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Life in Germany, find a place where you would feel at home

Life in Germany offers a wide range of high-quality rental housing. Many Germans prefer to rent rather than to buy a home. In this section we explain how you can find a place to live and what you need to keep in mind, both before and after moving in.

See Also: Get your Qualifications Recognised in Germany

Your first accommodation

There are a variety of options of your first few weeks in Germany, before you have found permanent housing: A hotel room costs an average of about ninety euros per night. You should expect to pay roughly 500 to 1,200 euros per month for a temporary, furnished two- or three- or four room flat, depending on its location. Youth hostels usually charge between 20 and 30 euros per night. There are also options of using online portals to rent a room from a German family, which has the added benefit of helping you to make contact to local residents.

The next step: To buy or to rent?

In contrast to many other countries, most Germans rent their homes – for a good reason: There is an abundance of high-quality rental housing in every location and the price range, from small flats to villas with gardens. These rental properties are often in excellent condition and equivalent to the owner occupied apartments in terms of quality. In addition, renters are protected by law against violent increases in rent, and landlords are not allowed to terminate a lease without cause.

House and flat shares

House and flat shares, which are called Wohngemeinschaften, or “WG”, in German, are good alternatives for people who want to make some friends quickly and save money on the rent. Usually in this kind of shared accommodation, each person has their own private room in the apartment. In most “WGs”, the kitchen and bathroom are shared, as are electricity and the rent, Internet and phone costs. The kitchen or shared living room tend to be the heart of a WG. There, you could cook together or sit and chat. If you want to be alone, you can simply shut the door of your own room behind you.

Life n Germany, house and flat shares aren’t only for students. Trainees and working professionals also live in shared accommodation, especially if they’re new to the town or like the conviviality of living together. There are a lot of such WGs, especially in larger cities.

Students often find a house or flat shares on their student union Web sites or university notice boards. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) also offers numerous tips on how to search for your accommodation.

The Aachen student union, for example, has compiled a list of links to “WG-Börsen” Web sites with offers of apartments and flat shares all over Germany – of course, these are also open to working professionals. On sites like these, you can either search for a house or flat share in the town where you are, or post an ad yourself.

Looking for housing in Germany

Whether you want to rent or buy: Information about available housing could be found in the advertising section of the newspapers and on real estate websites, which is where most flats and houses are listed today. Demand and housing supply depend to a large degree on the respective region. In rural areas, buyers or renters tend to have their pick of what is available, but in larger cities owners can usually choose from multiple offers. Finding housing could be time-consuming, particularly in the metropolitan areas surrounding Munich and Frankfurt. In those areas it can be wise to consult a real estate agent. Realtors are not permitted to charge more than three months’ rent as a committee for their services. Furthermore you only have to pay a commission if you are the one who requested the agent for the search. If you only contact the agent due to a real estate ad, you do not have to pay any commission under German law.

As in other countries, costs of a rental unit varies greatly by region. Rent and ancillary costs such as heating, gas and water will cost you about 14 euros per square metre in large cities. The average cost in small towns and rural areas are between eight and ten euros per square metre.


German lease agreements must be concluded in writing. In most of all cases, the lease specifies the rent amount exclusive of heating. There is usually an additional charge for ancillary costs, which are paid to the landlord each month along with the base rent. What is considered an ancillary cost may vary from the one lease to another. Electricity, gas and water are often included, but not always. Before signing a lease, it is therefore very important to ask the landlord what the ancillary costs include and what other charges you may incur.

A successful move to Germany

Registering with the power and water utilities. If your landlord does not take care of electricity, gas or water, you will have to make your own arrangements with a provider. Your landlord will probably be able to giving you a contact information for your regional provider.

Arranging for telephone, Internet and (cable) television service provider. Germany has a variety of telecommunications service providers. It pays comparing them, and online portals can be helpful. Many of the providers offer discounted packages that include both Internet service and telephone. There are also options tailored to mobile use, for example using UMTS technology (3G). A tip: Since it may take some several weeks for your telephone and Internet to be connected, it is a good idea to contact a provider before you’ll be able to move in, if possible.

Fees for television and radio. Life in Germany, fees are charged for television, radio and Internet use. If you use these media, you are required to register with the German licensing office, which name is Gebühreneinzugszentrale or GEZ. This can be done either online or using the registration forms that are available at the most post offices and banks.

Put your name on your mailbox and doorbell (if your landlord has not already done so). The mail will not be delivered unless your name is on your mailbox. There is no need to register with the post office.

Change of the address order. Don’t forget to have your mail forwarded from your home country to your new home. And if you know go away for an extended period, you can ask the German post office to forward your mail, even abroad.

Your registering with the local authorities

Anyone who lives in Germany is required to register with the local authorities. You have to do this no later than five work-days after moving in. To do so, you need a valid identity document. In case you are renting, you may need to give the name of your landlord. The address of the responsible registry office can be found on the official website of your new city.

Getting off to a good start

To make sure that you feel like at home in your flat and your neighbourhood, we have compiled a few helpful hints:

Introduce yourself. When you have settled in a bit, you could introduce yourself to your neighbours – this is not required, of course, but it is a way of getting to know some people quickly and lets you know who your neighbours are.

Quiet hours. In general, noise is forbidden between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. so that everyone can get a good night’s sleep. This means keeping music at a lowest possible volume and avoiding things like running your washing machine during those hours.

Pets. Under the law, you are allowed to keep some kind of small animals that are normally in cages, aquariums or terrariums. In the case of larger animals, such as cats and dogs, you need to obtain advance permission from your landlord. Whether a pet is large or small: If you just want to get along with your landlord, make sure to give advance notice of any pet you want to bring it up to your home.

Cleaning responsibilities. Almost every German state has agreements specifying which tenant is responsible for cleaning the walkway or hallway the in front of the building. But don’t worry – what may seem to be an annoying work can quickly turn into a weekly opportunity to chat with your neighbours!

Tap water in Germany is carefully inspected, so it is normally perfectly comfortable for drinking and cooking. In old buildings with old pipes, however, you should have the water tested.

Separating trash. Did you know? We Germans are the undisputed world champions in separating waste materials. With our yellow, blue, green and black containers, we collect, separate and sort our waste materials for recycling, which it benefits the environment.

See Also: Visa, your ticket to work in Germany


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Job Interview – Best Prep Questions

As professional recruiters, we have learned over the years there one question we can ask of almost any job candidate prospect to determine their level of willingness to cooperate with the hiring process, and their ability to adapt their preconceptions of the hiring process to the practical aspects of a professional job search. Everyone answers that one question pretty much the same. The question: “Who can present your credentials best, you – the person who actually lived your experiences, or me?” Well the obvious answer is “you,” the person who lived your experiences. But that is the wrong answer. Which illustrates why so many folks have difficulties with job interviews, often wondering later why things didn’t turn out better. Why would your recruiter be a better person to present your credentials than yourself? Because a recruiter will organize your credentials so they appear as a solution to the employer’s needs. Typically, when job candidates present their own resume and supporting credentials in an interview, they present their background in a way that is the most flattering, not necessarily the most effective or logical for getting the job at hand. This article reviews how a job candidate can organize and present their credentials in a job interview so it is to their best advantage. The best way to prepare for a job interview is by learning which questions will likely arise in a job interview, and having some predetermined answers for those questions – answers that both illustrate your skills and successes and present your experiences as the solution to the job you seek.

Often, face to face interviews are preceded by a telephone screening, whereby a key Human Resources or other representative contacts the job candidate directly by phone to ask some basic questions. While the strategies described herein apply to phone and on-site job interviews, the objectives differ. In the telephone interview, the objective should be to quickly illustrate your interest in the job and skills you bring to bear so as to generate a job interview. With the face to face interview, the objective should be to lead to a job offer. Attempting to get a job offer differs from actually getting the job. A job candidate who asks for the job offer by selling themselves to the company as the best fit and most motivated candidate, will likely leave the job interview with an offer in hand.


It is important you arrive at the interview 20-30 minutes early. Obviously, being late sends a negative message about you to the interviewer. Many interviewers don’t meet with candidates who arrive late. Plan ahead. Investigate traffic patterns relative to the time of your job interview. Don’t expect the interviewer will be sensitive to delays caused by traffic congestion or an unexpected traffic accident. They expect you will allow for those eventualities, just like they do.

Women: A skirt, dress or dress-suit or pant-suit are the most appropriate for the female candidate. Make sure your clothes are neat, clean and well pressed and make sense. Avoid controversial garb, anything too revealing or too trendy. You want to look professional, not like you are there to get a date or express a fashion statement.

Men: A dress suit, shirt and tie is the most appropriate clothing for the male candidate. Make sure your clothes are neat, clean and well pressed. Avoid flashy colors, jeans, T-shirts or tennis shoes. Wear your hair neat (including facial hair), clean and well groomed.

Oh yeah, and please cover tattoos and body piercings. While your private friends may enjoy the current fad of body art, most likely, a new employer isn’t impressed, in fact, may look upon those expressions as somewhat immature – regardless of how you may feel about them. If such corporate attitudes are uncomfortable for you, find another prospective employer who is more open to such un-requested expressions of personality. Otherwise, be professional, dress professional, behave professionally.


Have a pen, notepad and extra copy of your resume and references with you. Make notes of questions you want to ask that relate to the job and company. Put those items in a place that will be easy for you to get to when you need them in the interview. If you currently use a daily/weekly planner, bring that with you too. You should try to arrive at your interview well rested, with a clear mind and a plan for presenting your credentials and supporting materials like references.

Smile, be friendly, not nervous, offer a solid handshake and say something friendly, like: “Good morning, pleasure to meet you, and thank you for the opportunity to visit with you today.” Show your enthusiasm about the opportunity to work for their company. Remember, they are interviewing you for a job that requires specific skills and genuine enthusiasm — if you don’t express that at the interview, they many not be convinced you have the stamina required for the job.

For the job interviewer, it is all about filling the job with the right person. Believe me, most job interviewers don’t want to hear about your antique tin can collection, or how you landed that elk last year on your vacation. An interviewer wants your undivided attention on their job needs. Your personal habits distract from that focus. Such personal comments may include topics like: smoking, chewing gum, nervous finger or feet movement, tapping a pencil or a fork, humming, whistling, stretching, cleaning finger nails, clearing your throat, excessive “ums” in conversation, or focusing too much time on unrelated topics. Don’t make negative remarks about your past or present employers or workmates. Negative remarks will not help your cause, and will seem as though you are blaming others for poor results.

Learn as much as you can about the company and the duties of the job position which interests you, like income range and associated benefits. Family and friends are sometimes sources of information about the company you seek for employment. But don’t rely on hearsay, try to talk to someone in the company about the requirement and expectations of the job you seek. And utilize more than one source of comments about the company you are considering. Any positive things you learn about the company, make sure you mention them to the interviewer as a way to express your long term interest in the job you seek. Be prepared to answer questions about why you want to work for their company, offering sensible reasons that are practical in results.

You don’t want to confuse the interviewer with too many questions. Remember, they are interviewing you, so be prepared to answer all their questions smartly. But challenge the interviewer with some of your own questions – determine those questions before you arrive to the job interview. Keep good eye contact when you ask your questions. Don’t get into lengthy discussions. The idea is to engage the interviewer, to show them you can take charge when required and get the information you need. You should strive to create a list of questions that go to the heart of the job you seek.

Be confident and knowledgeable and you will express a good attitude. But don’t seem over confident in your abilities. Remain relaxed, answer questions sincerely. Be interested in the job and the company. Lighten up some and use a little humor! Your job interviewer should be made to feel you really want the job and their company. Show serious interest so that you will be considered a serious candidate. Do not mention offers of interviews with other companies, unless asked.

When answering questions that have a pre-determined answer, remember to offer a straight forward and immediate answer, and keep it simple. Avoid yes/no answers, unless you are offering an example to illustrate your answer. In fact, as much as possible, try and offer your key answers in a format of : Strategy-then-example. In that sense, if you were to discuss aspects of how to build a team of your workmates, you could answer with a short comment about your overall strategy of how to build a team, then follow that up with a quick real-time example of how you recently utilized that strategy and the results you got. Something like – “I build a team by making sure everyone involved understands our mutual goals, the timing, and their influence on those goals. When I did that last Spring, as we were introducing a new product, the goal was to sell more product by training team members to up-sell the new product to existing customers – we increased sales over 20-percent in one month.”



Most people feel their personal lives are important, so when this question is asked they talk about everything from their children to their wives to their religion and even their favorite hobby or television show. Job interviewers want to hear some of that, or they don’t feel they did a proper interview. But, the truth is, the job interviewer is more interested in getting the right skills and experience for the job. So keep your personal comments superficial, and in answering those personal questions, spin your answers in a manner that your answer reflects the skills and knowledge required for the job. After all, you are interviewing for the job, not a hobby partner.

This is your primary time to express how your experience and skills match up to the requirements and needs of the job you seek. Be specific, but don’t spend an hour. Keep your words simple. Write out as many of the answers as possible before the interview, so you can be comfortable when you explain your skills. Again, be brief and use examples.

Mature thinkers tend to know their weaknesses. That is why most job interviewers ask this question. Will you admit you have weaknesses, and if so, how do you manage those? Is the weakness too major to allow you to be successful in the job you seek? Meaning to say, know in advance how you will answer this question. For instance, many hard workers are accused of working to many hours. Sometimes it’s to do with the workload, sometimes it’s just a matter of poor time-management. So if you say you are accused of being a “workaholic,” temper that answer by admitting you do work hard, but that you always maintain a reasonable workload for you and your team, so you and your team (if there is one) are active, but you are not really behind in your work. So admit a weakness or two, but express how your results don’t suffer.

If you are seeking a management oriented position, describe your management style. Is it more hands-on? Is it analysis based? Do you delegate and verify results? Whatever your style, describe it specifically, not generically. Don’t offer hourly-wage answers, offer management oriented answers; hourly wage answers include comments like: “I’m always to work on time; I always get my work done; I get along with others;” and such. Those are the attributes a manager expects of the people who report to them. Make your answers relative to management. Describe your ability and success when you delegate; your success with smart, accurate analysis and reporting and how those reports lead your activities; outline strategies you use to motivate or influence team members. Be detailed, but in short answers.

There is nothing wrong with leaving one job for a better one. Make sure the interviewer sees you as being in that mind-set. If there are serious issues afoot in your current or recent job, don’t spend time discussing those, keep the focus on how you are a good match for the job at hand, and how you are motivated to improve and advance. A good response might be something like: ” I am always looking to better myself. I heard positive things about your company and this job in particular, so I wanted to explore my options”.



This isn’t a trick question, like most people believe, having two sides: 1) To show how ambitious are you. 2) Are you loyal. It’s okay to say you want to advance, if that is the case. But do it politely, a good generic response may be something like: “I want to be a better manager than I am now.” Or, “I would be actively working towards promotions in this company.”


Obviously, there are too many hiring scenarios to try and cover all pertinent job interview questions here. But, there are some basic questions that may likely arise, and for which you should generate pre-fabbed answers, so you can offer an intelligent and job related response if such questions come up in conversation. Write out your answers to each of these questions.
How will you be an asset to our company (good opportunity to mention prior achievements, without being boastful.)

Why did you pick this industry?

Describe a unrelated leadership role that you held.

What has been your greatest challenge in your career?

Give me an example of a problem that arose in your job, and how you solved it.

Tell me about a project you initiated and the results.

What types of situations put you under pressure and how did you deal with it?

Give me a situation in which you failed, how did you deal with it?

How do you work with difficult people?

What was your greatest accomplishment?

What challenges are you looking for in a position?

What motivates you?

If I asked people who know you to describe you, what three words would they use?

Describe a situation where you had to work with someone who was difficult. How did you handle it?

What traits are most important for a good manager?

Tell me a about a team project of which your are particularly proud of. What was your contribution?

What type of environment appeals to you the most?

What characteristics are most important in a good manager? How have you displayed one of them?

What makes someone a good leader?

What are your expectations of a good employer?

What do you do in your spare time?
The whole idea here is to leave nothing to chance. Literally write out your answers in advance. Most job candidates do not follow this good advice, believing they already know how best to present their credentials. Don’t make that mistake. Organize your answers in advance, put them in perspective of how your skills and know-how best fit the job for which you are interviewing. By organizing these simple tasks to prepare for your job interview, you will greatly increase your odds of getting hired. Don’t leave your next great job to chance. Prepare for it now.


Article Source: EzineArticles

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So You’re Moving to Germany

Germany is often described as having vibrant cities as well as amazing architecture and fantastic shopping combined with excellent nightlife. All of this is also contrasted with the medieval villages, traditional wine villages, friendly festivals and quaint countryside, which is perfect for walking and relaxing. This generally means that whatever your favourite pastime or hobby you will be able to find something you like within Germany.

Germany is found located deep within the heart of Europe and has had an influential impact on Continental history. This history includes events such as; Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire to Otto von Bismarck’s German Reich, Nazism and the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. No other nation has moulded Europe the way Germany has, for better or worse.

Germany has grown from its past and has developed into a nation of culture and diversity; it is also fast becoming a place where more and more people wish to relocate to. Many people wish to relocate every year for a variety of reasons such as retirement, a better job offer or just for a complete change of lifestyle, whatever your reason for wishing to relocate to Germany you won’t be disappointed; however it is important that you find out as much information about the country as possible before you make the move out there as this way you will find it a lot easier to settle into the nation. One aspect that is important to try and get a grasp on is the German language. Even if you only learn the basic phrases you will find making Germany your home a lot more straightforward.

As well as familiarising yourself with the German language you should also find out as much as possible about the area that you are hoping to move into. The best way to do this, if possible, is to visit the area as much as you can before you move over there for good. It is also a good idea to visit the area at different times within the day to see what it is like in the day and at night.

To aid you with your removal to Germany I am going to give you some basic information about things such as travel and money. Starting with travel; getting around Germany is extremely easy. There are several ways in which you can go about doing it, depending on which one is best for you.

The train network in Germany is comfortable, reliable, fast and reasonably priced. Germany has one of the world’s best and most effective railway systems, which connect to almost every city within Germany.

The roads within Germany can act as one of the best ways of seeing the country but almost all of the bigger cities suffer from severe parking problems. Driving around Germany provides a pleasant and flexible way to see the country and the 11,000 Km of freeway is one of Germany’s prides. This freeway network is known as Autobahnen and is famous due to the fact there is no official speed limit.

The bus network in Germany is excellent and efficient. Germany does not have a nationwide bus system, but many buses are operated by BahnBus. Germany’s bus service is especially convenient during slow periods of rail service.

When it comes to money in Germany in recent years Germany has turned into one of the largest economies in Europe and the German Government has made great progress in raising the standard of living.

Germany has become a desirable place to live and if you are one of the many people who are hoping to move over to Germany then you need to ensure that you have thoroughly thought about all aspects of the move.

Article Source: EzineArticles

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7 Reasons Why You Should Consider Learning German As A Second Language

What comes to your mind when you think about Germany? History, business, top brands and famous cars are almost too obvious. But have you ever thought of learning the language that English is derived from? Here are some reasons why you should consider learning German as a second language:


Germany has become one of the favorite travel destinations for scholars. With one of the cheapest educational systems in Europe, Germany has attracted a large number of foreign students seeking quality education at affordable rates. Taking a masters in Germany will most often cost just a quarter of what you will pay in the US and UK as a foreign student. According to data released by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany had recorded 282,201 international students enrolled in their universities, many foreign students who come for exchange programs add up to that number. For sure, there are many German universities that offer courses in English, but you might want to know at least the basics of German language to interact with other students on campus, and daily life off campus.


Germany is the 7th most visited country in the world; Berlin alone has a yearly total of about 135 million day visitors with many dozens of touristic sites; there are also famous cities like Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich holding a lot of history on their soils as well as remnants of the world wars. It just might be a matter of time for you to start thinking of visiting this famous country. So let’s say you jump on a plane to Germany for whatever reason, you don’t want to be unable to communicate with the lady sitting next to you in the bus, oh sorry, I mean the people you’ll find around you. You won’t want to be talking and listening with actions.


And yes business of course. Germany has the 4th strongest economy in the world, the strongest in Europe and is Europe’s biggest exporter. Companies all over the world have business connections with Germany for assistance, study and development. Knowing German could open doors for you beyond your imagination. Germany has some of the biggest companies in the world with their headquarters spread out across the whole of central Europe; you will fall asleep if I have to start listing world famous brands that originate from Germany, ranging from cosmetics to automotive… in their thousands! Knowing German could add up digits in your bank account. People use English as an established language for business; however in Germany, communicating in their language for business creates a sense of oneness, you might underestimate how much of a bargain this can be.

Career placement

German is one of the most widely spoken languages and the 11th most popular language in the world, spoken by 1.9% of the world’s population. There is a constant rise of German speakers in our world today; I think this goes with the economic power of the country. Many foreigners come in to live and work in Germany. German is one of the official languages in Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, so it may not only be about working in Germany. Also, in today’s world, many bilingual or multilingual individuals have an added advantage in job markets. Many government agencies, travel industry, advertising, international law and countless other sectors have needs for people with foreign language skills. Don’t forget tons of people earn a living off translation jobs, and the demand for translators is still rising.

Make new connections

Learning German will open you to another group of people, not the mates you will normally see in your philosophy class, but people with the same goal of knowing the language. I think it is quite fun to make new friends and having to communicate with them in another language. Even if you are taken a German language course online, you can always join forums and social groups online.

Learning the culture

German will not only be a language as you learn but if you take a course on it, you will soon discover that you are learning the culture as well. Most course practices involve German music, films history, literature that will get you learning not only the language but the culture as well. It’s so amazing to get out of your own world!

Open to a new world

Learning another language gets you opened to a new world, new way of viewing things, new activities, and new people. Cultures shape reasoning; so therefore your mind gets opened to another way of viewing things when you take a ride into another culture that’s not yours. You will see the world from a definitely different angle. You will sure view things in the light of this great race that has existed and impacted the world for centuries. View things the German way.

You just might learn German to add another language under your belt. German is closer to English and much easier to learn than many other languages.

Article Source: EzineArticles

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New Job Search Strategies You Should Know

It’s not the good old days anymore. You should know that better than anyone if you have been searching for a job. Long gone are the days when you could appear on a potential employer’s doorstep, resume in hand and hope for an interview. Now you must be internet savvy, highly technical and always aware of the latest and greatest way jobs are sought and filled.

Social Media is Key

If you are not on social media, you may be the only one. Make sure your LinkedIn account is up-to-date at all times, but also don’t forget the power of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Let your friends and followers know that you are actively seeking work. One of your hundreds of online friends may just have the inside skinny on a dream job that hasn’t yet been advertised.

An important tip when seeking work on- or offline is to make sure that your social media presence reflects your best self. Potential future employers are going to want to see what you can add to their work environment. They are likely to be turned off by coarse language or risque photos. Likewise, if you are currently employ
ed, it is wise to let your present employer know that you are seeking a new position. You will get a much better reference if your employer learns about your job hunt from you rather than social media.

Market Yourself Online

Why wait for the ideal job to come to you? Your most coveted position may not exist. What better way to make that job a reality than by marketing yourself? Top employees have found that placing ads online, sharing their resumes and networking can lead to gainful employment. Potential employers may see your willingness and abilities which might then encourage them to create a position just for you.

The simple first step is to create an attention-grabbing resume. Highlight all of the facet

s of your work history that
make you stand out in a crowd. Share every award, every successful venture, and do so in a way that is dynamic and readable. The next step is to share that resume as much as possible. Put it on social media sites or take out an online ad. You may even want to email heads of companies with your resume attached. If you choose to go this route, be sure to have a courteous yet eye-catching email that will encourage your recipient to open the resume rather than toss it away with the spam.

Hand Yourself Over to Professionals

The internet has created an environment that simplifies your ability to connect with employers. Unfortunately, it has leveled the playing field for your competition as well. Instead of facing the job hunt alone, hand your resume over to a professional.

Recruiting firms work for companies to find the perfect skill set for a specific job at hand. When you hand your resume and cover letter to a recruiting firm, you are in essence making yourself available for every job they see. Some will even negotiate salaries and benefits for you, making your only task choosing which job is the best fit.

Searching for jobs has never been easier, but it has also never been more competitive. Make sure you stand out in the crowd by employing all of these strategies. Soon, you will find the employment of your dreams.