Unemployment Benefits in Germany

Unemployment Benefits in Germany

During the coronavirus times, every country around the world is facing widespread unemployment. With the countries going on lockdown, the working class of the world faced a massive job cut. Even while the world was normal, we have all had our share of being unemployed at some point in time, right? Germany, a developed country, gives its unemployed people a set of benefits for being unemployed to help them in their times of need. If you are in Germany and you find yourself unemployed at any time, this article is all you need to know how to get Unemployment Benefits. Read the article further to know more.

When am I entitled to get Unemployment benefits?

 If you are unemployed as a trainee, employee or a person subject to compulsory insurance under employment promotion law, you are bound to get a certain set of unemployment benefits if you have satisfactorily completed the qualifying period. This means that if you are a registered person who has worked for 12 months in the past two years and have lost your job, you are entitled to get unemployment benefits in Germany. You will have to wait for at least 3 months before your benefits begin though.

Requirements

  • Your name should be registered at the labourer’s office.
  • You should have applied for Unemployment Benefits, or else you will not get access to it.
  • You are seeking for a job and will be readily available to work if you get an opportunity.
  • Currently, you should not be having any job or at least should not be working for more than 15 hours per week.
  • You need to patiently complete 3 months before being eligible to get unemployment benefits

 

How much money can you get?

Claiming unemployment benefits is pretty convenient. You get at least half of what you have served for. For example, if you are somebody who has worked for 4 years in a company, this means you have contributed to the German society for 4 years. You are eligible for 2 years of unemployment benefits.

In terms of the amount of money one receives in employee benefits in Germany is approximately 60% of their last drawn net salary. In case you are somebody who has a family depending upon you and you lost your job, you are eligible to get at least 67% of your last drawn net salary.

How to receive Unemployment Benefits in Germany

Unemployment insurance is an insurance which everybody working in the German workforce needs to take. It is a compulsory insurance with the Federal Labour Office. The Federal Labour Office has their main office situated in Nuremburg and it has its regional offices in all the major cities. Everybody who contributes to the German society in terms of work needs to get registered. This includes, trainees, employees, disabled people and everybody who Is subject to compulsory insurance is covered under Unemployment benefits.

In order to get the benefits, you need to inform the Federal Labour Office in person about the loss of your job and have to physically go there and apply for the benefits.

Once you are eligible to get the necessary benefits and eventually have any sort of change in your condition, you are supposed to inform the Federal Labour Office and withdraw your benefits. For example, if you get another job or start getting a pension amount from your employer, you are supposed to stop taking the benefits. If you do not do so, it is considered unethical and highly offensive in Germany.

The labour office can block your benefits for 12 weeks if you: –

  • Refuse to take up a job offer offered to you by the Labour Office.
  • Leave your job yourself or give your employer a solid reason to terminate you.
  • Do not attend a job opportunity event.
  • Stop looking out for jobs or refuse to turn up for interviews and tests.

 

Additional Benefits

Germany is a highly developed country and respects all sorts of jobs and job searchers. When somebody is unemployed, the Government helps the person to the fullest. Apart from the benefits mentioned above, the German Government helps their people even further.

During the tie period of your unemployment, the German Government also pays for the unemployed person’s health insurance.  He German nursing care and pension insurance are also covered by the Federal Labour Office.  That is not it, the unemployed, registered individual is also entitled to get insurance against a few kinds of accidents as well.

How to get the application forms?

If you are in a situation wherein you are unemployed and need to get registered for Unemployment benefits in Germany, you get an employment’s insurance only by applying for it. These forms are printed and are made available to the public only at the Federal Labour Office where you have to physically go and fill the forms.

Conclusion

Germany is a well-developed country and does a lot for their workforce. When a person is unemployed in Germany, they will not be fully stranded because the Federal Labour Office gives their unemployed people a set of benefits. These benefits help the person to survive in terms of monetary help. Unemployed people have access to these benefits until they get a new job and start earning for themselves again.

Here are five reason you should move to Germany.

 

Work Culture in Germany

Work Culture in Germany

Working in Germany has been a dream for many. Be it the wanderlust or the super fascinating and apt working culture, most of the young students want to end up working there. Here’s an elaborated guide on the working culture in Germany which will help you know the work ethics better.

Work Culture in Germany

Has the thought of working in Germany never crossed your mind? It could be the beautiful architecture or the fun nightlife which made your wanderlust surge. Germany being the powerhouse of Europe’s economy has a flawless work culture too. Germans believe in diving their hours to work and to family equally. They are hardworking people who know they deserve some rest time after.

A few things that really add on to the work culture in Germany is that they worship their work and their time. There’s no room for latecomers and anybody who violates that, suffers. Germans know exactly how to increase their productivity levels in the limited amount of time which makes them one of the most powerful economies of the world.

Let’s get on with some more interesting facts about Germany’s work culture: –

Team Hierarchy

Working ethics in Germany include structuring their work force on the basis of qualifications and experience. The higher qualified and more experienced employees go on the top of the hierarchy and the lesser qualified and newbies go at the bottom of the hierarchy. The top management is characterised by smaller teams with more responsibilities and higher delegation power. The lower management has to do what they are told and have to respect the hierarchy with utmost sincerity. Communication between the teams follow a very formal pattern too. They always have to address one another with formal connotations.

Work during working hours

The Germans work for about 35 hours a week. Doesn’t that make you ask, how they manage being so productive? The answer is simple, time is money. Germans wholeheartedly believe in working very hard during their working hours and put a conscious effort in not wasting time during their hours of work. This is exactly why their effort and progress are at par. While they are so productive during their set time, they are equally adamant about having their time to rest for the rest of the day. They don’t work during their non-working hours since that is family time or vacation time which is sacred to them.

Punctuality

We can’t stress enough on how important punctuality is for the Germans. It’s a vital and a distinctive feature of their elaborated work culture. The Germans believe in being on time to work and also while leaving from work. If they have a meeting scheduled at 9 am, they expect you to be ready by 8:55am. The virtue of punctuality is so deeply engrained that being on time is regarded as a mark of respect to your work in Germany. Nevertheless, Germans love the title of being morning people since arriving early to work results in leaving early from it too. They get to enjoy their evenings to the fullest.

Planning- Germans tend to always plan ahead of time. The always have a task sheet ready in hand before the start of their working day. They plan every meeting or task well in advance in order to be punctual and committed to their work. Their meetings last as long as they have pre-decided since they have scheduled either another meeting or a task right after that which they would not want to be late to. Time and productivity is everything for the Germans and this is what makes them so successful.

Team Effort

Germans regard the term “Team Effort” very highly. They strongly believe that there is no ‘I’ in TEAM. Team work is cordially and cooperatively carried out as a part of the German work culture. All sorts of praises and disses are equally shared and no one person represents the team. They value all the skills and expertise of each and every member of the team and give each opinion equal importance. Everybody’s say is considered and the final product is created only after everyone approves.

Conclusion

The working set up in Germany is ideal and updated. The reason why Germany is doing so well economically is that Germans spend their time at work wholeheartedly and very productively. Working in Germany could be a suitable option for most of the young students trying to choose a career path for themselves.

Here are five reason you should move to Germany.

Tips for a Productive Student Visa Interview

Tips for a Productive Student Visa Interview

When you plan to visit any country not listed for visa on arrival basis your national passport, first and most important is to get a visa, it’s an approval for your entry to the country. Germany is a promising nation when it comes to education, and many a students look forward to move to the country to pursue their studies. Check out tips for student visa interviews. If you are one of them, you need to know how to prepare well for the visa interview as it a key to your admission to the country. The visa officers ask a range of questions to ensure whether your motive of visa application is a genuine one and is the same as written in your application form. If you are well prepared you will clear the interview in your first attempt.

These tips will definitely set your course in the right direction:

Rehearse Well

First step is to start with familiarizing yourself with possible questions that will be asked so you are well prepared to express the right answers. While the list of questions can be extensive, if you start digging on the Internet, we have collated questions based on the some key guidelines:

  1. Seriousness
    – Why do you want to do your Bachelors/Masters from Germany?
    – Is this course available in India?
    – Why don’t you do this course of study in your home country?
    – From where did you find your College?
    – Course Content of your desired Program.
  2. Financial Capability
    – Who is your Sponsor?
    – Income details of your Sponsor.
    – About your block account (if applicable).
  3. Intentions
    – How will you manage your expenses in Germany?
    – Will you search for part time jobs?
    – Few questions about your course and accommodation.
  4. Ties to your Home Country
    – You have to show that you are really very much attached to your home country because they want you to come back to home country after your studies.
    – Best way to show that is that you show your Ties to your Family.
    – You can show your Family Business or Parent’s Business.

The point is to do your homework well and practice the answers for maximum possible questions in front of the mirror with confidence.

Documents Compilation

When going for the Visa interview, make sure you do not miss out on a single document mentioned in the list along with a set of copies of the original ones. Arrange the documents properly in order, preferably without stapling, so you don’t have to fidget with them when asked by the interviewer. Financial documents such as bank statements, loan papers if any, sponsorship letters can be marked with color-coded post its note so they are easy to identify and hand over. The way you effortlessly manage things during the interview creates a good impression and may go a long way in getting you the visa.

Punctuality

Germans are known for their punctuality and you don’t want to put of the interviewer even before the interview session starts. Make sure you reach 15-20 minutes earlier than the appointed time slot in case there are any other formalities that need to be done before the interview. Even a simple factor like a queue for security check at the embassy can cause an unprecedented delay. Its always best to have time on hand so you are calm and steady when called for the interview.

Dressing and Mannerism

Your first impression is your last impression especially when going for visa interview and your clothes can help you make it. Dress well, preferably in formals or semi casuals in soothing colors that will make your presence pleasing. Greet with a smile and be polite, calm and friendly throughout the interview. Let there be clarity in speech, eye contact and confidence when you answer the questions, as it will help build trust. Be brief and give honest answers, dont try to overpower the interviewer or answer rudely in any case and end the interview with a thank you. Giving false financial details or other information may lead to the rejection of your visa and might also land you in trouble (like getting banned from entering the country!).

Conclusion

Applying for the student visa and getting it is not very difficult if you follow the process adeptly. Visa interview is a crucial part of the process and one needs to prepare well for the same. The blog is to guide you in your preparation and help you in clearing the interview, however every visa interview is different and depends on your ability to crack through it with honest and confident answers, all the best.
TO Understand more about Visa Documentation Verification Process , Read Here

Top 12 Job Websites for Finding a Job in Germany

Top 12 Job Websites for Finding a Job in Germany

Are you looking for a great job website in Germany? Like the United States, Germany has many job websites that people can use to find a job that they love. There are job websites in both German and English, so even if you don’t speak the language, you’ll be able to find a great job.

You may be asking yourself, ‘Can I get a job in Germany without speaking German?’ There is some good news as it is totally possible!

Of course, being able to speak German will be a great advantage to find a job in Germany. It makes you more marketable and attractive as an employee. Here are some job search sites for finding a job in Germany.

Job websites in German for non-native speakers

Even though they speak German in Germany, some companies are actively seeking English-speakers for recruitment positions. There are several job websites in which the job postings are primarily in English.  They also have resources in English for foreigners seeking jobs in Germany.

  1. The Local
    The Local is a great job website for foreigners to find a job in Germany. It is in English, and jobs are divided into categories, such as Software Engineering and Sales. You can also search by location. The only downside to The Local is that it has a limited number of jobs posted, and most of them require very specific skills.What makes The Local somewhat different is that it also has a News section. You can read news articles relevant to job seekers or foreigners living in Germany. It also lists apartment rentals by city and has a business directory.

  2. Monster Germany
    The nice thing about Monster Germany is that you can toggle it between English and German. The website is called ‘Monster’ because of its huge size, which gives an indication of the possibilities. It has thousands upon thousands of job listings just for Germany, and it has other great features for jobseekers to sweeten the deal.It has a net salary calculator so you can see exactly how much of your income will go to tax, National Insurance, and other deductions, so you can what you’ll take home. You can also upload your Curriculum Vitae so that employers will be able to find you, instead of you finding them.
    Like most job websites, you can narrow your parameters based on keyword, industry, job title, hours, and experience level. What makes Monster Germany unique is that you can also narrow your search by a specific company. Have you ever wanted to work for German Amazon? You can surely do so.
  3. Naukri 
    Naukri is an Indian job website with job listings in Europe and Asia. It has a section for jobs specifically in Germany, with hundreds of jobs posted. You can sort by values like industry, salary, education, and job type.What is unique about Naukri is its resources available to jobseekers, apart from the standard job search function. It will pair you with someone to help you write or evaluate your resume, cover letter, and job letter. You can increase your visibility to employers by paying to highlight your profile to make it stand out.The website also offers a newsletter in which they will mail you in real-time about job openings you may be interested in applying for right away. There is an option to prepare for your interview with an interview coach who can advise you on how to improve your interviews so you can land a job in Germany faster.
    If you live in India, Naukri is a great website to prepare you for finding a job in Germany.

  4. Berlin Startup Jobs 
    Berlin Startup Jobs will match you up with positions are great startups in Germany. The job website itself and most of the job listings are in English, while some of the job listings are in German.The downside to this job website is that it doesn’t have a particularly robust search engine for jobs; you can only search by skill area and little else. It also has very specific skill sets. Most of the jobs are in fields such as web development, editing, and marketing. They also only have a few jobs available.
    If you live in Berlin, they provide resources to information related to living and working in areas like housing, cost of living, and contracts. You could also subscribe to their newsletter.


    Job websites in German for native speakers

  5. EURES
    (European Employment Services)
    EURES is a great way to find a job IF you speak German. You can narrow results by many factors, such as field of work, type of position (such as apprenticeship, temporary, etc.), by job experience, education level, keyword, and location. You also have the security of knowing that the jobs posted on the website are legitimate because it is run by public employment services and an official agency of the European Union.Though the job listings for Germany are primarily in German, many of the resources on the website are in English. They can help you with creating your skills passport and Curriculum Vitae, have someone advise you on your move or job search, gives labour market trends for living in Germany, and informs you about the living and working conditions in your chosen country.EURES also holds job fairs in spring and autumn, so you can get an up-close and personal look at prospective employers and what they want.
  6. Stepstone Germany
    Though there are few job listings in English, Stepstone Germany is a job website that is primarily focused on German-language jobs.  Like EURES, you can narrow your search options by limiting profession and city. You can also upload your resume so that employers come to you, sign up for a mailing list which will match jobs to you and send them straight to your inbox, and provides an informational library for jobseekers.Stepstone has a blog with informative articles all about finding a job in Germany, as well as the app so you can take Stepstone wherever you go. Stepstone was founded in 1996 and is very respected in Germany’s online job seeking community. It has, at the time of this writing, over 94,000 jobs listed. You’re sure to find the right one if you look hard enough!
  7. Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency)
    The Federal Employment Agency is a German federal agency that manages unemployment centres and provides unemployment benefits. You can still use the website even if you are not a German citizen. Like most job search sites, you search by job title keywords, location, and employment model. They have profiles for job seekers, where you can post your qualifications and what you’re looking for in a job.However, it also has many other resources for foreigners living in Germany. They will provide you with information about integrating into German culture and learning German, financial benefits, education in Germany, legal protection like insurance, learning how your degree qualifies you for work, opportunities for vocational training, career counselling, and other general information about living and working in Germany.You know you can trust this website because it is run by Germany’s government, so you won’t need to worry about scams. The agency has a huge network of over 700 smaller agencies and offices all over Germany.There’s a small, poorly-translated section in English for foreigners on the website, but it’s a much easier job website to navigate if you speak German. You could also use the ‘Translate to English’ option upon right-clicking the screen. Be careful of doing this, as some words may get lost in translation. If your German is limited, try scheduling an appointment to find someone who can help you.
  8. Indeed Germany
    One of the United State’s leading job websites, Indeed, has a German section. You can search for a job using the job search function, narrowing down your results by location, job title, specific company, and the other standard values. Unlike a plain job website, it also offers other resources to help you land your dream job in Germany.
    They will help you create your Curriculum Vitae, as well as store your resume for sending to prospective employers. They post news articles detailing Germany’s current labour market and employment statistics. Indeed is a widely-used website and has over half a million jobs posted. Individual employers also have ratings, so you can know if it’s a scam or not.

  9. Make It in Germany 
    This job website is all about living and working in Germany. It has a job search function, and you can search by such values as keyword, industry, and region. The job listings are in German, while most of the other information is in English. You can subscribe to have job updates sent straight to your email address, so you can always know when a job you may be interested in has been posted.There is also a section for businesses, which can give you an idea what German companies are looking for in employees and what their employee search process looks like.This website offers great resources on German jobs and living in Germany. They can inform you about taxes, social security, work contracts, looking and applying for a job, and more. You can find resources on studying German or obtaining further training and education to make you more marketable as an employee.

  10. LinkedIn Germany
    LinkedIn Germany is a great job website if you have marketable skills. They have nearly 2 million jobs posted just for Germany, and you can clearly see which company is offering the job. You can do some research on the prospective employer and make sure they’re legitimate and a good place to work.
    Most job ads are in German, with some English ones peppered in. You can narrow your search by date the job was posted, the company, and your experience level, among other values.The unique thing about LinkedIn, compared to other job websites, is that they have public profiles for each company that posts jobs on their service. The employer profiles contain an about page, a news feed, the jobs they’ve listed, and people on LinkedIn who work there. In this way, employers on LinkedIn are more accessible than those on other job search websites. On some sites, you don’t even know which company you’re applying for!LinkedIn’s value isn’t just in its job search engine, but in its resources for jobseekers. You can take courses to improve in your chosen field, compare salaries, and network with other professionals in your field. Many people discount the value of building relationships in your area of business, and it may someday be those relationships that help you land a job in the future. Work isn’t only about the salary – it’s about the people you work with.

  11. Jobware
    Jobware, like all the job websites on this list, has a robust search engine for finding the exact job you’re looking for. You can narrow your search by field of work, city, education level, and others. They have a salary calculator and a newsletter, so you can keep up-to-date with your job search.Besides their online job listings, they also have resources for jobseekers in Germany. They can help you with your Curriculum Vitae and your cover letter. One of the unique things about this job website is that they also have a calendar of job fairs in Germany. You can get up close and personal with prospective employers.Try starting a conversation with someone from a company. Ask about their workplace culture, what it’s like to work there, or what they look for in a potential candidate. You might make an impression. If you leave them your business card, they may call you the next time they’re looking for an employee.

  12. XING.com
    One of the largest job websites in Germany is XING. Many people refer to it as the European LinkedIn, and its interface is available in many languages, including German and English. Some job listings are in German, but many of them are in English, as are the resources on the website. The search function is robust, allowing you to choose between employment types, experience level, the field of work, salary, and a radius of your chosen location.XING has many helpful resources for people looking for jobs in Europe. They have an interactive Curriculum Vitae editor with different designs and formats, templates, and articles and checklists for jobseekers.

 

BONUS: Company Websites

Is there a specific company you’ve been dying to work for? Try going directly to their website and see what jobs they’re hiring for. Most company websites have a Careers section (you may have to scroll to the bottom and look at the small print menu to see that section). 

Try applying for jobs at specific companies in Germany. If you can show that company you have a passion for their brand and product, you may not even need a job website to find your job. You’ve already found it.

Conclusion

As you can see, it isn’t nearly as difficult to find a job in Germany as you may think it is. There are many great job websites, both in English and German, to help you on your journey to employment.

Please keep in mind that, even if you don’t speak fluent German, you can still use the job websites we highlighted for German speakers. Many of them have resources and job listings in English, and you can also use the ‘Translate to English’ button in order to get a basic understanding of what they say. Just because an employer posts a job ad in German, doesn’t mean they only want German-speaking applicants.

It may not happen right away. You will need to persevere and prove yourself. If you can make yourself shine and consider all the options, and employers will take notice and hire you. 

One of these job websites is sure to help you on your way. If you have your suggestions for other job websites in Germany then we would be happy to hear about them. You can also look for recruitment agencies which can help you get a job in Germany. 

Alternatively, you can also google for job vacancies in Germany and there might be other job portals as well. We would be happy if you share your results with us.

Do read about the perfect German CV format and a kick-ass Cover Letter format.

How to create the perfect German CV to get a job

How to create the perfect German CV to get a job

When applying for a job in Germany, your Curriculum Vitae (or CV for short) is somewhat like a brochure describing your skills and qualifications. It’s somewhat like a resume in other parts of the world. The German CV (Lebenslauf) is very important, and having a badly-written or badly-formatted one will cause your job application to immediately go in the trash bin.

Germans are very particular about their CVs. Learn how to create the perfect German CV to secure that job in Germany!

German CV Sections

As stated, the German CV is somewhat like a resume. It will sometimes have a cover letter, though those are optional. The German CV is divided into separate sections. They are all important, so make sure each one is complete. Of course, be sure to check for any errors before you send it off to any potential employers.

Personal Information

The first section is the Personal Information section. As you may have guessed, it will list your basic personal information, including your name, age, location, birthdate, marriage status, nationality, place of birth (city and country), address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Additionally, the right-hand corner should have a passport-size photo of you. Make sure you keep the photo, and the rest of your CV, current. Update it as needed whenever something changes.

Profile

In this section, succinctly describe yourself and what you do. Avoid cookie-cutter terms like “team player” and “creative”. Give concrete examples of your traits. Describe your specific skills, experience, and fields of study.

Don’t beat around the bush and try to make your writing flowery. Germans value directness and will respond to concrete examples and direct terms. Your Profile section will give them their first idea of your professional history and story.

Education

In this section, describe your education and studies. Start with your attendance dates, then the name of the study program, then the name of the university you attended. Include which degree you received and your final grade. Note any special area of study within your school’s program, if applicable.

For example, if the degree is in Marketing, but you specialised in Social Media Marketing, be sure to note that. It will help employers narrow down what areas you’ll be most knowledgeable in. Also include the name of your high school and which dates you attended.

Leave out any irrelevant information. If you’re applying for a marketing job, but you happen to have a degree in Medieval British Literature, don’t include that in your CV. Your German CV should be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. Save the useless information and use that space to include information that is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

In addition to stating your education, make sure to be clear how it will be useful in the job you’re applying for. Describe how your particular education will help you do better at this job than anyone else. Be clear how this education makes you the best candidate.

If you did not go to a German school, note that their grading school is opposite of what it common in the United States. In German schools, 1 is the best grade and 4 is the worst. You can either transfer your GPA to the German standard, or note in your CV that the grading scale is different where you graduated.

Work Experience

List your previous jobs in reverse chronological order. Include the dates you worked there, which position you held, and the name of the company you worked for. Write a simple description of your duties in that job. Keep your descriptions succinct. You don’t need to make it flowery or include buzzwords or fancy jargon. In general, a German CV should be all facts and no fluff.

Depending on your work history, it may be necessary to pare down your employment history. List positions that are the most relevant to what you’re applying for now. Customise your German CV based on what job you’re applying for now. As expected, Germans appreciate it when applications are direct and leave out any unnecessary information.

Miscellaneous

You may include this section if there’s anything extra you want to add. This section is for listing things such as technical certifications, second (or more) language skills, traveling abroad you’ve done, or other miscellaneous skills you believe may be relevant. This section gives you an extra opportunity to stand out from all the other applicants applying for this job. Also, you should  include if you received any special scholarships or if you’ve done any significant volunteer work.

References

It’s common in Germany to include references from former employers with your German CV. Make sure you have at least three. They should not be related to you. Make sure you include the phone numbers for all of your references, their address, and their occupation.

Your references must have knowledge of you professionally and know your character. Have your references describe you as a worker, paying special attention to details that will be relevant to the job you’re applying for now.

It’s quite normal in Germany for employers to give their former employees written reference letters when they stop working there. These are what you will include as references in your job application. You should request a written recommendation letter from your former workplaces. Be sure the job is relevant to the job you’re applying for now.

German CV Photo

You will need to attach a small passport-size photo in the top right corner of your CV. It helps potential employers attach a face to your name. It is their first physical impression of you. Keep your photo professional, with neat clothes and a simple background.

Make sure the picture is only from your shoulders up. It is taboo in Germany to include a holiday picture or a personal picture in your German CV. Always keep your photo professional, and no selfies!

Applications without a photo, or with a poor photo, will likely be rejected right away. If you don’t have any professional-looking photos, you may want to invest in getting one taken. It will help you look more professional in the eyes of prospective employers, and the investment will pay for itself when you get a job. Specifically, the dimensions should be 40 x 60 or 50 x 70 mm.

That being said, some job postings will specifically request that you do NOT include a photo. Pay attention to this, as it could cause your application to be thrown out if you do not follow the submission instructions. If you are asked not to send a photo, don’t include one. If you do, it will demonstrate that you are unable to follow directions.

German or English?

Opinions are mixed on whether your German CV should be in German or English, depending on what your native language is. This will generally depend on the job you’re applying for. If the employer specifically states the job requires fluency in German, then the employer would be pleased with a CV written in fluent German.

If your German isn’t very fluent yet, write your CV in English. Just be sure to follow the traditional German CV format.

Should you choose to submit your CV in German, be sure to have a native German-speaker check it for you just in case you missed anything. It’s better safe than sorry, so don’t be shy about enlisting a friend as a proofreader.

German CV Format

Make sure your German CV adheres to standard layout, is neat, and has no errors or typos. Keep the font simple and clean, and a decent size. It can’t be too big, but it also can’t be too small to read. Your name should be clearly printed at the top of each page of your CV. The current date and your present location should be in the bottom left corner.

If you want to highlight something, use bold or italics. Don’t try to be too creative with your German CV, or use any odd fonts or colours. Keep it simple, and prospective employers will appreciate it.

German CV Length

Your German CV should be no longer than 2 pages. Being able to keep it concise is one way that prospective employers can judge your ability – are you able to concisely pare down everything that shapes you professionally, and pick out just the important information?

Not only that, but do it well? This shows your ability to prioritise. If it doesn’t add relevant value to your CV, perhaps you should just delete it and make room for something relevant.

Templates

Does crafting your own German CV from scratch sound a bit too overwhelming? That’s perfectly alright! There are several online templates and services that will help you craft a Curriculum Vitae. You simply select your format and fill in the details. Other ones you download and alter to fit your needs.

Here are several websites to get you started:

German CV Submission

Your prospective employer will likely have a way they would personally like the receive your application, likely noted wherever the job was posted. They will give instructions for you to follow to submit your application. They may want a hard copy, sent via e-mail, or via an online application form. Make sure you only send the company copies of all your documents. You will likely not get any originals back.

If the company would like the application by email, be sure it is in the right file format. If they want it in PDF form, don’t send it as a Word document. This will make a poor impression of you from the start as someone who can’t follow basic instructions. If the job posting wasn’t clear, be sure to contact the company and clarify how they would like the documentation to be submitted.

If you are submitting your application as a hard copy, be sure it looks neat and professional. Print in on quality DIN A4 100g/sqm (min.) paper. Place your materials in a quality folder. Be sure the folder is clean. Your cover letter should be on top of the folder, not inside it.

Make sure you sign and date all documents, and write your present location with your signature. Don’t submit your application in something like a paperclip or a plastic folder or binder, as this looks unprofessional. If you are mailing the application via snail mail, make sure you pay right amount for postage and that the address is right.

Conclusion

The German CV is perhaps the most important document in your journey to finding a job in Germany. It is not hard to craft one, but is a very specific task that must be done correctly. Your CV is how you will be judged by your prospective employers, and it is the first impression you make.

It must be thorough but concise, and get the point across without being too wordy or irrelevant. Germans value a CV that is informative, but straight to the point. You now have the tools you need to create the perfect Curriculum Vitae to get a job in Germany. Do read about how to create a kick-ass German Cover Letter to help your CV give the right impact.

Also read about the details about the German job seeker visa here. This can also help you to find your way to the German shores and live a great life ahead.

 

How to write a kick-ass German cover letter?

How to write a kick-ass German cover letter?

When applying for a job in Germany, the German cover letter (‘Anschreiben’) is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the application. In the United States and most other countries, the cover letter is typically glanced over and skimmed, at best. Not so in Germany. In Germany, a great cover letter is nearly as important as your Curriculum Vitae and can make or break your application. According to 2013 research, nearly half of all German HR personnel rejected job applications that did not have cover letters. Clearly, the German cover letter is important. It is the very first impression the company gets of you. Hence, make it a good one.

Let’s go over some ways to create a kick-ass German cover letter for your job application that will have prospective employers interested in you as a potential candidate.

Cover Letter Format

Germans take their cover letters very seriously, and they must follow a prescribed format. You’re not writing an email to your mom. People in charge of hiring pay a lot of attention to how your German cover letter is written, and they will judge you heavily based on it. As a rule, they expect it to be professional and follow a formula. However, it must NOT be longer than one page. Condense your words to get your point across. It can be hard to sell yourself without being flowery or too brief, but you must find a happy medium. The German cover letter is somewhat like a test – it shows how well you can succinctly sell yourself AND it will reflect your professionalism.

1. Readability

To begin with, you must also be SURE that the German cover letter contains absolutely no spelling errors. However, if German is not your first language or you’re not very fluent in it, this can be easier said than done. You can have a German friend proofread it for you. Considering the cultural importance of the cover letter, a good friend should be happy to do so. Maybe they can even give you some tips and pointers. A German cover letter with spelling and grammar mistakes will not be considered seriously.

Make sure the cover letter is readable. Big walls of text scare people. Therefore, break it up with clear paragraph breaks. The standard font size is 12. Do not submit your German cover letter in an unusual or large font. No one is going to read a cover letter in size 18 Papyrus, except perhaps to make fun of it. Use a legible and professional font like Times New Roman, Arial, Georgia, or Helvetica. Make sure all your documents (cover letter, resume, references, Curriculum Vitae) are in the same font and style.

Make sure each sentence is clear and concise. The recruiter doesn’t want to read a novel here. Make each sentence short and to the point. Don’t start all your sentence with the word “I”. This shows a lack of linguistic creativity. Restructure your sentence to make them more interesting. This isn’t about you as a person – it’s about what you can do for the company.

2. Framework

Your German cover letter should be written according to DIN 5008, which is a type of framework for formal writing. It has the following standards:

  • Left margin: 24.1 mm
  • Right margin: at least 8.1 mm
  • Bottom margin: 16.9 mm
  • Top margin: 16.9 mm

These margins may seem arbitrary. However, following them shows you’ve done your research and that you are a professional who can follow the rules.

The format of the German cover letter should be as follows:

  • Your address, telephone number, and email address. Be sure your email address sounds professional. Ideally, it should be your name or a variation of it. Do not use the questionable email address you made when you were fifteen. Make sure this information is in the top right corner or the letterhead of the cover letter. Also include the date, in European format.
  • Include the full address of the company you are applying for and the name of the contact person, if you know the name. Otherwise, say something like, “To whom it may concern” or “Dear sir or madam”.
  • The date.
  • Subject matter. State exactly which position you are applying for. Make sure it’s clear that this is all about the position available.
  • Be nice and say hello. Try to take your time to research who in the company does the hiring and will see your application. Try calling the company to see who handles applications. It shows you have tenacity. Make sure to use the person’s official job title in the greeting.
  • First paragraph.
  • Second paragraph.
  • Third paragraph.
  • Short closing paragraph.
  • Include any relevant attachments, such as references and your Curriculum Vitae.

German Cover Letter Paragraph Content

In your cover letter, don’t just shoot off everything it says in your resume. That’s what your resume is for. In the German cover letter, you need to sell yourself. Make the employer want you. Think of yourself as a marketer, and you are the product. Don’t use the same cover letter for each job you apply for; make them different to appeal to the specific company you are applying for. Based upon the responsibilities, requirements, and work culture, mention your own experiences and abilities in relation to what the company itself wants.

Make the company know why they should hire you above all others. However, do not brag. It’s a fine line between selling yourself and just plain bragging. Show that you are confident. Reference any follow-up calls or interviews like you know they’re going to happen. Say something like “I look forward to discussing this with you more”. This shows confidence.

1. First Paragraph

Tell the recruiter exactly why you are applying for a job right now. Have you recently relocated? Did you need a career change? Do you want to make more money? Have you been out of the job market for a while? Tell them why you’re applying right now in particular. Even if you’re in a bad situation (such as, you got fired from your previous job), spin it in a way to make yourself sound good. Don’t lie, but always be sure to sell yourself. Make sure you’re not just regurgitating the content of your references/Curriculum Vitae. Make it sound unique. It should enhance your CV, not be interchangeable with it.

Take the time to really make the opening sentence pop. Don’t write what everyone else does. For instance, say something interesting and relevant that will make the recruiter want to read more about you. If someone who works at the company or that they may know recommended you for the job, mention it to give yourself credibility. Otherwise, state where you learned of the open position.

2. Second Paragraph

Describe your skills, abilities, and experiences. What makes you special? How are you the best person for the job, above all other applicants? What are your skills (make sure they’re job-related)? Where did you learn them? Do you have any related experience at prior jobs that you can bring to this one? Are there any special achievements or important past projects that you can highlight?  Tell the recruiter what your strengths are. Make sure you’re showing, not telling. Don’t just say you’re great with web development – give the recruiter an example of something awesome you’ve made for a website. Make sure to relate this section of the German cover letter to the actual job. Only list relevant skills and experiences. Be sure to mention that you also speak English (if the letter is in German). Generally, companies love bilingualism.

3. Third Paragraph

Tell the company exactly how you can help them be successful. You should tailor this section to the specific company you are applying for. Why do you want this job, out of all the other jobs you could apply for? What can you do for the company that no one else can do? Why this company and not, say, a competing company? Make sure you mention the company’s name. Do some research on the company to show your sincere interest. If the company won an award, mention it. Do you like how the company is working with charities, or do you like the products they develop? Impress the recruiter with the company knowledge you already have.

4. Closing Paragraph

Reiterate that you are interested in the position and thank them for their consideration. Describe what you would like for your future and express again how you can add value to the company. State what hours you are available to talk, any salary expectations (if they ask), and say you look forward to talking with them further and that they may contact you if they have any questions. Furthermore, tell them you will make a phone call to follow up with the company soon and be sure that you follow through.

Cover letter tips

  1. Clean up any social media messes you may have. It’s the age of the Internet, and your prospective employer will Google you. If there’s anything questionable on your social media pages, clean them up now. Make yourself look professional and presentable. No employer wants to see your post about how sloshed you got at a party last night. You can use networking sites to your advantage. Create a professional LinkedIn page that showcases your work skills and talents. Keep your Facebook looking professional. If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it, don’t post it. The same goes for Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media sites you may have.
  2. If you send your application in via email, you can do one of two things: paste the German cover letter in the body of the email or attach it as a file with your Curriculum Vitae, references, a professional photograph of yourself, and any relevant certificates.
    Either one is acceptable – just make sure you include all necessary parts in the email. In this scenario, the email basically becomes your cover letter. If you choose to attach it as a file, be sure to introduce yourself as an applicant in the body of the email, give a short introduction, and mention the attached files.If you’re sending your application via email, give each document a relevant name, such as First Name – Last Name – Resume, First Name – Last Name- CV, and so on. This will make it easier for whoever has to read your application, and makes you look more professional. If sending through regular mail, make sure to still include a professional headshot of yourself. Employers like to put a face to a name.
  3. If sending as an email, make sure all your documents are in PDF format.
  4. Be sure to sign all documentation, including your cover letter and CV.
  5. Do not use passive voice. Make sure you only use active verbs and keep your words positive.
  6. If your German cover letter is too long, pare it down. Conversely, keep the flowery language to a minimum. Make sure you get straight to the point. No one wants to read a novel about you. Make sure everything is relevant.
  7. Reiterate any keywords in the job description in your over letter. This will grab their attention and show relevance to the indicated position. Some German employers use a computerised system to filter out any irrelevant applicants. Including keywords will ensure you pass this first stage.

Conclusion

Now you have the tools to create a refreshing German cover letter. The cover letter is a very important part of the job application in Germany, if not the most important part. If your cover letter doesn’t shine, the prospective employer will look no further and discard your application. You must take your cover letter as seriously as they do. It must be clear, concise, and professional, but warm. Try finding someone with experience writing or reading cover letters to look it over you and give points off improvement.

If you can make a great impression with your cover letter, you are more likely to get an interview in which you can sell the employer on your personality, not just your qualifications. Remember that the best cover letter is one that is honest. Don’t lie, but make sure you clearly state your qualifications and achievements. Make a good impression with your German cover letter, one that will make the employer ask you back.

A good resume can help you negotiate a better job with a good pay and then you can be more aware of the gross net salary in Germany.

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