How To Search for a Job in Germany

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The Internet has turned out to be an important means of finding a job in Germany. When wanting to immigrate for employment purposes, the Internet will be your friend. We will help you through the infinite maze of the Internet to find your dream job in Germany.

How do I start searching for a job?

First make up your mind, by answering following questions:

  • Do I want to work part-time or full-time?
    (N.B. This question makes sense only for persons who have an unrestricted work permit or, like trailing spouses, want to now start working.. Persons immigrating must have a full-time job otherwise you will not be granted a permit.)
  • What kind of work am I interested in?
  • Do I want take responsibility for personnel, budget, company’s overall success?
  • Will I mind traveling? If so, after what amount will it become uncomfortable?
  • Am I willing to start with a lower salary during the probationary period?
  • Etc.
What is the best strategy to find a job?

The best strategy is not to rely on only one source!  The more you spread the news the more chances you get and the more persons will be able to point you to a possibility or recommend you.

Does it make sense to ask friends / acquaintances?

Yes. Ask your social network(s) for relevant job boards – i.e. LinkedIn and Xing. or openings. Also check our Job Boards for Expats.

It is a good idea to ask my direct colleagues?

More no than yes. If at all, then only someone you trust implicitly. Sure, you will have colleagues that will be more than willing to help you. But if the word spreads to someone in the company who likes your friend but hates you… it will be extremely difficult to prove that you are still motivated and willing to professionally work until your very last day.

I know of a company where I would fit into perfectly. Is it normal / permissible / acceptable that I contact them directly?

If you know of a specific company go ahead and apply with them. Germans call this “Initiativbewerbung” and do not frown upon it. When directly contacting the company, triple check whether they have a “career board / portal. Industrial companies usually start with posting the job on their career site. Carefully read and obey their guidelines for applying! Disobedience leads to denial.

Which job board shall I use? There are so many.

It all depends on your qualifications. We have put together a list of promising job boards for you! Please click here to access the list!

Do I have to speak German to get a job or even a permit? I don’t mind learning at all but just for the start, I want to rely on my English.

It depends on the employer, your job and location. The smaller the company and the more rural the location, the less likely they will accept somebody having no command of the language. In contrast, global players will prefer if you – also – speak other languages. As an example, you could work for a small IT company where nobody really speaks English. They still might hire you as a programmer and be able to explain their assignments to you but nobody will be able to socialize with you.

My mother tongue is English, but I also speak Mandarin and Russian as well as some French. I just started German. What are my chances for a job as a multilingual person?

Just as discussed in the last question. It all depends on your job. If the position requires perfect German next to all the other languages you use, then you have virtually no chance for the job. However, reality will easily prove this assumption as wrong.

Hey, I was turned down by immigration even though I am a native speaker who has spoken English since I was a kid. My employer wanted me because I’m a Kiwi! That was most important to him. Crazy world, huh?

Maybe. At least by law, immigration decided correctly. Many persons have been educated as an English teacher or as foreign-language secretary and are laid off. These are to be served first! In the understanding of the office, they could not care less that your employer wants somebody with a native accent. If that is really so important, either you marry a German or European or he will have to look for somebody else. If it makes sense, maybe start freelancing…

How do I best apply? In writing, dropping by personally, eMail?

There is hardly a golden rule when it comes to the means of correspondence. However, a clear tendency goes towards electronic correspondence – especially in white collar professions.

What is the structure of an application?

This is something to pay a great amount of attention to! When you feel like you have worked so hard to get it all together, then you have only just started coming close to a formally correct application. Germans frown on sloppiness because they identify you 1 on 1 with the style in which you pass on the details. The general outline is “motivation letter”, C.V., and certificates. It’s best that you send it in at most two or three files.


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