Jaroslav Plotnikov

IT work in Germany: XING – the reliable helper in your job search – PART 1

Professional network for business relationships, job search and career development. PART 1 – profile details

Screenshot 1 (Picture: XING)


Step 1 – Log in to XING 
Step 2 – Profile photo
Step 3 – Jobseeker criteria 
Step 4 – Haves (ich biete)
Step 5 – Wants (ich suche)
Step 6 – Professional experience
Step 7 – Educational background
Step 8 – Edit business card
Step 9 – Languages, qualifications, awards, organisations
Step 10 – Interests, personal information

Disclaimer and thanks

In this article as example I used my own profile as well as one from a PHP developer from India. Special thanks to Amit Lahiri from India for the screenshots and Ksenia Palagushkina from Russia. Her clear explanations helped me alot!  


As the largest online business network with 13 million user in German-speaking countries (DACH* region) and over 15 million worldwide, XING offers a broad reach in highly relevant target groups.

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.

* – D-A-CH – an acronym for: Germany, Austria, Switzerland



Creating an accurate XING profile

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.

Step 1 – Log in to XING

Tip: before registering on XING, open an account at a German email provider, e.g. t-online.de or mail.de. A serious email address looks like this: jaroslav.plotnikov@emailprovider.de (first name dot second name). Write your first and second name exactly as in the passport.

If a Premium Account XING user invites you, you get one month of Premium Plan for free. Try Premium plan out – there are useful extras that are explained in the next article.



Step 2 – Profile photo – Profilbild

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 the keyword Bewerbungsfoto into the search engine and show the results to your photographer.

Screenshot 2 (Picture: Google)

Ideally the picture should measure 1024 x 1024, should not exceed 20 Mb and should be a JPEG, PNG or BMP.



Step 3 – Jobseeker criteria (Job Wünsche)

Here you need to edit the Standard-Information. S. the screenshot.

Screenshot 3 (Picture: XING)


Who can see this?

  • Only recruiters
  • Contacts and recruiters
  • All XING members

( 1 ) – Set All XING members if you have no reason to make another choice.

Your current jobseeker status

  • I am looking for a job
  • I am not looking for a job but am open for offers
  • I’m not interested in jobs right now

( 2 ) – Set I am looking for a job if you have no reason to make another choice.

Salary expectations

( 3 ) – If you are new in Germany, set >40.000. The “minimum wage” to get a Blue Card visa is 42.560 Euro.

Ideal employer

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: Go Premium and you can add up to 30 ideal employers instead of just three.


Step 4 – Haves (Ich biete)

Here you give all the keywords that reflect your work experience and skills – things you want to do on your new job. Examples: PHP, Android, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, etc. S. screenshot 4.

These keywords help recruiters to find you among a huge number of other registered users. The same principle applies here as with Google keyword search.

Tip: Don’t write competencies such as reliability, communication skills, etc. here. This gives you no advantage because reliability, teamwork and diligence are taken for granted today. Instead, focus on the professional competencies.

Screenshot 4 (Picture: XING)

Top skills

How does it work?
Choose your three top skills and drag them to the top skills fields with your mouse. They’ll then be highlighted in your profile and in member search results.

Here you can also find the rating which shows how often the respective keyword was introduced in the search. This rating is only available for PremiumusersAlso the Premium users have the possibility of highlighting 3 key competences with the colour. This attracts attention.

Why should I do that?
Profile visitors will immediately see your top skills. These three skills also make it easier for people to find you, and you’ll appear more prominently in search results together with your top skills and other details, which will help you get more relevant profile visitors.


Step 5 – Wants (Ich suche)

Fill Wants (Ich suche) section. Please do not put here words like job or Arbeit. Also don’t use words describing your competencies and skills. My suggestion: enter something like Looking for companies that need a specialist with such  and such knowledge and skills.

Example 1: in the Havessection (step 4) I have entered Relocation. This is one of my key competences. Therefore in Wants section (step 5) I entered: I am looking for companies that need a relocation service.

Example 2: for the mentioned friend of mine, who is PHP developer in Haves section (step 4) I’ve entered PHP. Therefore in Wants (step 5) I entered for him: Looking for companies that need a PHP developer.

Tip: rememner 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. screenshot 4.



Step 6 – Professional experience (Berufserfahrung)

In this section, you should record your entire to work history. Start from your first internship during your studies and write everything down to your current job. All entries will be sorted chronologically by XING. The end date of each job plays an important role in this process.

Tip 1: To highlight important milestones, remove unimportant dates. Then the important items are displayed as large circles. The longer the time span, the larger the circles.

Example: in my profile I wish to highlight Migration Specialist. My working experience as translator (Übersetzer) I found less important, removed the dates and the circle became small (s. screenshot 5).


Screenshot 5 (Picture: XING)

Tip 2: Enter all the activities you do or did if those characterize you positively for the current job.

Example: If you are a programmer, maybe you teach computer science in your spare time or take part in an IT project. These would be the activities that complement your main job.

Tip 3: If you have difficulties translating your profession into German, International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08) can help you.

S. the article High-demand occupations in Germany



Step 7 – Educational background (Ausbildung) 

Here is everything obvious and easy to understand.

Screenshot 6 (Picture: XING)


(5) – Even if you haven’t any specialization while your studies, consider entering some of your core strength to the “Specialized” field.



Step 8 – Edit business card

Screenshot 7 (Picture: XING)

Academic title

Select Dipl.-Ing or Ing – depending on your degree. It will later appear as (7)*


You can edit your name in the settings. The changes will be seen as (8)*

Business-card entries

Click Add entry (e.g. education) to see the changes as (9)*

Location and contact details

Enter here your location and the contact details all possible ways to get in touch with you (10).*

Click DONE.

* – s. screenshot 7.



Step 9 – Languages, Qualifikations, Awards, Organisations

To determine your language level, the self evaluation 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.


Step 10 – interests, personal information

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.


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