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How To Write Your Cover Letter in Germany (+ English Example!)

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Looking for a job in Germany and wondering how to write your cover letter? You are at the right place. In this article, you will learn how to write your cover letter in Germany, including the format, style, and structure. We also include some tips here on writing your cover letter in Germany. You can also download a free German cover letter example (in English).

Table of Contents

Introduction

7 seconds . This is how long it takes to form a  first impression . So, giving an excellent first impression in the interview is essential. But do you know that your first impression is not formed in the interview? It is formed in the first contact you make. You are right. The first contact is your job application.

That is why sending a good CV and cover letter in your job application is very important. This determines whether you have a chance to come to an interview, where you can make your first impression (physically).

What is a cover letter (Anschreiben)?

Your cover letter is the very first impression you give your potential employer. It is one of the deciding factors whether you get a job interview or not. If it catches the recruiter’s attention, he will want to learn more about you by inviting you to an interview.

So, your cover letter should highlight your skills and experience that fit a job’s specific requirements. You should use many examples and facts to convince the recruiter why you are uniquely qualified for the role. Tell the recruiter why you want to work for that company. 

The cover letter should be professional. The goal is to supplement your CV but not duplicate it. While your CV focuses on your skills and experiences, your cover letter should focus on your motivation and how you can apply those skills to the job.

Do you really need to write a cover letter in Germany?

You may not need a cover letter for your job application in many countries. How about in Germany? How important is it to have a cover letter?

In Germany, a cover letter was one of the most essential elements in a job application. However, its importance seems to reduce in recent years.

According to a survey,  59% of the recruiters in Germany accept job applications without cover letters. Many think that having a CV is already sufficient.

However, if you want to increase your chance of landing your dream job, it is still better to write a cover letter. Imagine if 59% of the recruiters in Germany do not require a cover letter. It means that the other 41% will.

Not having a cover letter reduces your chance of getting an interview invitation. You may even get an immediate rejection because of not submitting a cover letter.

Should you write your cover letter in English or German?

This is a tricky question. Unless specified in the job advertisement, it is better to submit your cover letter in German. However, if you do not speak any German, it may be better to submit your cover letter in English. 

Why? It is because you won’t want to give false hope to the recruiter that you speak German while you cannot.

I once went to an interview in Germany after submitting my CV and cover letter in English. Back then, I did not speak any German. When the interviewer saw me, he was shocked that I couldn’t speak German. The interview ended immediately after that, and I didn’t get the job.

So now, imagine you send all your application documents to the recruiter in perfect German. It is logical for the recruiter to assume that you speak some German. You will probably not get the job when you are not meeting his expectation, especially if he is looking for someone who can speak German.

If you do speak some German (even not perfect), you may want to submit your cover letter in German. In that case, make sure your cover letter has no spelling or grammatical mistakes. To be perfect, you can also use a   translation service  or a  cover letter writing service . 

On the other hand, if the job advertisement is written in English and you do not speak any German, try sending your cover letter in English. 

Even though insufficient German skills limit your opportunities, many international companies in Germany do have their hiring process in English. Here is how I  got my permanent full-time job in Germany without speaking German.

Sending your cover letter in Germany

Many big companies require you to submit your cover letter and other application documents via their online portal. In that case, send your application documents such as cover letter and CV in PDF format. 

Give a relevant name to each document. For example, use names such as “Your Full Name_CV” or “Your Full Name_Cover Letter”. This will make your documents look more professional. It will also be easier for the recruiters to identify your documents.

Some companies may require you to send your application via email. In that case, attach in the email all your application documents such as your CV, cover letter, and other certificates in PDF format. In the email content, write a short introduction about your application to the particular role and mention the attached documents.

Alternatively, you can copy and paste your cover letter into your email. Remove the address and the date in that case. Use your subject line in the cover letter as the subject of your email. The content of your email basically becomes your cover letter.

The format of a cover letter in Germany

A cover letter in Germany is a very formal letter. It follows the basic format of a typical business letter. Recruiters in Germany are used to this specific format. So, you should try to follow this format. Your cover letter may be viewed negatively if you use a format that is too different than the norm.

Keep it short and straightforward. Your cover letter should not be longer than one page. Also, leave plenty of space and don’t fill the page completely.  

The standard font size is 12. Your font should be readable. Do not use an unusual font that is too big or too small. Use a professional font such as Times New Roman. 

Besides, use the same fonts and font size throughout your cover letter. Your cover letter should be easy to read. 

You should also use the same formatting in all your other application documents. For example, you should use the same style for both your CV and cover letter.

Your cover letter needs to be readable. Don’t write a large block of text in your cover letter. Separate your text with clear paragraph breaks. There should be enough spacing between the different paragraphs as well.

Your cover letter should follow the layout rule called the  DIN 5008 Norm . It means that on an A4 size letter, the margin should follow the below standard:

  • Left margin: 2.5 cm
  • Right margin: 2 cm
  • Upper margin: 4.5 cm
  • Lower margin: 1.5 – 2.5 cm

The structure of a cover letter in Germany

Your personal info.

You should include your personal info in the top right-hand corner. This includes your full name, address, phone number, and email. Your email address should look professional, ideally with your name on it.

The company’s info

You should write this on the left-hand side below your personal info. Put the company name, contact person, and company address there. You should put the contact person’s name on the second line, under the company name.

Usually, you can find the contact person’s name in the job advertisement. If not, don’t be afraid to call the company to find out who handles the job applications.

Write the date in European format and place it below the company’s info on the right-hand side.

The subject line should state what position you are applying for. You should bold it so that the recruiter can easily spot which position this cover letter is for.

Use the name of the contact person you stated in the company’s info. Research the company culture to see if using the first or last name is more appropriate. If you are not sure, always go for the last name.

This should include:

  • The first paragraph (introduction)
  • The second paragraph
  • The third paragraph
  • The last paragraph (short closure)

Sign here and write your name below your signature.

Enclosure (Anlage)

Under your signature, you should name which attachments you are sending in the job application, e.g., CV, reference letters, etc.

screenshoot format_cover letter in germany_my life in germany_hkwomanabroad

The content of a cover letter in Germany

The content of a cover letter in Germany should consist of four paragraphs. Do not repeat what you have stated in your CV. Your cover letter should sound unique. The goal is not to tell your whole story. Instead, give a preview and make it interesting enough so that the recruiter wants to know more.

Position yourself ahead of other candidates by focusing on the value you can bring to the company, but not what you can get from the company.

The first paragraph (introduction) – 3 to 4 lines

This is an important paragraph. The recruiter reads this to determine if he wants to continue reading your cover letter. So, the goal of this paragraph is to arouse interest and make the recruiter continue to read.

Why are you applying for the position?

For example, you want to have a career change, or you have just relocated to the city. And explain why. You should promote yourself even if you are unemployed by mentioning something positive.

Also, mention something company-specific. For example, you can convince the company that you want to work there because of their company mission. Maybe the company operates in a way that minimizes damage to the environment? Or perhaps the company sponsors social projects?

Where did you learn about this position?

State where exactly you learn about the position, e.g., from a job portal. If you talk with someone from the company at a job fair, mention the person’s name. 

Similarly, if you learn about the position via a friend or an employee from the company, mention this person’s name as soon as possible. This can arouse interest and encourage the recruiter to keep reading your cover letter. 

What is your current position?

If you want, you may also describe your current position here. If you have not graduated yet, you can mention your course of studies.

The second paragraph – 5 to 6 lines

This paragraph should show your skills, abilities, qualifications, and experience. Mention any achievement that makes you unique and show your strength. Make sure to mention only those that are related to the position. 

Tell the recruiter where you learn these skills, for example, from your past job experiences. Don’t be afraid to mention your private projects if they are relevant. It can show your personality and your initiative beyond your profession.

Remember, you should not be just telling. You should prove your skills with evidence. For example, instead of just saying that you have good leadership skills, mention that you have successfully led a specific project as an example. Do not write too many details, though. The recruiter can read the related information in the CV.

The third paragraph (5 to 6 Lines)

Here is where you link your skills to the position you are applying for. Show how your unique skills and experiences listed in the last paragraph are relevant to the job and the company. Tell the company exactly what you have to offer and how you can help the company to be successful.

Use some personal examples to show how you can use your experience to help to achieve the company’s goals. Tell them what you can do for the company that no one else can do.

Pay attention to which skills are listed in the job description. Make sure you demonstrate how you own these skills by providing examples.

Besides, explain why you want to work in this particular company and this role. Look at the company’s missions and vision. Check the company’s website or social media channels to state any exciting facts. 

Maybe you are interested in the company because it supports social projects? Or perhaps because it has an informal corporate culture? Be genuine and tell the company why working there aligns with your values. Make sure to mention the company’s name.

The last paragraph (short closure) – 3 to 4 lines

This is where you highlight your interest again. Describe what you wish for the future and explain how you can contribute to the company. Tell the company when you can start working, and only mention your salary expectation if required. 

Close politely by saying that the company can contact you in case of any questions and you look forward to talking with them in a  job interview .

Free Cover letter example to use in Germany

Do you want to feel what a cover letter looks like in Germany? Here you go.

screenshoot_cover letter in germany_my life in germany_hkwomanabroad

You can also download this German cover letter example for your own use here .

10 Tips to write your cover letter in Germany

1. do not use the same cover letter for different job applications.

Different jobs have different requirements and descriptions. Every company is different. You should tailor-make your cover letter for each job application. This is important because recruiters want to see that you have made an effort when applying for the job. 

You should research the company and tell them why you want to work for them specifically. Mention what attracts you to work there based on your research. Check the company’s website, review, and social media channels to get some ideas. Pay attention to the job requirements and relate to them when writing your cover letter. You should also write with the same wording and tone used by the company.

Recruiters can feel it if you just use a general cover letter without mentioning some facts about the specific company. So, show your research capability and customize your cover letter.

2. Include keywords in your cover letter

Many recruiters use software that scans application documents and searches for specific keywords. This software helps to filter out irrelevant applicants and thus saves time for the recruiters.

What does it mean for you? Well, suppose your application documents do not include the keywords the recruiters want to see. In that case, your documents will be filtered out and never be seen by the recruiters. So, including keywords helps you to pass the first stage and get your application documents in front of the recruiters.

Want to understand if your application documents include the right keywords? Use this  free tool to get your CV analyzed! You can see how the software presents you in front of the recruiters regarding top keywords and skills.

sample job application letter in german

3.      Proofread your cover letter

Your cover letter in Germany should not have any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Make sure you contain the correct details, the right company name, and the proper job position. Otherwise, it will show that you are careless and not professional.

The best would be to have someone else proofread your cover letter. You can ask your friend or hire a professional to do it. This is especially important if you decide to submit your cover letter in German and you are still learning German. In that case, you may want to use the proofreading (and/or translation) service from Lingoking .

Writing your cover letter in German may have the advantage that your letter includes the right keywords scanned by the software.

As mentioned before, only write your cover letter in German if you have sufficient German language skills. You won’t want to give false hope to the recruiters that you speak perfect German while you cannot. You can also indicate your German language level in your cover letter and CV. This is so that the recruiters have a realistic expectation of your language skills.

Suppose you want your whole application to be taken care of. In that case, TopCV offers packages including both the CV and cover letter. The service ensures that your application documents are professionally written, well-formatted, and keyword optimized. 

4. Be honest and confident

Your cover letter should reflect the truth. For example, do not write that you can communicate in German while you cannot. Instead, indicate that you are working hard on improving your German. The recruiters will appreciate your effort if you are sincere and can prove it with examples.

Besides, you need to be confident and state clearly why the company should hire you instead of other candidates.  Show confidence by writing “I am sure I will…” instead of “I think I would…”. Mention the interview like it is going to happen. For example, you can write, “I am looking forward to discussing more with you in a personal interview.”

5. Keep it short and relevant

You should keep your cover letter on one page. Use a simple layout so that your letter is easily readable. Only write relevant information on why the company should hire you. Avoid flowery language and long wordy sentences.

Your cover letter shows your ability to sell yourself without much fluff. It should be concise and full of sound arguments why the company should hire you specifically.  

6. Make sure your social media is clean

Nobody wants to see drunk pictures of you at a party. Before applying for jobs, search the internet with your name and see what comes up. You should remove any unprofessional content on your social media, such as Facebook or Instagram.

Besides, create a professional LinkedIn page. Nowadays, many recruiters rely on LinkedIn when searching for talents. Make sure your LinkedIn page looks professional and up to date.

7. Avoid passive voice

Your cover letter should sound positive. You should use only active verbs because they make your writing more exciting and dynamic. You can show the “who” and “how” in a sentence.

On the other hand, passive voice is generally weak. It describes simply a state of existence without action. In your cover letter, you should sound active and be responsible for your achievements.

8. Think from the perspective of the recruiters

My friend once asked me to proofread her cover letter. I was shocked to see that everything was written from her perspective and why she wanted to work for the company in her cover letter.

When writing your cover letter in Germany, make sure it is not all about you. It is about what value you can bring to the company. Think from the perspective of the recruiters. What are they looking for? What do they want to see from a candidate? Rephrase your skills and experiences and make them relevant to the requirements stated in the job advertisement.

It is not just about what you can get from the company but also what the company receives from you.

9. Use examples

Do not just mention you have good communication skills or leadership skills. Instead, you should prove your skills by giving examples. Use numbers and data whenever possible. For example, leading a team of 10 people or leading a project that resulted in a 10% increase in revenue. Focus on the result and not simply your participation in the project.

10. Formatting and style are important

Your cover letter should be formal. Use complete sentences instead of bullet points. You should also use the same formatting and style in your CV so that your application d ocuments look consistent. Avoid unusual font and size. The best is to follow  the German format  de scribed in this article.

The cover letter is an essential part of your job application in Germany. Its goal is to get an invitation to the job interview. Your cover letter allows you to show your personality based on your tone and how you write.

Take it seriously. Be concise, professional, and also friendly. Remember to adapt your cover letter to the style of different companies. Good luck and happy job hunting in Germany!

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How is your job hunting progress in Germany? Did the recruiters in Germany ask you questions based on your cover letter? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

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Cover letter in germany (anschreiben).

Cover letter in Germany (Anschreiben)

Together with your CV ( Lebenslauf ) , the cover letter is a key component of any job application in Germany. Far more than a mere formality, a cover letter is an important means of presenting yourself to a prospective employer. It would be difficult to land a job in Germany without one. This page walks you through the process of crafting a job-winning cover letter, with a few hints and tips about what is expected in the federal republic. 

Cover letter in German ( Anschreiben )

First things first: what is a cover letter? Although it may be tempting to send in your job application without one, a cover letter is an important part of job applications in Germany, and most hiring managers will expect to receive one, even if the vacancy listing does not explicitly specify this. 

A cover letter is a short (usually no more than one page) document that you submit together with your resume as part of your job application. Rather than simply repeating the information contained in your CV, its purpose is to expand upon it, summarising your skills and experience, explaining what makes you a good fit for the role, and (hopefully!) piquing the hiring manager’s interest. While a CV lays out the facts, your cover letter conveys more personality. You can expect to be asked about both if you make it to a job interview .

In Germany, a cover letter ( Anschreiben ) generally follows a prescribed format, which makes it easier to structure your own. 

Cover letter templates

Using a template can be a good way to get started, and will also ensure your cover letter is well-formatted. If you used a template for your CV, it’s a good idea to use the same design for your cover letter, to make your application look professional and consistent. 

The following websites offer cover letter templates: 

  • Novorésumé

How to write a cover letter in Germany

German cover letters are not fundamentally different to those in other countries, with the only possible difference being they are rather formal and matter-of-fact, with no credit given to pomp, exaggerations or overly flowery language. 

As with elsewhere in the world, your cover letter in Germany should be succinct - no more than one side of A4 in size 12 font. You also do not want to present the hiring manager with a dense wall of text, so make sure to break it up into sizeable paragraphs. 

It may be time-consuming, but you should also write a unique(ish) cover letter for each job you apply for. Recruiters don’t like to receive form letters - and sending off a generic letter is a sure-fire way to ensure your application ends up in the bin. You need to explain why you want this specific position , and what makes you particularly suited for it - so tailor your cover letter based on the responsibilities and requirements outlined in the job description, and what you know about the company. 

Cover letter format

If you’re not sure where to start, it can help to break the letter down into a few sections. Almost all cover letters are structured around the same tried-and-tested format: 

  • A header with your contact information
  • A greeting to the hiring manager
  • An opening paragraph that will grab the reader’s attention
  • A second paragraph that explains why you’re the perfect fit for the job
  • A third paragraph that outlines why you’re a good match for the company
  • A formal closing

How to start a cover letter: With a header

Writing your contact header is a good way to ease yourself in, and ensure you’re not staring at a blank page. As with a CV, it’s important to include some basic contact information on your cover letter. You should include: 

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Name of the hiring manager
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

You might also consider adding your social media profiles or the address of your personal website, if these are relevant in your field and to the job you’re applying for. 

Address the hiring manager

This is where you can score some easy marks. You’d be surprised how many people open their cover letters with, “Dear Sir or Madam.” That’s one way to turn off a hiring manager. It’s much better to address your letter to them personally. That means you need to do some research. 

If you’re lucky, this information is included in the job description. You should also check the “Team” or “About us” page on the company’s website. Alternatively, you could turn to LinkedIn to find out who’s head of the relevant department. If in doubt, call up the company and ask who you should address your application to. It might make your name stick out when it comes to sifting through CVs. 

As a last resort, if you really can’t get hold of a name, address your cover letter using one of these greetings:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Dear [Department or Company Name] Team

Write your introduction

This is worth taking your time over. Companies typically receive hundreds of applications for single positions, and so they’re not going to be reading every cover letter from top to bottom. You need to grab their attention from the first paragraph. 

The key here is to not be too generic - most applicants will probably have similar work experience and interests. Instead, you need to explain what makes you unique. What is your bottom-line USP? That’s what the recruiter wants to know. 

Explain why you’re a good fit for the job

Next, it’s time to get into the meat of your letter, by outlining your professional skills, and explaining why this experience makes you better-qualified than the other applicants. It’s a good idea to have the job description to hand when you write this section. Match the requirements listed by the company to elements from your own skill set and work history, and elaborate on them. 

But there’s no way you’ll have space to cover every single detail. Instead, pick two or three of the most important requirements and use them to spin a couple of compelling stories from your own experience. 

Explain why you want to work for the company

The final section of your cover letter is just as important: explaining why you want to work for this specific company. Hiring managers want to know that you’d be a good fit for the company culture - that you want this job, not just any job - otherwise you’d be a risky hire. 

This might require you to do some extra research - what do you know about the company and its products or services? What’s the work culture like? What about that enthuses you? It pays to be super specific. 

Wrap things up

That’s it - you’re almost there! Now you need to finish with a conclusion that wraps up your letter. If you have anything else you want to say, now’s your chance. Finally, thank the hiring manager for their time (it’s only polite). 

Then, it’s time to sign off with a formal closing. You could use: 

  • Best regards
  • Kind regards
  • Yours sincerely

Once your cover letter is finished and proofread, you’re ready to send off your application. Put your feet up and wait for a response. 

Should I write my cover letter in German?

Whether or not you should write your cover letter in German depends on a few factors, namely: 

  • The language requirements of the job
  • What is specified on the job description
  • Your own language ability

If a job description specifies that applications should be made in German, it’s best to follow this advice. If your language ability isn’t up to the task of writing a CV and cover letter in German, it may be that the job itself is also beyond your language capabilities. 

However, an increasing number of companies in Germany, specifically international companies , are now offering English-speaking roles, although some still require you to apply in German. In this instance, it’s worth submitting your documents in German (you can ask a German-speaking friend to help, at least by checking your finished CV and cover letter over). To really show off your language skills, you could submit both English and German versions of your application. 

Cover letter examples

Not sure where to start? It can be a good idea to read some example cover letters to give you an idea of what is expected. But don’t be tempted to copy them word for word - you want to convey your own, unique personality, not someone else’s.

English cover letter sample

The internet is full of examples of cover letters written in English. Check out popular websites like Novorésumé, Monster.com, Reed, Indeed, and LiveCareer. 

German cover letter example

Checking out a German cover letter example can also be a good way of getting started, especially if German is not your native language. Look at websites like Karrierebibel, Bewerbung.net and Staufenbiel, or simply search “ Anschreiben Beispiel ”, to get a good idea of how German cover letters are structured. 

Cover letter tips

  • Make sure your cover letter is correctly formatted and free of spelling and grammatical errors - ideally, have a friend check it over for you before sending it. 
  • Include your personal details at the top of your letter.
  • Do your research to address the hiring manager by name.
  • Always tailor your cover letter to match the job description.
  • Use specific, concrete examples from your work history to back up your points.
  • End with a formal signing-off.
  • Make sure your letter is no longer than one side of A4. 

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Sample cover letter for job application in Germany

A sample cover letter for a job application in Germany can be a critical component in your quest for employment in the country.

Crafting the perfect cover letter involves understanding the expectations of German employers and adapting your writing style and content accordingly.

In this blog post, we will provide you with comprehensive guidance on creating an effective cover letter tailored for the German job market.

We will cover the importance of structure, cultural nuances, best practices, and common mistakes to avoid, ensuring your cover letter stands out to potential employers.

A cover letter, known as an “Anschreiben” in German, is a crucial element of your job application.

It is your opportunity to make a strong first impression and demonstrate your motivation and suitability for the role.

In Germany, cover letters are often seen as equally important as the CV, if not more so.

Employers use cover letters to assess not only your writing skills and attention to detail but also your understanding of the company and the position.

This is why tailoring your cover letter to the specific job and company is vital to your success.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the following topics:

Key Components of a German Cover Letter

  • Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application in Germany

Cultural Nuances and Best Practices

  • Common Mistakes to Avoid
  • Tips for Making Your Cover Letter Stand Out

By following the guidelines and best practices outlined in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to create an impactful cover letter that sets you apart from the competition and paves the way for a successful job application in Germany.

A well-structured and carefully crafted cover letter can significantly increase your chances of securing a job interview in Germany.

Understanding the key components of a German cover letter and its significance will help you create a compelling and impactful letter that resonates with potential employers.

In this section, we will dive into each component and provide guidance on how to make your cover letter shine.

1. Personal Information

At the top of your cover letter, include your full name, address, phone number, and email address.

This information should be right-aligned, ensuring it is easy to locate and follows the standard German formatting.

You may also include your professional title and LinkedIn profile link if relevant.

2. Recipient’s Information

Below your personal information, left-align the recipient’s details, including their name, title, company name, and address.

If you’re unsure of the recipient’s name, it’s worth conducting some research to find the appropriate contact person, as addressing the letter to a specific individual demonstrates your diligence and attention to detail.

Include the date below the recipient’s information, following the German date format (DD.MM.YYYY).

4. Subject Line

A concise and informative subject line helps the reader quickly understand the purpose of your letter.

Begin with “Bewerbung um die Stelle als” (Application for the position of) followed by the job title. This makes it easy for the recipient to identify the position you are applying for.

5. Salutation

In Germany, formality is crucial. Address the recipient with “Sehr geehrte(r)” (Dear) followed by their last name and a comma.

If you don’t know the recipient’s name, use “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren” (Dear Sir/Madam).

6. Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph sets the tone for your cover letter. Briefly introduce yourself and mention the position you are applying for, where you found the job posting, and, if applicable, any mutual connections or referrals.

7. Body Paragraphs

In the body of your cover letter, showcase your qualifications, skills, and experiences relevant to the job.

Focus on how your background aligns with the requirements listed in the job description, and provide concrete examples to demonstrate your accomplishments.

Also, show your knowledge of the company and explain why you are interested in the position and how you can contribute to the organization’s success.

8. Closing Paragraph

In the closing paragraph, reiterate your interest in the role and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity. Politely request an interview and thank the recipient for considering your application.

9. Sign-off and Signature

End your cover letter with a formal sign-off such as “Mit freundlichen Grüßen” (Kind regards) followed by your full name. If sending a physical letter, include your handwritten signature above your typed name.

10. Enclosures

Finally, mention any enclosures, such as your CV, references, or certificates, by adding “Anlagen:” (Enclosures:) at the bottom of the letter. This ensures the recipient is aware of the additional documents accompanying your application.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the key components of a German cover letter, let’s move on to a few sample cover letters and dissect their elements to help you craft your own.

Sample Cover Letters for Job Applications in Germany

To give you a better understanding of how to craft a cover letter for different job domains, we have provided three sample cover letters: one for an IT position, one for a marketing position, and one for a nursing position.

Each cover letter showcases a different format or style, allowing you to choose the approach that best suits your individual preferences and the specific job you are applying for.

Sample 1: IT Position (Software Developer)

[Your Name] [Your Address] [Your Phone Number] [Your Email Address] [LinkedIn Profile Link (optional)] [Recipient’s Name] [Recipient’s Title] [Company Name] [Company Address] [Date (DD.MM.YYYY)] Bewerbung um die Stelle als Softwareentwickler Sehr geehrte(r) [Recipient’s Last Name], I am writing to apply for the Software Developer position at [Company Name] as advertised on [Job Portal]. As a skilled professional with over five years of experience in software development, I am confident in my ability to contribute to your company’s success. Throughout my career, I have developed and maintained numerous software applications, consistently meeting project deadlines and exceeding client expectations. My technical expertise includes proficiency in Java, Python, and C++, as well as experience with Agile methodologies and DevOps practices. I am also passionate about continuous learning, which has enabled me to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies. I am particularly attracted to [Company Name] because of its reputation for innovation and commitment to employee growth. I believe my skill set and dedication to software development would make me a valuable addition to your team. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications and how I can contribute to [Company Name]. Thank you for considering my application. Mit freundlichen Grüßen, [Your Full Name] [Handwritten Signature (if applicable)] Anlagen: Lebenslauf Zeugnisse Arbeitsproben

Sample 2: Marketing Position (Content Marketing Manager)

[Your Name] [Your Address] [Your Phone Number] [Your Email Address] [LinkedIn Profile Link (optional)] [Recipient’s Name] [Recipient’s Title] [Company Name] [Company Address] [Date (DD.MM.YYYY)] Bewerbung um die Stelle als Content Marketing Manager Sehr geehrte(r) [Recipient’s Last Name], As an experienced Content Marketing Manager with a strong background in developing and implementing successful marketing strategies, I am excited to apply for the position at [Company Name] that I discovered on [Job Portal]. During my six years in the marketing industry, I have managed content creation, search engine optimization, and social media campaigns for various clients, leading to significant increases in web traffic, engagement, and conversion rates. My strengths lie in my ability to analyze target audiences, identify content gaps, and create compelling content that drives results. What draws me to [Company Name] is its focus on providing exceptional value to customers through innovative marketing techniques. I am confident that my expertise in content marketing, combined with my passion for creating engaging experiences, will enable me to contribute significantly to your company’s growth and success. I appreciate your consideration of my application and look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further. Mit freundlichen Grüßen, [Your Full Name] [Handwritten Signature (if applicable)] Anlagen: Lebenslauf Zeugnisse Arbeitsproben

Sample 3: Nursing Position (Registered Nurse)

[Your Name] [Your Address] [Your Phone Number] [Your Email Address] [LinkedIn Profile Link (optional)] [Recipient’s Name] [Recipient’s Title] [Company Name] [Company Address] [Date (DD.MM.YYYY)] Bewerbung um die Stelle als examinierte Krankenschwester Sehr geehrte(r) [Recipient’s Last Name], I am writing to express my interest in the Registered Nurse position at [Company Name], which I came across on [Job Portal]. With over seven years of nursing experience and a commitment to providing exceptional patient care, I am confident in my ability to make a positive impact at your healthcare facility. Throughout my nursing career, I have honed my skills in patient assessment, treatment planning, and health education. My experience includes working in diverse healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient clinics. This background has allowed me to develop strong communication and teamwork skills, adapt to different environments, and provide high-quality care to patients from various backgrounds. I am drawn to [Company Name] because of its reputation for excellence in patient care and commitment to employee development. I believe my nursing experience, passion for healthcare, and dedication to patient well-being make me a strong candidate for this position. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further and explore how I can contribute to the success of [Company Name]. Mit freundlichen Grüßen, [Your Full Name] [Handwritten Signature (if applicable)] Anlagen: Lebenslauf Zeugnisse Zertifikate

These three sample cover letters demonstrate different formats and styles tailored to specific job domains.

Bonus : Looking for additional cover letter templates? Here is a list of free CV and cover letter templates that you can use for your next job application in Germany.

Analyze the elements of each sample and use them as a starting point to create a cover letter that effectively showcases your unique qualifications and experiences for the position you are applying for in Germany.

Do you have further questions?

Join our community of job seekers and expats from Germany. You can ask your doubts and get suggestions on topics related to getting a job in Germany and several other related topics.

When applying for a job in Germany, it’s essential to be aware of the cultural nuances and best practices to ensure your cover letter makes a strong impression.

Understanding the expectations of German employers and adapting your cover letter accordingly will increase your chances of success.

In this section, we will discuss some key cultural aspects and best practices to follow when crafting your cover letter.

1. Formality and Politeness

German business culture places a high value on formality and politeness.

Ensure that your cover letter adheres to a formal writing style and tone.

Use appropriate salutations and sign-offs, and address the recipient by their last name.

Avoid using slang, colloquialisms, or overly casual language.

2. Addressing the Recipient Properly

Take the time to research the correct name and title of the person responsible for reviewing job applications.

Addressing the recipient personally demonstrates your diligence and attention to detail.

If you cannot find the recipient’s name, use the generic salutation “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren” (Dear Sir/Madam).

3. Demonstrating Knowledge of the Company and the Role

German employers appreciate candidates who show a genuine interest in their company and the specific role they are applying for.

Research the company’s mission, values, and recent projects, and mention how these align with your own professional goals and interests.

Additionally, carefully review the job description and emphasize how your skills, qualifications, and experiences make you a strong fit for the position.

4. Focusing on Achievements and Contributions

Instead of merely listing your previous job duties, highlight your achievements and the impact of your work.

Use specific examples to showcase your accomplishments and demonstrate your ability to contribute to the success of the company.

This approach shows employers that you are results-oriented and can make a meaningful difference in their organization.

5. Tailoring Your Cover Letter to the Specific Job

Avoid using a generic cover letter for every job application.

Instead, tailor your cover letter to the specific job and company by addressing the unique requirements and expectations outlined in the job description.

This not only demonstrates your genuine interest in the role but also shows that you have taken the time to understand the employer’s needs and how you can fulfill them.

By considering these cultural nuances and best practices, you can craft a compelling cover letter that resonates with German employers and sets you apart from other applicants.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in a German Cover Letter

To increase your chances of securing a job interview in Germany, it’s crucial to avoid common mistakes that can detract from your application’s effectiveness.

In this section, we will discuss some common pitfalls and provide tips on how to prevent them.

1. Spelling and Grammar Errors

Mistakes in spelling and grammar can significantly damage the credibility of your application.

Proofread your cover letter thoroughly and consider using a grammar-checking tool to ensure accuracy.

If possible, ask a native German speaker or a professional proofreader to review your letter for any errors or inconsistencies.

2. Overly Casual Tone

As mentioned earlier, German business culture values formality and politeness.

Avoid using an overly casual tone, slang, or colloquialisms in your cover letter. Instead, maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout your letter.

3. Lengthy Cover Letters

A cover letter should be concise and to the point. Aim for a length of one page, focusing on the most relevant and compelling information.

Avoid long-winded explanations and unnecessary details that can detract from the impact of your letter.

4. Failing to Address the Job Requirements

Not addressing the specific requirements outlined in the job description can give the impression that you are not genuinely interested in the position or have not taken the time to understand the employer’s needs.

Tailor your cover letter to the job description, highlighting your skills, qualifications, and experiences that align with the requirements.

5. Underselling or Overselling Yourself

Striking the right balance between confidence and humility is crucial in a cover letter.

Avoid underselling your skills and accomplishments, but also refrain from overselling yourself or exaggerating your qualifications.

Focus on providing accurate and relevant examples that demonstrate your suitability for the role.

6. Neglecting to Research the Company

Failing to demonstrate knowledge of the company and its values can give the impression that you are not genuinely interested in the role.

Research the company and mention specific aspects that resonate with your professional goals and interests to show your enthusiasm for the position.

7. Using Generic Cover Letters

Submitting a generic cover letter for multiple job applications can harm your chances of securing an interview.

Tailor your cover letter to each specific job and company to demonstrate your genuine interest in the role and your understanding of the employer’s needs.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a compelling and impactful cover letter that stands out to potential employers and increases your chances of success in the German job market.

Tips for Non-Native German Speakers

If you are a non-native German speaker applying for a job in Germany, crafting an effective cover letter can be particularly challenging.

However, by paying attention to certain aspects and following some best practices, you can overcome language barriers and make a strong impression.

In this section, we will discuss some tips to help non-native German speakers create an impactful cover letter.

1. Language Proficiency

First and foremost, ensure that your German language skills are sufficient for the job you are applying for.

If the job requires a high level of proficiency, it’s essential to have a strong command of the language, both in writing and speaking.

If necessary, consider taking German language courses or working with a language tutor to improve your skills.

2. Use a Professional Translation Service

If you are not confident in your ability to write a cover letter in German, consider using a professional translation service.

This can help ensure that your cover letter is accurate, clear, and adheres to German business etiquette.

However, remember that using a translation service is not a substitute for learning the language, particularly if the job requires fluent German skills.

3. Seek Feedback from Native German Speakers

Ask native German speakers to review your cover letter and provide feedback on your language usage, grammar, and overall structure.

This can help you identify any errors or inconsistencies and ensure that your cover letter adheres to German business conventions.

4. Highlight Your Language Skills

If you are fluent in multiple languages, including German, highlight this skill in your cover letter.

Many German companies value employees who can communicate effectively in multiple languages, particularly in international settings.

5. Research German Business Etiquette

Familiarize yourself with German business etiquette and incorporate appropriate conventions into your cover letter, such as formal salutations, sign-offs, and language usage.

This demonstrates your understanding of the local business culture and your willingness to adapt.

6. Address Potential Visa and Work Permit Requirements

If you are not an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, make sure to address any potential visa and work permit requirements in your cover letter.

Briefly mention your eligibility for a visa or work permit, or your intention to obtain one, to reassure the employer that you are aware of the necessary procedures and willing to take the required steps.

By following these tips, non-native German speakers can create a compelling cover letter that effectively communicates their skills, qualifications, and experiences while adhering to German business etiquette and addressing potential language barriers.

Adapting Your Cover Letter for Remote Work Opportunities

With the increasing prevalence of remote work, many job seekers are looking for opportunities to work from home or outside of their home country.

In this section, we will discuss how to adapt your cover letter to showcase your suitability for remote work positions in Germany.

1. Highlight Relevant Remote Work Experience

If you have previous experience working remotely, be sure to emphasize this in your cover letter.

Explain how you successfully managed your workload, communicated with your team, and adapted to a remote work environment.

This demonstrates your ability to navigate the challenges of remote work and remain productive in a virtual setting.

2. Showcase Your Adaptability and Time Management Skills

Remote work often requires adaptability and strong time management skills. Highlight any experiences or accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to adapt to changing circumstances, manage your time effectively, and stay organized.

3. Emphasize Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial for remote work, as much of the interaction with colleagues and supervisors happens via email, phone, or video calls.

Showcase your written and verbal communication skills in your cover letter and provide examples of how you have effectively communicated in remote work settings.

4. Familiarize Yourself with German Business Etiquette

Even when working remotely, it’s essential to understand and adhere to German business etiquette. Familiarize yourself with the expectations and conventions of German business culture, and ensure that your cover letter reflects this understanding.

5. Address Time Zone Differences

If you are applying for a remote position from a different time zone, address this in your cover letter.

Explain your willingness to adapt your work schedule, if necessary, to accommodate meetings or other collaborative activities during the company’s standard working hours.

6. Mention Relevant Tools and Technologies

Remote work often relies on specific tools and technologies for communication, collaboration, and project management.

Mention any familiarity or experience you have with these tools in your cover letter, as this demonstrates your ability to quickly adapt to the company’s remote work infrastructure.

By adapting your cover letter to emphasize your suitability for remote work, you can increase your chances of securing a remote position with a German company.

This approach demonstrates your understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of remote work and showcases your ability to thrive in a virtual work environment.

Crafting an effective cover letter for a job application in Germany requires attention to detail, an understanding of local business culture, and the ability to showcase your unique qualifications and experiences.

By following the guidelines and best practices discussed in this article, you can create a compelling cover letter that stands out to potential employers and increases your chances of securing an interview.

In summary, remember to:

  • Familiarize yourself with German business etiquette and conventions
  • Use a clear structure and include all essential components
  • Tailor your cover letter to the specific job and company
  • Showcase your accomplishments and provide concrete examples
  • Avoid common mistakes and maintain a professional tone
  • Consider cultural nuances and adapt your cover letter accordingly
  • For non-native German speakers, seek feedback and support as needed
  • Adapt your cover letter for remote work opportunities, if applicable

By putting in the effort to create a well-crafted, tailored cover letter, you demonstrate your professionalism, commitment, and genuine interest in the position.

This can set you apart from other applicants and ultimately help you land your desired job in Germany.

Stay persistent in your job search, and don’t be afraid to refine and revise your cover letter as you gain more experience and insights into the German job market.

GermanSuperfast

How to Write the Perfect German Cover Letter: Best Practices

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When a company searches for a new employee, several hundreds applicants could send their CVs. The HR department of the company I work for told me that sometimes a cover letter could be a crucial element in why they might decide to invite someone for an interview or not. If you plan to apply for a job in Germany, you have to learn how to write a German cover letter.

Let’s start and let me provide you with the essential information about cover letters in Germany in this article.

Key takeaways

  • This article sheds more light on what the German cover letter is all about.
  • A cover letter is a helpful extension of your CV .
  • It gives you a great chance to introduce and position yourself as the person your new employer should choose.
  • I am also providing you with some tips about the length , essential formulas , writing styles , and the required contents of the cover letter in Germany.
  • At the end of this article, you will find a personal recommendation for finding professional cover letter writers online who can help you write it.

What is the German cover letter?

Alongside the German CV , you should also make sure that you are sending a cover letter. Even if the cover letter does not prioritize the preselection of candidates for further interviews, it might make a significant difference in the end.

The German SPIEGEL Magazine published an article about the importance of cover letters for an application in Germany. The interviewed recruiting professional states in this article:

“However, a job application is about working together in the future. Therefore, you’d better use the cover letter to tell a potential employer what is important to you in your job and how you would like to work together in the future.”

Based on my experience, you should never miss that chance to impress your future employer. It may make a difference if your CV is similar to others or might not fit 100% to the job offered.

Definition of the cover letter in Germany

Think about a motivation letter as an extended introduction to:

  • who you are
  • the reason you are sending the application
  • why you are a good fit
  • and why you could be of benefit to the company you are applying to.

It allows you to paint a more detailed picture about yourself instead of relying only on your CV. This strings together all the stages of your professional and educational life.

As you can see, a German job seeker’s letter can include quite some information about yourself.

This leads me to the next point, why an email instead of a cover letter is not enough.

In Germany, the cover letter is not an email

Most applications are now submitted online and no longer by mail. Whether you send your email or submit your CV and cover letter via a recruiting platform, they should not confuse a cover letter with an email.

If you send your CV via email, you should not mistake the email with your written cover letter. Your email can be short and sweet. There you can provide some basic information, such as your name and the name of your contact person, if available.

In the email you’ll be stating that you are sending your CV and your cover letter and asking for a reply.

The cover letter should be a separate PDF file or Microsoft Word Document.

Tipps regarding the German cover letter

Here are a few tips that I collected from my German friends.

Length of German employment cover letter

A cover letter for German employers should be roughly one to two DIN A 4 pages long.

I recommend you not write a cover letter that’s longer than this because hardly anyone will be willing to read it.

In general, using a larger spacing between lines and a comfortable to read font size will support the recipient’s efforts to read it.

Opening and closing formulas

It would help if you always used polite and formal addressing and closing formulas.

As you might be aware, there is a standard version for “you” in German: “Sie.” This is how Germans address everyone they are not closely acquainted with.

Even if you know your first point of contact in the company you apply to, I’d still not recommend the informal version for “you” used as “Du” in German.

But why is that?

Most likely, more people will be reading your cover letter throughout the application process. And it’s considered impolite in Germany to use “Du” instead of “Sie.”

Standard addressing formulas are, for example:

“ Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren ,” meaning “dear sir or madam,” is the most general variation.

If you know your first point of contact by name, you can also address them by using, for example, “ Sehr geehrter Herr Weidel ,” which means “Dear mister Weidel” in English.

Always address them with their family name, not with their first name.

It’s best to close a cover letter using the standard formula “ Mit freundlichen Grüßen ,” similar to “Best regards” in English.

Make sure you add your name with some white space in between so that you can sign the letter manually before sending it out.

Sentence length

You should make sure not to write any lengthy sentences. Better keep your sentences as short as possible. This helps the reader quickly grasp the content and understand what you are writing about without having to overthink it.

Individual cover letters

Even if you are applying for more than just one position at once, make sure you rewrite your cover letter every time.

You should tailor he cover letter should to the company you apply to.

You can’t use the central part of a cover letter for more than one job application.

Give examples

Reading through the job offering or job ad is crucial. It is better if something stands out that you can refer to in your cover letter. If specific personal strengths are required, give a short and easy-to-understand how you meet up.

Answers to questions

Are there any questions included in the job advertisement? If so, answer them and make sure that you answer all of these in your letter.

Refer to the company you apply to

Since nobody likes to receive a mass-produced application, make sure that you mention something that stood out for you while informing yourself about the company you apply to. Allow them to understand why you chose to apply for that specific job in their company.

Grammar and spelling

Of course, taking care of any grammar or spelling mistakes is always a good idea. If possible, let a professional read through your cover letter. If you have no professional at hand, you might have to find someone capable of reading and writing German fluently enough to support you here. I have always used Fiverr * for that kind of service in the past.

The structure of the application letter in Germany

From a structural point of view, a formal job inquiry letter can be a bit longer than you might have experienced that so far in your home country.

Basic information

At the very top of the page, please include:

  • your full name
  • phone number
  • and other contact information

Also Include the full name and address of the company. And the name of the contact person you address the cover letter to, in case you know the name.

As a last formality, include the date and subject matter.

You can then address the person the cover letter is written for by name or use the standard formula of “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren” as mentioned above.

Now it’s time to divide the cover letter into four different paragraphs.

First paragraph – Introduction

Make sure that you introduce yourself and give the reader why you are applying for the specific job. Some ideas might be that you recently relocated to Germany and are now searching for a job. Another option might be that you want to make a career change. It should be clear to the reader what your intention is.

Second paragraph – Your professional experience

The second paragraph is about your professional experience, skillset, and abilities. If there is anything worth mentioning that you believe would help you stand out from other applicants, please consider mentioning it.

Suppose you are still working outside of Germany. In that case, you might also consider providing some details about your current position, the company you are working for, and the daily tasks you are regularly doing.

If you achieved anything remarkable in the past that might benefit your future employer, let them know about it. It’s another chance for you to shine.

Third paragraph – About the company and the reason why

Before writing this paragraph, think about why the company should hire you instead of someone else.

How can you be of benefit to your future employer?

Try to describe why you are a good fit for the position, the job offered, and how you might fit into the team.

You should consider finding out more about the company you apply for and get some background information.

Since it’s not unlikely that people will search for you on LinkedIn, do the same and search for the company there.

You will most likely get a good idea about their corporate structure and maybe even about the team you would be working with.

Fourth paragraph – Closing

In the last paragraph, you should state that you are interested in the company and the position. Thank the person or the people who would read your cover letter for considering you for the offered job.

Also, please mention that you’d be looking forward to meeting them in person or virtually for the interview soon. And that you are looking forward to a reply.

Let professionals write the German introduction letter for you

Germans who changed their position quite often are all used to writing those cover letters as they have a long history in the German application process.

Writing a cover letter as a foreigner based on German standards can be challenging.

Why use a professional cover letter writer?

You should use a professional cover letter writer for your application if you are not 100% familiar with the German language and application process.

Cover letter writers whose native language is German can help you create a perfect cover letter for you.

Your chances of success with your application, assuming your CV already looks interesting, will be significantly higher when you send over a well-written letter for German employers.

Where to find a professional cover letter writer?

From my own experience, finding an excellent motivation letter writer is not difficult.

I have a great experience with the freelancer platform called Fiverr *. You can search for “ German cover letter ” there and find good results.

I want to give you one piece of advice to choose someone located in Germany and whose native language is German.

They are most likely very familiar with the specifications and can write fluently in German.

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* The links that are marked in this way are affiliate links and indicate that we receive a small commission if you decide to buy the products or services offered by our partner sites. But for you, it won’t cost you anything extra.

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How to Draft a Perfect German Cover Letter [Format, Guide]

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In Germany, the employment market is highly competitive. Many qualified and skilled individuals are looking for jobs in Germany, so it's critical to make an excellent first impression with your cover letter.

A well-written cover letter can differentiate between securing job interviews and being overlooked when submitting a job or visa application. A great cover letter demonstrates that you are serious about the position and have what it takes. 

Read on for a guide on   how to write the ideal German cover letter and an example format , plus some pointers and shortcuts to ensure that your cover letter is flawless.

What is a German Cover Letter?

You may submit a one-page cover letter ( Anschreiben ) from Germany when   applying for a job   or an internship. The cover letter introduces you to the potential employer and explains why you are the ideal applicant.

The German cover letter should be formal and polite. The tone should be positive and professional.

Tip:   You may submit your resume ( Lebenslauf ) and cover letter in English or German when applying for a   position . If the employment opening is in German, it is advisable to write your cover letter in German.

German Cover Letter Format

It is critical to use the correct format for your cover letter when applying in Germany. This implies that you should include your   contact information   (name, address, phone number, email) and the date at the top of the page. The letter should be addressed to the person in charge of hiring at the firm (if you do not have a name, you can use something more general, such as " Dear Hiring Manager ").

It is essential to   keep it professional and easy to read   regarding font style and size for your German cover letter. Times New Roman or Arial font in size 12 should be sufficient.

Begin your letter with a   brief introduction   and explain why you are interested in the position. Then, go into detail about your qualifications and accomplishments that make you the perfect candidate for the job. Be sure to   emphasize any skills or experience   relevant to the position.

In the second section,   underline the skills and accomplishments   that make you the perfect candidate. Be sure to emphasize any skills or work experience relevant to the position. Finally, in the third part,   thank the company for their time and consideration . You may also include a statement of availability for an interview or mention that you will be in touch soon.

Close the letter with a professional sign-off (" Sincerely," "Best regards ," etc.), followed by your full name and signature.

Tip:   If you've   studied German , say so in your cover letter. This will demonstrate to the employer that you're serious about the position and have taken the time to learn more about their culture and country.

What not to include in a German Cover Letter

When writing your German cover letter, there are a few things that you should avoid doing.

  • Do not repeat information   from your resume or CV verbatim.
  • Personal information   such as your age, marital status, or the number of children should not be included. This data is irrelevant to the employer and may lead to your being discriminated against.
  • Do not use   informal language or contractions . The phrases "I'd want to," or "I'll be" are examples of informal language.
  • Avoid a generic cover letter . Make sure that your cover letter is tailored to the position you're applying for. This will demonstrate to the employer that you are genuinely interested in working for them.
  • Do not include a   photograph   of yourself.
  • Do not use humor   or try to be witty in your cover letter. This is a formal business correspondence; therefore, keep it serious unless stated otherwise.
  • Do not make any   negative comments   about your current or previous employers.
  • Do not reveal your salary expectations or demands   during the interview. This may be discussed at length during the hiring process.

Keep the following in mind while drafting a German Cover Letter

A German cover letter should be concise and direct, as stated in the job description.

There's no need to include details about your interests or hobbies. The emphasis should be on your abilities and qualifications rather than your personality.

Employers may not be familiar with overly formal or technical language, so avoid it. Stick to simple, straightforward speech that anyone can comprehend.

Finally, double-check it for spelling and grammatical errors before submitting your cover letter.

German Cover Letter Template Ideas

Finding the ideal German cover letter template may be a challenging task.

The internet is your best friend for locating the perfect German cover letter template. Several excellent, free websites provide templates for various letters, including German cover letters.

Some of our favorites include:

Novoresume   is a website that provides free templates for various letters, including German Cover Letters. The website offers several templates for different types of letters and varying levels of experience.

Resume.io  is another website that has compiled the best German cover letter examples and templates to help you land your dream job.

Zety  is a website that provides cover letter templates for various professions. The website offers both free and paid templates.

Cover letters can be tricky, but following a specific format can make the time to research much more accessible and help you get your dream job. Remember to personalize your letter for each job application and highlight relevant qualifications and experience.

Need help with your German CV?

Don't worry! Check out our German CV guide below to know everything you need to create an outstanding German CV

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How To Write A German Cover Letter – A Step By Step Guide

by Cheryl Howard | Nov 28, 2023 | Berlin Guides , Job Applications , Working In Berlin | 0 comments

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HOW TO WRITE A GERMAN COVER LETTER – A STEP BY STEP GUIDE

Have you been l ooking for a job in Germany, applying for several positions, and finding that you’re not getting any responses? It happens to the best of us, even to those who work in   highly demanded professions   like software developers, marketing professionals, economists, and more.

Searching for a job , especially one right for you, is a daunting task that takes   a lot   of work, patience, and perseverance. When you add looking for a job in a foreign country like Germany into the mix, it’s even more challenging. You’re probably unfamiliar with the country’s norms when creating job applications and could unknowingly be making mistakes. What’s more, a lot of the information about how to write a German cover letter is often outdated and/or created by people with zero experience in recruiting.

The most significant part of getting noticed by German employers is your ability to put together a solid job application, which usually includes a well-written and designed cover letter and CV that tells a story about you and why you’re uniquely qualified for that position.

 WRITE A GERMAN COVER LETTER LIKE A SEASONED PRO

📖 📖 📖 Bookmark THIS extensive guide on how to write a German cover letter and use it as a frame of reference when applying for jobs in Germany.

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1) Are Cover Letters Really Needed?

As you’re searching for a job in Berlin, or anywhere in Germany for that matter, have you asked yourself these questions:

1) Do I need to write a German cover letter when I’m applying for jobs?

2) Are cover letters relevant when my CV already tells my story?

3) Does anyone even bother to read cover letters?

Let me tell you a story:

I worked for one company when a member of senior management asked, “Why do people write cover letters? I   never   read them. I only want to see their CV, and I’ll get in touch if it’s interesting. I’m way too busy to read both cover letters and CVs.”

A very fair point and I agree with him 100%. His pain was also my pain, as I was reviewing several job applications each day and looking at people we could potentially add to our team. It was time-consuming and tedious, especially when we wanted to ensure whoever applied was given a fair shot.

It’s true that not every recruiter or hiring manager will read it (like that manager), and some companies (like where I currently work) even ask candidates   not   to submit cover letters. However, many companies still expect to see one.

So do you need a German cover letter? Yes, most definitely. Even though they feel like a waste of time (and sometimes really are), cover letters are essential when applying for jobs in Berlin or elsewhere in Deutschland.

2) Why Should I Write A German Cover Letter?

There are a number of good arguments about why you should take the time to write up a cover letter for your job applications:

1) There’s a slight chance that not submitting a cover letter will result in immediate rejection. A recruiter or hiring manager may think that if you didn’t put in the effort to make a cover letter, why should they even consider you for the job? While this is silly, don’t take a chance and make it a habit always to include a cover letter.

​2) Some (not all) HR software scans submitted documents looking for specific keywords. A cover letter that mentions certain keywords from the job description could help you bubble to the top of the candidate pool, where you’re more likely to get noticed before other candidates.

3) Called a motivation letter in Germany ( Motivationsschreiben ), a cover letter is your chance to shine. It’s when you can tell the company why you want to work for them, explain how uniquely qualified you are for that role, and really make your personality come through.

​Think of it like this – when you go to the theatre to watch a movie, you’ll see trailers for upcoming flicks. They only last one or two minutes, but if the trailer is really good, they’ve hooked you, and eventually, you’re going to go out and watch that movie.

Your cover letter is exactly like that movie trailer. It’s a preview of your CV and you as a person. A cover letter’s main call to action is to make the person reading it want to know more. They’ll spend time reviewing your CV and, hopefully, contact you for that first interview.

4) A cover letter shows diligence and interest from your side. Employers are keen to know why you want to work for them, learn why you’re the person they should hire, and if you’re passionate about your chosen field.

If a cover letter is done well, in the sense that it’s framed as a well-written and compelling narrative, it’ll motivate the employer to contact you for an interview. Most people do really read them, so it’s worth spending time writing one that makes you stand out from other applicants.

3) How Do I Structure A German Cover Letter?

Following a fixed structure and method that you can repeat for each new job application makes writing a cover letter way easier.

Always include these vital elements in a cover letter:

The Berlin Life -- Cover Letter Sample

1)   Salutation   – Address your cover letter to that person using formal German greetings such as “Dear Herr Müller” or “Dear Frau Schmidt.” If no contact is listed or you’re unsure about which greeting to use (you don’t ever want to address someone as Herr when they’re a Frau, for example), use a generic greeting such as “Dear hiring manager” or “To whom it may concern.” If you read other online texts saying that you  always  have to specify a specific contact name, this is very untrue. More and more German companies are refraining from adding contact names to job descriptions to avoid being spammed by applicants. So don’t stress out on this point at all, as using a generic greeting is not only expected but completely acceptable.

2) Intro   – This section should be one paragraph maximum. Personalize your cover letter by telling the company  why you want to work there.  Be specific and use supporting examples gleaned from company research. Doing so will impress the company and show you did your homework before applying. Remember that this section is not about you but about them as an organization. Avoid self-serving statements when telling them why you want to work there. For example, don’t say you want to work there because the office is down the street from your flat or you heard they pay exceptionally high salaries. Instead, say you’re impressed with the company culture, that you identify with their sustainability mission, and that you want to be part of building out the next stage of their growth.

​ 3) About You   – This section can be one or two paragraphs long and is the “meat” of the cover letter and where you need to sell yourself. Pull points from the job description to tell your potential employer   why you’re uniquely qualified for the position . Build on those points by using personal examples that draw from your experience, education, and more. Ensure your examples are specific, build on one another in a complementing fashion, and tell an exciting story. Say that the role calls for someone with leadership experience. You can tell them that you have 10 years of experience managing distributed teams of varying sizes. You can further say that you excel at creating and maintaining high-performing teams with a track record of meeting deadlines. And finish by telling them how you launched a project that helped the company make millions of euros. Whatever you do, don’t just list a bunch of keywords, repeat the job description itself, or write a novel.

4) Closin g   – Reiterate your excitement about the company and the open position. Let them know you want to learn more and would welcome a chance for an interview. Be sure to tell them about your availability and how to best get in touch.

A few more tips about how to structure a German cover letter:

1) If you’re sending the cover letter by email or uploading it to an applicant tracking system, you don’t need to include the address information of yourself or the company. For that matter, a signature isn’t required either. These things are entirely unnecessary and irrelevant as we no longer live in the Stone Age.

2) If anyone prints or references your cover letter for an interview, you can leave the date on it so they know when you applied for the role.

Strive to ensure the narrative in the letter flows well and tells a unique story about you and why they should hire you over anyone else out there.

4) Should I Customize My Cover Letter For Job Applications ?

Yes, we know. It’s   a lot   of work to create a new cover letter every time you apply for a job, but sending the same cover letter out won’t do anymore. You need to show employers you took time to research their company, tell them why you want to work there, and why they should hire you.

This is why personalizing the cover letter is really important. They need to see the real you and that you were thoughtful in your job application. Anything less makes it look like you’re not really interested in the role and could see your job application land in the recruiter’s NO pile.

Suppose a cover letter is simply a regurgitation of the job description or a generic copy-and-paste text you’ve used for every job application. The recruiter or hiring manager will easily be able to spot this and may make the company less likely to contact you. Again, don’t take a chance.

Read about how to customize cover letters when you’re submitting unsolicited job applications . 

5) How Do I Use Company Research In My Cover Letter?

Before writing a cover letter, we recommend that you complete in-depth research on the company to which you’re applying. The research will help you a lot, especially as it’ll give you the information you can embed in your cover letter and use later to ask questions during an interview.

You need to tell the employer why you like their company and show you did your research, by looking at   Glassdoor reviews , browsing through their website, reading their press releases, etc.

Read our detailed guide about how to   research a German company .

6) How Long Should A German Cover Letter Be?

Keep the cover letter to a single page and not more than 3 – 4 paragraphs. Be succinct (i.e., avoid long wordy sentences or overuse of adjectives) and   summarize, summarize, summarize .

Pick key points from your CV and/or job description but don’t repeat things verbatim.

7) Should I Use An Automatic Text Generator or AI?

I’ve played around with ChatGPT and boy, is it good. Like really really good!

Call me old school, but in general, I’d still suggest writing your own cover letter without the help of predictive text generators or AI.

I say this for two reasons:

1) Many of these generators like Speedwrite yield text that doesn’t make much sense at all. It often reads as if it were written by a robot and spits out alternative text that says exactly the same thing but in a slightly different way.

2) Even worse, it won’t sound like you. A cover letter should be an honest and accurate reflection of who you are and how you communicate. I cannot stress that enough, especially if you’re being hired into a role where communication skills are key.

What you could do is use AI to write that very first draft cover letter. Then you could use that text as a baseline and improve it using your own words. Try out this beta AI from Imagine to get started! 

Alternatively, you can write a draft first and then use a tool like Grammarly to better what you’ve written.

We know this can be tough if you’re not writing in your native language. In these cases, make sure you get other people to proofread your cover letter or even hire a professional to help you out.

8) Should I Write My Cover Letter In German ?

Writing your cover letter in German may help you get noticed by HR software or LinkedIn search engine algorithms.

Be careful and use your best judgment here, though. It could backfire when they discover that your level of German doesn’t match the level of what’s in your cover letter.

Let me tell you another story:

A recruiter I used to work with told me that she’d found a dream candidate for a position that had been open for a long time. This person was applying from abroad and had submitted   both   their CV and cover letter in German.

The first interview was scheduled, and during the call, the recruiter was surprised to find that the candidate didn’t know any German at all. Turns out they’d paid someone to translate their documents.

Sadly, the candidate was rejected for their false claims of being fluent in German and wasting the recruiter’s time. And contrary to what many say, German fluency is absolutely essential for most available positions in the country. 

Of course, it could go the other way and the company may still hire you anyway because you’re such a good fit. But please, be honest upfront and if you decide to write your cover letter in German, indicate your language level (like B1 or C1) very prominently on your CV and in your cover letter. Then the decision will be left to the employer to contact you.

9) Can I Stretch The Truth Because Everyone Fibs A Bit?

Above all, be humble and honest about things, like your education, work experience, level of German, etc.

It’s easy to lie or exaggerate when you want a job, and we’ve all been told to “fake it until we make it,” and in many cases, it can work in your favor. But let’s be real here, this behavior is unprofessional, not to mention unethical.

Not long ago, I was shocked to read the LinkedIn profile of a former colleague who claimed to have led a high-profile project for our company. That project wasn’t even started until after that person left. This person was blatantly lying and taking credit for other people’s work that she didn’t do.

Don’t be that person. 

False claims could come back to haunt you. For example, the Berlin community is small and people know each other. A potential employer may know someone at one of your former companies and informally reach out to them for information about you.

If they uncover any lies, it will likely cost you the job, even your reputation.

Of course, be confident in your accomplishments, and don’t undersell yourself. Just make sure you’re telling the truth.

10) How Do I Create A Well Designed Cover Letter? 

You could just type of bunch of text into a Google document and send it off. But how about making your cover letter look nice using websites like   Canva   or   Edit.org , where you can find beautiful and professional templates for free?

Other things to keep in mind:

1) Use a large and readable font that considers general accessibility guidelines. Sometimes people try to jam as much information as possible onto a cover letter and to make it fit a single page using ridiculously small font sizes. Trust me – no one wants to use a magnifying glass to read your cover letter.

Use this   guide from Indeed   which speaks to the right font and font size to use on CVs, which also applies to cover letters.

2) Don’t make your paragraphs too long and use sensible spacing to make your cover letter easier to read.

3) Your   German CV   should have a similar look and feel. This way, the cover letter, and CV will appear as one fluid job application package.

11) Do I   Really   Have To Follow These Rules?

No, of course not! Our guidelines are simply here to help you write a good cover letter that’s more likely to get you noticed by German employers.

There’s no reason not to get creative and have fun with your cover letter. This may also mean breaking some of the “rules” outlined here.

Be bold and dare to take unique approaches that challenge the status quo. Perhaps give them a link to a video you made telling them why you want to work there. Share a sample of what you can do for them by sharing some insight on how you’d approach your job. Invite them to check out your blog or social media.

The sky’s the limit. A unique cover letter will help you stand apart from other candidates.

12) How Can I Ensure My German Cover Letter Is Of High Quality?

Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors, get the company name and other details right, and if you can, have a second or third pair of eyes review your cover letter. This can be a friend, partner, or even, a paid professional. Proofreading is essential, as if you’ve been staring at the same documents for hours, it can be super easy to miss out on small mistakes you might’ve made.

This advice might sound really obvious and basic, but trust me, I’ve seen tons of job applications with errors on them. I must also confess that I once put the wrong company name in a cover letter and somehow still got several interviews with them. Miracles happen, folks! 🤣

Anyway, avoid sloppy mistakes if you can, and make sure your German cover letter is top-notch.

What do I recommend?   Join my   Facebook community   of more than 8,000 people and ask someone there for a   cover letter exchange . Another person can review your cover letter and give you feedback and you can do the same for them.

That’s a wrap! Follow these tips to write a really good German cover letter that’s going to land you a job in Germany.

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Cheryl Howard, Founder @ The Berlin Life

Cheryl Howard, Founder @ The Berlin Life

Hi, I’m Cheryl. My mission is to help you move to Berlin and find work.

A Canadian in Berlin for 10+ years, I have the unique experience of moving to Berlin – not once, but twice. During my time in Berlin, I’ve had five different visas and worked as both a freelancer and a permanent employee for   numerous   Berlin companies. I even managed to find a new job during the pandemic  and again in 2023, during Germany’s  recession and massive layoffs in tech. 

My day job has involved work as a hiring manager, overseeing the recruitment of countless people, as well as a team coach helping teams and individuals work better and find happiness in their careers. Through my side projects, I’ve also shared my personal experiences by publishing a series of helpful blog posts, creating a thriving community of job seekers, and hosting events to help people find work in Berlin. In 2021, I decided to put my coaching and recruiting talents to use by creating The Berlin Life, bringing my existing content and community together in one spot.

The combination of my personal and professional experience means I know  exactly  what it takes to move to Berlin and find work.

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Cover Letter

How to write your cover letter in german.

Generally speaking a cover letter should be concise and to the point and definitely no longer than one page.

Points you should consider when writing a cover letter

To be effective, your cover letter should follow the basic format of a typical business letter and should address three general issues:

  • First Paragraph - Why you are writing
  • Middle Paragraphs - What you have to offer
  • Concluding Paragraph - How you will follow-up

Do not repeat your what is already in your CV, simply refer to it! "As you can see from my CV, …". If a particular work experience listed in your CV especially qualifies you for the job you can refer to it and emphasise its relevant points. Your cover letter should NEVER be longer than 1 page.

Why you are writing?

In some cases, you may have been referred to a potential employer by a friend or acquaintance. Be sure to mention this mutual contact by name as soon as possible as it is likely to encourage your reader to keep reading!

If you are writing in response to a job advert , indicate where you learned of the position and the exact title of the position you are applying for. More importantly, remember to convey your enthusiasm for the job and the likely match between your credentials and the position's required qualifications.

If you are writing a prospective application letter - a letter in which you enquire about potential job openings - state your specific job objective. Since this type of letter is unsolicited, it is even more important to capture the reader's attention. It is a good idea to mention why you are interested in that specific company, esp. when you write a prospective application letter. Do not give the impression that they are one of two hundred applications (badly copied CVs, serial letters, etc.).

What You Have To Offer

In responding to a job advert , refer specifically to the qualifications they have listed and illustrate how your particular abilities and experiences relate to the position for which you are applying. In a prospective applicationg letter express your potential to fulfil the employer's needs rather than focus on what the employer can offer you. You can do this by giving evidence that you have researched the organization thoroughly and that you possess skills that are used within that organization. Emphasize your achievements and problem-solving skills. Show how your education and work skills are transferable, and thus relevant, to the position for which you are applying.

How You Will Follow Up

Bid directly for the job interview or an informational interview and indicate that you will follow-up with a telephone call to set up an appointment. Be sure to make the call within the time frame indicated. Even if you do not mention it explicitly in the letter, it is a good idea to make a follow up phone call. Timing is important: do not call on the very next day or after more than one week. If you are applying from outside the employer's geographic area you may want to indicate if you'll be in town during a certain time frame (this makes it easier for the employer to agree to meet with you). In conclusion, you should also indicate that further references are available on request. Also, if you have a portfolio or certificates to support your qualifications, inform prospective employers that they are also available on request.

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German Cover Letter Guide: Complete Examples [+Tips]

sample job application letter in german

Germans take their cover letters seriously. It's not a document they just glance at and trash like in most other regions. To get a well-paid job in a German company, you need a solid German Cover Letter.

German Cover Letter Example

Julia Brad Gastgeberin [email protected] 01 36 23 98 24 Berlin 10. Juni 2022

Herr Tobias Schmidt, Geschäftsführer, Restaurant Dae Mon, Berlin, Deutschland

Anschreiben für die Stelle der Hostess

Lieber Tobias,

ich bin eine zertifizierte Hostess mit mehr als 2 Jahren Erfahrung in der Hotelbranche und mache derzeit meinen Bachelor-Abschluss in Hospitality Management an der Universität der Künste Berlin.

In meinem vorherigen Job als Hostess bei Gabriel Kreuther in New York habe ich alle Aufgaben einer Hostess effizient ausgeführt, einschließlich der Entgegennahme von Essensreservierungen, der Planung der Sitzordnung und der Bearbeitung von Telefonanfragen. In meiner 2-jährigen Tätigkeit wurde ich außerdem dreimal als Mitarbeiterin des Monats ausgezeichnet.

Ich wollte unbedingt in eine deutsche Küche eintreten, um die Hostessenkultur in Europa kennenzulernen, und hoffte, dass das Restaurant Dae Mon ein großartiger Ort dafür sein würde, insbesondere wegen seiner langen Geschichte in der deutschen Esskultur.

Es wäre mir ein Vergnügen, die Stelle in einem Vorstellungsgespräch zu erörtern, und ich hoffe, dass dies der Beginn einer für beide Seiten vorteilhaften Zusammenarbeit sein wird.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Beilage: Lebenslauf Referenzschreiben Zeugnis und Abschrift des Bachelor-Abschlusses

According to research carried out in 2013, about half of the applications German companies received without a cover letter were rejected – that’s how important your cover letter is in Germany.

Creating a cover letter in German-style needs you to have a clear understanding of what the German recruiter is looking for in the letter – it should demonstrate the academic and professional qualifications of the candidate and how that would help them achieve the company’s objectives.

Here, in this complete guide, we have discussed everything you need to write and create a perfect German cover letter for your next job.

This also includes:

  • Style guide for German cover letters to impress native hiring managers.
  • Detailed instructions on how to write each section of the cover letter.
  • Pro tips to make your cover letter stand out from the rest.

Try out our resume builder for FREE to create your next German resume and cover letter . We have created a set of awesome templates to make your whole application process faster and smoother.

Read our complete German cover letter example and see how you can write yours.

sample job application letter in german

How to Write a German Cover Letter

Your resume and the cover letter are what makes the first impression for the hiring manager about any applicant – create it right, and they will remember you in the interview. Well-written and well-structured cover letters increase your chances of getting shortlisted while making your attempt a solid one at the interview.

Writing a cover letter for a German employer is quite different from that of any other region – especially with the writing style and structure. German recruiters consider cover letters as an important part of a job application – they wish to speak to candidates who demonstrate their immense interest in the role.

These general guidelines would give you an idea of what the German hiring manager expects from you:

  • Single-page is the standard length for cover letters in Germany.
  • Do not write long sentences and paragraphs – make them short and clear.
  • Stay formal throughout – don’t get emotional.
  • Keep the body of the letter to 3 to 4 short paragraphs.
  • Avoid self-promoting statements about the candidate.
  • Use a modern cover letter template – ideally matching your resume.

Overall, a german cover letter should sound polite and it should always be in a formal language, whether it is in German or English. Draw a fine line between selling yourself and plain bragging - German hiring managers prefer raw data over-exaggerated self-promotional material.

German cover letter structure

Having a proper structure from the beginning would help you write an outstanding German cover letter – we also call this the layout.

We recommend the following:

  • Subject line
  • Opening greeting
  • First Paragraph: candidate into
  • Second Paragraph: skills, experience, and expertise
  • Third Paragraph: motivation
  • Fourth Paragraph: Call to Action (CTA)

Let’s discuss how each of these sections comes together to create your perfect cover letter.

Begin with the Header

As in your resume, the header of the cover letter consists of your name and contact details. The only difference here is that you should include the details of both the sender and the receiver, considering this a formal document.

Sender Information

Start with your name – write the first name and the last name – use a bigger font size and bold it. Put the job title under your name followed by your email, mobile number, location, and the date.

No need for your full physical address as you’re not mailing the letter.

Jason Smith

01 67 43 23 65

10 May 2022

Receiver Information

Put the receiver's name, job title, company name, and company address. If you don’t know the name of the person who would read your application, just address the “Hiring Manager”.

Frau Julie Zeigler

Einstellungsmanager

München, Deutschland

In German formal writing, “Frau” is used to address women and “Herr” is used for men.

  • Frau for Mrs. and Ms.
  • Herr for Mr.

On certain occasions, you’ll get to know the name of the hiring manager. However, if you’re not sure, do not include a name as most companies have more than one person involved in the hiring process.

sample job application letter in german

The Subject of the Letter

Your German cover letter needs a subject as in any formal letter. Include the position you’re applying for in your subject.

Opening Greeting

You could use a formal greeting to open your cover letter either in English or German. There’re a couple of variations in greeting your hiring manager in the letter.

When you know the gender of the recipient:

Dear Mr - Dear Mr.

When you don’t know the gender of the recipient:

Paragraph 01: Candidate Information

Your first paragraph on the cover letter should hook the reader. The way you hook an American hiring manager and a German one would be quite different though. The job market in Germany is degree-focused – you should start with your qualifications and relevant experience to the job.

In the American job market, you could hook the recruiter with a sales pitch – talking about your special achievements and accomplishments in your previous jobs.

In Germany, if the position you’re applying for is an academic-based one, having the relevant degree or the academic qualification would most probably get you an interview – therefore, reveal them in the first paragraph itself.

See the following example of a production manager job:

Six sigma green belt certified production manager with a bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing from Massachusetts Institute of Technology seeks to join BMW to further my career in production planning and automation. I have 5 years of extensive experience in the automobile production industry working for Ford in the USA.

I got my bachelor’s degree in manufacturing and I am a six sigma green belt certification holder. I am passionate to join BMW in Germany for a well-paid managerial position in the factory.

State your academic qualifications in detail – most German hiring managers are looking for the right qualified individuals to call for interviews. Detail such as the institutions, GPA, class of the degree, and the name of the course could be included.

In writing your experience, state the number of years, the position you held, and the company name.

Keep it clean and simple – easy to read within 3 to 4 seconds.

Paragraph 02: Skills, Experience, and Expertise

Now, you’ve got the attention of the hiring manager as you got the qualifications they’re looking for. Let’s enlighten them with your key skills, the responsibilities you’ve held, the decisions you’ve taken – and their results.

It’s important to read the job ad and understand the keywords they have put on the job description. Most German companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) – a system that is used to shortlist job applications. ATS recognizes the right applications by calculating the keyword density and a couple of parameters – the more relevant keywords you have on your cover letter, you got more chances of passing the automatic test.

Identify any troubling questions the hiring manager or your potential line manager faces – provide your solution with an example of how you tackled a similar situation at work.

Consider including your greatest professional achievement – with the results you generated for the company and its impact on the key performance indicators (KPIs) of you and the management.

As a production assistant manager at Ford, I headed a six sigma implementation project with a third-party consulting firm that resulted in a 12% increase in overall production efficiency. I have extensive experience in production line planning, automation, material requirement planning, and logistics.

I have experience in production and manufacturing at the Ford automobile factory in LA. Worked on many process optimization projects that saved lots of money for the company.

sample job application letter in german

Paragraph 03: Motivation

Express your interest in joining the company. Convey your passion for the industry and how the job aligns with your short-term and long-term career objectives.

Here, your research about the company culture, vision, mission, and purpose would help – you could find more information on the about section of the company website.

This paragraph of the cover letter is an exceptionally important part as this is where the cover letter gets tailored to the employer. You need quite some research to identify the likes and dislikes about the job and the similarities of your career objectives with the company’s objectives.

The purpose of the cover letter is to convey your interest in the position and to demonstrate that you are a great match for the role. The purpose of reading a cover letter from the employer’s side would be to identify a good match for the role who is also excited to be part of the team.

Therefore, show your excitement throughout this paragraph.

My passion for the automobile industry and its future changes have made me want to become part of a European automobile manufacturer. I am especially excited about the new electric driving experience BMW is developing for the global market and hope to become part of the team in the future.

As BMW is one of the pioneers in manufacturing automobiles in Germany, I was excited to apply for this position.

Paragraph 04: Call to Action (CTA)

It’s always advisable to finish your cover letter’s body with a call to action. In any formal letter, you should inform the reader, of the move you’re expecting from their side. Any formal letter has an objective and you should remind it at the end – which is the CTA.

Ask the hiring manager for an interview – state your excitement to meet them.

Also, in the same paragraph, you could include the following information:

  • Your availability for an interview.
  • The type of visa you possess.
  • The day you could start if they select you.

It will be my pleasure to discuss with you my role as a production manager in the BMW Munich factory and demonstrate how my experience and skills in automation and production optimization could easily be incorporated into your future sustainable driving vehicle projects.

You are welcome to contact me at your earliest convenience.

The German Cover Letter Closing

End your German cover letter with a formal salutation – you could use the same language as you write your letter.

Consider using the following closing sentence:

  • Kind Regards: mit freundlichen Grüßen
  • Sincerely: Mit freundlichem Gruß
  • best regards: Freundliche Grüße

Put a note about the attachments you’re sending along with your cover letter. This could include your resume, academic and professional reference letters, degree certificates, transcripts, and other relevant certifications.

However, do not attach unnecessary certifications and documents with your job application as that would result in the important documents getting less attention from the hiring manager.

Tips to Improve Your German Cover Letter

If you followed the steps, you should already have an exceptional cover letter ready to send to any German recruiter. Optimize it further with these tips:

  • Ask your native German friend to proofread the letter if you wrote it in German.
  • Use a tool like Grammarly to check for any mistakes – your cover letter should have absolutely no spelling errors or grammar mistakes.
  • Don’t use automatic text generators to write your cover letter – make it sound like an actual human being.
  • Read the job description thoroughly to identify the relevant keywords.
  • Do not use long wordy sentences – be clear and concise in your writing.
  • don’t use bullet points.
  • Try to find the person who reads your cover letter and tailor it to them.
  • Don’t send the same cover letter for two jobs.
  • Use a professional font such as Times or Arial.
  • Maintain a consistent writing style that is formal and respectful – do not use passive voice.
  • Consider using a modern cover letter template to make your application stand out.

Key Points: Writing a Perfect German Cover Letter

  • Pick the right cover letter template that goes with your resume.
  • Give priority to your academic and professional qualifications.
  • Follow the generally accepted German styling guide for formal letters.
  • Tailor your cover letter to each job you’re applying for.
  • Write 3 to 4 solid paragraphs on your qualifications, skills, and enthusiasm.
  • Finish with a CTA.

sample job application letter in german

Complement Your Cover Letter with a Well-written Resume

You could apply to most jobs with just a resume – therefore, it's important that you get your resume done right. In fact, your German job application completes with a resume and a cover letter that complements each other.

A resume highlights the candidate’s skills, experience, and academic qualifications while a cover letter is a tailored document to each job on the candidate’s fit for the position.

Complement your cover letter with a great German resume – pick a template that matches your personality. You may try our resume builder to create your CV and the cover letter – which would allow you to apply for jobs faster than ever.

Do I need a cover letter to apply for jobs in Germany?

It's not mandatory to submit a cover letter in Germany. Most companies accept job applications with just a resume. However, sending a cover letter along with your resume indicates your interest in the job. It means you’re a serious candidate – not someone who applies to every job you see on the internet.

Should I include a picture on my German cover letter?

You can. Check whether your German cover letter template allows you to put a photograph. German companies are generally fine with applications that include pictures of the candidate. However, if you’re applying for jobs in international companies and multinationals – especially, USA, UK, or Australian companies based in Germany, consider not including a photo as these companies may cause immediate rejection of your applications.

Read our complete guide to including pictures on your resume .

Can I write my German cover letter in English?

You can and you should if you don’t know how to write your cover letter in the German language. A mistake some candidates make is that they get a freelancer to write a perfect German-language cover letter and a resume and send it to jobs in Germany. The problem here is that the recruiters often misread the attempt as the candidate is fluent in German. This may get you an interview, but you’ll probably fail it when they realize your level of fluency.

Should I put my salary expectations in my cover letter?

We do not recommend you to put your salary expectations in your cover letter or anywhere in the job application unless the hiring manager has explicitly asked for it. Keep it for the interview – you’ll get time to discuss it or they’ll give you an offer.

Tasuta allalaetav kaaskirja mall

Motivatsioonikiri, millele on enamikul juhtudel lisatud CV, on iga töötaotluse põhielement. Seda tüüpi kiri peab lühidalt kirjeldama oskusi, võimeid ja teadmisi, mis teil on ja mis on teatud huviga seoses otsitava ametikohaga. Selles mõttes peab kaaskiri lihtsalt sisaldama sellele ametikohale kandideerimise motivatsiooni ja põhjendusi. See peab äratama värbajas huvi ja panema ta pidama teid selle töö jaoks parimaks võimaluseks.

Kuidas koostada lihtsat kaaskirja

  • 1 Valige oma valitud CV mall.
  • 2 Austab ühtset struktuuri. Näiteks kasutage kaaskirja struktuuriga "Sina-Mina-Meie".
  • 3 Lisage järgmised osad, apellatsioonivorm, lühitutvustus, kirja sisu ja järeldus
  • 4 Ärge unustage viimast viisakusvalemit. Vaadake kaaskirja viisakusvalemite näiteid.
  • 5 Isiklikuma ja formaalsema ilme lisamiseks lisage lehe allossa oma allkiri
  • 6 Kui soovite saata selle meili teel, eksportige oma kaaskiri PDF-vormingus.

Teised kaaskirjade näidised

Kaaskirja struktureerimise nõuanded.

Kaaskirja kirjutamise hõlbustamiseks pidage meeles, et koguge eelnevalt kogu vajalik teave. Näidake toimetaja loovust, järgides samal ajal tüpograafiliste reeglite õiget kasutamist ja jälgides, et ei tekiks kirjavigu. Sest hea kaaskiri peegeldab teie kuvandit inimese ja professionaalina. Olge oma kirjutamisel loominguline ja originaalne, jäädes samas lihtsaks, kokkuvõtlikuks ja täpseks. ‍ Näidake läbitud punktide ohutust, enesekindlust ja meisterlikkust. Rõhutage, mida saate ettevõttesse tuua ja mainige oma erialast kogemust vastavas valdkonnas. Märkige ka kõik põhipunktid, mis panevad teid end uute ideedega täitva transformeeriva agendina ilmuma. Täpsustage oma võimet saavutada kavandatud eesmärgid ja kohaneda uute suundumustega.

Näita ennast positiivselt. Ärge langege sellesse viga, et kasutate sama kaaskirja mitme ettevõtte jaoks. Koostage kaaskiri iga taotletava töö kohta. Seda tüüpi kiri võimaldab tööandjal kujundada teie isiksuse kohta arvamust, sest see annab teile võimaluse täpsustada oma motivatsioone, mida lihtsas CV-s tegelikult ei kirjeldata.

Lihtsa ja tõhusa kaaskirja kirjutamise soovitused

  • Laiendage Intro ‍ Pidage meeles, et pärast kõne valemit peate välja töötama sissejuhatuse, kus tutvustate end ametlikult ja isiklikult. Ärge unustage märkida peamist eesmärki, mis ajendas teid seda kirja kirjutama.
  • Struktureerige oma kirja sisu Laske end juhinduda järgmistest küsimustest: – Miks?, Mis eesmärgil?, Kuidas?, Miks soovite selles ettevõttes töötada? → selles osas peate kirjeldama, mida saate ettevõttele tuua. – Rõhutage, kuidas teie teadmised võivad oluliselt mõjutada ettevõtte funktsioonide arengut ja majandussektorit, kus ta tegutseb. - Kuidas te seda teeksite tee seda? → lihtsalt rõhutab teie teadmisi ja võimeid professionaalina – Rõhutage oma õnnestumisi, varasemaid kogemusi, diplomeid, saadud tunnustusi või auhindu.
  • Olge oma järeldustes otsekohene Andke teada, et olete vestluseks saadaval, esitades kontaktteabe, näiteks oma e-posti aadressi, telefoninumbri ja postiaadressi. Kui need kontaktandmed muutuvad, ärge unustage uuendada oma CV-d ja kaaskirja ning saata need uuesti ettevõtetele, kes on need juba saanud.
  • Hoolitse paigutuse eest Teie kaaskiri peab olema kooskõlas teie CV-ga. Värbaja peab esmapilgul nägema, et need 2 dokumenti moodustavad ühe taotluse. Kasutage oma kaaskirjas samu värve, fonti, ikoone jne, mis oma CV-s. See väike näpunäide aitab teil luua tõhusa ja professionaalse rakenduse.

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sample job application letter in german

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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Our free collection of expertly designed cover letter templates will help you stand out from the crowd and get one step closer to your dream job.

sample job application letter in german

Sample letters to download

sample job application letter in german

Cover Letter

Advice for getting a job, instructions.

Live In Germany

German Cover Letter + Must Know Best Practices [2024]

by Live in Germany Team | Work in Germany

Last Update: Feb 23, 2024 @ 9:07 pm

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So, it is quite clear that cover letters are taken seriously in the German job market since it is an applicant’s initial impression on the company. If someone hasn’t attached a cover letter to their application, the recruiter might think that if the applicant hasn’t put effort in making a cover letter, why even consider him/her for a position at our company?

🔶   Related Topic :   How to Find English-Speaking Jobs in Germany

Structuring German Cover Letter

Salutation:.

Try to keep the cover letter at a personal touch rather than just making a cut paste document. Make sure we are specifying the reason for joining the xyz company/organization. Present the company research in this phase as well. We can say things like we have been impressed with the company culture or we have recognized the mission and vision for which the company is moving forward and we want to play a pivotal role in this journey.

By now, we have told the company/organization why we want to work for them. What shall we do next? We are going to use the mentioned job description in telling a story regarding how and why we are enough qualified for the position. There is no need to exaggerate the story and write down a whole passage. Here we will provide a short trailer-kind of summary. This is because we want to gain their interest so that the company reaches us out and contact for further interview.

In the end, we should be thanking the company and let them know that they are welcome to schedule things further. Availability has to be mentioned along with contact details where the company can get in touch.

Attachments:

The word Anlage (Enclosure) has to added once the cover letter is signed. All the certificates and documents which are part of the application should be listed down there. This includes CV , educational documents, reference letter etc.

Cover Letter Framework

The cover letter has to written in accordance with DIN 5008 . This is a dedicated framework when it comes to formal writing in Germany. Following are the standards:

  • Left margin: 24.1 mm
  • Right margin: at least 8.1 mm
  • Bottom margin: 16.9 mm
  • Top margin: 16.9 mm

Please ensure this format is taken seriously. If an applicant hasn’t followed this framework, it doesn’t necessarily mean rejection but on the same time, recruiters in Germany have a habit of reading cover letters in this format. Hence, if a cover letter appears to be different from the mentioned format, it might get noticed in negative manner.

Top 8 Best Practices To Consider Before Writing Your Cover Letter

Customizing cover letter for each job, keeping cover letter short and concise, be honest on cover letter.

We have to be honest and humble about things. This includes the work experience, education and language proficiency. It is quite usual to exaggerate or lie when trying to get a job. There is a common saying “fake it until we make it” and people at times follow that too and it turns out favorable in getting a job. But such behavior is extremely unethical and unprofessional.

A recent example is a LinkedIn profile of a former work colleague who stated on the profile that he managed quite a high-end project all on his own at his company. Later it was brought to notice that project didn’t even start until after the colleague left company. He was falsely taking full credit for someone else’s efforts and work.

These kinds of claims can haunt back an applicant. There could be a chance that new employer knows someone from the applicant’s former organization. Moreover, it is common for employers to informally reach out previous companies of candidate to extract some information. This can cost a job and even reputation.

Writing Cover Letter in German

There are better chances that HR software will notice a cover letter written in German. This also works with algorithms set on LinkedIn. With that being said, we have to be vigilant and use our judgment properly. As it can backfire as well. Make sure that actual German language proficiency is reflected in the cover letter.

There was an instance where the hiring company received an application from a person abroad where the candidate sent CV and documents in German. During the first interview, the company was surprised to know that candidate didn’t know any German. In fact, the documents were actually translated by paying someone else. This resulted in the rejection of a candidate.

Showing Personality

The cover letter should portray all the candidate’s creativity. Coming up with a unique approach is going to make you stand apart in the competition. We can provide a video link in the cover letter where we have explained the reason why we wish to work for that particular company. Also, a sample can be shared explaining insight about how the candidate will approach his/her job. Moreover, the company can be invited to see the candidate’s social media.

🔶   Related Topic : Job Interview Questions in Germany

Making Cover Letter Visually Pleasing

We can type some paragraphs in a document and send it to the company. but its much better to create a cover letter that is visually pleasing. Canva is one of the platforms that can help choose from variety of cool and professional templates.

Fonts should be large enough to increase readability. Other tips include avoiding lengthy paragraphs. Accurately set the spacing between lines.

Quality Check

Grammatical mistakes and spelling errors convey a negative impression of the company. Before sending the application, make sure to avoid such mistakes and take care of these negligible errors. Also briefly check employer information and other related details. A good way of reviewing the cover letter is to have a second pair of eyes proofread it. This is an important task that most people overlook but quite frequently there are job applications having multiple errors on them.

Avoid Using Automatic Text Generators

It is suggested that the candidate write down the cover letter themselves. A professional writer can be hired to provide this service. There are numerous text generators available but they are almost useless. Automatic text generators can produce text that doesn’t make any sense. When reading, it is obvious that a robot has written it down. A cover letter has to be a reflection of a candidate. It should portray how the candidate approaches the job and how they communicate.

We have put enough emphasis on the importance of a cover letter in Germany. One of the most pivotal instruments in a job application is a good cover letter. If it doesn’t shine enough or fails to reflect the candidate’s potential, employers are likely to ignore it and move forward with other applications.

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sample job application letter in german

  • The Cover Letter
  • Job Interview
  • Working Abroad
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Volunteering

The German Cover Letter | Das Anschreiben

When looking to work in Germany the German cover letter is one of the most important documents to write. The cover letter is important to be called back for an job interview and maintain the chance to gain a job in Germany .

Cover Letter | Accompaning the German CV

The role of the German Cover Letter is quite subtile. It accompanies the German CV and contains detailed information  about the specific skills  you have, your  work experience , your  motivation to gain employment , and the reasons why you are the  ideal candidate for the job .

The relationship between cover letter and CV is very important and you must  use one to support the other . The cover letter is really an opportunity to give a  personal introduction  to the  essential information  contained on the curriculum vitae. It should provide the Human Ressource manager with a more personal facet by highlighting your personal qualities.

Interaction with the HR Manager | Don’t sample!

It is a ddressed exactly to the recipient and allows direct interaction. The German Cover Letter should be tailored for each application.   With the use of a well written Cover Letter the applicant aims to distiguish from the wide mass of competitors.  Please do not use one cover letter for all your applications!  

The better your cover letter and the more you have tailored it to the specific organisation and job position, the  better your chances  are for being called back to a job interview. The content depends on the type of application you are sending.

The Structure of the German Cover Letter

To be able to  write the perfect cover letter , you should first take into account  the structure  and the format. Therefore you must be aware of  the different sections of a cover letter layout .

In the German Cover Letter the structure is quite strict. In the salutatory address the c oncerning person should be greeted . Set phrases as “To whom it may concern” are not appropiate for an application in Germany.  Find out who is responsable for HR in this business!

In the first paragraph you should refer to the job you are applying for. In the second and third paragraph your strength and your motivation are highlighted. Explain the HR professional why you are the perfect candidate.In the last section mention that the  CV and your certificates (important!) are enclosed/attached and greet formally but naturally.

Use DIN 5008 Norm and follow Jobler’s giudeline in “How to write a German Cover Letter”     in Germany.

How to Write the German Cover Letter

Once you are clear about the structure the content is most important. What do German professionals like to read? As applicant you should prove good knowledge about the company, but without too much praising it.

They rather want to be convinced why you are the right one for this position. They expect you to  draw a connection  between you and the company you are applying at. Explain why you are interested in the post and what qualities you can bring in. So answer following questions:

  • What am I capable of doing?
  • Why would I want to do this at this particular company?

Find the important advice for writing the German Cover Letter in bullet points.

Sample German Cover Letter

Find a free sample of a Cover Letter in German to downlaod . You can either choose between a traditional Cover Letter and the speculative Cover Letter in German.

Good luck 😉

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Life in Berlin » Find a proper job in Berlin – a guide to a better work life » German cover letter guide – what recruiters expect

German cover letter guide – what recruiters expect

Writing a German cover letter in another hurdle on your path to getting a job in this country.

While the general purpose & content is probably similar to what you already know in your home country, some adaptation work might be necessary . This guide points out to the elements to include so you can convince recruiters you are the right one for the job.

German cover letter guide

Is a German cover letter still relevant?

Before putting in the efforts to actually write a German cover letter ( Bewerbungsschreiben , Motivationsschreibe n or Anschreiben ), you might wonder if it’s necessary at all.

A lot of recruiters don’t read it

This 2018 study by German recruitment agency Robert Kraft found out that 48% of recruiters didn’t find cover letters so relevant anymore , meaning that applications with CV only were considered valid.

In 2019, the Deutsche Bahn even stopped requesting cover lette rs all together, mentioning a lack of relevance. German ecommerce giant Otto did the same in 2016.

That lines up with my small experience as a recruiter & professional involved in the recruiting process. Motivation letters are rarely a differentiator, especially for more senior profiles. However, even if there is a trend to do away with it, most German recruiters will request a German cover lette r.

I will tell you why.

It still helps you to get an interview

Even if hiring managers will never glance over it, more & more companies are using Application Tracking Systems (ATS). It’s a piece of software that automates part of the recruiting process. Its purpose is to filter most applicants so the actual human HR manager only need to assess a few profiles for interviews.

ATS will compare requirements set by HR with what is on your CV and… your cover letter! It will search for the right keywords and compare them with the initial job ad.

Formatting your cover letter the right way, with the right keywords, it will maximize your chances to get invited to an interview.

Can I send my cover letter in English?

Since many applicants will only consider English-speaking jobs in Berlin or the rest of the country, it is a legitimate question.

I actually answered the same question on my post about German CVs . It applies to cover letters as well. (Spoiler alert: it depends.)

How should a German cover letter look like

At first glance, it looks like this. Read on for more details.

German cover letter example

The header contains the typical information you would expect:

Your contact details

  • First name and family name
  • Street, street number
  • Postal code, city
  • e-mail address
  • phone number

The employer contact details

  • Correct company name
  • Name of hiring manager
  • Street, street number,

It also contains the date at which the application was made

Subject line

The subject line simply includes what position you are applying for. Consider it a reminder for the hiring manager who has to process several applicants per day. Copy-paste the title from the job description. Salutation

A simple and personal touch by greeting the hiring manager by their names. Avoid “To whom it may concern” at all costs. Get a feel of the company policy about using first names or Mr/Mrs/Ms.

The actual cover letter

You will read a lof of tips on how to properly structure your content. German cover letters don’t differ so much from what you can find anywhere in the world. You should answer the 3 following questions well:

  • Why you are a good fit or the job : this refers to how well your career/work experience has prepared you to take on the responsibilities listed in the job description. You should prove that the path you are on is naturally leading you to this position.
  • What makes you think you can do the job : this refers to quantifiable/tangible achievements that can prove that you can solve the challenges ahead. Refer to specific skills mentioned in the job description and demonstrate how you already own them.
  • Why this company attracts you in particular : you need to demonstrate a genuine interest in having this job at THIS company. This requires a little bit of background check on the company’s missions and vision. You need to get a feel of the identity of the company. Show that they align with your values and that it’s a good place to grow for you. Check the company’s LinkedIn feed to see if there are events, achievements you could relate to.

Leave a lasting impression after mentioning practical details:

  • State your availability and when you can start.
  • If it was requested in the job description, state your salary expectations .
  • State again how much you would like this job and how much you can demonstrate your motivation in an interview.

Tips for success

  • Stay formal & don’t get emotional
  • Match the linguo/wording used by the company in the job description. Each company culture is unique
  • Do not use bullets points
  • Keep your letter machine readable by using a simple layout
  • Sprinkle your letter with the right keywords so the ATS software puts your profile on top of the pile.
  • Match the font & styles used on your CV.
  • Do not use passive voice . Make sure you only use active verbs.
  • Prefer sentences that show ownership & confidence (eg: “I think I could” -> “I am confident I will”)
I hope this little guide was useful. Feel free to ask questions the comments. Bastien

German cover letter – FAQ

The actual content of the letter should not be longer than 4-5 paragraphs, with 2-4 sentences each. It should fit on a single page with plenty of space towards the bottom.

You can probably find a job in Berlin without a German cover letter, as a lot of international companies conduct their hiring processes in English only. However, that limits your opportunities a lot.

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Job application in German: Useful words and phrases

sample job application letter in german

Imagine that you have just arrived in Vienna. You fall in love with Schnitzel, the Prater, and typical Viennese cafés. Your command of German is already pretty good and your German lessons help you in intensifying your knowledge. There is just one problem: the emptiness of your pocket. So, you are thinking of applying for a job in Vienna. We from INNES are happy to provide you with some words and phrases that will increase your chances of success! 

How to apply

First of all, you need to find an  employment ad . You can easily find these on websites like Unijobs.at or talto.com. Those offer a wide variety of all kinds of jobs, many of which are most suitable for a student lifestyle. Another great way to find a job is to use LinkedIn. If you have an active profile there, you can connect with thousands  of people and many possible employers. In some ways, it’s way more sophisticated than other job platforms as it is both a platform and a social network, that spreads over more than 200 countries and it has become  quite common for Austrian companies and entrepreneurs  to have a LinkedIn profile of their own. If you invest some time in updating your profile on a regular basis, there is a good chance, that  you will be found by your future employer  instead of having to look for him. If you are looking for some further ideas on how to get the most out of LinkedIn, be sure to check out these tips. 

If you have a certain company in mind, don’t forget to check their own website. In case they haven’t got any job vacancies at the moment, you can send them an “Initiativbewerbung” (unsolicited application). They will tell you that they have received your application and keep it in mind in case a suitable position comes up. Of course, you don’t want to wait for so long, which means that  you keep looking,  and – eventually – the perfect ad pops up. 

Employment ads in German are very similar to those in other languages. A short pitch on the company, a description of what you have to bring with you (experience, education…), and what they offer (salary and such). You can find a list of useful vocabulary at the bottom  of this text, be sure to check it out! There are  two main documents  an employer wants to receive when you apply for a job: a “Lebenslauf” (Curriculum vitae) and a “Bewerbungsschreiben” (letter of application). We will have a look at both of them shortly. Some might also want to see an “Arbeitszeugnis” (employer’s reference) or even a “Leumundszeugnis” (character reference), although this is quite unlikely. They usually trust you to have – as it is called in English – good character, which would be an “einwandfreier Leumund.” Now that we have established that, let’s have a look at the two must-haves when you apply for any job in Vienna. 

Just one more hint, before we start: If you still feel a little insecure after this article about how to apply, you might want to consider taking part in one of our INNES Classes.  A professional German teacher will help you in improving your language skills and create a convincing C.V. During the classes, there will even be training for job interviews in German. Do you need more information? Let us know!

Curriculum Vitae – Lebenslauf 

As in English, the C.V. is supposed to be short and more of  a list of biographical facts  rather than full sentences. Start with your name, birthdate and -place, contact information and address at the top of the page and list your education. Nowadays it is expected to list your education chronologically, starting from your highest education and going down all the way to secondary school. If you are proud of your marks, you can add them in brackets. Your work experience is the next thing you should mention and also any occasional advanced training on the job. 

Depending on the job you are applying for, you should also add the languages you speak, useful skills (like driving license, computer skills) and even some hobbies. When you give information on your command of any language, it will be way more convincing to add  a certificate of a language course you completed . For example, if you have already completed one of our German Courses, you will have a certificate of your command of the German language. Since INNES is an institute that is widely known within companies situated in Vienna, you will most certainly have an advantage when applying. Concerning hobbies,  it would be most advisable to name things like sports, reading or playing an instrument . We really recommend not to add hobbies such as smoking and getting wasted on weekdays. One last thing about the C.V.:  Add a professional picture of yours . Imagine the employer’s part: He’s receiving dozens of applications a day and he will remember you better, when you add a picture. There you go, it’s as simple as that. Now let’s move on to the hard part. 

Letter of application – Bewerbungsschreiben 

Starting off  

Let’s face it: Writing a letter in a foreign language is one of the  most difficult challenges  you will have to accomplish. Even worse: In a letter of application, you have to  write a well-structured and convincing text about yourself  to your future boss. Don’t get nervous now. We from INNES are happy to help you with preparing for any job application. Have you checked out our flexible German LIVE Online Courses? If you book an online class, you can give detailed information on what exactly you want to practice (your writing skills for example) as well as where you are standing in terms of your command of German.  Just choose time and date according to your schedule  and you can start improving your German while sitting on your couch! But for now, let us give you a few hints that will certainly help you. 

In general, every application should be written accordingly to your work experience and the company you are trying to convince of your strengths. It doesn’t matter if you apply for a waiter’s job at a pizza restaurant or an open position at your university, the basics always remain the same. Without further ado, let’s begin. We will guide you through the whole letter now, from beginning to ending! 

First things first:  You need a title.  Nothing fancy, simply write: 

Bewerbung auf Ihre Anzeige „… “– Application for your job ad „… “ OR 

Bewerbung als “…” – Application as “…” 

Now it’s time for a salutation. If you have been learning German for a longer time, you are already familiar with various forms of address. Here is a reminder, which is valid for all forms of letters.  There are formal and informal styles . 

Lieber Hans/ Liebe Julia, – Dear Hans/ Dear Julia, (mind the gender!) 

Sehr geehrter Herr/ Sehr geehrte Frau, – Dear Mr./ Dear Mrs./Ms., 

While you will notice no difference in English, German is once again a little more complicated. It is of crucial importance, that you  use the formal style when applying for a job . If you do not know the name of the recipient (which you should) there is no equivalent to the English form “To whom it may concern”, you simply write: 

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, – Dear ladies and gentlemen, 

In the first abstract you should refer to the source of your information. How do you know about the open position? There is one important rule here, that – if you keep it in mind – will separate you from the vast majority of applicants: After the salutation, the next letter needs to be  lower case . Why? Because you already started the sentence with the salutation. Here is how it looks like: 

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, 

ich habe Ihre Anzeige auf der Website unijobs gelesen. – I have read your ad on the website unijobs. 

Also, even if it’s obvious, you need to mention, that you are applying for the open position you mentioned in the title. Use simple sentences such as these: 

Ich möchte mich um die ausgeschriebene Stelle bewerben. – I wish to apply for the advertised post. 

Mit diesem Schreiben möchte ich mich bei Ihnen (für die Stelle ….) bewerben. – With this letter, I wish to apply (for the position of …). 

If you cannot refer to an ad, it’s no problem at all. 

Ich schreibe Ihnen, um mich zu erkundigen, ob es in Ihrem Unternehmen eine freie Stelle gibt. – I am writing to you to inquire if there is a vacancy in your company. 

Ich möchte mich auf diesem Wege bei Ihrer Firma vorstellen. – I wish to introduce myself to your company. 

Are you feeling self-confident? Then show it to your future boss and conclude your introduction with one of the following phrases: 

Erlauben Sie mir, mich vorzustellen. – Allow me to introduce myself. 

In den nächsten Absätzen werde ich Ihnen zeigen, warum ich der ideale Kandidat für die Position bin. – In the following paragraphs, I will show you, why I am the perfect candidate for the position. 

You have caught your future employer’s attention – now what? 

The next step on your way to your employment is to  outline your personal assets . Remember, that the hard facts are already in the CV, so give some new information or elaborate on your experience or education. The difficult part is to write full sentences, that are somehow eloquent. You could talk about what you focused on in your studies or what exactly your area of responsibility was at your last job. Maybe even mention why you are no longer working at your last company. This text is  highly individual , but you could drop some phrases like these: 

Wie Sie in meinem angehängten Lebenslauf sehen können… – As you can see from the enclosed CV… 

Da ich meine Kenntnisse erweitern möchte, suche ich nach Veränderung. – Since I wish to extend my knowledge, I am seeking a change. 

In meinem Studium habe ich mich besonders mit … auseinandergesetzt. – During my studies I have focused on … 

An meinem letzten Arbeitsplatz lernte ich … – At my last workplace I learned to … 

The advantage of a letter of application in comparison to the C.V. is that you can write about your soft skills. Name some qualities which you think you’ll need at your new job. Here are some easy examples: 

stressresistent – stress-resistant 

kommunikativ – communicative 

lösungsorientiert – solution-oriented  

teamfähig – a team-player 

selbstständig – independent (as in “working independently”) 

Even though you might find it in some tutorials for job applications,  we kindly warn you  not to name skills, that can be seen as taken for granted. Being “pünktlich” (punctual) is expected and not something that makes you special. The same goes for words like motivated, interested, honest or trustworthy. All these skills go without saying. 

Do not forget to  do some flattery . Make them believe that you have chosen this company as carefully as this company should choose you. Name a few qualities the company is known for (even if it isn’t, make something up) or what you liked about the ad. Obviously, you will not comment on the salary, but perhaps they offer daycare, or you know someone, who is already working there. Maybe you even made an internship. It’s good to show them that you have put some thought into your application. Use phrases like these: 

Ihre Weiterbildungsprogramme haben mich beeindruckt. – Your program for advanced training on the job really impressed me. 

Ihre Firma ist bekannt für attraktive Arbeitszeiten. – Your company is well known for attractive working hours. 

Natürlich möchte ich die Chance nutzen, beim Marktführer zu arbeiten. – It goes without saying that I want to work for the brand leader. 

Wrapping it up

The main part shouldn’t be longer than two or three paragraphs, after all, you want your boss to read it himself. As it is with all letters,  you cannot just stop writing when you have said everything that seems to be of importance. Use some phrases to let him or her know you are available and waiting for his/ her response.

Ich bin jederzeit verfügbar für ein Gespräch. – I am always available for an interview.

Ich freue mich, Sie persönlich kennen zu lernen. – I am looking forward to meet you in person.

Ich freue mich, von Ihnen zu hören. – I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Wenn Sie noch weitere Fragen haben, zögern Sie nicht, mich zu kontaktieren. – If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Important : Do not forget that this is still a letter. So, you need to use a way of ending your letter properly. As with the beginning, we have an informal and a formal way.

Liebe Grüße – Greetings, OR even worse

Bussi – kisses

Mit freundlichen Grüßen – Yours sincerely,

Mit besten Wünschen – With kindest regards

That would be all. Remember to stay polite, highlight your individual skills and why you are a suitable candidate for a certain position. If you are afraid that your command of the German language is not as high as that of a native German speaker, do not worry. Use it to  dwell on your international experience  and your immense language skills. With these phrases  you are safe to impress your future employer . Remember that you can always work on your skills, for example for an  authentic performance during a job interview in German , when you book one of our German Language Courses. That way, you will feel way more secure during your pursuit of your career. Now it is up to you to find your dream job and apply. Be courageous! We wish you good luck!

List of useful vocabulary

Anforderung, die – requirement 

Arbeitserfahrung, die – work experience 

Arbeitsplatz, der – work place 

Arbeitszeugnis, das – employer’s reference 

Ausbildung, die – education 

Bewerbung, die – Application 

Bewerbungsgespräch, das – job interview 

Computerkenntnisse/ EDV-Kenntnisse, die (always plural) – computer literacy 

Flexible Arbeitszeit, die – flexible working hours 

Führerschein, der – driving licence 

Gehalt, das – salary 

Lebenslauf, der – Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) 

Leumundszeugnis, das – character reference 

Motivationsschreiben, das – Letter of application 

Praktikum, das – internship 

Selbstständig/ freiberuflich – freelance 

Stelle, die – position 

Teilzeit (usally without article) – part time 

Weiterbildung, die – advanced training 

Weiterbildungsprogramm, das – program for advanced training

Thomas Hinterhofer

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  1. Sample German Cover Letter

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  3. Sample Cover Letter For Job Application In Germany

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  4. How to write the perfect cover letter

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  5. Writing a formal letter in German

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  6. New Letter Format Germany Tips

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  5. Bewerbungsschreiben zusammen machen!

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COMMENTS

  1. German Cover Letter Guide [With English Sample]

    Naturally, there is also a guideline for professional letter writing and correspondence, the so-called DIN 5008 norm. It states the following margins on a DIN A4 (standard German letter paper format): German Cover Letter Format Example. Left margin: 2,5 cm. Right margin: 2,0 cm. Top margin: 4,5 cm. Bottom margin: 2,5 cm.

  2. How To Write Your Cover Letter in Germany (+ English Example!)

    In the email content, write a short introduction about your application to the particular role and mention the attached documents. Alternatively, you can copy and paste your cover letter into your email. Remove the address and the date in that case. Use your subject line in the cover letter as the subject of your email.

  3. Cover letter (Anschreiben) guide in Germany

    Together with your CV (), the cover letter is a key component of any job application in Germany.Far more than a mere formality, a cover letter is an important means of presenting yourself to a prospective employer. It would be difficult to land a job in Germany without one. This page walks you through the process of crafting a job-winning cover letter, with a few hints and tips about what is ...

  4. Sample cover letter for job application in Germany

    Salutation. In Germany, formality is crucial. Address the recipient with "Sehr geehrte (r)" (Dear) followed by their last name and a comma. If you don't know the recipient's name, use "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren" (Dear Sir/Madam). 6. Opening Paragraph. The opening paragraph sets the tone for your cover letter.

  5. How to Write a German Cover Letter

    At the very top of your German cover letter, you should include your full name, address, phone number and email address. Section 2 - The date. Here you simply enter the date you are writing the cover letter. Section 3 - The employer's details. In section 3, you list the details of the recipient. Here you should enter the contact person ...

  6. How to Write the Perfect German Cover Letter: Best Practices

    Tipps regarding the German cover letter. Here are a few tips that I collected from my German friends. Length of German employment cover letter. A cover letter for German employers should be roughly one to two DIN A 4 pages long. I recommend you not write a cover letter that's longer than this because hardly anyone will be willing to read it.

  7. How to Draft a Perfect German Cover Letter [Format, Guide]

    German Cover Letter Format. It is critical to use the correct format for your cover letter when applying in Germany. This implies that you should include your contact information (name, address, phone number, email) and the date at the top of the page. The letter should be addressed to the person in charge of hiring at the firm (if you do not have a name, you can use something more general ...

  8. How To Write A German Cover Letter

    Use this guide from Indeed which speaks to the right font and font size to use on CVs, which also applies to cover letters. 2) Don't make your paragraphs too long and use sensible spacing to make your cover letter easier to read. 3) Your German CV should have a similar look and feel.

  9. German cover letter example: Writing an application letter

    Concluding Paragraph - How you will follow-up. Do not repeat your what is already in your CV, simply refer to it! "As you can see from my CV, …". If a particular work experience listed in your CV especially qualifies you for the job you can refer to it and emphasise its relevant points. Your cover letter should NEVER be longer than 1 page.

  10. German Cover Letter Guide: Complete Examples [+Tips]

    German recruiters consider cover letters as an important part of a job application - they wish to speak to candidates who demonstrate their immense interest in the role. These general guidelines would give you an idea of what the German hiring manager expects from you: Single-page is the standard length for cover letters in Germany.

  11. Cover letter in German: Example for job application in German

    Cover Letter example - For Beginners and Advanced: 34 German lessons, German Grammar, Idioms, Quotes and 2 Online Tests.

  12. How to write a Job Application (Bewerbung) in German

    How to write a Job Application (Bewerbung) in German. With a huge number of well-paid and interesting positions in numerous companies and organizations, Germany is a popular destination for professionals. Due to increasing internationalization and demographic change, employers are always on the lookout for skilled applicants with an expat background.

  13. German Cover Letter + Must Know Best Practices [2024]

    The German cover letter (Anschreiben) is considered one of the most essential parts of application whenever anyone is applying for a job. Usually in United States and other leading countries, the cover letter is ignored, overlooked or glanced at most. But in Germany, the cover letter can either make or break the chance of getting hired.

  14. Sample German Cover Letter

    When looking to work in Germany it is important to know the standards in that country. The German Cover Letter and the German CV are the most important documents for getting called back for a job interview. Sample German Cover Letter. The Cover Letter should be one page DIN A4 at most. Use the standard text arts as Times New Roman or Arial type size 12 and single-spaced line spacing as well as ...

  15. Cover Letters in Germany

    After listing the addresses of you and the company, what follows is the place and date in the top right corner of the cover letter. If you are in Germany, you can just write the cite, e.g. "Augsburg, 11.10.2025". Both should match the information on the resume. Ideally, the cover letter should be addressed to a specific contact person.

  16. The German Cover Letter

    In the German Cover Letter the structure is quite strict. In the salutatory address the c oncerning person should be greeted. Set phrases as "To whom it may concern" are not appropiate for an application in Germany. Find out who is responsable for HR in this business! In the first paragraph you should refer to the job you are applying for.

  17. German cover letter guide

    German ecommerce giant Otto did the same in 2016. That lines up with my small experience as a recruiter & professional involved in the recruiting process. Motivation letters are rarely a differentiator, especially for more senior profiles. However, even if there is a trend to do away with it, most German recruiters will request a German cover ...

  18. The German's Guide to German Job Applications

    The first step to finding a job in Germany is learning the specific aspects of the German job application process. Read Christine's guide here. ... The cover letter, called Anschreiben in German, should be formatted as a letter—complete with addresses and everything. The Anschreiben describes why you are a good fit for the position, company ...

  19. German Cover Letter Guide [With English Sample]

    Forming an effective cover briefe for your Germany employment visa application with expert guidance and free spot. 1. Subject Line. The subject wire on a German back letter your to stand out. E needs to convey with one show whats position you are application for, and you should bold it. Germany Staffing Visa Cover Letter forward Visa ...

  20. PDF COVER LETTER

    COVER LETTER - How to apply in Germany . LAYOUT . Choose the same formatting (fonts, font sizes, line distances etc.) for all your application documents. Avoid different fonts and fond sizes or double formatted characters (e.g. bold and italic). Avoid orthographic mistakes. Write short and simple sentences. Side edges . 1. Left: 24,1 mm 2.

  21. Job application in German: Useful words and phrases » INNES

    Formal: Sehr geehrter Herr/ Sehr geehrte Frau, - Dear Mr./. Dear Mrs./Ms., While you will notice no difference in English, German is once again a little more complicated. It is of crucial importance, that you use the formal style when applying for a job.

  22. Germany Employment Visa Cover Letter for Visa Application

    Here is a simple sample of a German Employment Cover Letter you can relay to when writing your cover letter: March 2023 The Embassy of Germany in Kosova Kosova, Pristina Dear Honorable Consul, My name is Enkela Sahiti (passport number: KO223301), I am an Albanian citizen who lives in Pristina, Kosova, where I work as an architect in a German ...

  23. Sample cover letter for job application in Germany / How to Draft a

    German Cover Letter Guide [With English Sample] A cover letter, known as an "Anschreiben" in German, is a essential element of your job application. It is their your to make one strong first impression both demonstrate your motivation and suitability for the role. In Germany, cover letters are common seen as equally important as the CV ...