Tips on Applying

You would like to learn more about career prospects in the fields of political science, psychology, or sociology? You are looking for a suitable position to complete your (mandatory) internship or to start your first job? Here you will find a list of possible career options and a selection of interesting testimonials of former students reporting on their experiences during an internship or working as a student assistant.

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General Information on Writing an Application

  • Convincing Your Future Employer You are the One for the Job: the Cover Letter

    Your cover letter should be well thought out, carefully phrased, and focus on the specifics of the internship. The following key questions may be helpful: Why am I interested in this particular internship in this company? Which experiences and qualifications do I have that might be useful for the internship and particularly for the company? Alternatively, you can also write your cover letter by answering the following questions: Hard skills (i.e. studies and practical experience), soft skills, and motivation or: Why this company? Why this job? Why me?

    Above all, do not send the same cover letter to every employer! Tip: Make a table with all the required skills and tasks in the left column. In the right column, you can now enter your experiences and skills for every point in the list that prove you are the right candidate for the job. Use these as arguments for your cover letter.

  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé

    When writing your curriculum vitae (CV)/résumé, make sure it is complete and up-to-date. Apart from that, you should find out whether you are expected to hand in a CV in table or text form. Your CV should include your personal data, your education and work experience, and your language and computer skills, as well as stays abroad (no vacation), scholarships, voluntary work, and hobbies. There is no need to include your primary school, your parents, or your siblings in your CV.

  • Appendix: Certificates and Other References

    Certificates should be attached in the order they are mentioned in the CV, starting with certificates containing grades (such as school or degree certificates) followed by certificates in text form (such as employment certificates). Usually, it is sufficient to provide a simple copy of your certificates. You only need to submit notarized copies in exceptional cases. If you are unsure, please ask the company or the institution you are applying to.

Applying in English

English applications consist of two parts: cover letter and CV/résumé. The focus should be on your skills and achievements rather than your personality.

Make sure you are aware of the norms and requirements for an application in the respective country. Use the websites of universities in the target country for guidance.

  • Cover Letter

    The cover letter (also covering letter, especially in British English) is your chance to impress your future employer.

    When writing your cover letter, keep the following things in mind:

    • The cover letter should not be longer than one page.
    • Always research a contact person that you can address your application to:
      Dear Mr Smith (UK) or Dear Mr. Smith (US)
    • Following the salutation
      UK: no comma: Dear Ms Brown    US: colon: Dear Ms. Brown:
    • The first letter of the first sentence of the cover letter (after the salutation) always has to be capitalized
    • Try to avoid contractions: I am instead of I‘m, you have instead of you‘ve etc.
    • The cover letter should include at least three but no more than five short paragraphs
    • Closing: Yours sincerely (UK) or Sincerely yours/Sincerely, (US)
  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé

    An English curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé has a clearly defined and relatively simple structure. It is a marketing tool for yourself so instead of listing every job you have ever had you should focus on the most important details about yourself. Tailor your CV to the job for which you are applying. Therefore, do not be afraid to omit irrelevant details.

    A word on terminology: The document is called CV in the UK and South Africa. It is called résumé in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. An academic CV is a special form of CV; click here to learn more.

    • Length in the UK: 1 – 2 pages, US: 1 page
    • Header: Name (in bold) and contact details
      Address and phone number with country and country code
    • Career objective/job objective/objective
      What position are you interested in? What do you want to accomplish?
    • Education
      • Name of the university, program(s) of study, topic of your thesis, grade and, if applicable, expected graduation
      • School leaving qualification: e.g. high school diploma (US)/A-levels (UK)/Abitur (DE) or other equivalent qualifications
    • Work experience
      • Period of employment, for current employment e.g. 10/2016 – present
      • Specific job title/detailed job description
      • Do not use the first person for the job description and use verbs that sound professional, e.g. obtain and support instead of common verbs like get and help. Here you can find a list of action verbs.
    • Skills
      • Language skills/computer skills
      •  What are your most important qualifications and experiences relevant to this job?
    • Personal interests/activities
      List hobbies and interests that qualify you for your future job and improve your attractiveness as a candidate
    • List references – or References available upon request
    • No date, no signature at the end
  • Additional Links

    Jobline – How to apply in English, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

    Academic CV, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

    Guide to Writing an Effective Resume, Northeastern Illinois University (USA)

    CV and Covering Letters, University of Kent (UK)

    Careers Centre, University of Leeds (UK)



Do you have any questions? We’re happy to advise you!

Students are welcome to contact the Internship Office if they have any questions on the mandatory internship, internships abroad, or their application documents. We also invite employers to send us any open internship positions at their company or institution.

Gesine Götze, M.A.

Gesine Götze, M.A. (she/her)

Internship Manager
University of Mannheim
School of Social Sciences
A 5, 6
A5,6 Building A – Room A 413
68159 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
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Monday, 10 – 12 am
Wednesday, 11 – 12 am;
The next office hours will take place on:
08/ 15/ 17/ 22/ 24 July.
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