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 interest and motivation in a credible manner.

Personal contact

Company contact fairs and other event formats where you meet employers directly are very suitable for making initial contact. We have put together some tips for you. You can also refer to such an interview in the first sentence of your cover letter.

Contact us by phone

Contacting by phone is always useful when you really have something to say or ask. You are disturbing employers with your call in their daily work, nobody is waiting for this call. You need good reasons. Don't ask about purely formal trivia or details that are easy to read about on the homepage or in FAQs. You need to evoke interest and show motivation. It doesn't matter whether it's interest in an advertised position or you're going on an initiative search.

Finding points of contact for establishing contact

For students of many fields of study, the job market is more likely to have occupational fields (e.g. "something with media", "field of international cooperation") than concrete professions (e.g. doctor:in, policeman:in, teacher:in for high school). There are no fixed, recurring position titles with fixed requirements that can be searched for in order to apply for an internship or to a job posting. In particular, fields of study in the humanities, social sciences, and social sciences fall into this category.

The consequence is that personal points of contact to the desired institution or company and the desired field of work must ALWAYS be created for a successful contact or application.

Positive examples

  • "I saw on your homepage that you are conducting project X in Y at your institution. I did my semester abroad in Z and gained experience in this direction there (intersperse an appropriate example for the position). What are the entry-level opportunities in this field at your institution?"
  • "I saw during my internet research that you have a separate department for corporate communications. I'm already involved with X (example matching the job) at my part-time job, and I studied Y (example matching the job) in college. What do your opportunities for an internship in corporate communications look like?"
Such an approach does not guarantee that you will immediately find a suitable job or internship, but the chances are increased many times over. Your individual profile, i.e. your very personal knowledge, skills and experience, is much more important than simply mentioning the specific field of study.

Negative examples

  • "What kind of job opportunities do you have for literary scholars?"
  • "I study political science in the third semester. There, an eight-week mandatory internship is required. Do you assign internships for this?"
To such questions, you will usually receive standard rejections without explanation, or the answers will look like this: "Unfortunately, we do not have any suitable positions for you. You are a highly qualified specialist for whom we do not have a field of application."

Tip for students without work experience

Especially for students at the beginning of their studies, it is naturally not so easy to establish points of contact (see section Positive examples).

However, it is possible to find suitable examples from everything you have done so far.

Of course, any example directly from your studies will work as well, as long as you manage to establish suitable connecting points to the desired position. Suitable examples are the best way to create links between yourself and the desired position and thus make your motivation and interest clear.

Some possible areas:

  • Side jobs
  • Trainer:inside or supervisor:inside activities
  • Language skills
  • stays abroad, partly also private like Work & Travel
  • Computer skills
  • Additional qualification courses or
  • Voluntary work