Finding a job as an expat in Germany can be a challenging task than for locals, especially for those who are not familiar with the German job market and the German language. However, with the right approach and preparation, it is possible to land a job in Germany. In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to increase your chances of finding a job in Germany.
How To Get a Job in Germany?
While it may be a little more difficult for foreigners who are not local to find a job in Germany it is still doable. As an expat, you can use the following advice to improve your chances of landing a job in Germany.
Table of Contents
Research the German Job Market
Before you start looking for a job in Germany, one of the first aspects to be considered is to research the German job market which includes understanding the industries and sectors that are currently hiring, as well as the types of jobs that are in demand. Engineering, Technology, Finance, Healthcare are some of the industries that are currently growing in Germany and are in very high demand.
Additionally, you should also start doing your own research about the average salary ranges expected for the type of job you are interested in, and know about the cost of living in the major cities in Germany like Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt etc to understand the average cost of living you will have to factor in.
Look for English-Speaking Companies
Things do change and now most of the companies in Germany does speak English as part of the business procedures and this especially is more in Technology space, which provides more opportunities for English speaking expats because of the talent crunch domestically in the German job market. These companies often have an international focus and are usually more open to hiring foreigners to fill in the market needs.
Use Your International Experience
Highlight your international experience and multicultural skills on your resume and cover letter. This can be particularly valuable for companies that have global operations in Germany and it could potentially help you in securing your dream job in Germany.
Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter for Germany
It is really important to prepare your resume and cover letter for the German job market when applying for a job in Germany. Using German language to highlight your linguistic skills and formatting your CV and cover letter in accordance with German standards are part of this.
You should also emphasize any abilities or experiences that are pertinent to the German job market, such as previous employment with German companies or German language proficiency or your abilities to work seamlessly with Global stakeholders.
Job Portals in Germany to Help You in Finding a Job
There are several popular job portals in Germany where you can search for job openings and submit your application. Some of the most popular job portals in Germany to help with your search for a job in Germany are:
- LinkedIn: A networking website for professionals where you may look for job openings and get in touch with possible employers. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for finding jobs in your field of expertise as many German companies list their job openings there and it is widely popular among expats to find a job in Germany.
- Xing: A German-based social networking site for professionals similar to LinkedIn. With its extensive list of job ads, it enables you to look for a job in Germany, get in touch with possible employers, and network with other experts in your industry.
- Stepstone: One of the leading job portals in Germany that offers a wide range of job openings across various industries. Stepstone also offers tools such as salary comparisons and company reviews which can help you in making informed decisions about your job search.
- Indeed: A global job search engine that also covers Germany. It has a wide range of job listings across various industries and locations.
- Monster: One of the leading job portals globally and it also covers the German job market. Monster is your source for jobs and career opportunities, you can search for a job in Germany, read career advice from Monster’s job experts.
- CareerBuilder: A global job portal that also covers Germany. It lets you build a customized job search and provides job openings across a range of industries.
- Glassdoor: A job search website where you can find out about a company’s interview questions, salaries, reviews and more.
- Jobware: A German job portal with a focus on professional and executive level positions, this could be helpful for you when you are looking for a C-Level job in Germany.
This list helps as starting point for some of the most popular job portals in Germany, but we also have many other job portals catering to niche markets available as well. It is important to note that some of these portals are more focused on specific industries or locations.
To increase your chances of finding a job in Germany that is a good fit for you, it is a good idea to search different job portals.
Prepare for the Interview
Once you have landed an interview, it is important to prepare thoroughly. This includes researching the company and the position you are applying for, as well as practicing your German language skills depending on the role you applied for. Additionally, you should be prepared to answer common interview questions, such as why you are interested in working for the company and what you can bring to the position which is something universal and just not limited to get a job in Germany.
Typical Interview Process for Jobs in Germany
The job interview process in Germany can vary depending on the company and the position you are applying for. However, here are some common interview rounds that you may encounter:
Initial Phone Screen
This is usually the first step in the interview process. The employer will contact you by phone to ask about your qualifications, work experience, and availability. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions about the job and the company.
This is an interview with the hiring manager or one of senior members of the team, the primary focus of this round is evaluate whether the candidate can functionally do the job. You can expect questions about your qualifications, skills, work experience, and why you are interested in the job.
Optionally, this round scans for any glaring red flags in terms of behavior to evaluate if you are right fit for the company culture.
You might have a technical interview with a member of the team or department you would work with, depending on the position you are applying for. You will be challenged more specifically at the interview about your qualifications for the position and prior work experience.
Expect questions to check your in-depth knowledge, prepare to demonstrate your technical/functional skills and be effective with your communication.
Bar Raise Interview
A bar-raise interview is a type of interview that is used by some companies in Germany to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications and potential for advancement within the company. This type of interview is usually conducted by a senior member of the company or/along with a representative from the company’s human resources department.
Companies conduct Bar Raiser round to make sure that they are hiring the people with right behavioral traits and to ensure that standards are not being compromised.
It’s also important to note that the bar-raise interview may be used in different ways by different companies, and it’s always a good idea to check with the company for more detailed information about their process.
The final interview, also known as the “Decision-Making Interview” is the last step in the interview process that could land you with a job in Germany. This interview is usually conducted by the head of the department you would be working in or the company’s CEO/COO. The purpose of this interview is for the employer to get a sense of how well you would fit into the company’s culture and how you would perform in the role.
During the final interview, the employer will ask you more in-depth questions about your qualifications, work experience, and skills. They will also ask you about your long-term goals and how you would fit into the company culture. The interviewer may also ask you about your salary expectations and any other benefits you would require.
As the last step before the company decides whether to hire you, it’s crucial to be well-prepared for this interview. Do your homework on the organization and the position you are applying for, and prepare a list of questions for the interviewer. Be ready to market your qualifications and yourself to the interviewer.
Do remember the fact that the final interview isn’t only about the company evaluating you but it is also an opportunity that allows you to evaluate the organization and the role you are applying for.
Learn the German Language
Learning German is one of the most crucial things you can do to improve your chances of getting a job in Germany. Even though English is spoken in many German businesses, you will have a distinct advantage over other applicants if you speak German well. Furthermore, because it facilitates communication and integration within the workplace, many German companies prefer to hire candidates who speak German.
Get The Right Visa / Work Permit For Germany
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) country, you will likely need a visa to work in Germany. The specific visa requirements will depend on your country of origin and the type of job you are applying for. Here is an overview of the most common visa types for those looking to work in Germany:
It’s necessary to keep in mind that obtaining a visa can take many months, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible. You should also be ready to present a ton of documentation, such as certificates of your education and language proficiency as well as evidence of your ability to sustain yourself financially while looking for work in Germany.
It’s imperative to remember that the German embassy in your home country or the current country of residence is the competent authority authorised to issue visas. As a result, it’s essential to visit the embassy’s website for more precise information about the process and requirements for obtaining a visa in your particular circumstance.
Networking Can Help You to Get a Job in Germany
Networking is an important aspect of finding a job in any country, and Germany is no exception. Attend job fairs and networking events in Germany to meet potential employers and learn about job opportunities. You can also reach out to your professional contacts and ask if they know of any job openings in Germany. Additionally, you can join professional associations and groups related to your field of expertise to expand your network and learn about job opportunities.
Types of Work Visa Permits to Get a Job in Germany
As an European Union Citizen
As a citizen of the European Union (EU), you have the right to live and work in any EU country, including Germany. You do not need a work permit or a special visa to work for a job in Germany as an EU citizen.
When looking for a job in Germany as an EU citizen, you can use the same job search resources as German citizens, such as online job portals, recruitment agencies, and networking events. You may also want to consider applying directly to companies that interest you or sending a speculative application.
As EU citizens, you are also protected by EU laws that prohibit discrimination on the grounds of nationality, so employers cannot treat you differently from German citizens during the recruitment process and you have the right to receive information in your mother language, and if your language skills are not good enough to understand the German job market and the requirements of the companies you are interested in, it’s a good idea to improve them before you start your job search.
Overall, being an EU citizen gives you the right to live and work in Germany, but you will have to comply with the same rules as German citizens and meet the same requirements as other job seekers.
Job Seeker Visa
A job seeker visa, also known as a “job search visa,” is a type of visa that allows non-EU citizens to enter Germany for the purpose of finding a job. With this visa, you can stay in Germany for up to six months and look for a job in Germany. If you find a job within this time period, you can then apply for a work permit for long term residence.
To apply for a job seeker visa, you will need to have a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds to support yourself while in Germany, and proof of your qualifications and language skills. You will also need to provide a detailed job search plan, including a list of companies you plan to apply to and your qualifications for the job in Germany.
Please do note that obtaining a job seeker visa does not ensure job in Germany. If the German government thinks you have a good possibility of landing a job within the next six months, they will only grant you a job seeker visa. Do be mindful that the job seeker visa has a six-month maximum validity period and cannot be renewed or extended.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind that if you intend to apply for a job seeker visa, you should have a strong CV, an effective cover letter, and a well-defined job search strategy. You should also be well-versed in the German job market and the needs of the German companies you are interested in. This may improve both your possibilities for obtaining a job seeker visa as well as your chances of finding job in Germany within the allowed six months.
If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need a work permit to work in Germany. This type of visa is issued by the German government and allows you to work in Germany for a specific employer. To apply for a work permit, you will need to have a job offer from a German employer, as well as proof of your qualifications and language skills.
EU Blue Card
This type of visa is for highly skilled non-EU citizens who have a job offer in Germany with a minimum salary of €53,600 per year. The EU Blue Card is valid for four years and can be renewed if certain conditions are met.
This type of visa is for non-EU citizens who want to start their own business in Germany. To apply for a self-employment visa, you will need to have a business plan and proof of sufficient funds to start your business.
If you are a student and want to work in Germany while studying, you can apply for a student visa. This type of visa allows you to work up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year.
Au Pair Visa
This type of visa is for non-EU citizens who want to work as an au pair in Germany. To apply for an au pair visa, you will need to have a job offer from a German host family and pass a German language test.
Language Course Visa
This type of visa is for non-EU citizens who want to come to Germany to learn the language. The language course visa allows you to take a German course and work part-time.
Be Determined & Patient
Finding a job in Germany can be a long and challenging process. Being persistent is essential because it frequently takes several months to find employment. Even if you don’t hear back right away, keep networking and submitting resumes. Furthermore, being adaptable and open to various job types and industries will improve your chances of finding a position that is a suitable fit for you.
You may improve your chances of getting a job in Germany by studying the German language, understanding the German job market, networking, customizing your resume and cover letter, getting ready for the interview, and being persistent.
Bonus: Benefits Offered for Job in Germany
Germany is known for its comprehensive social security system and strong labor laws, which provide employees with a wide range of benefits. Here are some common benefits that employees in Germany may be entitled to:
- Health Insurance: It is a requirement of German law that all employees have health insurance. The employee’s insurance premiums must be partially paid for by the employer. The option of statutory health insurance or private health insurance is available to employees.
- Pension: German workers are obligated to pay into a pension plan that will pay them a pension once they reach retirement age. Additionally, employers must make contributions to the pension plan of their employees.
- Paid Vacation: In Germany, employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days of paid vacation per year, with the number rising as the number of years of service grows.
- Parental Leave: Parents are entitled to 14 months of parental leave, which can be taken up until the child’s 8th birthday. The leave can be taken by either parent, and a portion of the leave can be taken as unpaid leave.
- Public Holidays: There are nine public holidays in Germany, and employees are entitled to take these days off with pay.
- Sick Leave: Employees have the right to take time off work if an illness or injury prevents them from working. The first six weeks of sick leave must be paid for by employers; any subsequent sick time is covered by the government.
- Care Leave: Employees are allowed to take time off work to take care of a sick relative. Depending on the conditions, the length of the leave may be up to six weeks, with the employer being obligated to cover the remaining time.
- Working Hours: German workers often put in 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week in their jobs. A maximum of 8 hours of overtime per week must be rewarded with additional time off or compensation.
You should note that these are the minimum requirements for benefits in Germany, and some companies may offer more generous benefit packages. Additionally, the specific rules and regulations for each benefit can vary depending on the state of your job in Germany, so it’s a good idea to check with your employer for more detailed information.
In conclusion, getting a job in Germany as an expat can be difficult, but it is feasible with the appropriate approach and preparation. You may improve your chances of landing a job in Germany by studying the language, networking, investigating the German labor market, emphasizing your foreign experience, looking for English-speaking employers, obtaining a work permit, preparing for the interview, while being persistent and patient.
Please do let us know if you have any questions with respect to your search or in understanding the market, while we can’t be precise with the responses but we try our best to get the right answers/resources for you and we wish you all the best and hope you will find a job in Germany very soon!