Career at Krones – Tips and tricks on how to apply People | Markus Fryzel | 03.06.2014 10 Min. Reading Time
Every year, Krones handles about 13,000 job applications. Bearing that in mind, it is certainly not easy to make a uniquely distinctive impression with your application. Carola Unterländer, Head of Human Resources Marketing, and Michaela Sperl, Overall Training Manager, let us in on the secret of how to apply properly and stand out from the crowd.
BEFORE YOU APPLY
Where can I get information on job vacancies?
Anybody interested will find Krones’ job vacancies on our career website. Some positions are also advertised in external job exchanges. Click here to go directly to the online job exchange: http://www.krones.com/de/karriere/stellenboerse.php
Any vacancies for internships can likewise be found on our website. The majority of dissertations are assigned on the basis of unsolicited applications, of which we receive around 300 a year. The important point here is that the application concerned includes information on: the thematic orientation, on the possible start date, and on the timeframe involved. Future apprentices can obtain further significant signposting not only on the website but also at exhibitions on career information and during the Training Days in the plants.
How can I apply for a job?
We offer three different approaches:
Priority 1: online application form, through the job ad in question
Priority 2: email
Priority 3: written application printed on paper
The online application form is the fastest. Any applications received can immediately be checked out by the HR Department, and then passed on to the specialist departments involved. Emails or applications printed on paper first have to be manually entered into our applicant management system before being included in the selection process. This takes somewhat longer and involves more work, which is why we are pleased to note that more and more applicants disregard this option and are likewise making use of the application form.
Can it happen that the jobs advertised are no longer vacant?
Usually not. Job vacancies you find on our website are always up to date. As soon as we’ve found a suitable candidate for the job concerned, the ad will disappear from our homepage.
Does it make sense for me to apply for a job even if I don’t meet the requirement profile one hundred per cent?
Yes, this may definitely make sense when the person interested in working for us meets 80 per cent of the requirements, for example. This notwithstanding, an applicant should think it through carefully and check whether he/she is actually offering what the company is looking for. To give an example: a lack in experience with Word is not such an obstacle as is a lack of professional experience or the particular specialist knowledge required.
What is the best way to apply for a job when I’m handicapped?
When you’re handicapped, you just apply in the same way as everybody else. It would be simpler for us, however, when you mention your handicap in your application. But this will never count against you.
Does it make sense to send an unsolicited application to KRONES?
Yes, we work a lot with unsolicited applications. Before sending one, though, the applicant should check whether there isn’t after all a suitable job description somewhere among the jobs advertised on our website, in which case it is definitely better to apply directly to this ad. If the person interested in working for us doesn’t find anything suitable, we will be pleased to receive his/her unsolicited application. There is an online form for this as well:
Is it true that it helps if I contact Krones by phone before I send in my application?
Yes, if you’ve got some specific questions relating to a vacancy. In that case, we will be pleased to take your call. The answers more often than not will help you to find out whether a particular job advertised is actually suitable for you. Contacting us by phone is not helpful, mind you, if you’re merely following some career guidebook, many of which recommend giving the targeted company a call so as to bring your name into play. And this even though the person answering your call will not necessarily be the decision-maker for assigning the post concerned. And not infrequently, your own name is not in fact heard (or understood) correctly by the person taking your call.
The letter – preferably creative or more along traditional lines?
Traditional: the letter’s information content is what counts for us. We want to know why the applicant is interested in working for Krones, and what his/her knowledge and experience are. This does not mean, though, that your whole CV should be laid out in words in this letter. It is better to just highlight two or three special points along your career trajectory.
The correct salutation in the application
Each of our job ads contains the correct contact persons. The applicant should address his/her application specifically to them.
How long should the letter be?
The letter should state the most important facts in succinct, concise form. One page should be enough for this.
What verbiage in the letter comes across as negative?
Anything exaggerated will come across as negative. The applicant should communicate his/her interest in our company with authentic frankness.
Frequent errors in the letter
Here come the “No-No's:
- spelling mistakes
- unexplained gaps in the CV
- unstructured CV
- application documents incomplete (e.g. no letter
- missing and incomplete contact data (e.g. no telephone number)
- “home-made” and unprofessional photos
Salary expectations in the letter of application?
Yes, candidates are welcome to state the kind of salary they are looking for. That helps us assess whether his/her expectations are feasible for us. But candidates certainly do not have to state their salary expectations in the letter.
What ranks higher in KRONES’ list of priorities – letter or CV?
There’s no general rule on that at Krones AG. It varies from person to person. Usually, though, we place greater emphasis on the CV than on the letter. Michaela Sperl: The exception to this rule is applications for an apprenticeship. In most cases, schoolchildren do not yet have a meaningful CV. That’s why the information given in the letter is much more important here.
The CV – in chronological order, American CV, or thematically structured?
American – You start with the position you currently hold, and then go backwards in time from there on, listing all positions held. The advantage of this is that we quickly see what the current status of qualification is for the applicant concerned.
How important are hobbies in the CV?
We like to learn what the prospective employee enjoys doing in his/her leisure time. This creates a comprehensively rounded picture.
What certificates should I send as attachments to my application?
The application should be as complete as possible. The number of certificates that the applicant attaches to his/her letter depends on how much experience he/she has already gained. Employers’ references, and the latest school or university certificate, however, are invariably important. Michaela Sperl: Persons applying for apprenticeships and internships should attach their school end-of-term and end-of-year certificates, and a grade overview from their college/university respectively.
How quickly will I be informed whether I will be invited for a job interview?
On average, it takes three weeks before we contact the applicant. During that period, we’re trying to take a soundly based decision, in consultation with those involved from HR and the specialist department concerned. In the case of unsolicited applications, it may sometimes take a bit longer. First we have to check which vacancies are suitable for the unsolicited application. Michaela Sperl: That depends on what job you’re applying for.THE JOB INTERVIEW
Apprenticeship, sandwich course and trainee program: we shall be getting in touch after the official application deadline has expired.
In the case of internships and dissertations, the person interested in one of these should also anticipate a feedback time of approx. three weeks. This will depend on the number of applications received and the planned start date.
FAQs in the job interview
The questions specifically asked will depend on the person conducting the interview, on the applicant, and of course on the job concerned. But there are some FAQs, such as:
- Please tell us something about yourself. Describe your professional career so far.
- What are your personal strengths, what are your personal weak points?
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
- What were your greatest failures?
- What do you do in your leisure time?
- What are your ideas about what your work in your future job will involve?
- What is of particular importance to you as far as your job is concerned?
What should I wear for the interview?
There’s no dress code as such. But the applicant must come across as well-groomed, and his/her clothing must be appropriate to the sector. What will always be regarded as unsuitable is when the hat or sunglasses are not removed. There’s no harm in the applicant coming in an elegant/traditional outfit, but he/she must be properly at ease in it.
How long does a job interview usually last?
In the case of applications for a permanent job, the first job interview will usually last 90 minutes, and the second in most cases one hour. Michaela Sperl: Schoolchildren / Students / Graduates (apprenticeship, sandwich course, internship, dissertation, trainee program) have to expect about one hour.
Whom will I be talking to in my interview?
Staff from HR and from the specialist department concerned will take part in an interview.
What documents should I not forget to bring to the job interview?
All documents have to be submitted before the interview, which means you don’t have to bring any documents to the interview at all, unless you wish to supplement the documents already on file.
How should I conduct myself in the interview so as to leave a favourable impression?
We retain a favourable impression of those applicants who came to the interview well prepared. A person interested in a job should be familiar with what this job involves, and with our company; he/she should also know what he/she wants and be able to express this in the interview.
What will make a favourable impression in an application?
A well-structured application with a suitable information content goes a long way. And when we additionally recognise that the applicant has done his/her homework in regard to Krones, then this will produce a good impression.
Who gets my application after it is received at Krones, and what will be done with it?
Our applicant-management people or our training staff take receipt of all applications. It is they who check the applications for missing documents. If documents are missing, we get in touch with the applicant concerned. The applications serve as the basis for HR and the specialist department to draw up a shortlist. The person interested in working for us is then notified of the result by telephone or email. Michaela Sperl: People applying for an apprenticeship, a sandwich course or a trainee slot will after the first selection round where appropriate receive an invitation to take part in an online test. When the applicant passes this, he/she will be invited to a personal interview.
Who is able to view my application?
Again, depending on the job concerned, the following departments are permitted to view the applications: the Training Department, Applicants Management, HR Management & Staff Welfare, and the specialist department looking for a new recruit.
Once I’ve sent off my application, can I make any changes retrospectively?
Once an application has been received, major changes are unfortunately no longer easy to make. If it does in fact happen that the applicant has to make changes, the best thing to do is to give us a call or send us an email. The person interested in working for us will receive the relevant contact data together with the confirmation of receipt.
Am I permitted to ask what the current status of my application is?
Of course. We’re pleased to get status inquiries.
Do I have to anticipate an online test, and/or prepare for it?
It’s only trainees, students applying for a sandwich course and apprentices who have to take the online test. It is not possible to prepare for it, nor is it necessary.
What is the next step once I get a positive answer?
In the best of all cases, the future employee will receive a job offer, conclude a contract, and be given all the information required for his/her first day at Krones AG.
Can I apply again after I have been rejected?
Yes, for other posts that is possible. Jobseekers should not apply several times for the same post.