The Perfect Cover Letter for Germany

Referring to my tips  how to write the perfect CV for the German market  I will explain today what you need to consider in order to impress with a competitive cover letter in Germany. Having recruited international candidates for several years now, I have come to the conclusion that the German market is different when it comes to cover letters. In most other countries, they have basically no relevance. In Germany, however, a cover letter may be even more important than your CV!

Here are 3 tips you need to know to get the interview:


-A cover letter is a FORMAL letter. End of story! Remember that many Recruiters and HR Managers in Germany pay particular attention to the way you write a cover letter. It is important to take this seriously. The hiring person will consider your ability to focus on details, to formulate complex circumstances of your career path straight to the point, and will check your knowledge of formal norms as well as your sense for aesthetics. Not a joke!

-A cover letter in Germany is never longer than ONE page! Never! KISS – Keep It Short & Simple!

-Once again: Absolutely NO spelling errors are allowed! This may be the most formal document you have written in a very long time. Make sure that no mistakes come in the way between the job and you. Ask a friend to correct your work.

Insert the following information:

-Your address (telephone/mobile number and email address)

-Addressee (full company address and name of the contact person, stating the person in second line)

-Subject matter (Application for…, Your vacancy…)

-Salutation (Take your time to research the name of your contact person, if you cannot find out: “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To whom it may concern“)

-First paragraph

-Second paragraph

-Third paragraph

-Short closure

-Attachments (you itemize which attachments are sent with the application: CV, references)

BONUS! If you don’t get job interviews: The reason is most likely NOT your CV. Read “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans” to fix your jobhunt. Get job interviews!


-If you send your application via email directly to the contact person, the content of your email text is basically the cover letter. However, it does not mean that it can be less formal. All formal parts are still necessary (beside addresses and the date) to make the right impression.

-It can be helpful to attach the proper cover letter (.pdf, .doc) to your email, just referring to your documents in a short introduction: You mention that you are applying for the job and have attached three documents (cover letter, CV, references/certificates).


-First of all, the cover letter is not a repetition of your resume. It consists of a chain of sound arguments why YOU should be hired for that particular job and not the other candidate. -Every letter should be unique (at least parts of it). Make sure to compose it adequately to the job and company you are applying for. Check the job advertisement for special requirements, duties and responsibilities and refer to your own experiences and skills.

-First paragraph: This is the place where you express why you are applying (Did you move to another city? Are you planning to relocate to Germany and why? Do you seek a career change? Do you want to explore new industry sectors? Have you finished parental leave are looking for a re-entry?) Even if your current situation is rather negative (e.g. you been unemployed for more than a year), you need to demonstrate an advantage or something positive – it´s time for self-marketing.

-Second paragraph: In this part you demonstrate your abilities, skills, experiences and know-how. Internationally, this is what you call a career summary that you place in your CV. However, in Germany you express this in the cover letter. What do you currently do and what makes it so special that you are good at the job? Which expertise do you bring to the table so that you can be successful if they hired you for the vacancy? What have you learned from your previous positions and why? What particular skills do you have? Where do you have them from? Which sector, which countries, what languages? Any special achievements, responsibilities for important projects? Highlight your strengths and always prove them with evidence (you cannot only mention that you are a team player, you have to demonstrate an example why! Have you worked in a project as team member? Mention it now!) Remember to highlight the most important things that are required in the job description.

-Third paragraph: This paragraph is reserved for the position itself and the company. Why are you particularly interested to fill this vacancy? What can you do for them if they hired you and how quickly can you be successful? Show your qualifications from your studies and professional skills that may be unique for this job. And last but not least, why do you want to work with this company, and only with them and not their competitor? Always mention the companies’ name! This shows the recruiter that you took your time to apply only to this company. Also, check their website for interesting facts and state them here. You like that their employees voted them as one of Germany´s top 10 employers? Do they convince you with their core values for society and sustainability? Are you attracted by their internationality and their opportunities to develop a career abroad? Show off your honest interest!

-Final closure: You shortly describe what wishes you have for your future career and how you can add value to the company. Finally, you state your notice period or availability and, if requested, your salary expectations. Express that you are looking forward to meeting with them and state that they may contact you in case of questions.

Good luck with your job hunt in Germany!

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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


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:

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:

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.

cover letter for resume germany

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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Live In Germany

German Cover Letter + Must Know Best Practices [2023]

by Live in Germany Team | Jun 26, 2022 | Work in Germany

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. According to research, almost half of the HR professionals in Germany dropped declined applications which didn’t include cover letters.

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?

It’s a common practice for companies these days to use HR software that scan documents for particular keywords. A well-written cover letter can increase the chances for topping the applicant pool.

Structuring German Cover Letter

Writing cover letter is easier if a set structure is being followed. The following elements must be included when making a cover letter:


In Germany, there is mostly a contact listed down under job description. It is nice to use a formal greeting in German such as “Dear Frau Schmidt” or “Dear Herr Müller”. If the contact is not listed, we can use a standard greeting like “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager”.

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.

Example: I was thrilled to view the job posting of Product Manager on Linkedin, and I feel confident that I can help grow your XYZ department in generating high volume revenue – specifically for your upcoming international campaign.

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.

Example: My professional management career has focused primarily on project sales. After the completion of my college, I became a project coordinator and then subsequently moved into management role. I have made use of my knowledge to assist hundreds of clients in delivering high-quality service and generating optimum results. Last year, I successfully completed a staggering 8 high-profile projects for international clients.

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.

Example: I have a strong belief that my management background can surely fulfill the defined expectations in the description. I am looking forward to the opportunity of meeting you in person. Thank you for the consideration.


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:

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

Cover letters are the first impression of you and as you might have heard that “First Impression is the last impression”. That’s why it is really important that you spend some time on your Cover Letter, below we wrote some of the crucial things which you need to consider before you write your first cover letter in Germany. 

Customizing Cover Letter for Each Job

We do agree that it’s hectic and lengthy write a new cover letter whenever applying for a new job. But it is also wrong to send the same cover letter for every other job as it won’t be doing any extra favor. We have to make the employers believe that the candidate has put effort in researching about the company. It should be stated why the candidate wants to join the company and why they find themselves as a right pick for the job. A cover letter with information less than this would portray that the applicant is not interested in the job.

Keeping Cover Letter Short and Concise

It is highly recommended to keep the cover letter in a single page and nothing more than that. And the page should have maximum of three paragraphs. Try to avoid lengthy sentences and do not make excessive use of adjectives. The more easily readable the cover letter, the easier it is for the hiring manager to develop an understanding about the candidate. A good tip is to list down the key points from the curriculum vitae / resume and summarize them in cover letter.

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.

Candidates should never undersell themselves. But at the same time, a good advise is to remain honest.

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.

Therefore, if the candidate has decided to create cover letter in German, it has to show the German language level on the CV as well as cover letter.

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.

The sky is the limit. A unique cover letter is always going to help a candidate be the potential selection among other applicants.

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.

In contrast to this, the curriculum vitae should also have a look similar to cover letter. In this manner, the CV and cover letter will seem like a package and professional.

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.

Another key point to observe is that the cover letter should have a good flow portraying a definite narrative. It shouldn’t give away a robot-like essay feel. Rather than just filling the cover letter with fancy keywords, it’s much better to actually write down a well-defined letter that appears to be presentable.

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.

As we have mentioned earlier as well, unique cover letters are the key to securing a good position at a reputable organization. Text generators can only spit out words that make no sense. We have to make the employer know why as a candidate we like their company. Skim through their website. Do some research. The candidate should seem fit for the job role and the employer should have enough reasons to believe that. Draw keynotes from the job description and relate them to personal experience or education.

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.

If a candidate is able to impress the prospective employer with their cover letter, they are highly likely to get an interview. They can easily sell themselves in the interview with their personality. Not to mention that cover letter has to be completely honest. Lying about qualification or achievement will only lead to future trouble.

⚠️ In our articles, we use affiliate links from our affiliate partners. If you click these links and purchase a service or a product then we may earn a small commission, without any extra cost to you. This way, we stay motivated and bring you all you need to know about Germany. 

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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

What is the German cover letter?

Alongside the German CV , you should also make sure that you are sending a German 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 German Cover letter

Think about a German cover letter as an extended introduction 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 cover 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.

The German 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 cover letter

A German cover letter 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 German cover 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 German cover letter

From a structural point of view, a German cover 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:

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 cover 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 German cover letter.

Where to find a professional cover letter writer?

From my own experience, finding an excellent German cover 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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Writing Effective Cover Letters for the German Labor Market

Optimize your cover letter for applying for work in germany.

→→→ Kurz & Knapp: Optimize your cover letter for applying to jobs in Germany by tailoring the content to where you will add value to the position and company

To apply for jobs in Germany, a cover letter is still one of the most important documents you need to submit. It is important to adhere to German standards for formatting and structuring your cover letter, which you can read more about here. Once you have those basics put together and you have done your company research , you can begin writing your cover letter. 

Writing a cover letter may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. To begin, the letter does not need to be more than a few paragraphs–one page at most. Therefore, it is not about writing a lot, but about writing a few things very well. You will want to consider the most critical ways in which your experiences align with the responsibilities and tasks you would have in the position you are targeting. If you can keep your unique value proposition for the position and company in mind and string this connection through the entire letter, you will be well on your way to crafting a compelling, effective cover letter for your target German employer. 

Before we review which content goes into each part of the letter, let’s take a look at the AIDA format for an easy-to-implement structure through your entire cover letter. 

Using the AIDA Format in Your Cover Letter

You can create a positive impression right from the first sentence of the cover letter - by

starting differently. I recommend using the AIDA format, which stands for:

Let’s go through each of these, one by one. 

Attention: They have your positive attention 

This part should be done in the first sentence, or at the very least in the first paragraph. Your goal in your opening paragraph is to grab the reader’s attention, which you can do by 1) sharing an impressive example of something you have accomplished that relates to the desired position, or 2) telling a (brief) story that showcases your suitability for the position you want. 

Interest: They are interested and encouraged to continue reading

This part can be done at some point in the middle part of the paragraph. Basically, now that you have their attention, you need to maintain their interest. If you have not already, turn the focus to the employer and appeal to their needs. 

Desire: They get to know you

This part can also be done at some point in the middle part of the paragraph. With it, you need to create a desire for them to hire you. This is best done by aligning the points in the job description with concrete examples of how you have accomplished related tasks, which sets you up for doing the job well. 

Action: They take action that will lead to you being invited for an interview

This part should be done in the closing paragraph. Basically, you want to compel them to take action to reach out to you! List any organizational/logistical information that they ask for, such as starting date or desired salary, and then leave them with a compelling reason to reach out for an interview (e.g. writing, “I look forward to an interview” is not compelling enough!). 

Think about AIDA not only as a structure for the cover letter as a whole but also as a structure for the first sentence and paragraph. You want them to already be attentive and interested in you in the first paragraph, so they have the desire to keep reading and later on, the action to move your application to the top of the pile! Let’s now turn to what content belongs in each part of the letter - introduction, middle, and conclusion. 

The Introduction

First, you should avoid starting your cover letter with "Dear Sir or Madam" (“Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren”). Find out in advance to whom the application should be addressed - and then address this person directly. You can find some strategies about how to find out the contact person presented in this article . 

The first sentence and first paragraph you write – the introduction to your cover letter – is one of the most important aspects of your entire application. It is therefore also one of the most difficult. Avoid standard phrases such as "I read your job posting with great I have read your job advertisement with great interest..." (Mit großem Interesse habe ich Ihre Stellenausschreibung gelesen) or "I hereby apply for the internship the internship position offered by you..." (“hiermit bewerbe ich mich auf die von Ihnen angebotene Praktikumsstelle”). Consider instead the two most important traits, skills, qualifications, and/or experiences you bring with you to the position, and describe those first, always relating what you say back to the position description and how you will add value. It can also be beneficial to prove that you have an understanding of what the job is about and make it clear that you understand what your day-to-day will be like. Avoid starting with “My name is” or listing simple things that can easily be referred to by looking at your resume, such as where or what you study. 

The first sentence and the first paragraph need to be where you pack the strongest argument for you as a candidate. Think about it from the perspective of someone who has met you and wants to hire you. What would they tell their boss within 3-4 sentences about you to convince them that you are a good fit? 

The Middle Part

In the middle part, you will continue to connect your experiences with the job description, using powerful, concrete examples. The motto here is show, don’t tell! This goes for both hard and soft skills. From the outset, avoid standard phrases such as “I am flexible” “I am resilient” or my personal favorite (not!) “I can work independently and in a team”. Moreover, check how many sentences start with “I” and try to vary this a bit. 

This part of the cover letter is certainly the most difficult - but it is worth investing effort and brainpower here! It is the only part where you will stand out from the flood of applications and present and paint a meaningful picture of yourself. 

Consider balancing your examples with your motivation and qualifications for the position. To get you started and brainstorm why you are the right person for the position, consider the following questions:

Why are you applying for the advertised position? (if you cannot think of a good reason why this will likely show through in the application!)

Why are you applying to this company in particular? (remember to review the information about Germany’s labor market and hiring culture , alongside the cultural reasons why company research is critical )

What professional expertise can you bring with you in regard to the qualifications, experience, and education required in the job advertisement?

Which of the required hard and soft skills do you bring with you?

Here are some further key do's and don't's to support your brainstorming, writing, and drafting processes:

Pay attention to the correct tone for each company

Show that you can structure information

Show that you can set priorities for the essential information

Communicate precisely in German or English

Show you know about and how to adhere to German standards

Show that you know not to repeat the information from the CV, but rather to connect it

Use soft skills to add value if you don't have a ton of experience; make sure you are highlighting the ones that match the company’s profile and not choosing more than three to list

Don’t use phrases from online examples, templates, etc. HR staff know these and will recognize them

Be original and authentic by drafting your own cover letter

Don’t dare put pressure on HR for getting back to you quickly

Don’t ask for a visa sponsorship

Don't write a novel; saying something in a long story form is not helpful in the German context. Stick to communicating the essential information to the employer and doing so in a competent, clear, elegant writing style

Make sure each sentence and paragraph is unique to you and you only. Take each of them and ask, could this be copied/pasted onto someone else’s cover letter? If so, think about how you can make it entirely unique to you. The point here is that if it can apply to others, it does not give you an advantage over other candidates who may have listed the exact same things. 

For each sentence, determine if you can use 1) clearer/simpler language, 2) reduce the number of words, and 3) add details if needed. Keep it simple while still getting your point across. More is not necessarily better, and neither is too much detail that is hard to read or that may be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Please make sure not to include any long descriptions or stories about why you came to Germany, why you made certain decisions, or why you are currently unemployed. Focus on why you add value and are a good fit. 

A lot has been written about optimizing resumes and cover letters for applicant tracking systems. While this is important, it is also key that you do not overdo it by simply copying/pasting phrases and words from the position description and putting them into your cover letter or resume. While it can be okay to do that with a few keywords that actually do relate to your experience, beware that too many keywords can come off as suspicious. In the vast majority of cases, nobody fulfills 100% of the job requirements. Job descriptions are oftentimes written as wishlists, especially the items listed under “preferred qualifications”. This is definitely not the place to “fake until you make it”. Be honest about your abilities and do not overdo the keywords. 

The German Resume Guide and Cover Letter Template Kit ™

29-Page German Resume Guide + German Cover Letter Template Kit

Exactly What You Need to Know About Writing a Resume in Germany

Perfect for international applicants wanting to apply in English, while fulfilling German resume standards

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The Conclusion

Toward the end of the letter, you should indicate why you are interested in this company. When you write about the company, do your best to avoid overused phrases such as “your amazing company” or “innovative company” or “world leader”. Choose to write a few sentences about what actually interests you about the company, and do not be afraid to get personal. Some of the best cover letters I have seen are the ones where the applicant demonstrates their personal connection to the company (such as having used their products since childhood), describing how they are looking forward to working toward the next era or iteration of the company and their products. 

Remember it is critical to consider the perspective of those doing the hiring throughout the entire letter. This letter may seem like it is about you, but it is not. It is about the employer and what they need. You want an employment or internship contract by the end of the process, so you need to make it clear in your cover letter why you are the right person to support the employer, perform tasks and, if necessary, take on responsibility. Further, you need to explain how you will be able to do these things. It is counterproductive to talk about what you want out the position. Using expressions such as "I am particularly interested in...", "...I am particularly attracted to..." or "...I find very interesting..." continuously through your text will indicate that you are only considering who this position would be advantageous to you and your career. For internships, trainee programs, and other opportunities that require a motivation letter, it is fine to justify why the employer is interesting for you. But when applying for a job, it is about them, not you. 

If the job posting asks for a desired salary, go for it. Just ensure you have done detailed salary research in the industry, position, company type, and location. Always give a salary range, such as 36,000-38,000 euros. If they ask you to state your earliest starting date, then specify this. Finally, conclude with a sentence about how you look forward to articulating to them in an interview how you can add value to their company within the position you are applying for. 

Viel Erfolg!

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The two types of german resumes.

The Perfect German Résumé

First impressions matter when applying for a job. Put your best foot forward with German employers by using an application style they recognize.


A German curriculum vitae, or Lebenslauf , doesn’t look wildly different compared with résumés from other parts of the world. Applicants include a cover letter and list their educational degrees and work experience. When applying for a job in Germany, keep in mind there isn’t just one way to write a CV. There is no "perfect" version. The following is a general idea of how to structure a CV that won't end up at the bottom of the pile.

The first section of a German CV lists an applicant’s personal information. Titled Persönliche Angaben, or Personal Information, the section includes first and last name, place and date of birth, marriage status, nationality, and contact information. Each detail should be listed separately. Make sure to attach a passport-sized photo to the right-hand corner of the document with the name and date of birth written on the back.

Under the Personal Information section, an applicant can include a subsection called Profil, or Profile, where she gives a short description of herself and what she does. Rather than using vague descriptions like “hard working” or “creative,” an applicant can use this space to describe herself in concrete terms, highlighting specific skills, experience, and fields of study. German employers value a direct explanation of experience. This will begin to tell them an applicant’s professional story and history.

The title of the second section is Ausbildung, or Education. In this section, an applicant describes where she went to school, what she studied and how it is relevant to the job she’s applying for. Start with the dates of attendance, the name of the program and the university. Many people also include special areas of study within the degree program. Perhaps the degree is in Political Science, but an applicant focused specifically on Eastern European Affairs. Include that information. It helps an employer get a bigger picture of the applicant’s base of knowledge. Applicants should also include information from their high school years. In Germany, that might mean listing where and when an applicant received her Abitur. Other countries describe high school diplomas differently. Just make sure to include the name of the high school, the dates attended and the final degree received.

The third section is titled Berufliche Erfahrung, or Work Experience. Jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order. With each position, include the dates worked for the company, the position held, and the name of the company. Follow that with a simple description of the tasks performed. Descriptions should be kept short and to the point. No need for a lot of buzzwords or business jargon. In general, German employers like CVs without fluff, just the facts.

If an applicant has special skills she wants to mention, like second or third languages or technical certifications, she can list them under Sonstiges. This section gives applicants another opportunity to stand out and demonstrate background or useful training for the job. Applicants can also include volunteer work or scholarships received.

Opinions vary whether a CV submitted to a German company should be written in English, if the applicant is a native English speaker. This depends greatly on the type of job someone’s applying for. Employers advertising jobs requiring good German language skills would likely react positively to a grammatically correct CV in German. However, if an applicant’s German isn’t very advanced, it may be best to write the CV in English, using the traditional German CV format. This is better than giving an inaccurate representation of the applicant’s level of German skills and is perhaps also less intimidating for those job seekers who have not yet mastered the German language.

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German CV Template in English [Ultimate English Guide]

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Updated March 1, 2023

If you’re searching for a German-style CV in English that will increase your chances of nailing more job interviews in Germany, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, you will find tips for creating a CV that follows the German format, as well as our German CV template in English that you can use on your next job application.

According to a recent study done by Stepstone, 91% of HR recruiters name the CV as the most important document of an application .

Recruiters and HR spend less than 30 seconds scanning a CV before deciding whether it goes to the next round or not.

Table of Contents

Simple German Style CV Template in English

A CV is the first impression you will make. Like all first impressions, your CV only has a few seconds to impress hiring managers. The goal of your CV is to get you an invitation to a job interview .

“Remember, the person reviewing your CV may review 50+ others that day. Making it easy to quickly understand your information will make you stand out more than a quirky design or information overload.” by Jamie Rogers, Tech Recruiter in Germany working for Darwin Recruitment

We highly recommend investing some time in polishing your CV before applying for jobs in Germany. Here is an overview of the format German HR, recruiters, and hiring managers would expect in a CV:

cover letter for resume germany

If you don’t want to spend time designing your own CV, you can download our German-Style CV template in English from our shop.

German-Style CV Template in English

How to write a German CV ( Lebenslauf ) in English

The expectation of a German recruiter might be different than what you are used to. 

The German CV ( Lebenslauf ) is considered less of a marketing product and more of a factual document. You are encouraged to write real, hard facts and avoid all kinds of fluff or self-promoting sentences. HR departments in Germany prefer the KISS method: Keep It Short & Simple.

In Germany, a CV is between one and a maximum of two pages and has five or six sections. Let’s explore each one in more detail.

1. Personal Information

The minimum personal details you should include in this section are your name and your address. German recruiters expect to see a few more personal details about you, though. So if you don’t add all the personal information described below, be prepared to answer some similar questions during your interviews.

💡 Good to know : Just like in many other countries, it is illegal for companies to reject an application based on gender, age, race, or sexual orientation.

Most Germans include additional personal information in their CV. As an expat, it is important to understand how this extra information might help you in your application.

Additionally, feel free to add professional social networks, such as LinkedIn or the German Xing. If you are a techy, you must include your GitHub !

2. Work Experience

Start with your most recent job and highlight relevant experience for the position you are applying. For each position, make sure to include the: 

Germans like to read ‘gapless’ curriculum vitae. So if you took a year off between your jobs to travel, you should mention this in your CV. Any gap above three months is worth mentioning in your CV.

Also, you are encouraged to mention any voluntary work you have done.

“Context is critical! That’s why ‘Work Experience’ is the most important part of a CV. It’s the part that we learn where and how you have applied the skills listed elsewhere in a CV.” by Jamie Rogers, Tech Recruiter in Germany in Darwin Recruitment

3. Education

This section should have your education, including secondary and higher education. You should list your latest education degree first. Each degree should include:

Use this section to list any other relevant qualifications or skills to the role. Some examples of what you can include are:

Related Guide: German Driving License Explained

5. Hobbies And Interests (Optional)

In this optional section, you can feel free to include any hobbies or interests that might be relevant to the position. Remember, Germans love facts, so if you add this section, make it short and sweet.

Also, try to be specific about your interests. Travel is very generic, and almost everyone loves to do it. 

6. Your Signature

Bonus points if you add this to your CV. Germans usually sign their CV with the date and their name.

Once you have created your CV, download it as a PDF and then digitally sign it by using a tool like Smallpdf .

German or English – In which language should you write your CV?

If you are applying for an English-speaking job, it is a good idea to write your CV in English. Since you are applying for a job in Germany, chances are a German person will look over your CV. If you are learning German, you can write your CV in English and indicate in the language section that you are currently learning the language.

Read more : Can I work in Germany without speaking German?

If your German level is good enough, go for it! Just a word of caution, though: Germans, like any other sane person, dislike typos and grammatical errors. So you better have a native German proofread your CV. Also, make sure only to do this if your German is good enough to handle the interview in German as well. If you create your CV in German, you are already setting the expectations for your future employer that you have good German skills.

Regardless of the language you choose for your CV, make sure to follow the standards German hiring managers expect. 

Final Thoughts

In this guide, you learned that a CV in Germany is a one to two-page factual document, and it is not used as a promotional tool. You can add your soft skills and other details of your experience in your cover letter .

Related Guide: German Cover Letter Guide with English Sample

German recruiters and employers expect to receive an application free of typos and grammatical mistakes. So only send your CV in German if you are truly confident with the language.

Download our German-Style CV template in English from our shop to save you time and clear all potential doubts about what to include in your resume for the German job market.

Remember only to include information that is relevant to your role and the job requirements. Now, it is time for you to scout the job market in Germany and get your dream job.

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Cover letter

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

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. 

Table of contents

What is a german cover letter, german cover letter format, what not to include in a german cover letter, keep the following in mind while drafting a german cover letter, german cover letter template ideas.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.  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

© 2023 Made with ♥ in Berlin

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter in Germany

I don’t need to tell you about first impressions and their importance, right?

Did you know that we make an assessment of another person we meet in less than one second? And studies show that as the interaction continues, we will continue to look for supporting evidence to our first assessment rather than collect new objective data. Unfair? Yes, but reasonable. 

So what is the first contact? Your application.

Sending a CV without a cover letter is like entering a conversation without taking the time to shake hands and say hello first .  

In Germany, the cover letter is as important to the German recruiter as your CV itself. According to research made in 2013, almost 40% of HR managers in Germany rejected applications without a cover letter (in US 13% rejected on that base and in Russia only 3%). So if you’re in Russia – focus on the CV, but if you’re applying for a job in Germany, even for an international company – don’t waste your time sending the CV without a proper cover letter.

If you require the cover letter to be translated into German, you can do so using a translation service . Otherwise, consider hiring a freelancer !

What would make your cover letter perfect?

2. Address it to the relevant recruiter(s)

A final word

About the author, tali lichtenfeld, related posts, the easiest way to file your monthly vat tax as a freelancer, 5 of the best tips for finding expat jobs in germany, 7 amazing remote jobs that are actually hiring english speakers right now, understanding fixed assets (“anlagevermögen”) and how to claim them in germany.

Please guide me to prepare a good cover letter and CV

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Resume Example

German Resume Examples & Writing Tips (+ 6 Templates)

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German CV Format

A German CV is called Lebenslauf – a factual document of the information of the candidate. This CV is quite different from a typical American-style resume. To get a well-paid job in Germany relevant to your area of expertise, you should be able to write a perfect German CV.

Whether you are a student looking to emigrate to Germany or a professional looking to work overseas in a German-speaking company, this article will help you:

We will also cover everything you need to know about writing a CV for jobs in German-speaking countries like Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Liechtenstein.

German Resume Example

In order to demonstrate the correct structure of a German resume, we have provided an example resume for an assistant manager:

Persönliche Daten Ändern: 28 Geschlecht männlich Beziehungsstatus: Verheiratet E-Mail: [email protected] Telefon: 0211 4535961

Master in Strategischem Marketing, 2018-2019 Columbia University, New York

Bachelorstudium Betriebswirtschaftslehre, 2014-2018 Columbia University, New York

Arbeitsgeschichte K-Mart Supermarkt Stellvertretender Filialleiter August 2017 bis heute New York City

Erobern Sie Restaurants Stellvertretender Restaurantleiter Juni 2014 bis August 2017 New York City



German resume

The Facts of the German Job Market

Germany’s salaries are among the highest in Europe. Statistics suggest Germany’s average salary is around 42,500 Euros a year 💰 ( ), whereas Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Iceland top the list with 65k, 66k, and 67k annual salaries consecutively.

Nevertheless, Germany is a popular destination for English-speaking professionals and workers to settle in relatively good careers.

Differences Between the German-style Resume and the American-style Resume

German CV specifications and American standards have many differences. Most standard resume practices in Germany are affected by their culture and the way the corporate works.

For instance, strict labor laws in Germany have made it difficult for companies to fire employees – making recruitment decisions critical. Most recruiters expect much detail about the candidate before making a final decision.

Here is a list of differences between the CVs in the two styles👇

American Style

German Style

Nevertheless, multinational companies have started to seek American-style resumes when hiring for their German subsidiaries. Most of the small and medium-sized businesses in Germany still prefer their own style of CVs.

How to Write A German Resume

As in writing any resume, you should first start with defining your CV layout, format, and template.

A typical German resume layout is as follows:

The main difference in this layout is that it does not have a Professional Summary or an Objective Summary as in most American-style resumes. German resumes are considered factual documents – that do not include a sales pitch about the candidate.

The format defines the way you present your experience section. There are mainly three standard formats:

For the German resumes, we recommend using the reverse-chronological format to list your work experience as German hiring managers are more interested in your recent experience.

German CV Template

Picking the right resume template would be extremely important as German CVs are not considered a good place to showcase your creativity. However, a CV template could still be used to make a great first impression.

The recruiters prefer CVs with limited colors and text formatting. Therefore, use a template that is simple yet well-structured. Avoid using contrasting colors, or different fonts.

You can check out some of our ready-to-fill resume templates for your next German resume.

German resume

Create my CV

Begin Your German CV with The Header

As in American-style resumes, German CV starts with the header – but keep in mind the header in a German resume is way different than the American one.

Compared to an American resume that contains the name and contact information in the header, a German resume includes personal and contact information (Persönliches und Kontaktinformationen) .

Personal details

This shows a major difference from American resumes. German recruiters expect a certain level of personal information of the candidate to make a hiring decision. You can always choose not to disclose some of this information though.

Contact details

Contact details should include the following:

Personal details Age: 31 Gender: Male Marital status: Single Email: [email protected] Phone: 0211 3465978

The photo: Vital on The German CV

Another important part of a German resume header is the attachment of a professional photo of the candidate. This is a common practice in Germany whereas, in America, Canada, the UK, Australia, and some other countries, this is considered a capital offense – one that can send your CV straight to trash.

While you selecting a template , make sure you pick one with space to add a picture.

Here are the key photo guidelines you should consider:


Experience (Berufserfahrung)

As in the American resumes, you should use reverse-chronological format to write the experience section – starting with the most recent experience and going backward.

What is different here is how you write the section and the information you provide about the previous employer.

Steal this format to write your experience section👇

Writing the description in your work experience would be quite different from an American resume. Here, you do not have to write about the skills utilized while doing the job, achievements in your job, or the accomplishments – only write the factual information about your work.

In contrast to American resumes, instead of writing about jobs that are irrelevant to the position you apply for, write about an internship or a volunteering work you have participated in.

Here is an example experience section for a teacher:

Education (Ausbildung)

The education section in German resumes usually come before experience. This is partly because German hiring managers give more value to your education and skills rather than your achievements.

However, you can place this section before or after work experience based on your profile – if you have a strong academic background, you could give priority to the education section.

When listing your education, use reverse chronological format to state the latest education qualifications first.

Both your secondary education and higher education are important for the German CV.

Do not state your GPA in the resume .

German GPA scale system is different from the USA system which ranges from 5 (the lowest) to 1 (the highest) as opposed to the USA scale system which goes from 0 (lowest) to 4 (highest).

If you possess good grades that you want to communicate, make sure you do that without confusing the German employers.

Shortly state the key learnings of each degree or educational qualification.

Here is an example education section for a German resume:

Höheres Nationales Diplom in Informationstechnologie 2018-2019 Institut für Informatik, Melbourne

German resume

Skills ( Fähigkeiten)

Unlike in the American resumes, you should not use the skills section to promote yourself in the German CV – as your resume should only include factual information.

Write a mix of soft skills and hard skills giving priority to your hard skills.

Soft skills

These are the skills that characterize your relationship with others and provide the recruiter an idea as to how you behave under different situations. These are more generic skills and difficult to prove.

Hard skills

Often based on your most recent job experience or education. German recruiters value these because they are industry-specific.

About Me: Summarize Your Professional Profile

The professional summary section accounts for the major difference between American and German-style resumes.

In American resumes, a professional summary stands as a sales pitch to the hiring manager highlighting the key skills, expertise, and achievements of the candidate. It also emphasizes why they should hire the candidate and how his/ her expertise could be beneficial to the company.

German resumes on the other hand do not require such sales pitching from the candidate – it’s a factual document of the candidate’s education, experience, and skills.

Therefore, a German resume does not consist of a professional summary .

However, if you’re applying for a multinational in Germany with foreign management, you may still include a professional summary on your resume. If you wish to include one on your resume, below is an example that may help. 👇

Professional Summary for a Software Developer

Professional Objective

A Professional Objective is similar to a Professional Summary, which you should not repeat on the resume. The Professional Objective is intended for those with limited work experience: students and candidates going through a career transition.

However, we advise you not to include this section on your German resume.

Additional sections for your German Resume

Additional sections are a great way to provide factual information that will influence the HR recruiter’s decision. Below we have highlighted the type of additional sections you can include in your German resume. Take a good look and only include the sections that are relevant to your personal profile.

Language proficiency is something that most recruiters are concerned about. If you are an ex-pat looking for an employment opportunity in the Germany, having proficiency in German language would be a big plus.

Your fluency in English and other EU languages will give you an edge in the shortlisting process.

When you are writing the language section, have a look at the Common European Framework of Reference ( CEFR ).

English    Proficiency German   Intermediate French     Beginners

Also, check out our ready-to-fill resume templates where you can find plenty of German-style resume templates that come with simple yet great features to demonstrate your language proficiency and other sections.

Computer Skills & Certifications

If you have completed any course on computer science, programming, or information technology, you may list them here.

Having basic computer and system literacy would be valuable in any job as German companies employ many computer-based systems in their businesses.

Some jobs in Germany require the candidate to present a valid skills certification. Mention it if you already hold one. If not make sure you apply for one immediately. For instance, if you are applying for a job that involves you driving a vehicle, you should have the required EU driving license.


If you are a student or applying for an academic-related job, you may list the research papers and publications that are under your name.

German recruiters are a little biased towards the educational qualifications of the candidates. Therefore, if you have such academic achievements, make sure you put them in an additional section to gain more visibility.

Interests and Hobbies

This is another place where the German resume differs from the American one. You can list a couple of personal interests in your German resume.

However, make it relevant to the job you apply for.

Candidate Signature

This final section completes the German resume: date and the signature of the candidate. As you have the flexibility to add a couple of pages to your German resume, keep space to put the date and signature at the bottom.

Do not put a separate section naming it as “Candidate Signature”. You can also put your e-signature here.

Tips to Improve Your Resume in German

Make your next German CV stand out from the crowd with these pro tips:

Summary: Write a Perfect German Resume

Complement Your Resume with Your Cover Letter

A cover letter would be a great way to showcase your personality and achievements to the hiring manager.

As the German resume only focuses on the factual information of the candidate, the cover letter can be used to describe your interest in the company and the position.

You could write about your key achievements in the previous job, how your experience and skills helped the previous employer, and how that would be potentially valuable to the new employer.

Have a look at our cover letter templates to create a great cover letter for your German recruiter.

FAQs about the German Resume

What if i have a career gap in my german resume.

German recruiters are very much concerned about employment gaps in your CV. However, having career gaps is natural for most candidates.

If you have a gap in your career, you should disclose it to the recruiter without trying to hide it in the resume.

State what you did in that period. This may include volunteering, traveling, taking part in a research project, or taking part in an expedition. You should include this information in your German CV.

Should I write my CV in English or German?

It depends on the company and the position you apply for. If you’re applying for a job in a multinational organization in Germany, they would expect your resume in English. However, most German companies operate in Germany.

Refer to the job advertisement for the language requirements. Use the language of the job advertisement if there is no reference to the CV language.

Can I apply to jobs in Germany without speaking German?

The German market goes beyond its language. In many cases, even if you don’t master the German language, your English skills may be highly desirable. However, we do recommend having a basic command before aspiring to jobs abroad.

Example of a CV in Germany

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Cover Letter - Germany

- Explaining your hobbies is something that you usually don't do becuase that's something which tends to come up on the personal interview.

"Sehr geehrte(r) Frau/Herr {Last Name},"
"Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren," (after the comma you start with a lower case letter).
"Mit freundlichen Gren". Leave a few lines and type your name underneath then sign your name inbetween.


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How to write the perfect cover letter

Are you applying for jobs in Germany and don't know what your cover letter should look like? Cover letters have special requirements in Germany and cause many applicants considerable headaches. In the following, we have collected the most the most important points concerning formatting, style and structure of the cover letter for you:

General facts:

Maximum length of your cover letter: 1 - 2 pages

If there is a motivation letter requested then you only need 2-3 sentences in the cover letter

Cover letters consist of fully written text and should not include any bullet points (the CV in contrast should only include bullet points)

Check out the website/social media channels to better understand the company you are applying for

In case the job ad specifies that you need to include your salary expectations: Get information on or about salary structure

Formatting and wording of your cover letter

Job ads in Germany are very particular and personalized applications are expected: Make sure to match your application with the contents and wording used in the job ad

Use the same layout for your cover letter and CV (colors, font style, font size)

Follow formatting standards (there is a DIN letter format in Germany)

Only use written out text passages, avoid bullet points and the use of abbreviations

Keep it formal, don’t be too emotional

If possible, write it in German and get it proofread by a native speaker

How to structure the contents of your cover letter

Here is an example of a cover letter:

Cover letter example Germany

Include your address and contact details in the upper part of the cover letter

Include a subject line with a reference to the position you are applying for

If a contact person is mentioned address it to him/ her

First part: The opening

Express your interest for the job opening you would like to apply for. If you have already talked to the recruiter on the phone, met him/her at a job fair or know someone else in the company, a reference to this can be a good start

Express your motivation to work for this particular company (optional, you can also include this in another part of your cover letter): The corporate website or social media channels usually provide good inspiration for this

Second part: Introducing your skills and your motivation

cover letter for resume germany

Need help brushing up your cover letter?

Outline your qualifications and motivation: Why are you the best candidate for the job? Be careful not to simply recount your background. Talk about soft skills that you have and which are particularly relevant to the job.

You can usually find out which qualifications are particularly important to the employer by carefully going through the details in the job ad. However, this is not simply a matter of listing them. Avoid general formulations such as: "I am a motivated and highly dedicated team player…” Instead, give an example from your career to date that shows how you have used your ability to work in a team or that underlines your sense of responsibility.

It is also good to establish a direct link between your past performance and your future goals and to relate your qualifications and skills specifically to the employer and the job you are aiming for. The question to be answered here is: What added value do you bring to the company? For example according to the motto: “I would like to use my experience in the field of X to help your company achieve goal Z.”

Third part: The closing

Keep in mind: Since the conclusion is the last to be read, it will also be remembered particularly well.

Mention your availability and optionally your salary expectations and/or visa status or other important factors

Close with a friendly Call-to-action e.g. “If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 0111/23456. Apart from that I am looking forward to a personal conversation.”

Check out our YouTube channel for more content on job application writing.

Make sure that your Cover letter is ATS-friendly

Are your application documents ready to send? There's one last step you should take before submitting your application: Make sure your Cover letter and CV are ATS-friendly so they can make it through the first round of review without being filtered out by automated screening programs. Find out how by reading this article .

Get your cover letter reviewed by a German HR expert

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How to make your CV ATS-friendly

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Create a cv that will convince recruiters in germany.

Cover letter


The cover letter (letter of motivation) is the heart of your application. It takes time to write an interesting letter that puts the right message across. After all, the aim is to show our recruiters in just a few minutes that you are the ideal candidate for a specific vacancy at Bayer.

Normally, you will find many indications of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” in the vacancy notice. You should refer specifically to these points and link them to yourself and your experience, skills, competencies and personality. However, you should avoid repeating the information contained in your resume.

Don’t be discouraged if you don't meet all the requirements for the job – not many people do. Your reason for applying may be the key to whether you might be considered for a position - and perhaps eventually hired for it.


What do you stand for?

The golden rule is: show us what you stand for. Only include activities and experience in your letter if it is relevant to the job you are applying for. If you want to attract the attention of one of our recruiters, you should provide a few specific examples of the skills or core competencies you have acquired. Ideally, you should also show the specific benefits for a position, a particular area of activity, the company or the team. But please remember to be concise, focused and, above all, sincere.

An individual letter: helpful hints on structuring your letter

As you can see, it is rarely possible to write a standard letter that can be used for several applications. Normally, only certain aspects fit a specific vacancy. For every position you apply for, you should therefore try to think which aspects of your personality could benefit the company in that specific role.

Convincing content also has to be presented attractively. You should therefore stick to the basic rules for letter-writing and make sure there are not spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in your letter. Since applications always pass through several hands at Bayer, we suggest you start your letter with “Ladies and gentlemen” unless the vacancy notice states that you should address your application to a specific person. Even if you have extensive experience and wide-ranging competencies, the art is to be as concise as possible. A letter should not be more than one page.

You can find further information on the appearance and content of letters of motivation in the internet.

Checklist for cover letters

Enter applicant profile & check status


You have any questions? We'll be happy to help!  

Just give us a call at tel.: +49 214 30 99779

E-mail:  [email protected]

Send us a message via the contact form.

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You have any questions? Just give us a call under:  Phone: +49 214 30 99779 E-Mail:  [email protected] Contact form

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  1. German Cover Letter Guide [With English Sample]

    A cover letter in Germany ( Anschreiben) needs to complement your CV, but not repeat it. You can regard a cover letter as a letter of motivation filled with examples and facts. A cover letter in Germany is a very formal document that should follow a particular layout. Related Guide: German CV Template in English

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

    Your German cover letter needs a subject as in any formal letter. Include the position you're applying for in your subject. Example Anschreiben für die Position des Produktionsleiters bei BMW, Werk München Opening Greeting You could use a formal greeting to open your cover letter either in English or German.

  3. The Perfect Cover Letter for Germany

    -First of all, the cover letter is not a repetition of your resume. It consists of a chain of sound arguments why YOU should be hired for that particular job and not the other candidate. -Every letter should be unique (at least parts of it). Make sure to compose it adequately to the job and company you are applying for.

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

    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 ...

  5. Cover Letters in Germany

    Done right, a cover letter can become a key component of your current and future job searches in Germany. The cover letter aims to convince the company that you are the right candidate for the position, and that you are the right person based on your profile and personality fit for the corresponding team, supervisor, and company.

  6. German Cover Letter + Must Know Best Practices [2023]

    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.

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

    A German cover letter 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

  8. Writing Effective Cover Letters for the German Labor Market

    To apply for jobs in Germany, a cover letter is still one of the most important documents you need to submit. It is important to adhere to German standards for formatting and structuring your cover letter, which you can read more about here.

  9. The Perfect German Résumé

    The first section of a German CV lists an applicant's personal information. Titled Persönliche Angaben, or Personal Information, the section includes first and last name, place and date of birth, marriage status, nationality, and contact information. Each detail should be listed separately.

  10. German CV Template in English [Ultimate English Guide]

    In Germany, a CV is between one and a maximum of two pages and has five or six sections. Let's explore each one in more detail. 1. Personal Information The minimum personal details you should include in this section are your name and your address. German recruiters expect to see a few more personal details about you, though.

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

    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.

  12. The Perfect Cover Letter in Germany

    Get on perfecting that cover letter and resume for the German market! What would make your cover letter perfect? 1. Keep it short (no longer than one page) and write it as a formal letter 2. Address it to the relevant recruiter (s) 3. Customize it to the specific job! It is not "one size fits all" 4.

  13. German Resume Examples To Land Top Jobs In Germany

    How to Write A German Resume As in writing any resume, you should first start with defining your CV layout, format, and template. CV Layout A typical German resume layout is as follows: Resume header Education Work experience Skills Additional sections

  14. Cover Letter

    In Germany, names and titles are very important. You can call the receptionist to find out who the appropriate person is. If you don't have a particular person, address the letter to "Personalabteilung" and write it under the company's name in the address. "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren," (after the comma you start with a lower case letter).

  15. How to write the perfect cover letter

    Cover letters have special requirements in Germany and cause many applicants considerable headaches. In the following, we have collected the most the most important points concerning formatting, style and structure of the cover letter for you: General facts: Maximum length of your cover letter: 1 - 2 pages. If there is a motivation letter ...


    So you are about to apply for a job in Germany and struggling with writing a convincing cover letter. Watch this video to the end and learn how to structure ...

  17. Cover letter

    The cover letter (letter of motivation) is the heart of your application. It takes time to write an interesting letter that puts the right message across. After all, the aim is to show our recruiters in just a few minutes that you are the ideal candidate for a specific vacancy at Bayer.

  18. How To Write An Optometrist Cover Letter (With Example)

    Cover Letter Template For An Optometrist Role. Examine the following cover letter for an optometrist role you can use to guide you: Dear [ Hiring manager's first name] [ Hiring manager's last name], [ Express excitement for the position, including the role title and the company name.]

  19. The Importance of a Cover Letter (Benefits and Types)

    An application cover letter is a standard cover letter that candidates use when applying for a job. This format allows you to describe your professional background and relevant skills. Customise your cover letter according to the position by including keywords from the job description. If it specifies candidates with project management ...