resultless job hunt

45 posts in this topic

Hello all,

 

I've been applying intensively for jobs in Germany for the past 6 months but got nothing out of it. Not one interview. Not one positive e-mail or phone call. I have a bachelors in general business and worked for an international organisation for the past 6 years constantly changing countries, so I decided to settle in Germany as I have some family and friends here. I speak 3 languages fluently, however German is rather basic (I only applied for int companies with English as their working language). I thought it's my CV so I've redone it twice and had an europass format as well to meet the local resume "requirements". Anyway, still nothing.. any ideas? maybe a recommendation of where to look, or a good recruiter?

 

thanks!

R

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11 minutes ago, revolutionist said:

I have a bachelors in general business

 

German employers generally prefer specialists to generalists. 

 

11 minutes ago, revolutionist said:

I speak 3 languages fluently, however German is rather basic (I only applied for int companies with English as their working language).

 

Do you have any special skills that are in demand here? Which languages do you speak?  Are they useful in the German workplace? 

 

11 minutes ago, revolutionist said:

I thought it's my CV so I've redone it twice and had an europass format as well to meet the local resume "requirements". Anyway, still nothing.. any ideas? maybe a recommendation of where to look, or a good recruiter?

 

Can you describe your USPs in 3 sentences or less?  

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As you haven't had any response at all, I'd suggest that there's something amiss with your application process....covering letter/email and CV.  Inappropriate jobs, possibly also your work permit status? You don't say where where you are from.  Have they got good references?

 

Where did you find the jobs ads? It's useful to make contact with the employer or agency to ask, nicely, if they can give you some advice as to why you haven't been successful. Some will talk to you, some won't. 

 

It is probably worth investing in some proper advice. Maybe another TT member can suggest an advisor.

 

Good luck

 

 

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Do you focus on certain industries and do they match your skill set? Did you work for a profit/non-profit organisation? Do you follow an intensive German language course and do you mention this in your cover letter?

 

Hays is a well-known recruiter. Job engines are indeed or stepstone.

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2 minutes ago, engelchen said:

German employers generally prefer specialists to generalists. 

I agree. I have a minor in finance and my work experience is focused on project management. 

 

12 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Do you have any special skills that are in demand here?

I've been writing, developing, raising funds and implementing projects and large programmes for governments for the past 6 years, so if you refer to skills like IT or engineering, that would be a no, even though I know some basics and I'd love to work in the IT industry as a PM . However, with the project management experience I believe I can get comfortable in many areas when it comes to running/developing projects.

 

16 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Which languages do you speak?  Are they useful in the German workplace? 

I'm fluent in English, Romanian and Russian. I'm looking to improve my German now. I've studied in Austria at an American university, so I do have the basis, I just need to work on my vocabulary and practice. I think they're useful, especially for international companies that are looking to expand their business to Eastern Europe and/or Central Asia.

 

19 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Can you describe your USPs in 3 sentences or less?  

Project coordination professional with a background in business consulting and planning/executing projects addressing a wide range of security concerns for the OSCE. Key strengths include extensive global policy knowledge and ability to work in a cross-cultural environment. Detail-oriented with strong relationship management skills and ability to comprehend and develop solutions for complex technical issues.

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9 minutes ago, emkay said:

As you haven't had any response at all, I'd suggest that there's something amiss with your application process...covering letter/email and CV.  Inappropriate jobs, possibly also your work permit status? You don't say where where you are from.  Have they got good references?

I haven't indicated my citizenship.. maybe I should, thanks!

Yes, I have plenty of great references, but I'd share then only if the employer would ask for them. I don't see the point just sending them out.

11 minutes ago, emkay said:

Where did you find the jobs ads? It's useful to make contact with the employer or agency to ask, nicely, if they can give you some advice as to why you haven't been successful. Some will talk to you, some won't. 

Mostly that's LinkedIn, Monster, Xing, Indeed and so on. I'm also following unjobs.org for jobs in Germany as that would be the closest to my field of expertise. 

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I suspect your problem is that you are looking for a project management position in Germany that requires neither technical nor German language skills. 

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9 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Do you focus on certain industries and do they match your skill set? Did you work for a profit/non-profit organisation? Do you follow an intensive German language course and do you mention this in your cover letter?

 

I'm working for a non-profit but I'd love to switch, at this point, I want something new and I'm opened to any challenge really. Apart from international organisations, I'm looking at the IT and consulting companies and I apply for Project management jobs, relationship jobs, government and/or international affairs jobs. I think I can easily transfer my skills there and bring some fresh air from a different organisation. 

 

I haven't mentioned German classes in the letter - great idea, thanks!

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2 minutes ago, revolutionist said:

I haven't indicated my citizenship.. maybe I should, thanks!

 

Citizenship is especially important for your field. 

 

2 minutes ago, revolutionist said:

Yes, I have plenty of great references, but I'd share then only if the employer would ask for them. I don't see the point just sending them out.

 

German employers expect written references from applicants, this could be another reason why your application does not get past HR. 

 

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5 minutes ago, engelchen said:

I suspect your problem is that you are looking for a project management position in Germany that requires neither technical nor German language skills. 

Yes, that would be the case. I'm applying for jobs where German in not required though and there are plenty of them

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I'm not sure if this is necessarily generally true though I have heard quite a few times that employers and agencies expect you to provide references from all previous jobs plus, documentary evidence of your education.  Quite different to the recruitment process in the UK for example where both were only necessary upon request, mostly after a job offer has already been made. Even if it's not specifically asked for for application, this info can make you stand out more in the first instance. 

 

Again, I can only relate to the UK emolyment process where, when I last heard, CVs didn't have to include anything relating to gender, age, nationality etc. It's more likely that omitting such info here might be seen as a negative. 

 

Again, I really think that you need some proper detailed advice particularly as you are aiming for a change in direction.  An advisor can give you much better strategic ideas. Have you tried agencies in Frankfurt? That might be your best bet initially as they will at least be able to give you a general direction. 

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My company closed down in the middle of 2015 and a lot of people who were made redundant are still struggling to find work.

 

I do not think the picture in Germany is so rosy with regards to the job market. 

 

Good luck with your search.

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4 hours ago, revolutionist said:

Yes, that would be the case. I'm applying for jobs where German in not required though and there are plenty of them

 

Well, down to the basics - is your cv and cover letter in German or English?

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I've had a hard time too, and am also in non-profit. But, your qualifications seem more relevant than mine, so keep at it. Also, contact all the temp/placement agencies. If you want references to a couple, PM me and I'll give you my contact details so you can send me your CV.

 

Also, do include info in your CV like gender, marital status, date of birth, nationality, right to work in Germany, etc. And, do you have a photo for your CV? Yes, welcome to 1960.

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1 hour ago, Erdmann said:

 

Well, down to the basics - is your cv and cover letter in German or English?

 

I'm applying to English speaking companies so my cv and cl Is in English. My German does not allow me to write a cover letter by myself, so I wouldn't want to give a false impression that my German is better that it actually is.

 

5 hours ago, emkay said:

I'm not sure if this is necessarily generally true though I have heard quite a few times that employers and agencies expect you to provide references from all previous jobs plus, documentary evidence of your education.  Quite different to the recruitment process in the UK for example where both were only necessary upon request, mostly after a job offer has already been made. Even if it's not specifically asked for for application, this info can make you stand out more in the first instance. 

 

Again, I can only relate to the UK emolyment process where, when I last heard, CVs didn't have to include anything relating to gender, age, nationality etc. It's more likely that omitting such info here might be seen as a negative. 

 

Again, I really think that you need some proper detailed advice particularly as you are aiming for a change in direction.  An advisor can give you much better strategic ideas. Have you tried agencies in Frankfurt? That might be your best bet initially as they will at least be able to give you a general direction. 

 

Thanks! I know that in Germany it is common to provide much more information comparing to other countries (esp. US/UK) which I did. I did a fair share of research on the topic; a friend recommended me an adviser that was supposed to be guiding and helping with the resume writing but proved quite expensive and inefficient at the end. 

 

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9 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

I've had a hard time too, and am also in non-profit. But, your qualifications seem more relevant than mine, so keep at it. Also, contact all the temp/placement agencies. If you want references to a couple, PM me and I'll give you my contact details so you can send me your CV.

 

Also, do include info in your CV like gender, marital status, date of birth, nationality, right to work in Germany, etc. And, do you have a photo for your CV? Yes, welcome to 1960.

yeap, all of that is included. apart from gender, cause there is picture, so i figured - people can tell..

as of today - I've added nationality - which will cancel out right to work cause it's an EU country.

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A lot of job ads in German will ask for "aussagekräftige Unterlagen", which means all written references, your salary requirement, educational transcripts/certificates, CV and cover letter. Even if the ads you're responding to do not state that in English (could be "relevant documents" or something to that effect), you can assume that many of your fellow applicants have provided them and someone whose application is "incomplete" is likely to get a trip to the circular bin if there are plenty of qualified candidates. If you don't have written references for all jobs, I would give the HR contact provided in the ad a call and discuss that "deficiency" with them and mention in your cover letter that they aren't common practice in the country(ies) you have worked in.

 

I have no idea if this is the case in the nonprofit sector, but in many if not most industries, two separate rounds of interviews is standard.

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2 hours ago, Conquistador said:

A lot of job ads in German will ask for "aussagekräftige Unterlagen", which means all written references, your salary requirement, educational transcripts/certificates, CV and cover letter. Even if the ads you're responding to do not state that in English (could be "relevant documents" or something to that effect), you can assume that many of your fellow applicants have provided them and someone whose application is "incomplete" is likely to get a trip to the circular bin if there are plenty of qualified candidates. If you don't have written references for all jobs, I would give the HR contact provided in the ad a call and discuss that "deficiency" with them and mention in your cover letter that they aren't common practice in the country(ies) you have worked in.

 

I have no idea if this is the case in the nonprofit sector, but in many if not most industries, two separate rounds of interviews is standard.

 

That's an interesting point. I didn't realise that one's application could be ignored if references are absent. Sounds bizarre at such an early stage as a simple screening. 

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Keep trying and improving your german should be priority 1 if you plan to stick around. Get to B2 at least (should be possible in 1-2 months intense learning and practising every single day), you'll have much better odds if the cv/cover is in german. Needless to say the CV and cover letter need to be adjusted for every position you apply, make sure you emphasize the skills and knowledge that would make you THE BEST damn candidate for the position you apply for.

good luck

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