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Searching for a job is more like a stage of life than a task to be ticked off hastily - you will need patience and motivation. It may take up several hours of your time each day over a certain period, becoming part of your day-to-day activities.

Job search

In the third step, you drew up terms describing what you are looking for, and what you have to offer. Given than you are exploring specific job vacancies, you may now be able to narrow them down further. When searching for jobs, it is often better to enter tasks and qualifications rather than job titles; when reading job postings, initially ignore the job title. The guide entitled "Kick-Off für den Messebesuch" (Before visiting careers fairs), available for download below, will help you prepare for various situations when approaching people or companies for the first time.

Use the following options to search for the right job and company:

  • Job boards and job search engines. Since there are so many job boards and search engines on the market, use a search engine such as "Jobboersenverzeichnis" to find the right one for your needs.
  • Specialist online and print media
  • Industry association and professional association websites
  • Company and institution websites
  • Websites of cities, local authorities and federal states
  • Fairs: trade fairs, university fairs
  • Professional online networks such as Xing and LinkedIn

The hidden job market

Nobody knows how many places are filled on the basis of recommendations or unsolicited applications. According to the Institute for Employment Research, one in three jobs were filled through personal contacts in 2015. How to penetrate what is known as the hidden job market:

Networking and word-of-mouth marketing

Your personal network, i.e. your contacts, is your key asset. Take a large sheet of paper and write down the names of all the people you know. Each person knows other people, which may lead you to insiders from areas that interest you.

To make strategic use of your network, talk or write to you contacts about what you are looking for and what you have to offer. Ask them to tell you about any potential jobs; to introduce you to other contacts; and to refer you to a particular person.

Make use of events to talk

Interesting people can be encountered at all kinds of places: professional events, fairs, personal recommendations, careers days, open days, celebrations, and so on. Besides such events, you can also generate your own occasions by proactively contacting a person because you have heard or read something interesting about them. Business email addresses are usually accessible, or you may be able to track down the person of interest in an alumni association or a professional online network.

Should you o get the possibility to speak to an insider, prepare your introduction well. Think about how to present your concern and which questions to ask.

Unsolicited applications

Unsolicited applications can be submitted as long as they are welcomed and permitted by the recipient. You should therefore contact the company before sending your application. You could also take the opportunity to ask about the specific job profile, or research it beforehand. Your application should be formulated as specifically as in the case of responding to a job vacancy.

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