The requirements for the documents differ from industry to industry, and minor “eccentricities” are thoroughly accepted. However, the following rules apply:
- Read the ad carefully. Line by line. Make sure that your application is clearly related to the ad. Submit the documents requested, answer the question asked. Not less, not more.
- Submit the documents in the language requested (in case of doubts: in the language of the ad).
- Provide attestation if requested.
- Spelling, grammar and typesetting matter. Very much. Your set of application documents is usually the only evidence that the HR officer has. He/she will assess the form as well as the content. Don’t believe companions claiming the contrary. HR officers unconsciously assess the formal quality of documents even if they pretend not to do. Finally, a German HR officer expects an application without a single case of misspelling and in a form that shows the seriousness of the application and the applicant. That means all documents have to be clearly structured, easily to read, seriously typeset in a business-like manner. But do not over-format your documents, unless you apply at a Hipster design agency in Berlin. Grammar, spelling and typesetting are worth to be proofed professionally. The least you should do is to ask for proofreading by a native speaker.
In the following subchapters I provide a few specific hints and, in the last one, a couple of links referring to all subchapters). The links often refer to websites in German language, since they are chosen for an application in Germany.
Evidences of (Higher) Education and Skills
In any case, it is common to provide evidence for the qualifications and graduations mentioned in the CV. In most cases simple copies are accepted. Certified copies are only necessary if this is explicitly stated in the ad. Sometimes the HR officer will ask for further evidence. In case of applying for an intern, it is essential to provide:
- Secondary school diploma
- B.A. diploma (if applicable)
- All other relevant diplomas
- Evidence of language knowledge (diplomas by recognized institutions)
- Evidence of special skills if relevant for the post offered.
Driver’s licenses or other rather private documents are not requested (unless you apply for a driver’s position…)