From the interview to the signing of the contract – four out of ten companies now rely exclusively on digital applications. Applicants should pay attention to the following points. […]
By e-mail, online tool and video call: The use of digital technologies in the application process is standard. In the meantime, almost every company in Germany makes it possible for job applicants to apply for jobs online. Four out of ten companies (42 percent) even rely exclusively on digital application documents. For the remaining 58 percent, this is at least partially the case. This is the result of a representative survey of more than 850 companies in Germany.
Some companies have even digitized the entire hiring process from the application to the signing of the contract: one in six companies (16 percent) conducts job interviews exclusively by video conference. 63 Percent do this partially. Every eleventh company relies exclusively on digital assessment centers or online test procedures, 44 percent partially and three percent already have employment contracts signed exclusively by digital signature, another 26 percent do so partially.
Digital trial work is also the order of the day for some companies, one percent allows this exclusively and another 18 percent partially. “Digital technologies are an integral part of everyday life for 80 percent of people in Germany. Of course, they presuppose that they will be picked up by future employers in their digital world and will then be able to work as mobile as possible,“ says Bernhard Rohleder, Chief Executive Officer of Bitkom.
1. When sending by e-mail, make sure that all documents are stored in a file in PDF format. HR managers do not want to painstakingly click through various attachments. It is something different with online application tools. Here, cover letters, cvs, certificates and work samples often have to be uploaded separately at the designated place.
2. The PDF file with the application documents should have a meaningful name, such as that of the applicant, not just “Application.PDF“.
3. If the application is sent by e-mail, it should contain not only the subject “Application”, but at least the exact designation of the advertised position.
4. Documents should be scanned legibly and in a straight line, individual pages should not be upside down, and no lines or paragraphs should be cut off. What seems so obvious is far from being a standard. About every second digital application does not meet such simple standards. If it has to be done quickly, high-quality scans can also be made with a smartphone, a corresponding scanning app and a little care.
5. Especially if you scan a lot of certificates or work samples, the application file can become very large. Sometimes employers set an upper limit for the file size, but even if this information is missing, you should not send emails that are larger than 10 MB, including all attachments. PDF files can be reduced in size with various tools, without there being any significant loss of quality on the screen or when printing.
6. And last but not least: precisely because online applications are so fast and convenient, there is a risk of pressing “Send” prematurely. Digital applications should be compiled and checked just as thoroughly as classic documents.
The information is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. 851 managing directors and HR managers of companies with three or more employees from all sectors (excluding the public sector) were interviewed by telephone. The survey is representative of the overall economy in Germany.
*Hans Königes is Head of the Jobs & Careers Department and is therefore responsible for all topics related to the labor market, jobs, professions, salaries, personnel management, recruiting and social media in professional life.