Regardless of where you are, it’s always a killer to find a job and on top of that, finding one in a country where you don’t even speak their language, let’s be honest, the odds are not really going to be in your favor. I started asking people who were already living there and the most common reply I got was:
“It’s going to be months before you will end up with a job”
Well, I didn’t want to wait for months to get a job so I started applying, getting one step closer with every application and within a month I got multiple job offers from various startups in Bremen. Today I’m working as a Business Development Representative at TWAICE which is a Series A funded startup located in Munich (remote job).
Here are some of the key things I found which helped me break this stereotype and by following it, so can you.
Sending in more applications does not necessarily mean a higher chance of getting a job
This is the first and the most important thing to keep in mind. Most of the people I see are just filling application after application with the hope that the more applications they send the more possibility there is of someone getting back to them but let’s be honest, that’s just a way to make yourself feel better. Here’s why
“The more applications you fill in, the less time you give to the quality of each application”
When you’re applying for so many jobs, you’re so focused on just sending the applications that you most probably end up sending the same thing over and over again rather than actually making your applications personalized to that specific company and the position you’re applying for. If you spend the same amount of time you did in filling these applications in doing research on the companies you’re applying to, your chances will be much much higher. This brings me to my second important point
Don’t apply blindly. Keep your applications personalized
One of the things that will make you stand out from the rest of thousands of candidates who have applied for that same job is the amount of time you have put into doing research on the people in the company and the company itself. The best way to do that is through Linkedin. This will help you as well as the person who’s viewing your application.
For you, it will help you realize whether the company is going to be a good fit for you or not. How? Once you see what kind of people are already working in the company or what the company’s overall environment is like you’d either click with it or not. If not, you wouldn’t want to waste time applying to that company in the first place. If yes then based on your research, when writing your application you will be able to connect yourself to the company or the people in it.
On the other hand, it would be a treat for the person reviewing the applications. Just imagine going through hundreds of applications and reading the same thing over and over again but then suddenly you come across, an applicant that feels like they belong based on how well they have connected themselves with the company. This will make that company feel special, as in their head, for you they were not just another company but the dedication that very few people show.
Now, the next tip is something that might not have happened with a lot of you but it can definitely take you a long way
Make an impact that creates a position for you
When I was applying for jobs before coming to Germany, at first, I was only looking for part-time jobs since I am only allowed to work part-time with my studies. Those options were of course very few and even fewer were in English. Then, Just as an experiment I also started looking for some full time jobs and to my surprise, there were a lot better options. Now you all must be wondering why would you even look for full time jobs if you were only allowed to work part-time in the first place? It sounds like a waste of time, doesn’t it? I used to think the same but let me tell you a story and you’ll know why.
During my job hunt, I once applied to a small startup that had a vacancy as a web developer but they were looking for a full time candidate. Yet, I still applied for that position with no hopes of them actually contacting me. After a few days, someone from that company actually reached out to me saying:
Thank you for your application
From your LinkedIn profile, it doesn’t really look like you’re interested in a full-time job, but if you are, and if you’re here in Bremen, we’d like to get to know you a little better. Please send us an email with a short paragraph about why you think a job with ____ would be a good fit for you at ______.
Have a great day!
Even though I did not meet the requirements they mentioned, I knew that they loved my profile, hence they took the liberty to find out more about me. This gave me the confidence to go for it so I wrote back to them with a cover letter and this time I did mention that I was a student:
I got to know about your opening for a Web Developer through ____ and was asked to email a short paragraph for the role. I believe that the Web Developer role at _____ seems like it would be an excellent match for my background and interests.
I’m a UI/UX Frontend Web Developer with dedication and focus on producing user-friendly and engaging experiences for users on the web. I have worked with clients big and small across the globe and am honored to be a part of making the web a more exciting and effective place for business owners and their customers.
In 2016, I became a part of the executive council of the INDEX Design Society at LUMS which gave me a different insight on design and helped me develop a new skill set that allowed me to solve complex problems through designing digital products for the age we live in. During my time there I also co-founded UX Pakistan, Pakistan’s first-ever UX Conference and the National Design Awards Pakistan, Pakistan’s first-ever design awards which allowed me to get to work with the pioneers of the industry and experience design to the fullest.
Starting my career as a UI/UX Design Consultant for Peopleinbox, Pakistan’s emerging job portal, I took the product from concept to completion playing a key role from user research to wireframing before finally leading the front end development of this project. Later, my passion for design drove me to create Voxfuse, Pakistan’s first of its kind design magazine so I also have the ability to take initiatives and take them through.
Having a grip on both UX and web development I am confident I will be an asset to your organization since it gives me an edge when it comes to web development because it allows me to think from both a designer and developer’s perspective.
I would love the opportunity to speak with you to further convince you of my skills and my personality if you believe I am a strong candidate for this position.
P.S I will be starting my masters in Digital Media from October 2019 in Bremen, Germany so I might not be available for full time but if you think it’s possible I can join your company as a part-time developer that can maybe later be converted to full-time once I’m done with my studies.
After reading this the HR manager in that company actually replied back saying that they will consider the part-time availability and would love to have a chat with me over Skype.
Now, what happened here? I was invited to an interview for a job I didn’t even apply for but why? Since they gave me the opportunity to tell more and liked what I was offering, they actually considered creating a new job position for me that wasn’t even public. In fact, they didn’t just offer me the role of a web developer but many other hidden roles within the company. Sure, your cover letter and resume have a major role to play in all this but we’ll talk more about that in a different article.
Remember: Don’t just restrict yourself to the positions you know you’re fully eligible for. If you do create an impact on the recruiter they’ll do everything they can to get you onboard even if that means creating a position for you
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