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Career Centre

FAQs application advice

The application process always presents students and applicants with a variety of question which we would like to quickly answer on this page. In case of further questions, we would be happy to answer in an individual consulting session.

Furthermore, students are welcome to take part in our application basics "Bewerbungsbasics" lecture for different subject areas (2h) that we offer every semester. Alternatively, you have the opportunity to check out our weekly seminar "Karriereplanung und Berufseinstieg" (1,5h per week, 3 ECTS) which covers similar contents in much more detail with numerous exercises.

The current dates can always be found under Events.

In general, you do not have to be enrolled as a student at the university to do an internship.

However, it is certainly advisable, because along with job-relevant experiences, you will have the opportunity to establish a professional network. During your studies, there are two types of internships:

  • Mandatory internship: an internship is designates as mandatory, when it is set in the study regulations. In most cases, there are fixed fields and time frame, to which you have to adhere.
  • Voluntary internship: very internship that is not mandatory according to your study regulations. Voluntary internships are paid with minimum wage when they are longer than 12 weeks, which makes this type of internship unapplealing to some companies or organisations.

Internships are still possible after graduation but usually not very beneficial. Should an applicant accumulate several internships, they might be judged as indecisive. If you do however, recognise yourself in one of the following questions, you should do it regardless:

  • You would like to dive into a professional field that diverts from the traditional choice of your degree
  • You want to do something productive with your gap between graduate and post-graduate school
  • You have a safe perspective of getting hired right after your internship

Check out our perspectives for more interesting information about internships.


Articles/external links (German)

 https://www.praktikum.info/karrieremagazin/praktikanten-alltag/praktikum-studium

https://www.praktikum.info/karrieremagazin/gehalt/praktikum-gehalt

A letter of motivation is often required when you are applying for university or a scholarship. This is where the letter of motivation replaces the cover letter. In general, the two formed around very similar. However, the focus of a letter of motivation should be the applicant's motivation, that you support with personal attributes, relevant strenghts and soft stkills. This type of letter offers you significantly more possibilities for self-presentation.

 

Ein Motivationsschreiben kommt oftmals bei der Bewerbung um einen Studienplatz oder ein Stipendium zum Einsatz. Hierbei ersetzt das Motivationsschreiben das Anschreiben. Allgemein sind beide Formen sehr ähnlich aufgebaut. Allerdings steht bei einem Motivationsschreiben besonders die Motivation des Bewerbenden im Mittelpunkt, welche durch persönliche Eigenschaften und relevanten Stärken oder Soft Skills begründet wird und eindeutig mehr Möglichkeiten für die Selbstpräsentation hat.

For more information and individual guidance, feel free to arrange a consulting session with us.

Articel/link (German)

https://bewerbung.com/unterschied-anschreiben-motivationsschreiben/

You should not. As an applicant, you cannot know how carefully an employer will look at your application. Possibly, they will call the listed places for references. Furthermore, they might ask you questions about your false declarations during the interview, and you will come off as insecure, or even contradict yourself, which will leave a very bad impression.

Should your false declarations be discovered, you might even lose the job again. In extreme cases, there can be legal procreedings.

However, it is fine to make hobbies/internships/volunteer work sound more interesting or successful than they actually were.

Artivel/links (German)

https://www.stepstone.at/Karriere-Bewerbungstipps/luegen-im-lebenslauf/

It is not uncommon for students to enroll in university without taking classes and pursuing a degree, doing a so called "Scheinstudium". In this case, you should still mention this on your application. However, make sure to reassess the relevance of it and the details you want to provide from application to application.

It can be more sensible to bridge that gap with an internship or a course in the Rechenzentrum. And address your gaps openly during the interview and justify your decisions.

A university course that you didn't finish should also be listed on your CV.

Articesl/links

https://karrierebibel.de/scheinstudium/

https://www.karriere.at/blog/studienabbruch-lebenslauf.html

Yes, formal salutation is generally accepted in Germany. However, in some cases, informal salutation can be appropriate.

In general, the traditional greeting „Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren“ (Dear Sir or Madam) or the genderneutral salutation „Sehr geehrte Lesende und Zuhörende“ (Dear readers and listeners) are only used, when you do not have a concrete contact person. This, however, should be avoided. If there is no contact listed in the job advertisement, you should call the company. This conveys that you are active and inventive. At the same time, you establish a direct connection with the reader. A possible salutation in this case would be:

„Sehr geehrte Frau X, / Sehr geehrter Herr Y,“ (Dear Ms/Mrs x,/Dear Mr Y,)

In case of several contact persons: List according to hierarchy. If there is none, list the woman first. If there are only people of the same sex, list them alpabetically.

Articel/link

https://karrierebibel.de/anrede-sehr-geehrte-damen-und-herren/

The email text of your application shouldn't be longer than seven lines and rouse interest. The following aspects should be covered:

  • Salutation
  • Text (max. 7 lines)
  • Complimentary close
  • Sur and last name

You could remark how you came across the job, why you are applying, why you are a well fit for the company and what you have attached to the email.

Articel/ links

https://karrierebibel.de/email-bewerbung/

https://www.jobteaser.com/de/advices/465-der-perfekte-e-mail-text-fuer-deine-bewerbung

A cover sheet is always optional. They are solely decorative and round of your impression. This element's design is vital, offering a first impression of your creativity and performance. It should include:

  • Headline
  • Aspired position
  • Contact information
  • Application photograph (optional)
  • Short profile

All further elements of an application can be found here.

Articel/links

https://karrierebibel.de/deckblatt-bewerbung/

There are few differences. Both applications must include the traditional elements. Find an overview here.

Job advertisements that might be relevant for the job entry often ask for an estimated salary. In this case, you should research the common entry salary in this field and convey in your cover letter.
 

Articel/links

https://www.stepstone.de/Karriere-Bewerbungstipps/das-anschreiben-fuer-den-ersten-job/

https://www.stepstone.de/wissen/einstiegsgehalt/

The last sentences of a cover letter are just as important as the first. You should formulate your intentions and include a "call to action", e.g.:

  • Ich freue mich, von Ihnen zu hören.  (I look forward to hearing from you)
  • Ich freue mich darauf, Sie in einem Gespräch persönlich kennenzulernen. (I look forward to meet you in a personal meeting)
  • Ich freue mich, in einem persönlichen Gespräch noch mehr von mir und meinen Erfahrungen zu berichten. (I look forward to telling you more about me and my experiences in a personal meeting)
  • Ich stehe Ihnen gerne für ein persönliches Gespräch zur Verfügung. (I am available for a personl meeting)
  • Für das Arbeitsverhältnis stehe ich Ihnen ab dem 1. Juni 2019 zur Verfügung, für ein Vorstellungsgespräch jederzeit. (I am readily available for an interview, and from 1 June 2023 for the employment)

Do avoid conjunctive formulations (würde, wäre,…) as well as the passive! This could be interpreted as insecure and distanced.

Articel/links

https://www.karrieresprung.de/schlusssatz-bewerbung/

https://www.stepstone.de/Karriere-Bewerbungstipps/schlusssatz-bewerbung/

Yes, you can. If you are rejected by a company, but later come across another interesting position at the same company, you can apply again. However, you should not just hand in your alter application portfolio. Maybe, you have acquired new qualifications or enhanced your layout. Make sure to show that you have developed.

You can also apply to several positions at the same company. However, you should be able to make a clear connection to your development up to that point and your qualifications. You can do this in two ways: Write two cover letters, but point out that you have applied for another position too. Or send your application to your preferred positon and point out toward the end that you would like to be considered for the other position as well.

Articel/links

https://karrierefragen.de/wiederholte-bewerbung/

During the application process, you can active ask when you will receive a reply. Companies will often set a deadline themselves. Should you not receive one after the deadline, you can ask them.

Articel/links

https://www.stepstone.de/Karriere-Bewerbungstipps/die-haeufigsten-fragen-im-bewerbungsprozess/