Strategies for Students

Bachelor and Master – these two degrees have been standard in Europe since the Bologna Reform. However, some companies are still struggling with the financial statements. Above all, the Bachelor works – compared to the Master – like a second-grade degree. Accordingly, applicants with a bachelor’s degree have to argue and convince well when starting their careers. The good news: All this is not rocket science. Here you can find out what is important and how you can score with your application as a Bachelor …

Apply with Bachelor: Do you have realistic expectations?

The first step before looking for a job and applying for a job, however, is to make your expectations reality check. Not less undergraduate graduates unfortunately have exaggerated ideas as far as entry-level positions and starting salary are concerned. This inevitably leads to frustration, disappointment and a lot of rejections.

Therefore, please first get a realistic picture of which positions are currently offered for undergraduate applicants. Here our website already provide initial clues – just experiment with the search mask …

If there’s not much of what you’re looking for in the vacancies (including elsewhere), that could be a signal that you might spend a few more years at university and get your masters degree before you start working.

If you have already found some interesting jobs, you should create a personal job profile in the second step. What this means is that you set precise criteria for yourself, what the optimal workplace should look like, and how you plan to develop your career there in the years to come.

Please do this work and write down this profile as detailed as possible. The process of writing not only serves as documentation, but also forces you to look at the feasibility of your wishes and to review them again. And the more you know what you are looking for, the more targeted and successful your applications will be.

Apply with Bachelor: Proven strategies for starting a career

If your job and job profile is yours, the next step is to develop an application strategy. Here are several options to choose from, which we have summarized for you in the following list:

Career entry via bachelor thesis

One of the classic ways in the job leads through the bachelor thesis. Instead of applying for a bachelor’s degree in your pocket, you should get in touch with potential employers and attractive companies before completing your thesis. If you can write your bachelor thesis with one of these companies and generate real added value for the company, you increase your chances of getting a job considerably. If direct entry does not work, you have at least gained a good reference, which will be useful for other applications.

Passive application through personal branding

Because this strategy has a long-term effect, you should start with it as early as possible during your studies: Personal branding means the targeted development of a private label on the Internet. As with the passive application, the goal here is that you will find you later, if you are looking for specific keywords or experts – what recruiters do today (jargon: Active Sourcing). In this case, actively maintained profiles in social networks (Xing, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Blog) are of course mandatory. Likewise an online CV.

Alumni network as a springboard

Almost every university today offers an alumni network in which students, former graduates and companies can exchange and network. Especially candidates who prefer personal contacts rather than virtual positioning should get involved here. Look there quietly contact with former graduates and potential employers – but as indirect and unobtrusive. Tips for networking can be found HERE.

Entry as a trainee

Even a job as a trainee can enable a quick and steep career entry. However, both the selection process of such trainee programs and the first few years on the job are challenging and can be quite a tedious introduction to possible leadership roles. Do well, look forward to early promotion and a first-rate salary. In the application you should therefore make it clear that this career is clear to you and you are ready to go this way with full commitment.

Career start in the startup

Young, growing companies are always looking for qualified staff. Accordingly, the entry barriers for Bachelor applicants are correspondingly low. However, the salary prospects are just as low. Startups usually have lean budgets, the hierarchies are as flat as a pancake, according to the prospects for advancement. Overtime is the rule. After all, you can gather there many, very varied experiences, often have a say and at the same time make valuable construction work. This can be a good springboard for a dream job in two to three years. What candidates should be prepared to startup can be found in THIS dossier.

Bachelor: Tips for applying

A complete application folder consists of the following documents:

Cover letters

Tabular CV

Certificate (Please enclose a copy of the last certificate)

In addition, you can enclose certificates for special qualifications you have acquired during school hours, such as language certificates or attended seminars or completed internships. But please only one copy. The originals of your documents will always be with you.

What does a cover letter look like?

The cover letter describes your motivation on a DIN A4 page:

  • Why do you want to do this job?
  • Why in this company?

Take time to formulate this letter, because this is your chance to convince with your personality.

Since undergraduate graduates usually have little work experience that goes beyond internships, it is all the more important to present your motivation convincing. If there is a concrete job advertisement, you should go into it exactly and build in key words you are looking for.

What is in a cover letter?

Sender: (name, address, telephone number (also mobile), e-mail address)

Date (right)

Recipient (company, name and surname of addressee, address)

No application photo (belongs in the CV)


Salutation (Always personal, never: “Ladies and Gentlemen”.

entry set

Relation to the company

Short description of your own profile and strengths (with examples!)

Reference to other knowledge (for example languages)

final formulation


Attachments (curriculum vitae, certificates)

How is a cover letter structured?

A cover letter consists – roughly – of four parts:

The introduction begins with a bang – your motivation, your strongest argument. Let it flow in that you have already worked intensively with the company.

The second part is the self-presentation. Here, as an applicant, you make it clear which strengths and experiences you bring.

In the third part, a connection to the company is made: Why do you apply here? Now it’s about establishing a relationship between you and the company. This part you can also interweave with the second or even get started. The order of these first three points is not fixed.

At the end, thank you for your interest, make it clear that you would be pleased about a performance date and garnish the whole thing with warm regards.

It is particularly important that the letter does not contain any spelling mistakes. These always seem sloppy. And many a boss then also excludes the quality of their work. Ask your parent or teacher to take another look at your cover letter and check for errors.

If you apply to several companies at the same time, please do not use the same cover letter every time. HR managers recognize whether it is a mass letter. For each cover letter, therefore, address the company individually.

What does a CV look like?

With the CV you describe your previous career. He is the heart of every application. Ideally you list here in tabular form …

which schools you have visited so far

which degree you are aiming for or have already completed

what special knowledge, interests and hobbies you have.

You can also include student jobs in the curriculum vitae – as long as these experiences and qualifications are relevant to your desired position. Otherwise please omit.

You can build up the curriculum either chronologically, ie starting with the elementary school, or in the reverse order, ie with the current position first. The standard today is the so-called American form – in other words, chronologically.

What belongs in a CV?

The following details are of most interest to HR specialists and must be included in the CV:

  • Personal data (name, birthday / place, address)
  • nationality
  • Career (school, study)
  • Special qualifications (part-time jobs, internships, further education)
  • Interests (memberships, social engagement, hobbies)
  • place, date, signature
  • What does not belong in the CV:
  • Information about parents or relatives
  • Occupation of parents

More detailed application tips can be found in the box below. In the meantime, we have compiled numerous dossiers for almost all details of the application documents for you – including many samples and free downloadable templates.