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Application tips

Found an exciting vacancy? Looking for practical tips to create a successful application? In Germany, some people send their applications by post although nowadays most companies prefer to receive applications online (therefore you should group all your documents together in a PDF file). Germany has its own rules, thus we encourage you to carefully read our advice to keep the differences in mind. Good luck!

Curriculum Vitae

Keep in mind that German employers prefer tabular templates. Do not forget to add yourup-to-date personal data (name and surname, address, telephone and email, nationality, maritalstatus) and avoidcritical gaps and non-professional email addresses that give a really unprofessional impression! Your CV should be signed and no more than two pages long. Download one of our examples here.

Professional experience

Don´t forget to chronologicallylistyour professional experience, giving more visibility to the most recent one (reverse chronological order). Briefly summarise (for example, using bullet points) your maintasks and responsibilities. It would be nice to highlight your achievements as well!

Photo

In Germany, it is much more important than you think! Your CV photo must look very professional and serious so we recommend that you have it taken by a professional studio and follow their advice regardingsuitable clothing and presentation. You can choose betweena “cover photo” (Deckblatt) or a CV photo.The standard dimensions are 4-5 cm wide and 5-7 cm high, or 6.5 x 10 cm for cover photos.

Certificates

You will have to collect and attach all of your academic certificates since your secondary school (although it depends on how much professional experience you have). German employers expect to receive all the certificates proving that you have really done what your CV says.

Cover letter

In Germany, cover letters are as important as the CV,or even moreso! Cover letters should beno longer than one page andclear, formal and very appealing (see hereforthe different parts of acover letter). Do not copy or repeat the same information that is in your CV and try to answer the following three questions:

  • Why you are the ideal candidate?
  • How exactly would you contribute to this position and company?
  • Give examples of your past achievements along with suggestions of how you would add value to the organisation

Make an effort to make a strong argument for why you are the perfect candidate for this position and the advantages of employing you!

Cover letters should always be addressed to someone, generallytheHuman Resources Department (check it in the job vacancy).

Read more information in our blog.

References

This point is especially relevant in Germany and it differs from other countries. All applications should be accompanied byreferences from all your previous employers. If you do not have them, please call your previousemployer and try to get a positive professional recommendation. Check some examples!

Language skills

Do not exaggerate your language skills, especially when it comes to the German language. Simply berealistic regarding your skills as the employer will be able to clearly see your level in the interview.Detail your listening comprehension, writing and speaking level and emphasise how keen you areto keep learning.

Hobbies and interests

Including your hobbies and interests in your CV is also relevant. Remember that employers want to know “who you really are” and your hobbies give a fantastic description of your personality and lifestyle. Give careful consideration to which hobbies to include and, above all, do not lie!

Applying for a Job

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