How to apply for jobs online

All News, Faculty, Inside CBS   -  27. September 2018

At the invitation of CBS Career Services, Tabea Dirscherl, HR Marketing Specialist DACH/ Talent Acquisition at sIthree, gave the students an overview of what is important when “Applying correctly online”. Right from the start, the HR manager made it clear that the classic print job advertisement had finally come to an end: “Whether you register in career portals, research information on a job or actively search for suitable jobs on Xing or LinkedIn – job searches today only take place online. In order to present themselves online as well as offline in the best possible way, Tabea Dirscherl revealed what HR managers pay particular attention to in the application process.

The job search: Strategies for a higher hit rate

The choice of search engine is decisive for which job advertisements are found. “Define your criteria for your desired employer in advance. Monster, for example, is one of the largest online job exchanges in the German-speaking countries. Since the advertisements are quite high-priced at Monster, job-seekers find mainly large enterprises and companies. If you prefer to work for a medium-sized company in the region, you should use the portal ‘Stellenwerk’,” advised Tabea Dirscherl. If you don’t want to miss a job, you should go for a meta job search engine like Kimeta, which finds 95 percent of the jobs published online. Many job boards also offer an e-mail notification service that informs subscribers daily or weekly about vacancies. If the jobseeker has found a suitable job advertisement, he should definitely save it: The listed requirement profile should be as basis for formulating the personal in the cover letter and CV.

The online profile: Interface to recruiters

With over 10 million profiles, Xing is regarded as the most important career network for job starters in the German-speaking countries. The American network LinkedIn, on the other hand, is particularly relevant for students who want to establish international contacts. CBS students should preferably create an online profile in their study time and establish their first business contacts. “Using our recruiter mask, we can see exactly which profiles are updated regularly. Jobseekers should work on their profiles at least once a month so that they are noticed by recruiters,” she recommended. The new “campus search” function on Xing also gives users an overview of which keywords are frequently used for a particular job profile. If you are interested in a job as a “Business IT Specialist”, you can easily update your profile with this search. Moreover, employees with a temporary position should add the approx. end: This indicates to recruiters when they will be available for the labour market again.

The application letter: Advertising on your own behalf

Applying means self-promotion. For this reason the one-sided application letter should be structured according to the advertising effect principle AIDA: The first paragraph must draw the attention of the HR managers. It is important to take over the exact job description from the ad, since large enterprises write out up to 20 places at the same time. In the second paragraph, however, the applicant should arouse the interest of the HR manager. Contentwise he should clarify at this point what his strengths are. “Please avoid phrases, which seem implausible. Instead of enumerating many points, you should concentrate rather on selected points and describe these in detail,” advised Tabea Dirscherl. The third paragraph should provide information about why the applicant is applying for the job (desire). The perfect letter of application ends with exactly one sentence – the request (action) to be invited to an interview. “Make a confident appearance and do not write this invitation in the subjunctive,” the expert recommended.

The CV: Mirror of competencies

For many HR managers, the CV is the heart of an application. If you are just starting your career, it should not be longer than two pages and should start with the most current activity. “Enrich your CV with information by using bullet points for your areas of responsibility. If you have worked in a large company, be sure to include the location. This point is often forgotten,” said Tabea Dirscherl. A professional application photo and a signature should also be included on every resume. Applicants would often smile at the point “hobbies” – an error, as the expert explained: “I like to start a small talk about the applicant’s hobbies to get into a relaxed atmosphere and to take some of tension tension out of the interview”.

The interview: Convince through preparation

Applicants only appear self-confident if they are well prepared for an interview. “It has never been so easy to find out information about a company as it is today. In addition to the key data on the founding history and current service portfolio, companies reveal much more in their online presence: The website is an indication of the company’s image, the Facebook channel of the corporate culture,” Tabea Dirscherl revealed.

In spontaneous telephone interviews, however, applicants should be cautious: Without preparation, such an interview is doomed to failure. Such an inquiry should be shifted to one of the coming days. According to the expert, the applicant should also pay attention to the correct posture during the telephone interview: “I can assure you that HR staff can hear whether you are sitting on the couch or upright at your desk. I recommend that you stand up during a telephone interview.”

If the applicant scored well in the telephone interview, he will be invited for a personal interview. In his preparation, he should plan answers for classic questions such as his own strengths and weaknesses. “My tip: Ask your friends and family about your weaknesses. During the interview, name one of these weaknesses and point out that you are working on it,” said the expert. Finally, she gave the students a surprising recommendation: “At least once you should print out your online application. HR experts sometimes take other employees with them to the interview who had no time to print out your application. With an application in your pocket, you convince with your good preparation”.

Photo: Silke Friedrich

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