Want to know why your application or your CV got rejected by a German company? Find out with this article!
Germany, a country known for good engineering, beer, and lederhosen. If you google German stereotypes, you will find things like “Germans like to be punctual”, “Germans tend to be direct”, or “Germans love rules, organization, and structure” as well as “Germans know how to bake bread”. The last one has nothing to do with your application process, but it is still a nice fun fact. The other stereotypes, although, can explain the issues you are facing when applying for a job on the German job market. The following article will explain common pitfalls and issues when applying to German companies as a foreigner.
The German job market: In desperate need of IT professionals
Looking at the statistics, Germany does have a high demand on IT professionals that probably won’t go away very soon. As technology evolves over time, companies all over the world are facing a high demand on talented employees to stay on track and deliver state of the art products. German companies are also in this race and have more than 43.000 open positions in this field of expertise according to Bitkom. “Made in Germany” still stands for good quality and engineering. Companies are always trying to achieve world class and looking at our export rates, we do very well worldwide.
We entered the digital age and a lot of companies are now transforming their businesses from mainly production-driven to more services and digital products. This movement also demands a lot of digital talent to uphold the high quality standards German companies stand for. In the past years, Germany could train and source their demand for employees mainly within the boarders of the German-speaking market, which is Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All three countries are very similar when it comes to culture and their love to standards and regulations. And if you don’t follow some of the basic rules during the application process, you will be sorted out very quickly.
What are the standards for a the German application process?
1. Must have documents
Unfortunately there is no general rule which can be applied to all companies but these documents always are needed when applying:
- Motivation Letter
- Copy of your Graduation Certification
Some companies vary in what they need in addition to these application documents. It is also common to demand an official recommendation letter of all of your last employers, which can be quite frustrating to obtain if this is not common in your own country.
2. The right application channel
Another reason companies could reject your application is because you simply applied through the wrong application channel. Usually the company states within their job description how it wants you to apply and if you don’t follow their instructions, your application probably won’t be considered at all. We as German love our application processes and we dare you to ignore them. This is not something recruiters want you annoy you with. It is rather an internal habit or rule most of the recruiters can not do anything about. For example the mailbox is limited to only 2MB file sizes. This makes it nearly impossible to receive any application mails.
3. English is not always our strong suite
If you can’t read the job description because it reads something like “[…] wir freuen uns über Deine aussagekräftige Bewerbung […]” (we are looking forward to receive your meaningful application), then it probably is written in German. And if you don’t speak German very well, the chances for your application to be considered are very low to zero. Although Software Development is often in English, some companies are still not ready due to the lack of German-speaking employees within the team.
4. Formalities are important
As mentioned in the first paragraph, alongside with having a motivation letter and a CV, the structure and the content is by far the most important thing when applying. The webpage Europass has some great templates on how a CV should like and what information is relevant within the CV. Nevertheless, it is a template a lot of recruiters don’t appreciate for many reasons. Although it is not mandatory to put pictures on your CV, statistics show that it is always a better idea to put one up. Recruiters take this as a first hint of how you present yourself and how good your first impression is. A professional picture taken by a good photographer can be a game changer in your application process and is highly recommended.
5. A big PLUS
Although there is a shortage of candidates, companies are trying to filter out the masses from the best candidates in their application process. Therefore, a big plus for you is to have some kind of online reputation in your field of expertise. If you have a project, code, webpage, or anything in that matter put it in your CV and let the company know who you are. This is more than a company usually asks for, but it is going to let you jump the line of candidates. Just make sure it is relevant to the position you are applying for.
With these tips and tricks, you should be able to understand the reasons for you CV getting rejected. If you are unsure about your CV, you can send us yours and we will take a look at it and tell you what better be changed in order for you to land your dream job in Germany. Our staff is specialized in Software Development, Software Engineering, and any other Software related positions and are happy to help.
This article was written by our employee Tamara and first appeared on our blog.