Application documents for SAP jobs: The project list matters
Precise lists of SAP project experience in the application documents support the decision of the line manager
In the initial screening of application documents for a SAP job, each applicant has only 30 seconds. That’s how long – or how short – the application sits at the top during the first screening. These are the 30 seconds in which you have to make a good first impression on decision-makers – and there are usually two of them for SAP consultant jobs: a member of the HR department and the supervisor of the technical or IT department.
Both examinators need different information for their decision. To get through this preselection in the application process for SAP jobs, applicants for a coveted SAP consultant position need to win both over right away. The key is to document your experience in two different documents. The CV is aimed at the HR manager, the project list at the specialist supervisor.
Important for the SAP application: project list and CV
Your HR manager will insist on a conventional CV, whereas your potential supervisor will be very interested in your previous activities and projects in the SAP environment, including technical details. These are summarised in a project list.
But it is far from enough to prepare two documents instead of just one. It is crucial that the recruiter comes across the keywords mentioned in the advertised SAP job offer without having to search for them. You should pick them up directly and not paraphrase them. The recruiter rarely has SAP expertise and without this explicit mention, for example of SAP module descriptions or SAP system components, does not know whether the candidate meets the requirements. This uncertainty alone can lead to presenting the supervisor with an applicant instead than the top candidate.
The applicant for a SAP job should prominently list his or her own field of activity, the role title and the corresponding SAP core competences, such as „SAP BW Consultant“ or „Senior Consultant SAP SD“, in the CV. On the other hand, it would be wrong to list process topics in detail in the CV, which only SAP experts can classify correctly. These rather belong to the project list.
In practice, it happens again and again that the documents of an applicant with ten years of SAP BW experience are presented in which neither the term „SAP“ nor „BW“ appears. A recruiter may classify such an application completely wrong during the pre-selection process. Biber&Associates is happy to help correctly present an applicant’s core competencies.
So if the applicant has previously worked as an internal SAP BW consultant, the role description in the CV must also read as such, for example „Internal consultant, focus on SAP BW“. The CV also includes a complete, backwards chronological list of all periods of training and employment in tabular form. It is important to have a good photo that shows the applicant in business attire and appears likeable. Better no photo than a bad one. Two pages are usually sufficient for the CV.
Curriculum vitae for the HR manager – project list for the supervisor
For the supervisor of the open SAP position, however, the information about the activity in the SAP market must be enriched with considerably more details – a special feature of application documents in the SAP field. The applicant therefore prepares the above-mentioned project list or activity list for the technical decision-maker.
It contains all the necessary information for the assessment of knowledge and experience and at this point also, preferably several times, the keywords relevant for this particular job. It is about all the information that would overload a CV. The project list is a detailed list of all previous SAP activities and projects, describing all technical and professional content. The project list follows a clear pattern. Keywords in indents and tables are the appropriate form of presentation. Narrative texts are read less often and reduce the applicant’s chances of success. The project list or activity list can therefore also be created in e.g. Excel.
Activity list/ Project list Example:
The project list should list projects or activities backwards chronologically, with rough timings and in blocks. It is a project overview. An example of a successful description of a project looks something like this:
Period: 04/ 2021 – current
Client/sector: Logistics services
Role/assignment as: SAP Senior Consultant BI and Project Manager
Assignment/Project description: Design and implementation of an SAP BI planning and reporting scenario based on an EDW approach
- Review of existing reporting, planning and DWH structures
- Creation of a business and a DV concept
- Coordination between business units and internal and external SAP BI consultants
- Creation of the data models, creation of the staging scenario and construction of BEx and web reports.
- Creation of the planning layout and implementation of the SAP BI planning objects
- Functional and acceptance tests and support of the go-live phase
- Training of the users of the new system
Project languages/location: German / NRW
Project List Sample – Additional Information:
If the candidate had budget and personnel responsibility in previous positions, he should mention how many people were managed and the size of the budget.
This activity list also answers the decision-maker’s question whether the candidate has experience in customising the software or whether his activity was in coordination. Developer skills are compiled separately.SAP Jo
The project list or activity list is crucial for your application and should follow the standard pattern of the field.
Details in your project list can decide the selection
After many years of professional experience, the project list may be several pages long. The recruiter will probably skim this document at most. There is no danger of boring him or her. For the SAP decision-maker, on the other hand, every detail can be decisive. In case of doubt, preference will always be given to a candidate who has exactly the required knowledge and experience. And since the job advertisement rarely provides in-depth information about the position to be filled, a candidate should rather include too much than too little detail of his or her project experience in the list. An example of a complete project list can be found at https://www.biber-associates.de/knowledgebase/dokumentvorlagen-fur-eine-bewerbung-als-sap-berater/ .
What is included in the perfect application for an SAP job?
- Project list
- All references from previous employers
- The certificate of the highest training qualification or university degree achieved
An interim or leaving reference from the current employer is not necessary, but if it is already available, it should also be included for the sake of completeness. Training certificates should only be sent if the advertising company expressly requests this, as they would otherwise inflate the application. The decisive factor for selecting the right applicant is usually the project experience and not the training experience.
Digital applications have long been the usual form – an email with CV, project list and certificates is sufficient. The applicant should put these documents together in a single pdf file, neatly formatted and in the order: CV, project list and references (backwards chronological). The cover letter can be relatively short. This is especially true if there has already been contact or if the application is going through a recruitment consultant. The situation is different for SAP applications in Switzerland. There, a detailed letter of motivation is necessary in which the applicant explains why he or she is interested in the company and the position.
In Switzerland, as in the Anglo-American world, it is also customary to provide references right from the start. A reference includes the full name of the contact person, his/her role in the cooperation and his/her personal extension or mobile number. The applicant should inform his/her references so that they are prepared for calls and can provide information.
What decides whether the written application is followed by the desired invitation for an interview is the overall impression of the materials and a coherent work history. But what counts most is the evidence of all practical knowledge in the SAP environment in the project list.