Creating an accurate XING profile
Step 1 – Sign up to XING
Step 2 – upload Profile photo
Step 3 – enter the Basic Information
Step 4 – edit Jobseeker criteria
Step 5 – edit the Timeline
Step 6 – edit Professional Experience
Step 7 – edit Skills (ich biete)
Step 8 – edit content of Tabs
Step 9 – edit Wants (ich suche)
Step 10 – edit Languages, Qualifikations, Awards, Organisations
Step 11 – edit Interests, Personal details
Step 12 – shape your XING profile;
Step 13 – edit Business card.
Special thanks to Amit, PHP developer from India, who allowed mr to show his profile as example. I also would like to thank Ksenia Palagushkina from Russia. Her books were huge help.
Why is XING unique? Because this network was created exclusively for business relationships, job search and career development. The focus is on contacts. All functions are designed to build additional contacts. I don't need to explain the importance of contacts and relationships here, right?
There are over 70,000 thematic groups in XING, where experts exchange useful information, discuss interesting questions and even search for employees.
Not all German-speaking job seekers have understood the usefulness of XING. That plays into your hands. What you need is an accurate profile-resume and a good job search tactic. That's exactly what this text is about.
XING supports multiple languages, including English. However, it is menu languages, i.e. there is no automatic translation. For an optimal result, fill in your profile in German. Of course, English would also work. But an English profile is simply less efficient.
Before registering on XING, get a solid looking email address. It could look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org (first name dot last name).
Tip: In your email address write your first and last name exactly as in the passport.
The profile photo (Profilbild) is the most important thing in your profile. Everyone looks at your photo as a first step.
A professional photographer is a must. Make sure the photographer really specializes in portraits. Neither on animals, nor landscapes or street life, but really on portraits of people.
There is only one thing worse than an amateur photo - no photo at all in your profile. For a German employer it is a signal - this candidate is lazy. If you think the photographer is too expensive for you, then you don't need to read any further. I'm seriously recommend that you follow this advice and prepare an excellent photo.
Tip: Enter into the search engine the keyword Bewerbungsfoto and show the results to your photographer (s. the screenshot)INDEX
Update the information in section appearing in upper time of your XING profile.
Issue #1: What is your current job location
- Reply with your desired job location. Let’s say you are still in your origin country but you wish to work in Berlin. So enter Berlin.
Issue #2: What is your current discipline
- Your answer is obvious, isnt'it?
Issue #3: Would you like to add this skill to your profile?
- Here you can add some more skill if you are good in or just skip. I added.
Three more issues will appear (no screenshots). These are:
Issue #4: Are you still a Senior PHP Developer, Android Developer and Team Leader?
- In my case the answer was YES.
Issue #5: Do you still work at Semaphore Technologies Private Limited?
- In my case the answer was NO.
Issue #6: Tip: Add your current employer now Just go to your timeline, click "edit" and then "add" in the "Professional experience" section.
Ignore this section for a while. Now it's important to prepare your profile for the job search and networking. That's why there's no "step" here.INDEX
Click on "Edit" behind the Jobseeker criteria and you will see the window as shown below.
1: Who can see this?
Set "All XING members" if you have no reason to make another choice.
2: Your current jobseeker status:
Set "I am looking for a job" if you have no reason to make another choice.
3: Salary expectations
If you are new in Germany, set >€40.000. By the way, the "minimum wage" to get a Blue Card visa in 2020 is €43.056 (annual, gross).
4: Ideal employer
In the current XING interface, this feature is only available in XING Premium.
Boost your chances of receiving great job ads by stating your ideal employers and we'll let them know you're interested in working for them. Don't worry, your network will never know.
If an ideal employer happens to have just the right vacancy for you, they can get in touch with you via XING before posting their job ad online.
Set your three most favourite employer here. Click SAVE.
Tip: Keep the list of Ideal Employers always up-to-date.
Again, now the Ideal Employer feature available in XING Premium only.INDEX
Scroll down until the section Timeline (screenshot 7.1) Click on "Edit" and you will be shown the Timeline editing window (screenshot 7.2). Look at the last entry: Self-employed PHP Developer. Click the icon "Edit" and let's see how to edit or add an entry.
These fields are pretty self-explanatory, so I only commented a couple of them (s. screenshots 8.1 and 8.2).
Initially I entered PHP Developer (which is absolutely true). But I noticed that after the previous positions of Senior Software Developer simple PHP Developer> looks like kond of downshifting. Since one year Amit works as Freelancer. So if he calls himself Senior it would look weird because Senior implies a comparison with Junior. However comparison is missing, then Amit works not in team but alone.
The solution - Self-employed PHP Developer looks fully adequate.
Here you have the multiple choice. In my case I needed to decide between Self-Employed and Freelancer. Technically self-employed is a legal company or legal one-person company. Since I do not know the Amit's legal status with Freelancer you are on the safe side.
Describe your position
Here you should avoid the common mistake - do not prize your skills and experience too much (even if it is true). Instead present them from the perspective "with my skills, talents and experience you will get such and such benifits by hiring me".
In case you are freelancer without registrated company name you can just add your key competence (your main service) to your name. In our case: Amit Lahiri Web Development.
Industry, Segment, Legal form, Employees
You will have no difficulties making those choices.
If you do not have any, leave this box empty. I quess I do not need to explain the importance of the web presence if you're self-employed.
Click on "Save". Now scroll don until the section Educational background
Here the Filed Specialized Subjects is of particular importance. As far as I know, (narrow) specialization is a continually growing trend in Germany in recent years. If the qualification that plays an important role in your current work is already mentioned as one of the subjects of your studies, it may indeed be the crucial factor that YOU get the desired job and not another guy.
Warning! Remember that everything in your CV must be documented, e.g. by any records or certificates.
After you have entered all your educational institutions, click "Save". Now your Timeline is up-to-date!
But we are not finished yet. The fun still goes on.INDEX
Look at the screenshot 1. Scroll down until the title Skills. Click the button Edit behind. Look at the screenshot below.
This feature makes your profile look better in the eyes of potential employers**. However, it is only available to Premium users.
Tip: while entering the keywords focus on your professional competencies instead.
Here I like the possibility to rearrange skills. This will help the person viewing your profile immediately identify your key competences.
Do you know that an employer visiting your profile goes very quickly over it? So it is really worth considering (and in best case - experimenting) which of your skills should appear at the beginning, at the end and in the middle.
Click "Done". You will get back to the main profile page.
Allright so far? Now look at six tabs: Profile details, Portfolio, Contacts, Other web profiles, Groups, Activity.INDEX
We are in the tab Profile details. Let's leave this tab for a moment to get a quick overview of the other five tabs. After that we will return and go on through the main profile page until we have completed the whole thing.
You shouldn't minimize the importance of Portfoilo!
The best indication of your skills and experience are the results of your work. For example, it could be web links to software solutions you have written (if you don't have a website, links to Githab would also work).
Also recommendable are the links to the companies where you have worked.
In our example, there are just first two links visible. These links lead to the company websites where my friend Amit used to work during his professional career from Software Tester up to Fullstack Developer. On the screenshot you can see "Mystic Scripts" - the company where he started as Software Tester.
Two things are important about Portfolio:
First, remember to check the links from time to time. Correct broken links immediately!
Second, all published links must be related to your records. If company XYZ is not mentioned in your CV, it should not appear in your portfolio.
At first glance, it's just a boring list of your XING contacts in alphabetical order.
If you think so, I would actively speak against it! Remember that behind names, titles and profile pictures are the personalities.
Boy, this is one of your best actives! Your own Human Ressources (or Human Relationships) network! These are the people who found you interesting enough to add your profile to their networks.
I encourage you to browse through this list several times a week, even if there are just a dozen of persons there. Even if there are no thoughts and no ideas at the beginning. The ideas and thoughts will come for sure.
Tip: go to your Linkedin contacts. Ask them if they know someone, having any connection to Germany. Contact those people. Offer them your services. Offer free advice in fields that include your key competencies.
My personal opinion: even very plain and minimalistic blog would be very strong argument for your candidacy in a certain company because it best proves your passion for any IT field.
Adequate Groups in your profile are good. They show your activity on XING. You should join at least ten groups. They could be thematic groups where you discuss technical issues or groups for job search or about German corporate culture, German language etc.
A single group like in our example on screenshot 13.1 is certainly not enough.
If you click on the groups in the left menu column, some groups-suggestions appear. Since our example (his name was Amit, remember?) activated "Search Jobs in Berlin", groups are suggested on XING Berlin.
To be frank, I personally find the importance of discussions and debates in groups a bit overestimated. But this is my subjective opinon and I do not want to be prescriptive. Your participation in such groups will undoubtedly contribute to your better reputation in the eyes of your potential employers.
This tab is now irrelevant for the creation or modification of your profile. So ignore it for a while.
Now once you've learned about other tabs (or maybe even have already made appropriate improvements to your XING profile) we'll go back to the Profile Details tab and scroll down.INDEX
Fill or edit the Wants (German: Ich suche) section. Please do not put here words like "Job" or "Arbeit". Also don't use words describing your competencies and skills. Enter something like "Looking for companies that need a specialist with such and such knowledge and skills".
Example: in the Skills section (step 7) I have entered "PHP". This is one of Amit's key competences. Therefore in Wants section (step 9) I entered for Amit: "Looking for companies that need a PHP developer".
Tip: Remember the recommendation to fill your XING profile in German? That alone will positively highlight you from 90% of other English-speaking job-seeking candidates. I did both – in English and in German. S. under Wants on the screenshot 14.INDEX
To determine your language level, the self-assessment is sufficient. Have completed a language course and have the appropriate certificate? Enter all the certificates for your qualifications and continuing education.
Do you have certificates of participation in non-commercial projects? As soon as they are relevant to the job you are looking for, enter them here too. They will make your profile more professional and therefore more attractive for the employers and recruiters.
Do you have any awards (even not primary related to your core qualification)? Are you a member of a job-related organisation (also non-commercial)? If yes, don't hesitate to enter those data. If no, don't worry about filling out this section.INDEX
This section is optional. If you practice extreme sports such as skydiving or free climbing, the risk of injury is higher. As a result, an employer in Germany will think twice whether to hire the job candidate who prefers extreme sports and therefore is more likely to get sick or injured.
On the other hand, the team sports are highly regarded by the employers. It is argued that team sports strengthen the team spirit in the workplace. Football, for example, is very popular in Germany. It's no coincidence that Germany has won the World Cup several times.INDEX
This feature appears often in your profile. It does exactly what it explains: "Choose which sections of your profile you’d like to show other members when they visit your profile."
Here you can experiment by activating and deactivating the buttons. This will change the appearance of your XING profile. Think about what exactly you want to emphasize in your presentation and make it clear with Visibility settings.INDEX
Finally we get to the Business Card. If you scroll up to the very beginning and look at screenshot 1, you will see "Edit business card". Click on it and you will see the mask shown on the screenshot below.
In the new window an overview with several smaller sections opens: StayAtHome, Availability, Further Education, Time out, Studing.
The limitation: you can only use one of the 25 status options available. Which one is the most suitable in our example for Amit?
Amit's wish: to work in a company in Germany for a few years, get a permanent residence permit, then work as a freelancer or found a company.
Amit's reality: is currently in India, working from home as a freelancer, has the capacity for even more jobs.
Final status selection: is available.
Here are my thoughts why I chose this status.
Since it is a job search, I ignored most options and narrowed my selection down to three: a) is looking for freelance projects; b) is available; c) will be available soon.
a) is looking for freelance projects: this corresponds most closely to today's reality
and Amit's long-term goal. This was my candidate #2;
If I decide to change status in a few weeks for experimental reasons, I will take this one.
b) is available: this is the shortest and clearest statement;
c) will be available soon: if Amit would already have been in Germany, it is probably the
best option, because it says a lot about his character.
In Germany you are informed about your employment contract end 3-4 months in advance, at least 4 weeks in advance. Short-term firings are extremely rare. Demonstrating that you need a job SOON (and not NOW) your hidden message is that you have the situation under control and have learned to plan the next steps in your life***.
Note that I have deliberately simplified the point. The real life is too unpredictable of course. If you really need work urgently and have no choice, is up to you anytime to say "I am available right now".
Remember to click "Save" after selecting your status.INDEX
Everything is simple here too. Mind the possibility to hide the entries (by clicking on Hide).
This is a bit of a tricky part of this article. Why? Because a conflict arises: if you say you are already in Germany, it is unfair information. If you tell the truth that you are still in your (possibly far away) home country, most German employers** will not be interested in you.
A possible compromise would be to enter both locations (Germany and your home country) and as soon as you succeed in gaining the interest of the employer, admit that you will need some time (and maybe a national German visa) to enter the country.
If you have a proper resume, your XING profile is optimized, if your skills can reduce problems of the company, and if employer has assured in your reliability and punctuality, you have very good chances that he will be waiting for you. It is not uncommon for some companies to cover the costs of your relocation to Germany. Not always and not to the full amount but it happens.
Now let's enter your contact information. As you see only the city, state and country are required fields. However, you cannot enter "nationwide" here. If it is difficult for you to choose a German city and your intuition is silent, choose Berlin. Because in Berlin there are good chances especially for those who don't speak German.
The entries in Private Contact details can in principle be the same as in Business Contact details.
I would recommend to add a postcode. It makes your approach a little bit more German , because within Germany the postcode is almost always a required field.
* - D-A-CH - an acronym for: Germany, Austria, Switzerland;
** - an umbrella term Employer (German: Arbeitgeber) implies all persons who influence your employment - human resources manager, recruiter, headhunter. Also your future colleagues and superiors such as department heads, CTO included here.
*** - the same princip applies to the search of new appartment as well.