to show who you are and why Novo Nordisk should hire you for a graduate position. Read other good tips and tricks for the application process here and here. I wish you the best of luck with your application and feel free to leave a comment or a question below!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 7 people. Average 3.3 of 5)

5 things to highlight in your cover letter

Category: Business Processes | (13) comments

A cover letter is about one A4 page and you must have a really interesting story tell if it should be longer. Of course you have an interesting story to tell and you are truly unique. But so are the other thousands of applicants so you need to get your message rather clear. Below are five topics I would highlight in the cover letter. If you have a particular good story to tell within one of the topics it might be a good idea to spend more space on that and leave a couple of the other topics to the video.

International experience: Novo Nordisk is a truly global company with offices in 75 different countries and its products are sold in more than 180 countries. To accommodate this global footprint, employees with global mind sets are needed. The global mind set is often built from experiences abroad. Have you been living abroad with your family when you were young, been volunteering in a developing country after high school or studied abroad, you might have developed the global mind-set that is needed to succeed in the graduate programme. If you can tell how your international experience has shaped you as a person, I would definitely highlight it in the cover letter.

Striving for change: People come from all over the world to join the graduate programme. They have properly just wrapped up their masters abroad before moving to Denmark. After staying in Denmark for only eight months they will go abroad again. And after settling in and starting to feel comfortable in the international rotation, it is time to go back to Denmark. Graduates are challenged to get out of their comfort zones both geographically and in terms of tasks on the job. As soon as you get really good and feel at home, you will be thrown into new adventures. Rather than stating that “you love change and a dynamic work life” show examples of the personal and professional changes you have experienced through life and how you have responded to the changes.

Work experience: It is a benefit if you have relevant work experience from your time as a student. It can also be voluntary work in your community where you have shown initiative and leadership skills. Your work experience should be easy to understand for the assessors from the CV. Still, I believe it is a good idea to emphasize specific projects or deliverables you are especially proud of in your cover letter.

Why a graduate program: Why do you apply for a graduate program and not a regular full time position? I think it is important that applicants can answer this question pretty clear. For me, the graduate programme is a fantastic way to learn about different parts of the value chain in a global health care company. I am a generalist rather than a specialist and I hope these two years will tell me which areas that I am passionate about, so I – as well as Novo Nordisk – can find a good fit with a permanent position after the graduate programme is over.

Why Novo Nordisk: I didn’t have any experience from the health care industry before I started reading about the graduate programme. What got me hooked on Novo Nordisk was the global opportunities and the company’s values. If you don’t already know the Novo Nordisk Way it will be valuable to read and understand The Essentials – Novo Nordisk’s equivalent to the Ten Commandments (maybe not as famous, but there is also ten). The Essentials are ten clearly-defined statements describing how the Novo Nordisk Way works in practice, helping managers and employees to act in accordance with the company’s core values. I really believe that Novo Nordisk is a unique company in that regard and I hope that The Essentials will continue to be the guiding principles even when business gets tough and the financial bottom line is under pressure.

Good luck with your applications – feel free to ask further questions in the comment section below.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 7 people. Average 5.0 of 5)

CV, Coverletter, and wait….a VIDEO!?

Category: Business Processes Global & European Market Access Global Marketing | (75) comments

Hey everyone!

The job ads for the graduate programmes are now up and running, so I thought you would need some last minute tips before filming the application video!

I wish all of you the best of success (and a bit of luck) in the application process!

Best, Claudia

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 11 people. Average 4.4 of 5)

How to structure your cover letter – a practical example

Category: Global Finance | (4) comments

In this post, I will share some pieces from my actual cover letter (CL) to put the general guidelines into context. In this blog post, some of my colleagues have already posted tips and tricks for a good application, so make sure to check those out (Tips on how to make a great application What makes your cover letter stand out).

The CL is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and should not just support your CV but explicitly explain why hiring you would be mutually beneficial – the famous perfect fit. As the recruiter is already aware of your capabilities from going through your CV, the key aspect you would want to focus on in the CL is your motivation for the company and the position. This means; A) know the company well and B) know why you want to work there before writing the CL.

The recruiter is normally interested in three questions so make sure you answer them in the CL. These questions are:

  1. Why Novo Nordisk?
  2. Why the graduate programme?
  3. Why you?

My point of departure was to sit down and answer these questions before even considering applying for the programme.


My cover letter

The first sentence or paragraph is often the most difficult one. To start things off, I think it is a good idea to just state your interest in the programme and where this interest is derived from. In my example this looked like this:

Intro: “As  a  last  year  master  student  graduating  in  June  2015,  I  would  like  to  express  my  keen interest in  your Global Finance Graduate Programme. ***** ********, one of your current  graduates,  has  not  only  educated  me  about  the  programme  but  also  confirmed that Novo Nordisk would be the ultimate fit for me in order to kick-start my career.”

Maybe you don’t know anyone in the programme or even Novo Nordisk, but you might have attended career fairs, read a news article or what do I know. Anyway, now the intro is over and you can focus on what matters – answering the three questions.

First, I explained my interest in pharma and Novo Nordisk. This is of course subjective – so just be honest and explain what appeals to you. To give you an example, this is a section from my CL:

Why Novo Nordisk: “…With  more  than  40,000  employees  and  affiliates  or  offices  in  75 countries,  the size and  thereby geographical reach of Novo Nordisk provides  outstanding opportunities  to  work  both  locally  and  globally  and  in  teams  consisting  of  people  with diverse  cultural  backgrounds.  Another  element  I  value  about  Novo  Nordisk  is  that  the company is a pioneer when it comes to business ethics and social responsibility. The Triple Bottom  Line  Business  Principle  the  company  advocates,  proves  to  me  that  Novo  Nordisk…”

The graduate programme is only one in thousands of different positions that Novo Nordisk offers, so why are you applying for exactly this role? In my case, I mentioned the network and exposure as a result of the rotation setup as one motivation.

Why Novo Nordisk Graduate Programme: “…Furthermore, the rotation system incorporated in the programme offers an unmatched and unique exposure to both Novo Nordisk and the pharmaceutical industry.”

Note that up until now, I haven’t iterated or elaborated on my credentials. I used the “why me”-section (my last section) to combine my capabilities and experiences with the elements I had already previously mentioned, e.g.

Why me: “…I have gained some insight into the pharmaceutical  industry  through  company  and  market  analyses  in  the  context  of  both MediumInvest but also in my job in the equity department of Jyske Bank.”

In terms of space/number of sentences my CL was divided in the following way (I am not saying this is a perfect split) and filled up less than one page.

  1. Introduction (10%)
  2. Why Novo Nordisk (29%)
  3. Why the graduate programme (17%)
  4. Why me (31%)
  5. Closing (13%)


I hope this provides some inspiration and good luck with the application process.



VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 8 people. Average 5.0 of 5)

Video: Tips and tricks for your application

Category: Business Processes | (37) comments

Hi all,

The deadline for applying to the Graduate Programmes is approaching and I have received a number of comments and emails about tips and tricks for what to write in the application for the Business Processes Graduate Programme. If you do a bit of online research on the Graduate blog-site, you will come across quite a few blogs that address this issue. You can read some great posts about this by former graduate bloggers here, here and here, and also by current Graduate bloggers Klaus and On.

I found many of these blog posts useful when I was making my application last year, so now I want to share some of my best tips for writing a good application, as well as the view of Ove, head of the Graduate programmes.

How to write a good application

Writing a good application is a rather subjective and complex issue. If you talk to 5 different people, they will probably have 5 different views on what a good application is. However, here is some of my best advice for making a good application…

1) Make it clear why you want to work for Novo Nordisk – do your research about the company, there is a wealth of information online. Read about the company’s culture in form of the Novo Nordisk Way
2) Make it clear why you want to apply for the Business Processes Graduate Programme – why would you like this job and why is this specific programme the right one for you?
3) Emphasize how you can contribute to the company
4) Make a clear common thread in your application – your cover letter and CV should go hand in hand
5) Read your application through carefully and avoid spelling mistakes
6) There is no rule about this, but less is more – keep your cover letter limited to 1 page and CV to 2 pages
7) Most importantly – be yourself and let your personality shine through in your application

I was also lucky enough to get an interview with Ove, head of the Graduate Programmes. If you press on the video below, you will get some insights into what he thinks a good application is.

Good luck with your applications and remember to apply before 9 February 2014. Click here to select your programme and apply: www.novonordisk.com/graduates



VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 19 people. Average 4.1 of 5)

12 things to consider when writing your application

Category: Global Procurement Uncategorized | (7) comments

(5 questions to get you started, 4 advices on how to improve your cover letter, and 3 practical tips to finish off) 

There are plenty of good advice out there about what to do and what not to do, when applying for a job, but also a lot of useless rubbish. I know it because I spend hours – almost days – searching through it a year ago (this webpage was a diamond among the dirt).

I’ve asked the team that will be reading, screening and evaluating a part of the applications to chip in with their advices and tips for what you should consider and do, when writing your application. I will run the risk of adding to the rubbish section and try to share it with you – here is the result:

5 questions to get you started:

  • Why do you want to work for Novo Nordisk
  • Why do you want to work in the pharmaceutical industry?
  • What do you find interesting about the Graduate Programme and why do you think it will fit your profile and make you a good candidate (interests, experience and personality)?
  • Why should Novo Nordisk pick you – and not other highly qualified candidates?
  • What is your passion? What make you forget about time and place and how does that fit the programme?


4 advices on how to improve your cover letter:

  • Use examples from your life, work, study and non-curricular activities to support your motivation and the picture your paint of yourself

If you write you are an entrepreneurial person then it comes across stronger if it is followed up by an example of a thing you have started (a small business, a student union, a football team, etc.)

  • Use your cover letter to write a motivation and apply your life and personality to Novo Nordisk

Don’t just repeat your CV in prose, but use it in your cover letter to support your motivation and description of your personality.

  • Read your application from different perspectives

In the first review, see if you present yourself clearly and effectively to the company content-wise; In the second review, put yourself into the shoes of the company, to see if your application can catch the recruiters’ eyes.

  • Be honest with yourself; do not write something you think you are

You shouldn’t be looking for a number of magical personal traits to emphasize in your application. Rather be honest with yourself and present who you are, not what you think you should be. But don’t be shy of mentioning if you have done or achieved something to be proud of.


3 practical tips:

  • Keep it short and crisp

There is no golden rule to how long a CV or cover letter should be, but never longer than necessary. For newly graduate people, like us, that often mean: Cover letter (1 page) and CV (2 pages).

  • Be thorough

Have someone read through your application to make sure that it is free of e.g. spelling mistakes and that it makes sense to someone reading it for the first time. Further remember to check that you have added all the required information and documents.

  • Make the life easy for the recruiter

Add a few bullets about the focus in your studies (it isn’t always self-explanatory for outsiders), what you did and learned in internships, part-time jobs (when relevant), and in extra-curricular activities. It could even be a quote from your appraisal.  It is also a good service to calculate your current GPA and add it to the CV.



Get started now and apply before 9 Feb 2014







VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 12 people. Average 3.7 of 5)