Interim Arbeitszeugnis decoding help needed

17 posts in this topic

Hello dear people!

 

I need your help. Some time ago I asked my employer for the intermediate performance review (Zeugnis). And today I've got it.

Could you please clarify - is it good or bad? Even after reading to this website  https://karrierebibel.de/arbeitszeugnis-formulierungen-bewertung/  I couldn't determine it.

 

Would be extremely grateful! (it is only in English as a company consider itself as multicultural) Also, they wrote "her employees" but I don't have any because I'm not a manager.

 

 

XXX possesses extensive expertise, which she uses effectively and successfully in her work. She is able to impart this expertise to her employees. Due to her exact analytical abilities and her quick comprehension she finds good solutions, which she consistently and successfully puts into practice. We would like to emphasise her well-developed ability to work conceptually and constructively, as well as her precise judgement. We are pleased to confirm her high level of economic competence. Her well-developed entrepreneurial and strategic thinking and actions earn her the greatest respect amongst management and her employees.   

 

XXX demonstrates a high degree of initiative and completely identifies with her assignments as well as with the company. She also impresses us with her great motivation. Even under great pressure, she keeps her grasp on the situation, acts thoughtfully and accomplishes all tasks well. XXX always works very prudently, conscientiously and precisely. Her working methods are marked by trustworthiness and dependability. Even for difficult challenges, she finds and implements very effective solutions and always achieves good results.

 

XXX always completes tasks assigned to her to our complete satisfaction.

XXX gets on well with all associates and always meets them in her friendly, open and accommodating way. Her behavior towards superiors, colleagues and customers is always flawless.

 

XXX receives this interim reference in the occasion of an exchange of her supervisor. We thank XXX for her very good work and are looking forward to a trustworthy and long-lasting collaboration with XXX. We wish this good employee all the best for her professional future and personal well-being as well as further success.

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4 minutes ago, Jane P said:

Would be extremely grateful! (it is only in English as a company consider itself as multicultural)

 

I find the reference letter itself very poorly written; it sounds as if someone used Google translate.

 

 

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An English Arbeitszeugnis is pretty useless in Germany, isn't it? They might be 'multicultural' (read: incapable of writing in German and too cheap/lazy to get it translated), but that won't help you for the next German employer who sniffs at it and promptly throws it in the trash bin. Get it in German if you want it to have any use. If they want to give you a second English copy, that's nice, but German is what counts.

 

I guess they meant colleagues rather than employees, but that's robo-translator for you. Apart from the awkward robo-English, it still doesn't really say anything concrete. It's all trite pablum, although such letters usually are, but I still have no clue what you actually do and how YOU do it. A example or project name or something might be useful.

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Hey, alderhill  and engelchen ! Thank you both for the replies. I've asked already for the German one and mentioned the part about my non-existing employees. I agree that this artifact doesn't make much sense in English. 

 

Quote

what you actually do and how YOU do it

My responsibilities were described before, I decided to skip them. I think I will wait for the German version and then will show it here. As far as I understood - the part with "performance" description is always like this with no specifics at all. All specific information is listed only in responsibilities list, doesn't it?

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1 hour ago, ballygobackwards said:

I remember reading somewhere that since the telephone was invented an Arbeitszeugnis has no use anymore.

I wish it was true, but really this thing (Zeugnis) has been widely used :ph34r:

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57 minutes ago, Jane P said:

I wish it was true, but really this thing (Zeugnis) has been widely used :ph34r:

What I wanted to say was that the person who reads the Zeugnis could contact per telephone whoever wrote it and ask a few questions.

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19 minutes ago, ballygobackwards said:

What I wanted to say was that the person who reads the Zeugnis could contact per telephone whoever wrote it and ask a few questions.

 

True, but I think it is more a formality or the first step in the hiring process - you just have a nice one and go further or you have not so nice zeugnis and rest in bin...IMO, of course.

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3 hours ago, ballygobackwards said:

What I wanted to say was that the person who reads the Zeugnis could contact per telephone whoever wrote it and ask a few questions.

 

A reference is given in the written form so employer and employee have a document to refer to. Due to data protection laws, It is not allowed to ask an ex-employer about a former employee. Anyone can say xxx has applied for a job at my company and I would like to ask some questions about xxx.

 

Every employee is entitled to an Arbeitsbescheinigung or an Arbeitszeugnis depending on the length of time spent working for the company.   

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16 hours ago, ballygobackwards said:

What I wanted to say was that the person who reads the Zeugnis could contact per telephone whoever wrote it and ask a few questions.

 

Aside from the legalities of it, this kind of thing just isnt done in germany.  Of course if you have a personal connection to people at the previous employer there is always a possibility of some unoficial back channel discussion but honestly in about a decade of working in recruitment here I only know of a handful of times that following up on references has occured.  In almost every case it has been along the lines of asking a current employee "hey, didnt you used to work at X?  You dont happen to remember Y do you?". 

 

Whilst I do understand the data protection rules, I still find it weird.  Im pretty sure I could put together a convincing reference on fake headed paper and noone would know -- that said, why would you bother, even one poor reference isnt likely to be a deal breaker and if you make a habit of falling out with your employer you have other things to worry about than the detail of the text in a couple of references.  In the small number of cases I know of where someone didnt like their reference they managed to get it changed anyway.

 

21 hours ago, alderhill said:

An English Arbeitszeugnis is pretty useless in Germany, isn't it?

 

Depends on the industry, we (IT) would be perfectly happy with it.

 

21 hours ago, alderhill said:

incapable of writing in German and too cheap/lazy to get it translated

 

That obviously isnt the problem, it is almost certa that they took a german template and made a pigs ear of translating it. The problem is that they are a hipster multikulti outfit that dont have the skills they think they do.

 

21 hours ago, alderhill said:

but that won't help you for the next German employer who sniffs at it and promptly throws it in the trash bin. Get it in German if you want it to have any use. If they want to give you a second English copy, that's nice, but German is what counts

 

Where possible Id get it in german, but in my experience even the most backwards german companies just want a piece of paper they can read are often relaxed about missing references for non german companies anyway "sorry, I worked in the uk, we dont do Zeugnisse there" or whatever.

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@zwiebelfisch Thanks for the reply. Very informative! I'm working in IT too and this is my first job in Germany, so I'm pretty annoyed with these Zeugnisis etc. :o 

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I had some strange results when I had American bosses write recs for me when I was job hunting over here.

 

I got the distinct impression Germans don't value some of the qualities Americans do ;)  Or maybe they were confused about the intent or real meaning?  Eg I had one boss who I got on with splendidly say something about my ability to question a dev plan or detail, and offer pitfalls and better alternatives.  They seemed to think this was "coded"?  Not sure but it didn't go over well.  It actually worked better to just say "no we don't do that" than to offer what I had.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

I had some strange results when I had American bosses write recs for me when I was job hunting over here.

 

I got the distinct impression Germans don't value some of the qualities Americans do ;)  Or maybe they were confused about the intent or real meaning?  Eg I had one boss who I got on with splendidly say something about my ability to question a dev plan or detail, and offer pitfalls and better alternatives.  They seemed to think this was "coded"?  Not sure but it didn't go over well.  It actually worked better to just say "no we don't do that" than to offer what I had.

 

 

Have you read  "The Cultural map" by Meyer? Some points I find really useful and I really feel these differences. Just need some time to get used to them...

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22 hours ago, ballygobackwards said:

I remember reading somewhere that since the telephone was invented an Arbeitszeugnis has no use anymore.

Yeah right. Imagine you would be interested in a change and apply for a new job, and the potentially new boss calls your current boss to ask questions about you.

 

It is absolutely unprofessional to call former or current employers to ask questions about a candidate...

 

It is a different thing if you gave a name as a reference, or the informal situation, when a former co-worker of yours is already working for the company you're interested in. Then the boss might ask the former co-worker.

 

But using the telephone to call another employer? Absolutely unprofessional...

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Erm. At least in my profession this is simply called verifying the CV. Of course they call. There are even Personaler Stammtisch where people working in personnel dept. of different companies meet. Plus after a few years most of the people have worked together in one or the other company. Do not underestimate networking in personnel dept. They might not be doing it for simple workers but any management position is  carefully selected.

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2 hours ago, zwiebelfisch said:

Depends on the industry, we (IT) would be perfectly happy with it.

Good to know! I guess it depends on the industry.

 

I once got an Arbeitszeugnis in two languages: one copy in German, another in Denglisch. I finally threw out the latter a couple years ago as it was really quite laughably bad... 

 

5 minutes ago, franklan said:

Yeah right. Imagine you would be interested in a change and apply for a new job, and the potentially new boss calls your current boss to ask questions about you.

If you really are interested in the candidate and its some high-profile position, why not?

 

5 minutes ago, franklan said:

It is absolutely unprofessional to call former or current employers to ask questions about a candidate...

It's certainly more involved than usual, but why is it 'absolutely unprofessional'? Before I moved to Germany and started 'anew', this was pretty common in my field. Why else have references? 

 

5 minutes ago, franklan said:

But using the telephone to call another employer? Absolutely unprofessional...

Better than sending a What'sApp! 

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