The Berlin Life

Should you customize job applications when applying for jobs in Germany?

publishedabout 1 month ago
2 min read

Hallo there [FIRST NAME GOES HERE] -

šŸ‘‹ Long time, no talk. It's been a while since we sent our last newsletter for The Berlin Life. We're excited to be back today with some expert advice about how to find a job in Germany.

Today we answer a frequently asked question, should you customize job applications when applying for jobs in Germany?

It would be pretty easy to send out the exact same job application (including both a cover letter and CV) over and over again without a second thought. And for some people, this strategy actually works.

If you're a foreigner in Germany, not customizing your job application could actually prevent you from getting a job - especially if you're applying for an English speaking job. Yes, there are English speaking jobs in Germany but these jobs are in short supply. Around 95% of jobs available on the German market require fluent, or some level of German like B1 or C1. This means only 5% of jobs on the market are available to purely English speakers and the competition for those jobs are fierce, as even bilingual Germans are applying for those jobs too.

If you want to stand apart from the crowd and get noticed by German employers when applying for jobs in Germany, one of the best ways to do this is to create a solid job application that is customized for each job to which you are applying.

How do you do this exactly?ā€‹
1) Research the company to which you're applying. We even have a step-by-step guide about how to do this. Information you gather during this process can be brought into a cover letter or your CV. For example, you read about a company's core values and see that they really want to attract people who make decisions using data. You can tell a story in your cover letter, referencing a time when you made a decision based on data and detail how your decision drove positive results.

2) Cover letters should always be customized and this is the part that involves the most work. You can do this in two main ways - first, tell the employer about why you want to work for them. This is where you can bring your company research to the table by telling them about what motivates you about the company or the job itself. Second, you can pull requirements from the job description into the cover letter as well. If the job asks for 5 years experience - you can tell them about various positions you held, the companies you worked for, and the type of work you performed. Use personal examples that prove you meet various job requirements. You can find even more details in our cover letter guide.

3) CVs can also be slightly customized for job applications. If a job application demands certain requirements, you can reflect the wording on your CV as well. Say a job wants someone with good communication skills, you could also add this to the skills section of your CV. Adding in such key words really helps your profile get noticed by HR Software algorithms. Those words will also jump out on the page when a human is scanning your CV to see if you're fit for the job. Learn even more about how to craft a German CV.

Do you have more questions or comments about German job applications? Start a discussion in our Facebook group or visit our site to read through our other career (and other Berlin) guides.

šŸ’– Wish you a nice week!


Founder - The Berlin Life

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