It still seems rather uncertain how the next weeks and months will develop and what long-term effects the Corona crisis will have on the economic situation in Germany. However, updating your job application documents can be a useful step in preparing for possible changes in the future.
In my blog post on career reorientation, I gave suggestions on how you can – as a first step – clarify your vision of the future and become aware of your skills.
On this basis, you can now specifically search for job offers where you see many commonalities with your vision and your skills. Or you can research which companies meet your criteria and make contact with them through unsolicited applications. Or perhaps you simply want to be well-prepared in case there is a need for action in the course of the year. In this blog post, I am going to tell you what makes a good job application in Germany.
Convincing job application documents mature over time – like good wine
In any case, you will need application documents that highlight your experience and strengths and from which your motivation for the position you are seeking is clearly visible. Creating truly convincing application documents is a process – as if you were painting a picture. You may first create a draft before you start the actual work. You create the work of art over several days or weeks, always adding or changing something. You look at it from a distance to see what impression it makes. Similarly, your application can gradually mature into the desired form.
First step – your resume
My recommendation is to start with your CV. Most of us find it relatively easy to compile the facts and figures of our professional life. It takes a little work and patience to compile the information. When you have everything together, arrange the information in suitable categories and sort it in reverse chronological order, i.e. the most recent aspect at the top. Why this order? As a rule, each application gets briefly scanned by its recipients in just a few seconds. You should therefore put the most important information at the beginning so that it gets noticed. It is also a good idea to highlight key information in bold or use other formatting options.
Special formatting such as lines separating categories, subtle colours or different fonts or sizes can also increase readability and support the positive visual impression. Just have a look at different examples and layout templates on the internet. Find out which layouts you personally like best. Then ask friends and family for their opinion to choose a layout that is widely accepted and that you like at the same time.
What is special about you?
Of course, each and every one of your applications needs an individual touch relating to the company and the position you are applying for. Always try to find a unique starting point in your cover letter that will make your application stand out from the multitude of applications. What special talent sets you apart, what extraordinary experience do you bring to the company, what do other people admire about you?
Your job application photo – what should it say about you?
Applications in Germany are only complete with an application photo. Photos have a great impact on the viewer and are an important criterion in the selection process.
So take a look at different application photos on the Internet and find out which ones you like. Take these photos with you as a suggestion to the photographer of your choice. Feel free to talk to several photographers before you decide who should put you in the ‘right light’ for your application. A little tip: selfies and photos from the photo box definitely do not belong in your application folder.
Get to the next milestone – your job interview
If you follow the above steps carefully, you have a good chance of being invited for interviews. This is the decisive phase, as you will then have the opportunity to present your personal, professional and social skills to a company’s staff face-to-face. Congratulations, now you already have your foot in the door.
If you would like professional support with your job application
Would you like support in preparing your application documents, in preparing for interviews (in German or English) or in finding your way around the German job market? I will be happy to support you in all stages of your professional reorientation either face-to-face or via video call. Please contact me at via email.