Job ads in Germany: here’s what wording candidates should pay special attention to

For a successful job search in Germany candidates must pay close attention to the wording of the job advertisement. In this article we point out wordings that can be misinterpreted.

Companies looking for new employees often go to great lengths to find the right candidate through a properly worded job advertisement. But as research conducted by the UK-based Job Description Library shows, many candidates are rejected at the very first stage of recruitment because they did not read the job advertisement carefully. Often there is a big gap between the candidate’s expectations and the company’s requirements.

These sentences in job advertisements candidates should pay special attention to

HR professionals therefore advise that you should pay attention to certain phrases appearing in job advertisements to avoid premature rejection of your candidacy:

  • Job title: The job title often does not reveal much about the tasks and requirements of the position. An identical job title used in two different companies can mean a completely different position. If it’s not clear to you exactly what the job entails, don’t hesitate to ask the person designated to contact candidates about it.
  • “Pflicht”, “erforderlich”, “idealerweise”: “mandatory”, “required”, “optimal” – when reading a job advertisement, candidates should pay special attention to the exact wording of requirements. While certain skills and knowledge of certain topics are truly necessary for the job, others are merely an advantage, but not a prerequisite for employment. Requirements that a candidate must meet are phrased using terms such as “Pflicht” or “erforderlich.” Terms such as “idealerweise”, “…sind von Vorteil” or “…sind w├╝nschenswert” are used to describe those that are merely desirable, welcome.
  • “3 bis 4 Jahre Berufserfahrung”: “3 to 4 years of work experience”: this phrase provides candidates with information about how much responsibility there is, what kind of salary they can expect, and at what level in the hierarchy the position is located. While newcomers need not apply for this position at all because they lack the necessary knowledge, employees with more than 10 years of work experience are unlikely to be able to count on high salaries here.

Is this job right for me?

After carefully reviewing a job advertisement, a candidate should always consider whether the job really suits him or her. “You need to know what you’re looking for, what inspires you, and what can motivate you to excel so you can truly thrive,” advises Carol Cochran of FlexJobs in an interview with Businessinsider magazine. “Whatever your motivation is, that’s what you should be looking for.”

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