Referring to my tips how to write the perfect CV for the German market I will explain today what you need to consider in order to impress with a competitive cover letter in Germany. Having recruited international candidates for several years now, I have come to the conclusion that the German market is different when it comes to cover letters. In most other countries, they have basically no relevance. In Germany, however, a cover letter may be even more important than your CV!
Here are 3 tips you need to know to get the interview:
Tip 1: FORMAT
-A cover letter is a FORMAL letter. End of story! Remember that many Recruiters and HR Managers in Germany pay particular attention to the way you write a cover letter. It is important to take this seriously. The hiring person will consider your ability to focus on details, to formulate complex circumstances of your career path straight to the point, and will check your knowledge of formal norms as well as your sense for aesthetics. Not a joke!
-A cover letter in Germany is never longer than ONE page! Never! KISS – Keep It Short & Simple!
-Once again: Absolutely NO spelling errors are allowed! This may be the most formal document you have written in a very long time. Make sure that no mistakes come in the way between the job and you. Ask a friend to correct your work.
Insert the following information:
-Your address (telephone/mobile number and email address)
-Addressee (full company address and name of the contact person, stating the person in second line)
-Subject matter (Application for…, Your vacancy…)
-Salutation (Take your time to research the name of your contact person, if you cannot find out: “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To whom it may concern“)
-Attachments (you itemize which attachments are sent with the application: CV, references)
BONUS! If you don’t get job interviews: The reason is most likely NOT your CV. Read “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans” to fix your jobhunt. Get job interviews!
Tip 2: EMAIL APPLICATION
-If you send your application via email directly to the contact person, the content of your email text is basically the cover letter. However, it does not mean that it can be less formal. All formal parts are still necessary (beside addresses and the date) to make the right impression.
-It can be helpful to attach the proper cover letter (.pdf, .doc) to your email, just referring to your documents in a short introduction: You mention that you are applying for the job and have attached three documents (cover letter, CV, references/certificates).
Tip 3: CONTENT
-First of all, the cover letter is not a repetition of your resume. It consists of a chain of sound arguments why YOU should be hired for that particular job and not the other candidate. -Every letter should be unique (at least parts of it). Make sure to compose it adequately to the job and company you are applying for. Check the job advertisement for special requirements, duties and responsibilities and refer to your own experiences and skills.
-First paragraph: This is the place where you express why you are applying (Did you move to another city? Are you planning to relocate to Germany and why? Do you seek a career change? Do you want to explore new industry sectors? Have you finished parental leave are looking for a re-entry?) Even if your current situation is rather negative (e.g. you been unemployed for more than a year), you need to demonstrate an advantage or something positive – it´s time for self-marketing.
-Second paragraph: In this part you demonstrate your abilities, skills, experiences and know-how. Internationally, this is what you call a career summary that you place in your CV. However, in Germany you express this in the cover letter. What do you currently do and what makes it so special that you are good at the job? Which expertise do you bring to the table so that you can be successful if they hired you for the vacancy? What have you learned from your previous positions and why? What particular skills do you have? Where do you have them from? Which sector, which countries, what languages? Any special achievements, responsibilities for important projects? Highlight your strengths and always prove them with evidence (you cannot only mention that you are a team player, you have to demonstrate an example why! Have you worked in a project as team member? Mention it now!) Remember to highlight the most important things that are required in the job description.
-Third paragraph: This paragraph is reserved for the position itself and the company. Why are you particularly interested to fill this vacancy? What can you do for them if they hired you and how quickly can you be successful? Show your qualifications from your studies and professional skills that may be unique for this job. And last but not least, why do you want to work with this company, and only with them and not their competitor? Always mention the companies’ name! This shows the recruiter that you took your time to apply only to this company. Also, check their website for interesting facts and state them here. You like that their employees voted them as one of Germany´s top 10 employers? Do they convince you with their core values for society and sustainability? Are you attracted by their internationality and their opportunities to develop a career abroad? Show off your honest interest!
-Final closure: You shortly describe what wishes you have for your future career and how you can add value to the company. Finally, you state your notice period or availability and, if requested, your salary expectations. Express that you are looking forward to meeting with them and state that they may contact you in case of questions.
Good luck with your job hunt in Germany!
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Tags: Cover Letter, Cover Letter in Germany, CV, CV in Germany
If you have not read First job seeker visa post.. you should do it first…
Job Seeker Visa – Why and when?
In this post, I will discuss required documents and some things that you need to remember while applying for jobseeker visa. I and some of my friends have used checklist given officially and collected all the documents.
Process for any national visa (including jobseeker)
Steps for applications are properly mentioned on the official website, so there is no need to discuss them here.
I will directly go to the checklist and required documents for jobseeker visa.
Job Seeker visa German embassy, India checklist
- They (German Embassy/Consulate officers) are strict regarding passports.
Once my Schengen visa application was not accepted. My passport was meeting all the criteria required, but passport photograph was 7 years old so it did not match the recent photographs that I gave along with the application.
- Look at your return date and passport expiry date. Passport should have minimum 12 months validity after you return.
- If you have been to other countries before, copies of visa and all data pages are required to be submitted along with passport copy.
- I will write another post for all points that create confusion in the application form. Just wait for it. Although mostly, it’s easy and simply understandable.
- I am attaching one format of a letter so that you can have an idea about what to write in it.
Job seeker cover letter format
Go to ‘suchen’. And search your university. And take a printed proof that it’s H+
If it’s not H+, as long as I know, you cannot apply for jobseeker visa. Please contact the regarding authority in Germany. Email them and get info for further process. Most of the Indian govt colleges are H+. About others, I don’t know, you should check it.
- You can make your own cv. Make it simple.
You can use help of this… (Do not attach any documents in cv.)
For visa application CV can be submitted in English or German Language.
- You need to attach all documents after cv.
– 10th Marksheet
– 12th Marksheet
– MBBS Marksheets
– Degree Certificate
– State/MCI Registration (MCI is better because easier to verify)
– Job experience certificates, joining letter
– If you are still working, you may need to present No Objection Certificate from your employer
- If you have a friend or relative in Germany, this is the best option. You can ask for this. It will say that he will allow you to stay with them. There is no proof of relation needed to prove. But keep a copy of their Aufenthaltstitel or some German identity with you, you can submit it only if required.
Change details, as required; I am attaching a copy of this obligation letter.
Formal obligation letter for stay
- If it’s not possible to take a letter from a friend, you can book your stay on booking.com
Book for 10 days of stay in any city and hotel/hostel of your desire. And take the one which allows free cancellation. And check that how many days before arrival, you can cancel it. (You don’t have to pay at the time of booking.)
Although it’s obvious, your booking should be at a reasonable price hotel, so that your bank account can show that you can spend that much for stay of 10 days!!
(After visa arrives you can cancel it, and find a Wohnung/Zimmer on www.wg-gesucht.de.. According to your requirements in your desired city.)
- Some consulate may ask for whole 6 months residence proof, and will not try to accept 10 days stay proof…
You can simply tell them that
– I know language properly, so I can search a Zimmer within 10 days in Germany.
– If I will book directly from here and visa will not be accepted, I will not receive deposit money back due to an agreement with the landlord.
– My blocked account ensures my living expenses.
– Booking a room from India will be expensive and in Germany I can find a room according to my requirements.
– Booking a hotel room for 6 months is very costly. That’s not thoughtful.
If you don’t win the argument, well you may need to find someone who can give you an invitation letter for the stay or you may need to find a place on wg-gesucht.
- Some say blocked account necessary, some say for jobseeker visa, it’s not necessary.
I would say open one Deutsche Bank account in Indian branch. And one blocked account (4020 euros) in German DB branch.
Don’t transfer the money from DB Indian account to German blocked account before you apply. (keep minimum around 3.5 lakh) If they ask for the transfer requirement, then do it; and send a receipt and transfer confirmation documents to them via email.
Using other than DB creates problems of verification for them, and it may delay your visa approval. Opening these two accounts is highly recommended to ease the procedure for you and them.
- If your father/any sponsor is paying your finances. One option is to transfer money to your DB account.
If that’s not possible, contact Embassy/Consulate for required documents. Mostly his salary proof and an obligation letter from him may be required.
- One of them is required, not both.
- All the proof should have the same name as your passport. Especially Birth Certificate.
You correct them with proper proofs. I corrected my birth certificate within only 4 hours from its origin.
- If you don’t have any birth certificate, I don’t know the required process, you can contact Embassy or your nearest place where birth certificates are issued.
Read step 2 on this link
- As per rule job seeker visa (or any national visa) should be applied from the consulate or embassy, according to your last 6 months residence. If you fall under different consulates or embassy on your passport permanent residence and current residence. You may need to prove your current residence in the area where you live.
German Missions in IndiaDifferent consulates and embassy have different rules for this. If you are applying at Delhi, a letter from your work employer or a letter from a language institute or any proof of your residence will serve the purpose.
- Other proofs will be asked by them afterwards when they will authenticate your documents, after acceptance of your application.
If you have (not necessary), keep copies of (do not submit these documents along with application of visa until asked)
– your PAN card, Driving licence, election identity card, identity card of your workplace
– Your parent’s Pan card, election identity card, their identity card of work, Adhar card or passport (containing birth date)
-Your siblings education proof and identity (the one with birth dates on it)
- Prepare three sets; they said only one, but they always ask for two sets at the time of submission. And one set for you, to remember which documents you have submitted.
- After your visa approval….
You can take insurance from any given approved companies covering your whole stay in Germany. (Counting from boarding date to return date in India.)
- I have booked Reliance General Insurance both time. I have never used this insurance in Germany, so can’t comment it further.
But it’s cheap, easier to book via internet and they give German sim card free. You can send your contact to friends and relatives from Indian airport. (Simcard will be given to you at Airport.)
Approved Travel Medical Insurance
(Please send me further information via comments or email if you can provide.)
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About Dr.Tejas GhetiaTejas Ghetia is a doctor by trade and a writer by heart. An introvert atheist. Having virtues of silence and observance. Enjoying each day with his full consciousness. Befriended with books and movies.Liberating himself with his adventures of literary and philosophical type! Captivated by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Osho, Kahlil Gibran, Richard Dawkins, Kafka, JKR etc.
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