Are you planning on finding a job in Germany and you don’t know how to start the process? I’ve been there and I know how you feel. It’s definitely not easy as a foreigner to look for a new job opportunity in Germany, especially if you don’t know the language that well. It took me 4 months before I got hired and I had to work really hard for that. The first thing you have to remember is to stay patient and believe in yourself. Something amazing will show up!
You’re probably asking yourself a lot of questions at the moment, for example, can I get a job in Germany without speaking German or what jobs are in demand currently in Germany, do I need a special visa in order to start applying? You will find all the answers in this blog post.
1. Check if you need to apply for visa
Before you start applying, I would highly recommend you to check if you need a residence permit that will allow you to take up lawful employment. If you’re an EU citizen or if you’re coming from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Island you don’t need a visa.
However if you’re a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, USA or any other country that was not mentioned above, then you will need to apply for one. You should apply for it when you already have a contract of employment in Germany but you can definitely start preparing all the required documents beforehand. For more information about visas and residence permit visit https://www.howtogermany.com/pages/residence.html.
2. Prepare application documents
The second step that you will need to do in order to find a job in Germany is to prepare a file with all the relevant application documents. A lot of companies require 1 PDF file that includes a cover letter, CV, copies of Diploma and other certifications, reference letters of previous employers and testimonials. Reference letters and testimonies of your past experience are actually very important and can be a convincing element that will make the company you wish to work for, reach out to you. If you can’t get the letter of reference then you should at least provide the company with a contact list of your former employers.
When creating a CV and cover letter it’s important to respect the one-page standard. I would also recommend you to customize them both. Include the qualifications and skills the company is looking for and stick with the basics. Less is more when it comes to words on CV. Use brief sentences that best describe your role at each employer.
German recruiters tend to really read everything thoroughly, so you have to be strategic when preparing all of the documents.
3. Learn German
I’ve mentioned this a couple of times in my previous blog posts and I will say it again. Learning German, at least basic words is something you will have to do before you move there. I know you’re probably tired of hearing/reading this but it’s the only way you will find a really good next opportunity and make it in Germany. It’s not impossible to find an English-speaking job - there are some positions, especially in international companies where they don’t require German, however, if you’re looking for a long-term job, then you will need to get a handle on it. Working in Germany without knowing German is still possible and I’ve done it, but if you want to take your career to the next level, you will have to learn it. If you want to learn it by yourself then you should check out these 5 tips that I wrote that will help you become fluent in no time.
4. Use job search sites like Linkedin, Indeed, Stepstone and Xing
When I was looking for a job in Germany I used LinkedIn and Indeed a lot as they offer one of the largest employment exchanges. If you’re not sure how to use LinkedIn to get a job then you should check out my blog post where I wrote down 5 tips that will help you stand out.
Additionally, you can carry out job searches on websites like Xing and StepStone. A lot of traditional companies in Germany prefer to search for new employees on Xing which is basically a German version of Linkedin, so you should definitely create a profile there too as it will help you boost your presence in search engines.
StepStone offers over 80,000 jobs and with the help of different keywords, you can easily search for new opportunities in different areas.
5. Look for start-up jobs
Germany has been booming with start-ups in the past few years and because of the wave of globalization in businesses they are actively looking for international professionals. This could be a very good starting point for you especially if you’re not fluent in German. Whatever your native language is, chances are that there’s a small company that wants to expand to that region and that will increase your chances even more. Check out websites like https://angel.co/location/germany or https://www.eu-startups.com/startup-jobs/ to see if they are any interesting open positions for you.
What jobs are in demand in Germany?
According to Y-Axis the top jobs that are in demand in 2020 are professionals in science, engineering, business, healthcare and teaching. Germany is expected to have a shortage of medical professionals in the coming years so they are looking for individuals with a foreign degree in medicine that can move to the country.
If you have a university degree in any of the following engineering fields then you certainly have an advantage:
computer science engineering
mechanical and electrical engineering
The retail sector is also growing and there are a lot of job opportunities in this area. There is a demand for trained retail sales professionals and sales assistants.
Is it easy to get a job in Germany?
I have to be completely honest with you. It was not easy for me to get a job in Germany and anytime I read stories from other expats, they mostly have the same experiences as me. If you’re fluent in German then finding a new opportunity won’t be hard for you as the language barrier is one of the biggest obstacles you will have to face when looking for a job in Germany. I recommend you to start learning the language as soon as possible and let the companies know that you’re willing to take up this challenge. First try to look for open positions in international companies because you will have a higher chance to get hired there than anywhere else. Prepare all the application documents and check if you need a residence permit in order to start working in Germany.
I wish you the best of luck and feel free to reach out to me if you have any other questions.