Career tips for international students

All Categories, Inside CBS   -  7. March 2019

Anonymous or personalized resume? If you want to apply for an internship or a part-time job in Germany, you should know the country-specific rules of the application process. Sara Sowa, Career Advisor, and Dennis Harnack, Manager Relationship Management & Career Service, have now summarized four tips for applying in Germany during the event “Internships in Germany”.

Tip 1: Start looking for an internship in good time!

If you are looking for an internship in Germany, you should expect a lead time of five to three months. Applicants should allow time for researching vacancies, writing their application and on-site interviews. Thus, several weeks can elapse before the company makes a decision.

Tip 2: Find out more about your internship!

All students at CBS have to complete an eight-week compulsory internship during their studies, even if such a position is often rare. “We know that most companies tend to advertise internships for three months. We advise our students to take advantage of such opportunities and extend their internships,” says Sara Sowa.  Also the amount of the remuneration differs strongly in Germany – ranging from no renumeration to 1000 euro per month. According to the German law compulsory internships during the studies must not be remunerated.

“I recommend that the students take a close look at companies and their corporate culture. As an orientation, we have created the document “Internships for internationals” in the CBS Career Center, which lists companies that regularly offer internships for international students,” recommends Dennis Harnack.

Tip 3: Follow the German standard for resumes and cover letters!

As far as the application documents in Germany are concerned, the international students have little leeway: they always include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae as well as work and university certificates in the attachment. When it comes to applications, the details are always important, the expert continues. A serious e-mail address is just as important as a professional mailbox message.

“In our CBS Career Center, international students can find templates for all application documents as a suggestion. Each one must be written individually and can be checked by the Career Service staff on request,” explains Dennis Harnack.

Tip 4: Proactively approach German companies!

A special feature of the application process in Germany are also unsolicited applications, explains Sara Sowa: “International students can score points with their commitment and self-confidence by sending an unsolicited application,” explains Sara Sowa. The CBS Career Center offers students the opportunity to filter job advertisements by language. This gives them an overview of which companies are principally interested in English-speaking employees.

Further contact points for internships or student jobs can be found in job portals like Stepstone and Monster, the social networks Xing and LinkedIn, the “Startplatz” website – to mention just some examples.

More application tips and dates for recruiting events at Cologne Business School:

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