What is the key to making a positive and competent first impression when applying for a job? Does a professional application in Germany look somehow different to in other countries?
At the beginning of your career, and specifically as an international student, these can be daunting questions and students of the International Business Management (M.A.) program at Hochschule Fresenius in Cologne had the chance on 9th June 2021 to discuss various issues surrounding the application process with Robert Gierse, lead consultant for the HR talent program at the global recruitment firm Frazer Jones. It was a valuable opportunity to get insights from an expert – Gierse has been working in professional recruiting since 2015 and started with active sourcing in 2018, currently engaged in 360 Degree Recruitment consulting, finding suitable candidates and connecting them with the right client.
So where do you begin? The discussion started off by considering that “winning CV” – how it might not exist as a strict formula, but there are a number of key points to consider when presenting yourself to a future employer. Using case studies and examples from his own experience, he demonstrated examples of well-designed and structured applications for a variety of different industries and highlighted common pit-falls and mistakes.
A major discussion point was how international students should position themselves. Options were covered on how to present their language and cultural skills as an advantage, especially when their German language might not be as strong. In a competitive job market, building up a professional network is essential, and the session covered suggestions and recommendations on how to use different online platforms and options for a professional presence.
Tips and advice on entering the job market, whether as an intern or a fresh graduate, are always welcome, especially from an experienced professional who understands the dynamics of the recruitment process in detail. Further support can also be gained from the Alumni and Corporate Relations Department located at every campus of Hochschule Fresenius.