Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General questions

The good news is: most jobs for skilled workers are advertised online and can be accessed from everywhere in the world.

The limitation is: There is a large number of job portals and also some “meta-portals” which collect job ads from different sources. Also, for many industries and specific job profiles there are specific sites. It is difficult to identify “the best ones” without knowing your specific background. We recommend to do some searches on Google typing in your background and industry in German. This is likely to lead you to the more specialized portals.

Below we have just summarised the most important sources and given some links to more detailed information:

1. Professional social networks:

XING is the German equivalent of LinkedIn – a professional social network. It also contains job ads. What is even more important – it is frequented by German recruiters. So if you are actively looking for a job in Germany you should definitely set-up a detailed profile listing your skills and set your status to “looking” to receive offers.


2. Biggest German job portals covering all industries and offering mostly entry-level and medium-level positions as well as internships:

You can also create “seeker” profiles here so that recruiters can contact you proactively.


3. Job search engines

Jobisjob is a search engine which automatically consolidates job vacancies from different sources.


4. Jobs in English:


5. Highly skilled and managerial positions:


Here you are usually required to pay a membership fee to look at position details. However, if you are looking for highly skilled and managerial positions this is the Top 2 spot after personal networking on XING.


6. Specialized job portals:





Ingenieur Karriere









Academia, social and public services:






7. Big recruitment agencies:

These companies might offer you a permanent position. However, often they are also looking for somebody to be hired for a certain period of time to fill a gap or to implement a project. If this is an option for you, you can fill out the search requests on their websites.

Of course, there are hundreds of other recruiters in Germany, often focusing on specific industries and skill sets. However, they mostly use their personal network and XING, LinkedIn to look for candidates. Direct applications are normally not possible unless you have a very rare and highly desired profile.


8. Newspapers:

Newspapers are also still used to advertise jobs. Normally the job ads appear 1-2 times per week. You can check the website of the respective newspaper for details.


9. Company websites

In particular big companies usually advertise on their website. We recommend to research companies in your field of interest and to look directly on their website (a) if they have vacancies and/or (b) accept “initiative” applications, i.e. applications without a specific vacancy.


10. Applying “based on your own initiative” (without a specific vacancy)

Are there some companies which are your dream destination? So you consider applying even though there is no job advertised? The so-called “Initiativbewerbung” can work well for German SMEs. It is less likely to work for corporations with more standardized processes. If you decide to go for an “Initiativbewerbung” you increase your chances by showing why your skill set is really valuable for this specific employer and why you selected this employer in particular. If you have had contact with this company before – at university, job fairs or working on their projects – this is very helpful and should be mentioned.


11. Tinder for jobs:


This Berlin start-up is a mobile app offering you positions based on your preferences and “learning” more about your preferences on the go.


12. Your network!!!

Most and foremost, your personal network is still a great place to get a recommendation and to learn about positions in the “hidden” job market. We strongly recommend to talk to friends, former colleagues, professors and teachers, etc. and tell them about your aspirations and the kind of positions you are looking for. You should also check if your university offers support (career service) and has an alumni network which might be of value to you.

It is helpful if you start building your network in advance – before you actually look for a job. A good place to start is


where people physically meet based on their interests including professional background.

The commercial chamber of your native country might also offer events which are a good place to meet companies dealing with your home country.


We hope these tips were helpful. Is there a resources which you found helpful and we haven’t mentioned? Let us know under:

The application is your key to the job interview. Often, recruiters receive 100+ applications for a position. There is no time to read all of them in great detail. Does that sound scary? It shouldn’t. Because 80% of these applications will most likely not fit. Still, it is important to stand out from the crowd.

So first, a thoughtfully designed and well structured application really helps you to catch the eye of the recruiter.

Once, the recruiter has decided to read you application in more detail it is important that your CV and application letter really show why YOU are the best fit for THIS specific position. This is why a “mass-application” – a standard letter and CV which you send for all positions – will almost never work.

Finally, even during the job interview, the application is always in front of the interviewer. So a well-structured application can help you to prepare for the interview as you are likely to get questions on things mentioned in your CV and application letter. Are there certain questions you would like to hear? Then make sure that the references are included in your application.

Do I need one?

Yes, we strongly recommend to include a picture in your application for positions in Germany. When it comes down to who is going to be invited to an interview a nice smile can act in your favour.

What is important to consider?

1. Professional photographer: The picture has to look highly professional. We highly recommend investing into a professional photographer who has a specialization in application pictures. Don’ts: selfies, leisure pictures, pictures without a monotone background, full body shots & showing too much skin (unless relevant to the job).

2. Dress code: Wear clothes which you would also wear in your job. More (overdressed) is usually better than less for this occassion. If you are applying for different positions/ industries you can consider doing versions with a different outfit.

3. Face expression: Generally, open but focused, with a light smile. Of course, this really depends on the skills which matter for your job. Consider if these come across in the facial expression on the picture – and also ask your friends to get a second opinion.

You can find some good and bad practices here:

Professionelle Bewerbungsfotos


Süddeutsche Zeitung

There are two answers to this question:

Option 1: Expert

You are applying for a job where

a) your work experience is exactly in the same area with the exactly requested specialization

b) you are applying on the same level

In this first case it will be pretty obvious from your CV that you are a good fit for the position. You should still attach an application letter – but writing it is probably a no-brainer since you are applying in the area of your specialization and you know what the recruiter wants to hear.


Option 2: All other profiles

If any of the criteria below apply we recommend to put a lot of thought into your application letter – it can really help to win this interview invitation:

a) You are applying after university or apprenticeship and don’t have a lot of experience.

Here the employer wants to hear: Why have you chosen a certain specialization? Why are you applying to this company? Is there relevant experience which qualifies you for the job?

b) You have work experience in a different area but you would like to change your profile.

Here the employer wants to hear: Why are you looking in a different area? Why are you applying to this company? Is there relevant experience which qualifies you for the job? This experience might go back to your social engagement activities or hobbies.

c) You are applying for a more senior position then you currently have.

Here the employer wants to hear: Is there relevant experience which qualifies you for the more senior position? Why are you applying to this company?

To sum things up: An application letter is always a chance to present some personal strengths and experiences which are not apparent from the CV. And it is a chance to show an employer that you have understood what he is looking for and this is YOU.

Attaching certificates to the application is a very German thing to do. In general, we recommend to attach certificates if you have this option on the recruiting website. If you are applying per e-mail you can either send the certificates directly or include a sentences saying “Certificates are available on request.”

What is important is that you attach one file (ideally pdf) with scans all your certificates.

What you should attach:


1. Graduation grades from High School/ A-levels/ Abitur or equivalent.

Yes, some HR people care about these even if you left school 20 years ago.

If these come from another grade system, make sure to include the German equivalents, too. You can find equivalent grades here:

Calculating German grades


2. Graduation grades from university or apprenticeship

If you are still studying, please request preliminary results from your university.

If these come from another grade system, make sure to include the German equivalents, too. You can find equivalent grades here:

Calculating German grades


3. Work and internship certificates

While in many countries references (colleagues who have worked with you) are common, Germans mostly rely on paper. If you have worked in Germany before you have most likely received a work certificate (“Arbeitszeugnis”).

Maybe even a non-German employer will agree to issue you such a document if you make a proposal.

For inspiration, you can find some examples here:

Arbeitszeugnis examples

Even if your foreign employer cannot issue such a detailed document as Germans normally do, he can probably still confirm that you have worked there and did a good job. This is already helpful.


4. Other documents

Any other documents – awards, patents, social engagement certificates, training certificate … – which support you professional profile.

Questions for CVinci

The review normally takes 5-10 working days after we have received your payment and all the required documents for review.

The review normally takes 5-10 working days after we have received your payment and all the required data in the questionnaire.

Our key objective is that you as a customer feel well-represented in the application. We have set-up our processes in a way that helps to understand your priorities in terms of design, structure and content before we start with the set-up process.

After the application is set-up we send it to you for review and approval. If at this stage you have changes we are happy to implement these based on the feedback form.

Please notice that sometimes you might feel that the application is “too modest” or “too dry”, etc. These are things we are happy to review and discuss. However, part of our job is to make sure that your application fits with the culture of the industry in which you are applying. Our experience is that German recruiters often perceive foreign application to be “over the top”. While for some countries an application may seem “too dry” for Germans this often implies credibility.

I haven’t found what I was looking for…

If you have a question which is not yet covered, please contact us here.

chocolannaFrequently Asked Questions (FAQ)