Working and Studying
During their studies, international students from non-EU countries can work up to 120 full or 240 half days a year.
One possibility is the minor employment through which you are allowed to earn a maximum of 450 € per month. If you earn more than 450 € per month you have to pay social insurance contribution to the pensions office. Those contributions are transferable within the EU, students from non-EU countries can file a motion for a refund. To exercise a job for more than 450 € per month you need to also request a german income tax card at the tax office in Koblenz as well as a national insurance card. Responsible for the request of the national insurance card is your health insurance company.
If DAAD-scholarship holders want to work, they must ask the DAAD for permission and must not earn more than 400 € per month.
Student side jobs can be carried out without a time limit as long as it does not put the studies at risk. Notice that anyone who wants to take a student side job needs to inform the foreigner’s registration office about this.
A student side job is a job that has scientific character, such as student assistants at the university or a job at the Studierendenwerk.
After your graduation you may take up to a year to look for a suitable job.
Job Markets Online
A so called “Jobbörse” is an online career forum which can be used for job offers and further job markets. It gives users the opportunity to search for job offers or requests and browse other job data bases or to enter job requests, job offers and links to other job markets.
The following job markets can be used to search for jobs:
Other job markets:
- Bundesagentur für Arbeit
- Elizabeth Green
Further options to search for a job are:
- black boards at the universities
- the local newspaper “Rheinzeitung” (wednesdays and saturdays)
- the local newspaper “Koblenzer Stadtanzeiger” (wednesdays) which is available in private households and student accomodations
- the local newspaper “Super Sonntag” (sundays) which is available in private households and student accomodations
The cover letter
The aim of writing a cover letter is to point out concisely why you should be the right person for the desired company and position. Use the cover letter to stand out from the other applicants in a positive way. Present yourself to the personnel officer and arouse his or her interest in your remaining application documents and your personality. Make him or her curious to get to know you better in a personal interview. The contents of your cover letter should include the following:
- Your name, full address, phone and fax number, email address (possibly a link to your own homepage),
- full address of the recipient including the term of the division and your contact person,
- place and date when you prepared your application.
- Write a line refering to the subject of this letter. Name the reason of your application, e.g. by writing "Your advertisment from the..." ("Ihre Anzeige vom...").
- The salutation should be addressed to a specific contact person (Dear Mrs. Maier, / Sehr geehrte Frau Maier,) and after putting the comma, continue to write with a small letter. If you don't yet have a contact person, you are advised to call and ask for one beforehand. Otherwise, choose the salutation "Dear Sir or Madam" ("Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren").
- Then you introduce yourself to the company and refer to the position available.
- Describe any previous jobs, skills and knowledge concisely. If you are replying to an advertisement, please explain in your own words why you meet the subject-specific and personal requirements in particular. Subject-specific requirements are occupational requirements such as language skills or programming skills or also advanced education courses that you have successfully taken part in. Compare the job requirements with your own skills and experiences and give brief examples. If you have any further relevant skills, don't hesitate to mention them. When naming the personal requirements, you go on the same way, also giving a small example underlining each of your abilities. In any case you need to use this section to emphasize your strengths without appearing arrogant.
- Give reasons why you apply for a job at this specific company and not at any other one. It is hereby necessary that you inform yourself thoroughly with the company so you can refer to certain aspects (e.g. corporate philosophy, talent management, products, etc.).
- Now you can give notice of a possible date of joining and of your salary expectations. But only include the latter if it is explicitely asked for in the job advertisement. In the other case you are able to discuss your salary more freely in the personal interview.
- The final sentence should stress that you would be pleased to be invited to a personal interview.
- Close the cover letter saying "Yours sincerely," / "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" and put down your readable signature using your full name.
Present the most important information about your person completely and neatly in your curriculum vitae. Unless otherwise stated, the content of the curriculum vitae should be listed in tabular form. The data of your personal history should be arranged in chronological order. It is unimportant whether you start with the latest events (this seems to be the most common way) or if you reverse the order. The only important things is to stick consequently to the chosen order. Do not leave out any time span of your career and do not try to hide anything because an experienced personnal officer will surely notice. The curriculum vitae can be divided in the following parts:
- Personal data (name, address, date of birth, place of birth, nationality, marital status)
- School education (type of school and secondary school qualifications)
- Military or civilian service
- Studies (study course, major field, degree, topic of the thesis, topic of the dissertation)
- Work experiences (name and place of business, time designation, summary of your activities and most important projects)
- Internships (name and place of business, time designation, summary of your activities)
- Advanced training (seminars, training courses)
- Special skills (foreign languages, computer skills, etc.)
- Hobbies and interests
- Date, place and full signature
Put emphasis on the activities and stages that stand in direct relation to the desired position by describing them expressively and illustration their relevance.
The first impression does count! Do not underestimate the impression that you will convey with your application photo. A friendly photo with a high quality will surely seem more sympathetic and thus improves your chance to be invited to an interview. Therefore, it is highly recommended to see a professional photographer but not to go to a photo booth. Whether you choose black and white or a coloured photo is unimportant. You may want to try out which colouring suits your type by getting several different photos take to have a choice. It could also help to show your photos to friends and gather "objective" judgements. Your application photos should be a little bigger than plain passport photos (50mm in width and 62mm in height). There are several different ways to position your photo on your application. For one thing you could place your photo on the upper right corner of the curriculum vitae. For another thing, you can stick it on a separate blank sheet of paper. It's advisable to write down your name and address on the back of your photos to make sure they do not get lost when the personnel officer skims your application documents. Do not put the photo on the covering letter in any way.
You should enclose all relevant reports and certificates to your application to prove your qualifications. Also scan these documents and attach them as files when sending your application via email. The most relevant certificates are those which relate directly to the advertised position. You should at least be able to support all data of your curriculum vitae by respective certificates. It is common to put the latest certificates first.