Job applications in Germany: CV plus photo

85 posts in this topic

Posted

jordigo,

Photos are an essential part of a German Bewerbung. This is nothing unusual.

Personally I don't like it. Unless you are applying for a job as a catwalk model your qualifications are far more relevant than your appearance.

I think people are brainwashed at school into doing it the way everyone else does and someone at some point decreed that a studio pic with a grey background was likely to get the best results for the majority of poeple.

Depends exactly what kind of company you want to apply to. If its an old established traditional company, and you you want to blend in with the rest of the world do as she says... personally I'd stick with the one you've got - if it really is a good pic. Stand out from the creowd slightly.. it'll make them look twice at your application.

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Posted

Attach a novelty photo.

Perhaps one of those pretend olden days pics where you're dressed in clothes of the 19th century, or you standing next to a cardboard cutout of Pamela Anderson. That should impress them.

It'd certainly impress me.

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Posted

i think your friend was trying to help you cover your lies, but saying your wild exaggerated photo overemphasizes your "excellent" qualifications. right. ;)

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Posted

Just take a painting app and scrub out the garden with white.

Then you'll appear as a angel in heaven. Hallowed be your paycheck etc...

They'll like that :)

I took a piccy of a suit I liked and plonked my head on it - although I'm sure you've got plenty of piccies of yourself in a suit Jordigo...

Also: Did she also say you have to sign and date EVERY page of the damn thing??? Often you do have to...

Also: The stupid "don't choose a folder of the color of a political party" rule...

That basically leaves you with white.

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Posted

yeah, the photo thing was a shock for me too (would be a big jaw drop in PC America and people would scoff at the arrogance of the gesture) but i went ahead and did it anyway in black and white for way too many teuros.

the sign and date thing was something i discovered a couple of weeks ago. i've just been sending out a translated version of my CV, structured from a template in a german career guide. am thinking of changing it though according to a template on a headhunter website: Michael Page International

i'm going very with the grain and with the ''m a n'' here, but i have no choice but to conform. wince.

hope this will help somebody else-

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Posted

please explain the sign and date thing... when nogo posted it, I thought it was a joke :huh:

I just send mine electronically, as I have done for years... but then of course this is medieval old continental europe.

frankly, I think I will just pack my stuff and head back to england. these folks are beginning to "nerv" me. for real :angry:

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Posted

Of course electronically none of the above really matters.

Also, this signing and dating thing is way way past its sell-by date. But don't try arguing that out with someone from a BigCompany HR Dept. Little companies won't give a toss if you sign it mickey mouse or not.

Anyway, they'll notice you're a foreigner and let you off (yeah, right).

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Posted

I just send mine electronically, as I have done for years...

Okay, I just sent out about 15 resumes electronically---as I've also done for years. I decided on a compromise between German and US resume formats. I inserted a small picture into the resume, wrote a cover letter and attached both as PDF documents to an email. And the response? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

So I'm wondering if I should change something. Make the attachments Word docs instead of pdf? Take the photo out as it may make the document size too large? Start all over again and send the bloody thing in one of those Bewerbung folders? (I really hate those damned things)

Also, am I ruining my chances if I don't include my university diploma? I lost it several moves ago and getting another from my school in the states has proven difficult.

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Posted

I don't see why there should be any problem with sending your CV and/or cover letter as PDF, but I guess it could depend on which industry you're in.

I sent my CV out as PDF (with the cover letter just as an email) when I was looking for an IT job recently, and to be honest I wouldn't have wanted to work for any company that was unable to figure out how to open and read it.

(BTW, it's worth using PDF when sending CVs to agencies, just to make sure they can't change stuff.)

And what's all this bollocks about having to send them (german companies) a photo and copies of all your references, degree certificate, birth certificate, dog license, inside leg measurement, etc, just for a job application?

The CV/resume should be enough, as long as it mentions qualifications and experience - if they want to know more they can wait till after the interview (when I know whether or not I want to work for them).

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Posted

Do you really want to make it hard for agencies to change your CV though?

Most of the ones I've met remove your name address and phone number from the top of the CV when it goes out, so the companies they send it to in won't bypass them*. This is in the UK, obviously.

Seems to me that you want to make it easy for them to do that.

* Some of them probably add any skills you've forgotten to put on there too - this is how my mate got his job in Russia working on that nuclear plant that blew up.

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Posted

Yes, I want to make it as difficult as possible, to make sure the companies receive the CV that I wrote, not the one containing what the agency wants them to think I wrote.

I'm not bothered about them removing the address - they can do that by photocopying it with a bit of paper covering the relevant part. Or if they want an electronic copy without the address, they can ask me for one.

What I want to prevent is them adding stuff, removing stuff, or reformatting it and making me look like a muppet who can't format a CV properly...

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Posted

really interesting since I recently had the exact same conversation with a german hr-person who was helping me with my bewerbungen. my view was that it is in any event impossible for someone who has not worked in germany all of their professional life to compile a complete dossier as would be customary for a german. hence, there is no point in even trying: if the company is willing to and experienced in hiring foreigners, they are also aware of and used to the fact that in the UK for example references are obtained by the employer on a case by case basis, either in writing or by phone. if they are not, then you probably would be miserable working there anyway... so the point in my opinion is taht it is not worth the time and effort compiling a dossier that would always be regarded as incomplete / insufficient anyway and to focus on applying to UK companies (or whatever your home country is) sadly for those who really want to stay here, as foreigners we are at a competitive disadvantage to the locals in the current market

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Posted

Wouldn't you prefer to be a muppet who can't format a CV properly and has a job than one without? Surely if they think you've a better shot at a job by altering a few minor details then let them go for it. Sure ask to see any modifed version before they send it out.

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Posted

Keydeck: I'd rather not turn up to an interview and have the interviewer ask me a question about something on my CV, only for it to be something that was added by the agency...

If the agency thinks there's something I could add to improve my chances, what's so difficult in just asking me to send a new version?

In any case, I prefer to apply directly to companies and avoid agencies altogether. They're just parasites, in my opinion.

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Posted

Sure Malc, I'm not talking about them adding stuff that's clearly wankology but just about the general tweaking that can sometimes make a difference when it's first looked at.

Granted the last job I got I send the CV in Word format and the agency was decent enough to come back and ask me to change a few things and send it back to them. I guess that's what's preferable.

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Posted

I would send a bewerbung; it at least shows some commitment to their company. If it were an IT technical position, I would avoid any kind of document which puts text data like a CV into a binary object like .doc or .pdf. It just demonstrates whoring lameness for the benifit of formatting. ymmv

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Posted

friend of mine (female, german, employed in HR at a large german company) threw her toys out of the pram today during the course of a conversation relating to "bewerbungen"

JEEEEEEZ -- I realized that the germans prize youth and experience, but where did they find somebody with enough job experience to do the job, yet enough youth to still be in the pram? :o

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Posted

If the problem consists only of finding a suitable photo, I might suggest using this one...

post-10-1067619903.jpg

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Posted

On a more serious note, is there a good photographer that somebody could recommend? Preferably someone with unbelievable talent and unbelievably low fees. Not-so-preferably but more realistically I'd settle for competent talent and not-too-high fees..

Tips?

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Posted

This is bizarre, has this been lifted from another posting? Because I've missed this entire thread until now. Strange.

Anyways, for photos, I can recommend a women I've used for my Bewerbung and passport photos. I wouldn't say she's super-cheap, but you get good quality. If I remember correctly, her name is Anke Hahn, and her studio is right beside Cafe Schwabing on Kurfurstenplatz.

Aha, the Internet is incredible. A 2 second search revealed this:

Fotostudio Anke Hahn

Hohenzollernstr. 86, 80796 München (089) 3006370

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Posted

To smile or not to smile on your CV photo? That is the simple question I pose. Two photos being otherwise equal.

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Posted

You shouldn´t send out a CV without a photo but you shouldn´t take the formal aspects too seriously either. Last time I was looking for a job (3 yrs ago) I simply sent out a one page template with all the relevant information and had excellent responses. The most important point is to call either the HR person or even better the boss of the department that is hiring before sending in the CV. This way you can send your application by email directly to the persons who are going to take the decision instead of being assessed first by some sort of lowly assistant.

BTW, I don´t really see technology improving things so much. Some large companies have SAP frontends where you are supposed to enter your application already. This way companies will make sure that they not only have a completely uniform management ( the usual ex-McKinsey and MBA crowd) that excels at groupthink, no, they´ll have a completely uniform workforce as well.

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Posted

I had a fun time recently re-doing a typical German resume for Canada. Really enjoyed taking out all the stuff that would be either illegal or in bad taste in Canada. ;)

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