Contacting Employers

The first contact leaves a lasting impression and is decisive for further opportunities. When making initial contact with companies and institutions, it is essential to demonstrate authentic interest and motivation.

Finding the link for making contact

For students of many subjects, job fields, such as „something to do with media“ or „something in the field of international communications,” are more readily available than concrete professions, like for doctors, police officers, and teachers. There are no specific recurring positions with fixed requirements that can be searched for when applying for a job or internship. Notably, this is the case for students of the humanities, social sciences, and liberal arts.
The consequence is that to successfully contact a company or to apply, personal contacts in the desired institution or business and to the desired field, much be personally established.

Pos­it­ive Ex­amples

  • "I saw on your homepage that your institution runs project X in Y. I completed my semester abroad in Z and there I was able to gain experience in this field (give a fitting example). How are the entry level career opportunities at your company in this field?”
  • "My internet research brought to my attention that your company has a few departments dealing with corporate communications. I already deal with similar responsibilities in my current side job (fitting example for the position) and have done (fitting example) in my studies. What possibilities are there for an internship in corporate communications at your institution?"
This approach does not guarantee that you will immediately find a fitting job or internship, but the chances are greatly improved. You individual profile, your personal skills and competencies, along with your experiences, are more important than the mere mention of your subject of studies.

Neg­at­ive Ex­amples

  • ”What kind of job opportunities does your company have for literature students? “
  • ”I study political science and am in my third semester. My studies require an 8-week internship. Does your company supply these kinds of internships?“
The answer to such questions are, as a rule, standard rejections without an explanation or a general answer along the lines of “Unfortunately we do not have any available position for you at the time. As a specialist, we are unable to find a fitting position.”

Tips for Stu­dents without Prior Job Ex­per­i­ence

For sure, it is not so simple for students, especially those at the beginning of their studies, to establish contact points (see the paragraph for positive examples).

Despite this, it is possible to find fitting examples from what you have done so far.

Certainly, any example taken directly from your studies is applicable as long as you are able to directly link it to the position desired. The best type of examples are those that establish a connection between yourself and the desired position which shows your motivation and details your interest.

    Possible fields to include

    • Side jobs or Part-time work
    • Training or caregiving activities
    • Language skills
    • Residency abroad, like Au Pair or Work & travel
    • Computer skills
    • Additional skill courses
    • Volunteer work