Application documents

What documents should be in my application?

Application documents:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • References, work experience documents, certificates, qualifications

Cover letter

The application cover letter should be no more than one DIN A4 page. The cover letter allows you to give a first impression of yourself and to explain how you came across the company, for example, or what about the job interests you and why you would like to work for that particular company. You should also mention your professional experience, qualifications and personal strengths. It is important to ensure the content is relevant to the job you are applying for, to remain honest throughout and to sign the letter at the end.

CV

CVs are usually created in table form. The information is presented in chronological order and divided into four main areas:

  1. Personal information: name, address, telephone number, email address, date and place of birth, martial status, nationality
  2. Academic and vocational education: period (month and year of start and end dates), details of the qualifications and grades achieved
  3. Employment history: period (month and year of start and end dates), company, place, department, brief description of duties
  4. Special knowledge and skills: training courses, placements abroad, volunteer work, languages, computer skills, driving licence

Try to avoid gaps between the various activities on your CV and remember to sign it at the end, including date and place of signature.

Certificates

You should include all relevant certificates in your application. These include vocational training certificates, for example, as well as your examination/degree certificates from school, college and/or university. The company you are applying to will also be interested to see any job references you may have from previous employers. You should send copies of certified translations of your certificates and references with your application to help the company understand your capabilities.

Keep in mind that many vocational training and academic qualifications obtained abroad will first have to go through a recognition procedure in Germany.

How do I send the application documents to the company?

In Germany, application documents are usually sent to the company in one of three ways: post, email or online. Often the company will indicate which way it prefers in the job advertisement.

If you send your application by post, make sure you put your documents in a DIN A4 size application folder. That way, the letter size corresponds to the size of the folder. You can obtain this stationery from Deutsche Post retail outlets and stationery shops.

If applying by email, you should write your cover letter in the text field of the email. You should indicate which job you are applying for in the subject line so your application can be assigned directly to the right person/department. In many cases, you also have to quote a pre-specified application number.

You should attach the other documents, e.g. CV and certificates, to your email as PDFs, preferably all together in one folder. The attachment file size should not exceed 2 MB.

Some companies have an online application platform where you can enter your information directly and upload additional documents like certificates and references.