A foreign country, a strange culture, a labor market with its own rules and regulations. Embarking successfully on a career in Germany once you have graduated is linked to a whole range of factors, which it pays to bear in mind. Many universities and companies therefore make great efforts to ease the transition of highly qualified young people into a career in academia or business. As a result, a huge range of support and mentoring services exists. These may mean help in finding an apartment or childcare, in organizing a removal or contributing to the cost of relocation.
The decision not only to study in a foreign country, but also to stay there after graduation, to find work and settle down, is one that has far-reaching consequences - for your partner, your friends and family back home. We would like to take this opportunity to give you a few tips on how to ensure you get off to a good start in your new domicile.
Job application training
Every job application is different, and just as working environments vary in Germany, so does the application process. Typically any application begins with a careful analysis of the vacancy description and a comparison of your own skills and experience with the tasks and qualifications listed. Of course, it's less important to fulfill all the requirements (who's in a position to do that?) - what you need to do is establish convincing links between your own profile and the vacancy advertised.
A good job application is always prepared individually, addressed to a specific contact in the company, expresses your own motivation in applying for the vacancy, and puts the focus on the main skills you could bring to the position. You need to remain brief and to the point; the letter should not exceed one DIN-A4 page.
A convincing resume features your personal details and education, is chronological in format with no gaps, and lists work experience and content relevant to the position, alongside the various employers and the duration spent in the different jobs. It also gives any relevant additional information such as language skills, further qualifications and special skills.
You need to include references - either in German or English - for each of the positions mentioned in your resume. If you don't have any references, you need to name referees who can provide a qualitatively relevant character assessment.
Many universities offer appropriate preparation courses as part of their career services. These may feature application portfolio checks or seminars, lasting one or several days, on putting together a job application or preparing for interview. Your university's Career Service can assist you with basic questions relating to career planning and starting work. Moreover, appropriate services are also offered by many commercial operators on the open market.
You can find a summary of all the key information on residency and work permits here.
Dual career packages
Many universities and companies have realized in recent years that highly qualified potential employees often have equally highly qualified and ambitious partners or spouses. The decision to take up a new post is therefore often associated with the career perspectives of your significant other. In such cases many universities and companies offer dual career services, which assist the partner or spouse to find their own feet in the new environment.