Working in Germany
Although the job situation usually is pretty good for engineers, finding a position - be it for the internship or as a "grown up" engineer - can be a challenge. On this page, we provide you some tips and tricks to make the appplication process a successful one.
What companies are looking for
This of course heavily differs from company to company, but a few general statements are possible.
- Excellent technical skills, proven by good marks. Please note: Marks from your previous bachelor very often are not considered, because German companies do not know how to evaluate them. Therefore good marks during in the MSE program are extremely important.
- Good social skills. This starts with good German skills. A German level A2 maybe is sufficient to start your career at a large internaional company, but espcially for small and mid size companies German skills B2 or better are beneficial!
- Finding your niche. A successfulll application stongly depends on the economic situation of companies. It is therefore very important to look for niches and to prepare your skills accordingly. E.g. by selecting good optional subjects or the right team project.
- The internships acts as a door opener for the master thesis, the master thesis acts as a door opener for a permanet job. Therefore make sure to perform well during these phases and try to build up a network inside the company.
The following applications tips should be considered when writing your applications. The format and content of an application is different for every country - take your time to carefully prepare your letter and CV.
- Usually companies need some time to process your application. Therefore you should apply as early as possible. However, a German company usually wants to see a German certificate. A good time period for sending out applications is around February/March, when you have your first marks from the H-DA available.
- Be specific! It does not make sense to write one letter for many companies. When applying at a company, the company wants to have two questions answered
- Why do you apply at this company - here you have to be very explicit, statements like "it has always been my biggest dream" do not make sense. But maybe you have some background in this field, or you have already worked for this or a similar company in your home country.
- Why should the company select you? Can you provide some specific experience which is helpful for the company?
- Do not write more than 4-5 letters at a time - quality will suffer!
- Use fairs like the Conectiva or excursions offered by various professors to get in contact with company representatives.
- Add reference letters from previous working experience to your application if available.
- Reference letters from professors are not very usual in Germany - the reference letter from the university is your transcript of records
The most important document is your cover letter. Here, you have to explain your motivation and skills for the job. A cover letter is a formal document. Mistakes in this document are critical - be it formal mistakes, typos aor bad content. Therefore take your time to prepare your letter.
For the CV, the Europass format should act as guideline.
Templates for both can be found in the download section.