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Job Application in Germany

Workwise is a career platform for job seekers that undertakes recruiting for different companies. We made it our mission to get you an exciting job and support you throughout the whole application process. Get to know your benefits with Workwise and how we personally support you during your job search.


Brief summary

With Workwise you are supported by a personal contact person during your application process. If you have any questions regarding the status of your application, we are here to help. You can apply to as many positions as you’d like with just one profile.

An application in Germany usually consists of 3 parts: Cover letter, Curriculum vitae and attachments. However, for job vacancies on Workwise you only have to answer 3 questions posed by the company to complete the application. This procedure saves you time and effort and allows you to apply more efficiently.

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How can Workwise help me to find a job?

Register to profit from many benefits like:

  • A personal contact person to support your application process.
  • Although cover letters are common in Germany, you don’t need one on our platform. Just answer 3 questions that help the company to get to know you better.
  • You can apply to multiple jobs in a short time and avoid the hassle of creating profiles on different platforms to apply to several jobs.
  • In comparison to conventional recruiting, our companies reply faster to your application. If they do take more time to reply, we will contact the responsible recruiter to find out the status of your application.
  • You receive job proposals that are based on your personal search profile. Therefore, you only receive jobs that are interesting for you.
  • Manage all your applications in one place and check their statuses.
  • We notify you about important updates on your application, for example, if a company requests more documents or sends you an invitation for a job interview.
  • Of course this is completely free of charge for you as an applicant.

How should my application documents look like for an application in Germany?

Almost every application in Germany can be divided into 3 parts:

  1. Cover letter (Anschreiben)
  2. Curriculum vitae, CV (Lebenslauf)
  3. Attachments (Anlagen)

Cover letter

The cover letter is all about drawing interest and convincing the reader to continue reading. Here you present your motivation and your qualifications using suitable examples from your professional practice.

We know that a cover letter can be the most challenging part of an application. That’s why you won’t need one for the jobs on Workwise. Instead, simply answer a few questions which help the company to get a better picture of you.

The CV provides a quick overview of the most important stages in your life: These include information about your education, work experience, additional qualifications and periods of time spent abroad.

You should also upload attachments to prove your skills and experiences. Typical attachments are diplomas and references, certificates and personal projects. If you have graduated from a university, please upload a transcript of records as many recruiters request them. Some recruiters might request a school report/report card from your high school.

How does a German CV look like?

Your CV should be as convincing as possible and needs a clear structure as many recruiters often reject applications with unstructured CVs. German CVs may have a different structure than in your country. Our career guide gives an example how a German CV could look like: Den perfekten Lebenslauf schreiben.

The classic CV is a tabular document. It represents your education and career path and also includes some personal information. You can use this structure as a guide:

  • Contact Details:
    • Full name
    • Date of birth, birthplace (optional)
    • Nationality (optional, but helpful if you are an international applicant)
    • Postal address
    • (Mobile) phone number
    • Email address
  • Application photo (optional):
    • A picture of yourself usually taken by a professional photographer that you include in your CV.
    • It is not mandatory to include a picture but it is rather common in German CVs.
    • If you want to include a picture, don’t use selfies or pictures from your latest vacation.
    • You can also take the picture by yourself or with the help of a friend. If you need advice on how to do that, you can use this article as a guidance.
  • Your career path structured in:
    • Education (Bildungsweg), e.g. high school, university
    • Practical experiences (Berufserfahrung), e.g. employments, internships
    • Always put your latest degree or experience on top so that recruiters know at first sight your position in career terms 
  • Knowledge and skills:
    • If you have any references like portfolios or personal projects, include them in your CV. This helps recruiters to get a better understanding of your work.
    • In this section you can also include further proof of your experience, e.g. languages, programming languages, software, soft skills.
  • Hobbies:
    • If you’d like to you can include interesting hobbies at the end of your CV. However, be prepared to answer questions about extraordinary hobbies during a job interview.
    • It is also helpful to include hobbies that are related to the job you are applying to (e.g. web development for a job in this field).

Templates for your CV can be found here. If you're looking for a more modern design, you can have a look at these examples.

I have no or basic German language skills – Can I still apply for a job?

Yes, that is possible. There are also open vacancies on our platform where no German skills are required. Please check the job description before your application to find out if German is a necessity.

If that’s the case, the required level of German is at least C1 based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

You can choose between four different levels in your profile:

  • A1, A2 – Basic language skills
  • B1, B2 – Intermediate language skills
  • C1 – Advanced language skills
  • C2 – Proficient language skills

There are multiple free tests on the Internet if you are unsure about your skill level – one of them is from Goethe Institut. These questions will test your knowledge of German grammar and vocabulary.

If you don’t speak any German at all, you can set a filter to exclude unsuitable jobs. Go to job search and click on the button "Weitere Filter". List all languages you can speak in the box "Kann ich sprechen" (Able to speak) and insert "Deutsch" (German) below "Kann ich nicht sprechen" (Not Able to Speak).

How does the application process work in Germany?

The application process in Germany generally takes several weeks from your application receipt to the acceptance or rejection of your application. The process varies from company to company.

After recruiters have reviewed your application, you will either be invited for a job interview or directly rejected. An interview will take place in person or via video chat/telephone. The first interview is often followed by a second one to further assess your qualifications for the vacancy.

What is an "Arbeitszeugnis"?

An "Arbeitszeugnis" is a letter of reference which states the quality of your performance in a (previous) job position based on the evaluation from your (previous) employer. In Germany, you are entitled to receive a reference when you resign from your job.

Should a company request a letter of reference but you are unable to provide one – maybe because it is rather uncommon in your country – please notify your candidate manager. You will find the contact details in our mails or you can use the mail address [email protected] to contact us. Perhaps you can ask your previous employer(s) for a short statement about your work and qualifications.

Do I need a visa or work permit to work in Germany?

As an EU citizen you generally don’t need a work permit to work anywhere in the European Union.

If you are a Non-EU citizen and want to work in Germany:

  • You can check which visa you need with the Visa Navigator offered by the German Foreign Office. Just answer a few questions and you will be informed about the type of visa you need an how you can apply for it.
  • Specific information on Visa regulations in Germany can be found on the website of the German Foreign Office.
  • You may want to acquire language skills when moving to Germany. German courses are offered by the Goethe Institut and other organizations, for example Volkshochschule.

Please read the following article if you are interested in working in the European Union: Work permits.































Veröffentlicht am 15.11.2021, aktualisiert am 15.11.2021