Career Orientation & Counselling

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Career Orientation & Counselling

Career orientation and counselling

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Our motto is: "Individual and practical advice based on networking with personnel decision-makers and our own long-time professional experience within the HR department."


Important information about the german job market & your job application

When looking for a suitable internship, student trainee position or entry-level position it is important to know the structure of the German labour market, which consists mainly of small and medium-sized companies. The term SME (translated KMU in German, which means small and medium-sized enterprise) is defined by two parameters: a) sales volume and b) number of employees. SMEs are usually less well known than large companies, but they are an option as an interesting employer.

The diagram shows the percentage of SMEs in all companies in Germany in 2013, sorted by federal state. In all federal states, at least 99.2% of companies are SMEs. Saxony leads the way with a share of 99.9%.

In addition to searching for job offers in (online) job portals, you should therefore also conduct a corresponding sector search or a specific search for regional companies. So-called industry registers or information from the overviews of the economic development agencies of the respective federal states (see also overview of search paths & channels) will be helpful here.

Diagram of SMEs
High proportions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

With our extensive information and additional material to the cover letter and CV in OPAL you can prepare your application documents. We will be happy to discuss these with you. In addition to the documents, a good knowledge of German language is the best prerequisite for your successful application.

Usually the companies require an application in German language. You should check the job advertisement for orientation. If it is written in German language, you should submit your application in German language as well.

Networks = personal contacts to personnel decision makers in companies are very helpful in the application process. Therefore, you should already establish these contacts during your studies, e.g. at the various networking events - which are also taking place directly at your university.

In the application process it is of decisive advantage to have knowledge of the job market and to be informed how and where you can find and approach companies. Create your own scheme based on the overview, which will help you in the application process to find interesting companies, identify relevant job portals and find relevant multipliers etc.

It is best to build up your scheme according to the following assignments. Think about which multipliers could be helpful in your job search, such as associations, organisations or clubs, your friends and acquaintances or professors. Look where you can get information online, e.g. via job fairs. Social networks or companies' online presences. It also helps to attend face-to-face events such as lectures or job fairs. A sector search can also be useful, for example via the websites;,, or And last but not least, consider how and where you market yourself, e.g. in your online profiles, via blog or website, or by posting a job application yourself online or offline.

Overview of search paths and channels

If you know exactly what you want to achieve and what your strengths are, you can work better towards your goal. Success is not a product of chance, but rather the result of planned action. Coaching supports the development of a goal-oriented strategy and thus the creation of new chances, ways and possibilities.

Based on the analysisof your personal situation, we help you to plan the process of starting a career and facilitate the implementation of the individual steps. We work with you to find the answers to important questions about your further life and career planning and provide tips for decision-making.

The first step is self-analysis and self-knowledge: Who am I and what can I actually do? What do I want? and What is even possible? By answering these questions, the participants develop their own self-confidence. From this, goals can be developed and pursued in parallel, and time options also flow into career planning. Extensive research and preparation, a well-developed network and perfect application documents, together with a successful self-presentation based on the questions already mentioned, ultimately lead to the goal.

The Career Service will help you develop your own career strategy.

Scheme of important topics of career-strategy: plan, goal, time, networking

If you intend to work during your studies in Germany, please check the information provided by the International Office.