CareerCheck –
The Career Planning
Tool of DKFZ

CareerCheck ( is an internet-based career advice and career planning tool for young scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). It complements the existing career services such as guidance talks, trainings, Career Days and the internet platform dkfz-connect.

CareerCheck – The new Career Planning Tool of DKFZ

© Jutta Jung/DKFZ

The new career planning tool offers an integrated platform for career-related information, personal self-assessments and goals. It is aimed at supporting young scientists even earlier with relevant information for their career planning. Last but not least, the CareerCheck plays an important role in implementing the Helmholtz Guidelines for Postdocs, which recommend concrete career planning in the fourth postdoc year. The career information in CareerCheck was collected from DKFZ alumni and is therefore highly relevant for the target group.

Based on the career paths of DKFZ alumni, more than 20 job roles were identified as typical next career steps for postdocs and PhD students at DKFZ. The Resources section is the backbone of CareerCheck. It provides job descriptions, necessary knowledge and skills for each profession, salary estimates, as well as application know-how from CV writing to networking tips. In addition, the site offers links to training offers and job portals, and participants of the alumni survey are quoted with career advice. In the Self-Checks section, users can assess their own skills, values and preferences and compare their profile with the requirements of various positions. The MyPlan category serves to summarise career goals and preferences and to derive concrete next steps.

© Jutta Jung/DKFZ

CareerCheck creates transparency about career options and the required steps to actually achieve career goals. It makes information available more efficiently than before, lowers the threshold to structured career planning and helps to prepare career talks with superiors, mentors and the Career Service in a more targeted manner.

CareerCheck is part of the Helmholtz Career Center established by Dr. Barbara Janssens in 2017, which is funded by the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association. Sabine Schuler-Hofmann and Adelina Waldecker are responsible for the content and technical implementation. The Helmholtz Association plans to provide funding over a period of five years with an interim evaluation after two and a half years, scheduled for May 2020.

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