On a desk are laptop, smartphone, scribbling block, pen

Application documents

Your application materials make the first impression and provide a preview of how you work. For this reason, it is especially important to do a thorough job preparing them.

Please contact us any time with your questions about preparing your application. We would be happy to go through your materials with you and give you suggestions and feedback. Have a look at our event calendar to find the next dates for our “job application check”. You are also welcome to make an appointment for individual consultation at any time.

Your complete application consists of your

Cover letter

You can use your cover letter to present yourself and stand out from the crowd of other applicants. Apparently employers decide within thirty seconds, whether they are interested in a particular application. For this reason, it is contraproductive to use clichées. Instead, it is more convincing to use a self-confident and authentic style. Demonstrate your own personal strengths and avoid just trying to fit a cover letter template. Create a positive mood and avoid using a conspicuously negative style.

Your cover letter should answer the following questions:

  • What is my motivation for this application?
  • Why am I a good fit for this position?
  • What advantages does the employer have in hiring me?
  • How can I make the reader curious enough to want to meet me in person?

The cover letter takes the largest amount of time to prepare but also gives you the greatest degree of freedom in creating it.

The cover letter is also called the letter of motivation, which is why you generally start with your motivation for writing. The main body addresses the most important qualifications in the job announcement and demonstrates how your skills fit the job requirements. Make sure you include both hard and soft skills! Hard skills include relevant knowledge you have gained during your studies as well as work experience. To be convincing, soft skills should be evidenced by volunteer work, part-time employment, etc. Try to see the situation from the employer’s perspective.

Formal requirements
The cover letter should be no longer than one page. It must have a clear layout and perfect spelling. The cover letter is placed on top of the separate bound application when mailed. The letter also includes the address information, your signature and a subject line. Introductory phrases such as “Re:”, “Regarding”, etc. are omitted.

Curriculum vitae

The curriculum vitae (CV) is well-structured and no longer than one to two pages. It should be as short as possible but as long as absolutely necessary. The anti-chronological order is often preferred, meaning: the most recent events are stated first. The CV must have perfect spelling and have a well-ordered layout. It should answer all questions human resources professionals may have but does not necessarily need to include every station on your career path.


  • Personal information: name, address, phone number, email address, date and place of birth
  • Education: schools attended, university studies, thesis topic
  • Practical (work) experience: vocational training, internships, relevant part-time jobs, military or voluntary service
  • Relevant stays abroad: international internships, language courses, etc.
  • Additional qualifications: language skills (level: basic/good/very good/fluent (written/spoken)/business fluent/native), IT-skills, honours and certificates
  • Volunteer activities
  • Hobbies (optional)
  • Place, date, signature

The category titles are just examples. Please choose titles for your CV that fit your personal situation.


Please use only the supporting documents relevant for the advertised position.

  • Reference(s) from previous employers
  • University examination/degree certificates
  • Certificate of qualification for university study (e.g. Abitur) (only needed in the first years of your career)
  • Documentation of completed internships relevant to the position
  • Certificates for additional qualifications relevant to the position

Online job application

Email applications

Employers generally expect the same high level of quality from online applications as from printed ones. Unless otherwise stated in the job announcement, make sure to send your application materials in one to two PDF files that should not exceed three to five MB in total size. The cover letter should be included in one of the PDF files. For your application via email, please remember:

  • to use a professional sounding email address.
  • to limit use of formatting: choose just one font and do without HTML formatting.
  • to send only PDF files.
  • to place your attached supporting documents into the right order.
  • to check your emails regularly.
  • to make sure your inbox has enough space available.

Online application forms

It has become commonplace for businesses to use online application portals to simplify their selection processes. Please note while completing an online application form:

  • If possible, fill in all the available application fields.
  • Use important key words that relate to the position you are applying for. You can usually also search free text fields, if needed.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • If you have created an account for yourself, please write down your login information for reference.

Other forms of digital applications

There are also other digital forms of application that are still considered the exception rather than the rule, but are gaining in importance.

These include one-click applications in particular, which simplify the application process by simply uploading a CV from other portals such as Xing or LinkedIn, for example.

Further digital forms of application include mobile recruiting (e.g. optimising the application database for smartphones) and, in some cases, applying by voice control without having to send application documents.

Overall, there is a growing trend towards these new forms of application, although they are often only a preliminary stage in the application process and you still have to submit your application documents later.

Final check

Before you send off your job application, please check the following one last time:

- Is the company’s address correct?
- Is my address correct and complete?
- Do the curriculum vitae and cover letter have the current date?
- Did you sign both of them?
- Is the cover letter free of mistakes?
- Would you like to attach a current photo?
- Have you included the most current employment references?
- Are all the attachments easy to read?

And so it goes on...

The written application has been sent and you are waiting for a response. But how does it actually go on then? The job interview is just one of many possible selection processes that companies use when looking for suitable employees. Our video gives an overview.