The Supplementary Documents

The same general rules apply to your supplementary documents as to the other parts of your application. Your supplementary documents should support your presentation to the company and above all demonstrate your qualifications and skills, so that the recruiter can get a better idea of your strengths and suitability

General Information:

  • Document all of the phases of your life and qualifications that you mention in your cover letter and CV.
  • Only choose clearly laid-out documents that are relevant to the position.
  • Arrange the supplementary documents in order of importance. The higher the educational achievement and the more current the employer’s reference (date of issue), the more interesting it is.
  • No originals. Only high-quality copies, which do not need to be notarised.
  • Documents in foreign languages, except English, should be translated. This is also true for German documents included in applications abroad.

Checklist: Which Documents Are Necessary?

School and Exam Certificates

School and exam certificates should always be included in the application. If your diploma is not yet available when you submit your application, you should definitely include the last mid-term certificate (intermediate examination, first state examination…). If you have already completed some vocational training, that should also be documented. As far as school certificates are concerned, only the final one, in Germany generally the "Abitur" certificate, should be included.

Work Placement and Employer’s Certificates

Practical experience is especially important to companies. Recent activities are more interesting than brief work placements during your schooldays. Certificates should therefore be arranged chronologically: newer documents should be at the front here as well, directly behind the CV, and older ones in the back. Make sure that you do not only get a certificate of completion for a work placement (a basic certificate), but that statements are made about your tasks and achievements (a qualified certificate).

Certificates for Additional Qualifications

Additional qualifications include special computer or language skills that you acquired as part of a continuing education programme, a parallel degree programme or postgraduate studies.

It is also advisable to include certificates that demonstrate specific communication or management skills such as organisational talent and good managerial behaviour.

The additional qualifications you document should always be relevant to your future position.

Work Samples

Work samples demonstrate technical qualifications better than many words. They are therefore especially good for self-marketing. However, they are only common in certain fields and should only be included when they are specifically requested. This is primarily the case in creative professions.


  • adverts
  • posters
  • drawings
  • blueprints
  • sketches
  • photographs
  • original editorial contributions
  • other publications


In rare cases, applicants are required to supply references. These are recommendations from trusted third parties whose professional or social position enables them to give positive information about the applicant’s technical qualifications or personality traits.


Please note that the above tips only apply to applications with German companies. Companies abroad may have different application procedures and regulations.