My dream job

To achieve your specific goal of finding a new job, keep in mind you should be using more than just one source of information for your searches. Your first step is, of course, looking for the right job.

In doing this, be sure to exploit the full potential of your possibilities:

Preliminary considerations

If you're looking for a job, you need to know what you're looking for. As trivial as that may sound, it is your fundamental starting point.  True to the maxim, "He who knows his destination will find the way", you should think about the following questions before you begin any specific search:

What do I want?

  • In which industry and for which companies would you like to work?
  • Could a partner company or supplier be a good option for establishing a contact with your actual dream employer?
  • Can you realise your career goal more easily with some companies / in some industries than others?
  • Would a corporate group, medium-sized company or a start-up appeal to you more?

What can I do well?

  • This question relates to both professional and personal qualifications
  • Professional qualifications can be more easily assessed due to the verifiability of credentials or certificates
  • If you are unsure, ask friends or colleagues / classmates to give you an honest assessment
  • Think about what you'd like to do and whether you have any particular abilities in that area. If you really enjoy something, you're normally also good at it
  • If you've got a clear picture of your qualifications, you should now think about what positions and companies your skills would particularly suit

Online job portals

Over 90% of companies now post their jobs on online portals or job boards. The online job markets are free for job seekers and represent a wide range of available positions. Some job boards also specialise in certain sectors, occupational groups or geographic areas.

However, it's not always clear whether an offer is current on an online market. If in doubt, you can always make enquiries with the company before you submit an application.

Social media

Next to online job portals, social media is the most used channel for recruitment, regardless of whether it's for establishing direct contact, distributing job ads or raising the visibility of the employer's brand. Vacant positions are actively advertised on the business networks Xing and LinkedIn. More and more this also includes Facebook and Twitter as there is a very high probability of finding the ideal candidate from among the various followers.

  • Xing: This online platform for social networking is still number one in Germany – one in ten working people in Germany has a Xing account and uses it regularly. In addition to company profiles, XING provides users with a personal timeline as well as the ability to create their own portfolios.
  • LinkedIn: The international counterpart to XING has been gaining ground in Germany for some time now. In addition to advertising job postings, it also gives businesses the opportunity to publish corporate news features. Moreover, candidates and companies can use the LinkedIn Publisher feature to make their own publications available to others. This allows them to position themselves as well-informed contributors in the individual LinkedIn groups.
  • Facebook: In addition to corporate or product news, this is the perfect place to post jobs that will heavily resonate with their intended target groups. This is a very good reason to make sure you start following your dream employer's Facebook page. You can often find jobs quicker on Facebook than you can on the company's homepage. Plus, you can also address current company news items directly in your application.
  • Twitter: With Twitter, info about available positions can be sent via job tweets or direct messages to the advertiser's followers. Due to the limit on the number of characters in a "tweet", the supplied link normally takes you to an external source where the job is described in greater detail.

Other avenues such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube, however, will be playing a more important role in recruitment in future. Particularly in the creative sector, for example, the timeline may replace a traditional printed CV or a video application may overtake the standard covering letter.

Print advertisements

In some industries, however, the print media are still an important source for job openings. Specifically when it comes to local job searches, it's definitely worth having a look in your local newspapers.

Recruitment agencies

One application – many contacts. This is why a recruitment agency such as Hays is useful when you're looking for a job. Most recruitment companies have very good market access and network with a number of prestigious companies. Recruiters also have access to hidden vacancies – namely those that aren't officially listed on the company's homepage or that a company is seeking to fill in a more flexible manner. Provided you have the right qualifications, you stand a good chance of being approached. Plus, a recruitment company can supply you with honest feedback on how you come across to companies and highlight areas where you can improve.

Trade fairs

There are two types of trade fairs where the topic of careers is important: specialist fairs and dedicated careers fairs. When companies are seeking to find staff in a given region, they will hold in-house fairs so they can get to know potential applicants. Even the online community has well-established virtual fairs that are recognised entities, for instance the VDI (Association of German Engineers) online careers fair.

Some fairs focus on particular professions, others solely on new starters and young professionals. With this in mind, you should ask yourself in advance what exactly you're expecting to achieve by visiting one of these events.

Personal network

Personal contacts are an often-underestimated tool in finding a job. Especially any professional contacts you may have can open any number of doors for you, because you'll already be moving in the same circles where you will hopefully soon be working. Thus, it's a good idea to make a list of your contacts: Whatever happened to those old colleagues or classmates? Who do you know that already works at your target company or one of its external business partners? All these individuals have their own distinct advantages: They already know you, how you work and your qualities and can also recommend you to your dream company.

Unsolicited applications

Unsolicited applications are also a good idea. So, for instance, when a company signals in the media that it is looking to expand in a particular area or when you have something you can offer the company (e.g. customer contacts, special language skills, etc.) that will benefit them directly. Call HR or a specialist department and find out whether they have a given need and to whom you can send a corresponding application. Scour the internet for a direct contact for other jobs with the same company.

Also use any existing contacts you may have on Xing or LinkedIn or email / write to a corporate employee directly. You should also not underestimate the value of referral marketing / word-of-mouth referrals. But remember: An unsolicited application should be just as well prepared as one for a specific job vacancy.

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