Should I ask for a Arbeitszeugnis after finishing my employment in University?

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I'm moving from academia to industry. At the moment I'm still employed as a "wissenschaftliche mitarbeiter" by a University. 

Do I need to ask for an Arbeitszeugnis from my boss at the University, who is the head professor of the group?

or people in the industry don't ask for such a letter when the person is coming from academia?

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5 minutes ago, engelchen said:

In Germany it is always better to request an Arbeitszeugnis.

Is there a good template that I can give my boss. I expect he is not familiar with that type of reference letters.

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In any larger company or institution such as a university,  the HR department will probably handle this.  They usually have forms on which the boss reviews your performance and lists your tasks and they will write a reference using that as a guideline.  

If you gave worked there for less than 12 months, you are only entitled to a statement of employment,  IIRC, more than 12 months: a qualified reference.  Most employers,  however, will give you a proper reference even if you have been there for less than a year

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2 hours ago, maxie said:

IIRC, more than 12 months: a qualified reference.  Most employers,  however, will give you a proper reference even if you have been there for less than a year

Yes, I've been employed there for more than 12 months. In case they are not familiar with the structure of a typical qualified reference, what sort of information should I ask my boss to put there?

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They most certainly are familiar with this. They do it all the time. Make sure to get one; you may need it down the road, and trying to contact people years later for one is often a pain.

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10 hours ago, bobMorane said:

what sort of information should I ask my boss to put there?

As other people have said, your employer (HR department) will definitely know even if your direct superior might not be German and thus unfamiliar with the concept. 

The reference usually includes your name, DOB, job title, start of employment. Then it should list your tasts/things you were responsible for. Sometimes that is done as bullet points. Then come a few qualifying paragraphs about how you did your job, what your special strengths are etc. followed by how happy they were to employ you etc. and sometimes your reason for leaving (decided to pursue his/her career elsewhere, decided to return to xyz, to take care of growing family) followed by good wishes. 

You are entitled to a "wohlwollendes Arbeitszeugnis", i.e. a well-meaning one. They cannot say you did a crappy job and they fired you for it. Nor can they say you were incompetent and not up to the tasks (not saying you are, by any means!!!) There is a certain jargon that is used in references that correspond to grades. Not everyone uses it and people tend to be more creative these days (not sure if it was ever as certain as people seemed to believe, tbh) but you can look them up here 
https://www.karrieresprung.de/arbeitszeugnis 

 

If you have a German friend with a bit of experience in HR, ask them to read it once you get it to make sure it is good. Sometimes an employer will try to screw you and sometimes they really don't know any better and are glad you point out that a phrasing might not be well perceived. 

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24 minutes ago, maxie said:

As other people have said, your employer (HR department) will definitely know even if your direct superior might not be German and thus unfamiliar with the concept. 

....

Thank you for the information. Also, when exactly do I need it? for job applications? In that case, should I ask my employer to give it to me a few months before the end of the contract!

Or I can ask for it when my current employment is finished?

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You should get it a few weeks after you have finished. 

If they write you a reference during your employment, that would be a "Zwischenzeugnis". This you would have to ask for. If you do so while you have an unlimited contract, this might raise eyebrows because your employer knows you want it in order to apply elsewhere.

It is pretty normal, however, to ask for a Zwischenzeugnis if you get a new boss or if you change jobs within the company. 

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27 minutes ago, maxie said:

You should get it a few weeks after you have finished. 

If they write you a reference during your employment, that would be a "Zwischenzeugnis".  

Thank you! Good to know that!

But, do I need to submit such letters in my job applications? 

I have such certificates from my former employers (one is German). Should I include them in my application documents?

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1 hour ago, bobMorane said:

Should I include them in my application documents?

For a German employer, yes. If you apply online, there is usually the possibility to upload documents such as diplomas, certificates and references. If you apply by e-mail, it migh be good to scan everything into one PDF chronologically. I hate it when people attach 15 separate document :-) 

 

No one will expect you to add a reference from an employer you are still working for though! 

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You may want to ask the Personalrat at your uni to check over the reference.

 

They can still be written in code that a lay person doesn't understand.

 

eg 'tries hard' means doesn't succeed

 

'good with customers' can be interpreted as 'can't negotiate'

 

Good luck!

 

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