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Job Search

During your studies it may be side jobs and internships, after graduation it is the first real employment – all are connected with a previous search. The possibilities of this search are manifold. We compiled conventional and a few creative ways to search for a job.

Job Portals

There are national, regional, sector-specific, wider and smaller job portals. Additionally, there are so-called meta search engines which can be helpful inasmuch as they filter job offers from various sources, including company websites, job portals and recruitment consultant websites. Still, it makes sense to look through certain job portals as the meta search engine might not show all relevant offers.

The most important aspect of a search in these portals is the choice of key words and/or categories. It is always a good idea to try out different alternatives to get to the suitable offers.

Job portals directly addressing graduates usually have the benefit that most offers do not ask for extensive work experience.

To look through our selection of meta search engines and subject-specific job portals, please click here.

Company Websites

A company’s website promotes the company and its products. Next to these useful information for a potential job interview, many companies have started to use their own website for the recruitment of new employees. Some not only publish current job offers, but also give the possibility to register in a candidate database or take part in an online selection process. Furthermore, you can find information on special events like “open day” or student competitions.

Newspapers/ Professional Journals

The amount of job offers in print media is generally decreasing. Still this platform should not be ignored completely, as it was the most important one in this area for years. Especially traditional, small companies keep on publishing their job offers in newspapers and there only. Similar to job portals, one can say that the more specialized/ unknown a newspaper is, the higher are the competitive chances, as the target group and thus the amount of competitors per job shrinks with the specialization.

Applicants searching for a job or an apprenticeship close to home are advised to look through their local/ regional daily paper regularly. For Halle (Saale) this can be the “Mitteldeutsche Zeitung” (MZ), the “Wochenspiegel” or the “Sonntagszeitung”.

For applicants searching nationwide or internationally, a look at supra-regional newspapers like “Die Zeit”, the “TAZ”, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, “Financial Times Deutschland”, “Die Welt” or the “FAZ” is recommended.

There are also professional journals for certain sectors and some companies publish their job offers only in these.

Networks

When doing networking, one should differentiate between 1) personal contacts and 2) the famous social networks like Xing, LinkedIn, facebook or twitter.

1) Personal contacts

It is most likely to receive information about a company, certain job profiles, and free positions from its employees – preferably from the personnel office or the department you are interested in. They probably know at an early stage if there is any staff requirement and they might also know the application procedures as well as peculiarities of the recruiters (or what they look for in the selection of personnel).

Therefore it might be a good idea to directly address friends and acquaintances when you are searching for a job. Professors, fellow students or colleagues can also be helpful contacts.

2) Social networks on the internet

Social networks like Xing have become a popular source when searching for a job. Applicants can add a comment like “looking for new field of activity” to their profile and can find various job offers from potential employers on these platforms.

When using this method to find a job, one should keep in mind that it takes place in a kind of “public space” and be appropriately careful with the handling of information.

Another positive aspect of social networks is the possibility to open or join a variety of discussion groups with professional focuses. It might be wise to look for suitable groups to present yourself in and leave a link to your own profile. Maybe someone who is just searching for new personnel with your profile is reading along.

Recruitment Fairs

Recruitment fairs are good opportunities to get an overview of job offers and vacant positions from a variety of companies. They mostly take place at universities but are also hold at big companies, chambers or organisations like the Employment Agency.

Here you can gather relevant information on written applications and interviews. And it is a good way to establish ties with recruiters, to present yourself and your skills, and to leave a positive first impression. Also, many companies offer the possibility to register in their job applicant database or fill in personal information sheets on-site. One of many opportunities you do not get too often.

At Halle University, there are two student initiatives organising periodical recruitment fairs. Follow the links to find their current dates:

More fairs can be found in our overview of events.

Speculative Application

With speculative applications, it is important to proceed methodically and not contact companies randomly – speculative does not mean “blind”. One should consider which companies might be interesting and why exactly one would like to work there. So before writing an application, an intensive research and analysis of potential companies and fields of activity is advisable.

Speculative applications are certainly more time-consuming than other forms of searching for a job and should not be chosen as the only way. They are a good addition to these other forms though, as most companies only publish part of their open job positions – so by writing a speculative application one might be able to get one of these not (yet) published positions. However, the application has to be outstanding, thrilling, and concise both in form and content, as the addressee is going to decide within seconds, if it is worth reading on or not.

Conclusion

Basically the following applies: Many roads lead to Rome and multiple ways are better than one, as the chances of finding something that fits increase. A combination of different alternatives is therefore advisable.

To not be overrun by too much information it is important to have a plan before starting the search – What do I want? Which job portals are useful for me? Which ways of searching for a job suit me? Which connections am I able to use? What number of job applications per day/ week do I set for myself? Etc.

If you have any further questions concerning your job application documents or if you need some help with your career orientation, please feel free to contact us! Our consultants will gladly take the time for a personal conversation to support you on your way to your career entry.

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