Berlin, Europe, Expat Living, Germany

12 Tips About How to Find a Job in Berlin

(Last Updated On: November 13, 2018)

Find a Job in Berlin 

So you’ve become a Berlin expat. Or maybe you’re an aspiring Berlin expat. You’re looking for a job in Berlin and are wondering exactly how people go about finding work in the German capital.

You’ve probably heard the expression that “Berlin is poor, but sexy.” While I personally hate the reference as it’s way too overused, it has a certain truth. While Berlin’s known to be a creative mecca for artists and a technology hub for startups, it’s not exactly a place booming with high-paying jobs that you might find elsewhere, like in the automobile capital of Stuttgart or the financial hub of Frankfurt. As of February 2017, unemployment hovered around 9.6% in Berlin, while the rest of Germany remained at a rate of about 6.3%. Factor in not being able to speak German fluently and/or not being an EU citizen, you’ll find the odds of finding a job in Berlin are stacked against you.

While it’s not impossible to find work in Berlin, it’s not going to be easy either, even if people tell you otherwise.


I’ve been living and working in Berlin on and off for the past five years and can personally attest to the difficulties of finding a job in Berlin. The first time I moved here, I worked as a freelancer for 18 months. When I lost my biggest client, I wasn’t able to quickly find a replacement client that could provide the same level of income. With a heavy heart, I moved home to Canada to find more secure employment and figure out my next steps. I finally moved back to Berlin two years later in November 2014, when I found a new job with a company who sponsored my visa application. Since then, I’ve worked at four different companies (startup life is a tumultuous one!) and now feel like a professional job seeker in Berlin.

Looking for guidance about how to move house in Berlin? Read my comprehensive guide.

Find a Job in Berlin

Since I’ve written a lot about why I moved to Berlin, people often email me asking for advice about how to find work or even how to make friends. While I’m not an expert by any means nor can I personally find you a job, I can certainly dole out some advice about finding work in Berlin as an expat. To that end, here’s a list of my top 12 tips about how to find work in Berlin.

1) Be Realistic and Patient

It’s not likely that you will find your dream job overnight. Berlin’s a tough place to find work and it could take several weeks, even months (yes!), before you find a job that suits your education, experience and skills.

Even once you’ve a signed a contract with an employer, you may still need to wait before you actually start work. If you’re from outside the EU, you’ll need to submit a visa application and wait time for it to be approved. Based on personal experience, this can take anywhere from one to three months. During this time, you’re not permitted to work and there’s also no guarantee that it will be approved. All you can do is hang in there and wait for everything to fall into place.

Finding and starting a job in Berlin is almost a job in itself. 

2) Learn German

Don’t come to Berlin expecting that you can get by on English alone. Read my take on why you need to learn German in Berlin. Just think about it, the more German you learn, the better your chances are at finding employment. You’ll set yourself apart from the average expat if you’re able to communicate with potential employers in their own language.

Enroll in a language class *before* moving to Berlin. If that’s not possible, enroll in a class as soon as you get here. Make it a priority to learn as much German as you can and be as fluent as possible.

Once you get to Berlin, there’s tons of languages schools to choose from. There’s the fairly priced Volkshochschule, the alternative school Babylonia, and Expath. More upmarket options include the Goethe Institute and if you’re very serious and committed about learning German and want to do so within a short timeframe, try Smarter German. There’s also language learning apps like Rosetta Stone, Memrise, and Duolingo. For even more ideas about how to learn German, find some inspiration with Slow Travel Berlin.

Pro Tip: Make sure your level of German (A1, B2 etc.) is indicated on your resume or CV.


3) Have Savings

Maybe you’re rich. Maybe you’re generously supported by family, like your parents or spouse. But maybe you’re like me. I moved to Berlin alone and without anyone to support me financially. As such, it was imperative that I have a solid financial plan in place.

Due to the length of time it could take you to find a job in Berlin, I’d highly recommend that you have enough savings to live off of until you’re able to find work. I came with enough to survive comfortably for six months and would suggest even having enough for one year.

Make sure that you don’t burn through all of your savings just trying to find a job. If you come to a point where money is running out, you’ll need to seriously consider your options. Do you have enough money to buy a plane ticket home? Do you have enough cash to ship your belongings?

Pro Tip: Keep a financial buffer even after you’ve found a job in Berlin. You’ll be under probation for the first six months of your employment and during this time, your employer can terminate you on short notice, only having to pay you for two weeks of work. In more extreme cases, some companies in Berlin (most notably startups), are notorious for letting you go quite suddenly and even not being able to pay salary, as they go about restructuring and/or shutting down their businesses.

How much you need to survive in Berlin without a job is entirely up to you. It all depends on your lifestyle. Although Berlin is known to be cheaper than other European capitals, the city is getting more expensive every year, especially when it comes to rent. If you’re looking for a place to live in Berlin, be sure to check out my article about how to use Facebook to find a flat in Berlin. Also, learn about why renting an Airbnb apartment is not a good idea.

4) Work Your Way Up

As you may not find that perfect job right away, think about taking an entry level position. Take a job as an intern, excel at it, and show your new employer why they should hire you for a more long term position. This tip is obviously more suited to recent graduates than seasoned professionals, but could be a great starting point for someone without a lot of experience.

Unfortunately, the intern culture in Berlin has a bad reputation. Be sure not to take a job that doesn’t pay industry standards and requires you to work overtime without appropriate compensation. Although Germany finally implemented a minimum wage, some companies continue to exploit young talent. 

For more information, see available internships at Berlin Start Up Jobs, Graduate Land or Creative City Berlin. Alternatively, check out these Facebook groups, Foreign Young Professionals Berlin and Berlin Startup Internships. You can also look for temporary work here

5) Multitask

Embody the true Berliner spirit and hold several jobs at one time. Bartend at night, work at a coffee shop during the day, DJ on weekends, and walk dogs whenever you have a spare moment. Make money while you’re looking for more serious work and you never know, perhaps one of those gigs could lead to something more. Perhaps you’ll end up running your own dog walking business for expats.

Note – this option doesn’t apply to people who don’t have a visa that gives them permission to work in Germany. For example, if you come to Berlin as an American on a 3-month tourist visa, you’re not permitted to work. Working “under-the-table” is highly illegal, and you, and the person who hired you, could face serious legal and financial consequences, even deportation.


6) Apply at Start-ups

Start-ups are one of the best ways to find a job in Berlin. Start-ups tend to be more open to hiring expats than more traditional German companies – so much so that they purposely hire talent from all around the world and bring people to Berlin just to work for them. Scoring work at a start-up is an exciting opportunity to help build a brand new company from the ground-up. Another perk is that starts-ups usually offer a challenging, fun working environment with international teams.

However, start-up jobs tend to pay less than industry average (see this Job Spotting report for stats) and involve long hours. As start-ups are more prone to financial woes than larger companies, be sure to research them in advance and apply at the ones that have solid financial backing, are (or soon will be) generating revenue, show a track record of successful business strategy, and/or have signed up big-name clients. Look to apply for jobs at Berlin start-ups that are more mature, around 3 – 5 years old, vs ones that opened their doors within the past 6 months – 1 year.

Do not take make a decision to take a job at a start-up lightly. While the promise of working at a fun and young start-up may seem awesome, there are unfortunate common realities with many Berlin start-ups that you may end up facing like not getting paid on time, and in some cases, not at all. Some ways to protect yourself? Have a German lawyer review your employment contract before you sign. Know your rights and inform yourself about German employment laws before you start the job. Keep in contact with your lawyer, just in case something happens at a later date. 

For a first hand account of what it’s like to work at a Berlin start-up, read my friend Abby’s story. Or take a look at this graduate guide to Berlin’s start-up scene.

Where can you search for start-up jobs in Berlin? Take a look at JobbaticalBerlin Start-up Jobs, HEUREKADeutsche StartupsGründerzone, Startup Sucht, OnStartupJobs, Angel List, tbd* job board, or check this map of Berlin startups. For more, see this list of Berlin start-up jobs web sites or check out IT jobs in Berlin. Also, join Facebook groups like Berlin StartupsBerlin Start-up Jobs, Berlin Job Board, English Jobs in Berlin, Berlin Job Detector, English Speaking Jobs in Berlin, PR and Communication Jobs, and Berlin Start-ups. Or see these tech specific jobs in Berlin. 

7) Search Online

Use job search engines and job boards and scan them regularly (actually religiously) for fresh opportunities. I’d recommend looking daily!

Of course, the usual suspects are helpful like Monster.deLinked In and Then there’s Xing, Glass Door, The Local, Expat Job Seeker, JoZooToytown Germany, Meine Stadt, JOB POINT, and Stepstone just to name a few. Also, consider local job sites like Jobs in Berlin, Job Spotting, Work in Berlin, i-potentials, Berliner Jobmarkt, and Berlin Expat Jobs. Or signup with WOLOHO, to get on their mailing list and be alerted to new jobs in Berlin, and even other German cities. is another option, where you signup, create a profile, and they’ll personally recommend companies and positions. To see a comprehensive view of Berlin based employer’s career pages, see Job List Berlin

Search for companies that are based in Berlin. Subscribe to alerts or mailing lists to be made aware of new postings that may suit you.

Another simple way to find a job in Berlin? Use Google to your advantage – for example if you’re an Agile Coach like me, simply Google – “agile coach jobs in Berlin” to view related postings.

Generally if jobs are advertised in English, there’s a chance the company is willing to hire someone who’s not a native German speaker. Scan the job description to see if German language skills are required and if so, at what level.

Kick it old school and make a good, old fashioned, phone call! Before doing any cold online job application, call the contact person listed on the job description, quickly introduce yourself, and ask them some questions about the job. You can find out if they don’t mind you directly emailing them your CV and cover letter. The hiring manager might even be so impressed with your professionalism, they’ll call you in for an interview right away. Failing that, the conversation may also reveal quite quickly that the job is not a good fit.


8) Freelance

It’s fairly straight-forward to get a freelancing visa in Germany, if you can prove you have a steady income and meet other various requirements. This is especially ideal for those that have location independent work. I’ve a number of friends in Berlin who work as writers, graphic designers, software developers etc. and all make a living from existing contracts in their home country or elsewhere.

Freelancing is also a good solution for those looking to start their own business in Berlin. Join this Facebook group to start a conversation and connect with other local freelancers. Also check out these job boards – and twago.

After my first working holiday visa expired back in 2012, I applied for a freelancing visa which allowed me to continue my work as both a travel writer and a project manager (yes, a bizarre combination). I made money writing for a Berlin hotel, through my blog, and doing project management consulting for a local company.

9) Getting the Right Visa

Getting the right visa will determine how long you can stay in Germany and whether or not you can work.

Depending on where you’re from, almost anyone can come to Germany, and stay for up to 3 months as a tourist. While you’re not allowed to actually work, you can at least stay in Berlin and begin your job search.

For more experienced professionals, you can apply for a job seeker visa that allows you to stay in Germany and look for work for up to six months. This visa is typically only granted to individuals who have experience in a specific field that’s in demand in order to make-up for labour shortages in certain areas like IT or marketing.

Young Canadians can apply for a working holiday visa that allows you to stay in Germany for up to one year to study, work, or if you like, do absolutely nothing! I had one of these visas before later applying for the freelancer’s visa. Other citizens from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong can apply for one of these visas as well (research to find out the specifics about what options your country offers). Approval of these visas requires you to show that you have money in the bank and your own health insurance, among other things. Unfortunately, these working holiday visas are not available to Americans or “old people”, which is anyone over 35.

It’s important to note that once you find a permanent position, you’ll have to apply for an entirely new visa *before* you begin working at the new company. This step-by-step guide of the German visa process provides an example for how the process works and what the company must do vs. what you must do.

The company that hired me for my first job in Berlin had their own lawyer help me get an EU Blue Card. This card allows me to work as an agile coach and for them only. Switching jobs on a Blue Card isn’t much of a problem if you move to a new company for the same type of position – you just need to notify the foreigner’s office about your change. Best of all, the path to permanent residency is shorter on the Blue Card – you can apply after 21 months if you have a B1 level of German. 


10) Go Local

Be aware that local employment customs in Germany may differ greatly from how things work in your home country.

For example, Germans include personal information on their CV’s that are not typically included on a CV in places like North America. Ensure that you add a professional-looking photo, date of birth, and place of birth to your CV. Add it to the header, along with your name and address information, so it appears at the top of each page. Some people even specify their marital status, but this no longer as common of a practice as it once was in Germany. It’s then safe to assume that you can keep your marital status off of your resume.

From a cover letter perspective, be sure that your cover letter is tailored to the job description and company itself. Do not start your cover letter with “To whom it may concern” but address it directly to the contact person listed on the job posting. If someone named Laura Müller is listed, do not start your cover letter with “Dear Laura” but with “Dear Frau Müller.” Likewise, if someone named Hans Müller is listed, begin your letter with “Dear Herr Müller.”

This may seem unnecessarily formal to someone from outside of Germany, but not doing this, may make you appear unprofessional and even rude in their eyes. Note – alter your approach depending on the type of company your applying for, as international startups tend to be more casual when compared to older and more traditional German companies. Many of these things may not matter for a start-up, but could be crucial when applying for a German company.

Brush up on these cultural norms to ensure that both your resume and cover letter are updated to reflect German preferred formats.

11) Network

Networking is essential if you want to find a job in Berlin. Many job openings are never publicly advertised and your friends can alert you to new job opportunities that you’d have never known about otherwise. Not to mention, a personal referral will give you an edge over other candidates applying for that same job. So how do you meet people in Berlin? My post about making friends in Berlin highlights just some of the methods I used to meet locals and other expats. 

Berlin has a terrific tight-knit community of expats who offer support to each other and will often help each other find work. When I first moved to Berlin, I really wanted to meet other people. Through following conversations of local expats on Twitter, I became aware of a fun “Hamburger Tour of Berlin” event. As funny as it sounds, this actually happened and a bunch of people came together to try out different hamburger joints around the city. It was at one of these events that I met someone who eventually hired me as a project manager and agile coach (on two different occasions).

Another option is to contact head hunters (see a full list of executive search companies) or attend job fairs. One good recruiting agency is AZ Personalkonzepte

Berlin 7

12) Be Here

It’s as simple as being here. A company might not take you too seriously if they see that you live abroad. Your chances at scoring a job are far better if you show a local address and phone number on your resume, and can be available for in-person interviews.

That being said, don’t feel discouraged from applying for jobs even though you’re not in Berlin yet. Be sure to indicate how serious you are about living and working in Berlin in your cover letter and demonstrate your commitment by learning German. If you’re an attractive candidate, many companies will be willing to do interviews via Google Hangout, Skype, or phone despite your geographical distance. Some companies will even fly you in for an interview or trial day. 

There you have it, my top 12 tips about how to find a job in Berlin. As I said, I’m not exactly expert but I hope my guide will at least help you get started with your job search and offer some hope.

If you have further suggestions or questions in general, please leave a comment below. 


How about getting help from local experts? Expath specializes in helping expats settle into Berlin. They offer workshops about how to find jobs and apartments in Berlin, provide personal coaching sessions, and even hold language classes. Check them out at

*Disclosure – This post was done in partnership with Expath.

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  • Reply Henry | @fotoeins October 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you for your helpful and “soberingly hopeful” post, Cheryl. 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Henry! LOL … well as you probably already know, finding work there isn’t easy but once you do well … you’re set to enjoy a great life in the Haupstadt. 🙂

  • Reply cynthia October 29, 2013 at 2:08 am

    great article! i love berlin for so many reasons that it can be hard to nail them down in a comment. however, its remarkable history, unconventional beauty, and the vibe and energy of the city’s people keep me coming back.
    although if i was going solo it would be easier to try my hand at moving there, but i’ll be with my non-german speaking boyfriend– it’s tougher when you have to look out for someone else as well as yourself. however an hour of coaching from people who know what they’re talking about would help 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      I feel the same Cynthia. It’s very hard to easily summarize why one loves Berlin. Hope you make it there soon and that you both enjoy accordingly. 🙂

  • Reply Sand In My Suitcase November 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Lots of great tips here! Berlin is an incredibly vibrant city (lots of creative energy) as you’ve explained. Probably would be great fun to live and work in for a time!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      It is such a great place to live and work. My goal is to make it back there in the future but in the meantime, enjoying being home in Toronto which is also an incredible city. 🙂

  • Reply Antonia November 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Thank you very much sweetie. I’m studying German at A level and am applying to univeristy to study german but before I go I would love to work in Berlin so your post has really helped me, thanks xxx

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Antonia! So glad to hear that this post was useful. Good luck in your move to Germany.

  • Reply Gran Canaria Local November 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Great tips, Cheryl. We particularly enjoyed number 10. But seriously, if you’re looking to relocate to Berlin (or indeed anywhere else) your article’s a bible.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I really hope that the article will be helpful for those looking for work in Berlin. It’s a tough place to find a job for expat types.

  • Reply Sophie November 7, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I moved to Berlin because there’s always something happening here 🙂 Never a dull moment!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 12, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Berlin is a great city! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it there.

  • Reply Megan Eileen November 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I would love to live in Berlin at some point in my life (you remember how much I loved visiting!) and these are some really helpful tips.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Megan – You would love living there too! Happy you got to enjoy the city though even if for a short while.

  • Reply Jeff November 15, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Very useful posts, especially the link to the Facebook group. Facebook groups are so incredibly useful for asking questions etc and I only just learned this a few months ago. Who knew!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks Jeff! Hopefully this post will help others who come to my website looking for advice.

  • Reply Mary @ Green Global Travl November 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    While some of your suggestions are specific to Germany, most of these ideas are brilliant regardless of where you live. This is actually one of the best lists of how-to’s for employment seekers I have ever read! Thank you for taking the time to compile it and for sharing such absolutely gorgeous images of Berlin while you were at it!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Mary – Oh wooow, I’m blushing. Thank you so much. I hope this post will help others who dream about a new life in Berlin. 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer December 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    These are great tips, Cheryl! Many of them can be applied to the expat job hunt just about anywhere.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Thanks Jennifer! I hope they will prove helpful to others. 🙂

  • Reply Robert Nguyen April 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Great tips! Keep your good articles!

  • Reply Mauricio Vater April 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Good Tips Cheryl!

    It made me think about realize how to moving in Berlin 🙂

    Really want to go but first it’s necessary to hear a real experience like yours.

    Greetings from Buenos Aires!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Not a problem Mauricio. Glad I could be of help. Hope you make it to Berlin soon!

  • Reply IT Jobs in Berlin July 10, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Of course you could always get a helping hand with finding that perfect job using our site as well (shameless plug)….:)

    Really insightful article by the way, loads of truly great tips, well done.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks for sharing Anthony. Hopefully, readers will find your site a useful resource.

  • Reply Senem July 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Dear Cheryl, I lived in Toronto for 11 years…and speak German pretty well. I lived in Berlin for a year. Speaking German well should up my chances in finding employment shouldn’t it?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 12, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Hey Senem!

      Cool to know there are other Torontonians who love Berlin like me.

      Speaking German will definitely up your chances. You won’t be just another expat who came there and does not know the language! Best of luck with your search.


      • Reply Senem July 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

        Thanks Cheryl! I am going there in a few days and have set up a meeting with Expath. Any other recommendations? I have 5 days there. Xo

        • Reply Cheryl Howard July 24, 2014 at 12:23 am

          Happy for you! Expath will be very helpful and can surely answer all of your questions. My only other recommendation is to enjoy Berlin. Have a beer along one of the canals in Kreuzberg for me! 🙂

  • Reply Sandra Wu August 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for the excellent post! Are you already in Berlin or planning to move there? I’m currently in Toronto, going there in September. I don’t know a lot of people in the same boat as me so it was great discovering your post! I would love to know more about your experience, can I shoot you a private message?


    • Reply Cheryl Howard August 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      No problem Sandra. Hope that it’s useful. I lived in Berlin for 18 months and am now home in Toronto. I do happen to be here now on vacation though! 🙂

      You can email me anytime at

  • Reply YeahOne Kim September 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    So helpful!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard September 9, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Glad that you enjoyed the article! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


  • Reply Antonio Curridori September 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Very interesting Cheryl, thanks a lot for your well written article. Would you suggest me an effective on-line inter active German language course? I am considering the option to get the basics of the language in that way, before moving.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard September 24, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Thanks Antonio! I’d suggest Duolingo or Rosetta Stone. Links to both sites can be found above. 🙂

  • Reply Masaru Toda January 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Hi Cheryl

    I just wanted to say , thank you so much for posting these pieces of advice.
    They are incredibly concise and accurate.
    They remind me of the fact that there is no ‘ magic ‘ to make this happen and that
    you need to take these steps patiently and hope for the best.
    It is good to know that everybody struggles to live and work in Berlin , not just me.

    I will take your advice seriously and stay positive.



    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 9, 2015 at 5:41 am

      Hi Masuru,

      Not a problem! Glad that I could be of help. Yes, stay positive and good luck on your job hunt and finding your way to Berlin.


  • Reply jayabharathu April 15, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Hi Cheryl,

    Clear and thorough article. As a software engineer moved to germany recently, I am already having a tough time getting a job. Your article has inspired me and given me hope to get one soon.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 15, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Hallo! Glad that you found the blog post useful. 🙂

      Software engineers are actually more in demand than anyone else so I’m shocked that you’re having a tough time finding a job.

      I have loads of questions! Are you living in Berlin? How much experience do you have? Which languages do you code in? Do you know German? Have you applied at start-ups or attended related events? Get back to me here or drop me an email.



  • Reply Wara April 27, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    thanks for your blog its so useful. actually i was an aupair in berlin last year but now im working in thailand and i miss there so much wanna go back but its so hard for me, because im non eu and for all experience i have is not enough or not interesting for any expat. i apply for many website and sent resume’ to many companies but or reject. i understand cause its not easy for non eu and in my country doesnt provide work and holiday visa there. just now i found there is visa for searching a job there for 6 months. is it right work and holiday and is it possible to find a job in 6months? would like to ask any idea from you. thanks for your reading. Wara 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 27, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Wara –

      Yes, it’s possible to get a job seeker’s visa that will give you 6 months to look for a job. The visa is granted based on a number of things, like that you have proof of income to survive on for that time, have health insurance, university degree and more.

      It’s difficult for me to say whether or not you you could find a job. Follow some of the tips above and that should help. 🙂

      Best of luck.


  • Reply Hugo June 19, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Hi Cheryl, 2015 but your article is still usefull and up to date. I also wantto share another link, to your useful list of tips. Hugor

    • Reply Cheryl Howard June 19, 2015 at 4:39 am

      Hi Hugo –

      Yes, the it’s 2015 but the article is frequently updated with new information. Thanks for sharing the other link as I’m sure readers will find it useful.


  • Reply Jeyaprakash G June 28, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you very much for the article. That was a nice one and useful for me too. I am also looking for an IT Job in Berlin or other parts of Germany. My Questions are,
    1. Do you see companies that do Network Management work with JAVA and J2EE technologies?
    2. How long does it take normally for a NON EU candidate to obtain a 6 month Job Seeker Visa?
    I am planning for a 6 month Job seeker Visa in the next 2 or 3 months.
    However, would be good to know from you as you have already been there for more than a year.

    Jeyaprakash G

    • Reply Cheryl Howard June 29, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Hiya Jeyaprakash –

      Thanks for stopping my blog and leaving such a kind comment!

      I’m not really familiar with any company/companies using the technology you mention. I’d suggest using some of the resources listed in this blog post as a starting point, and then conducting extensive research into the various companies located in Berlin or elsewhere. A lot of companies list their the technology capabilities on their websites. Also join some of the Facebook and Meetup groups listed above to start networking with others who may be work in this area.

      After your appointment at the ausländerbehörde, a visa application can take anywhere from several days to several weeks. To help minimize any possible difficulties, the best tips I can give is to make sure you have a complete application package and to also bring along a German speaking friend if you’re not fluent in the language. If you need extra help with your application, use Expath (listed above) or hire an immigration lawyer.

      I’ve only been back in Berlin for 8 months now and I applied for and had my work visa approved prior to my arrival.

      Hope this helps!


  • Reply Jeyaprakash G June 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you very much for the details that you have shared. I will work on the details that you have provided

  • Reply Rachel Petrie September 1, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Hi Cheryl!

    I love your blog! I just wanted to leave a comment as I work as a recruiter for a Multi National Company in Berlin and Ireland. I am always on the look out for German speakers who are looking to get jobs. I would be happy to help any of your readers with their search when they move to Berlin. If any German speakers out there wanted to email me their CV to

    Hope this helps someone! 🙂


    • Reply Cheryl Howard September 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I’ll leave it here for others to contact you. Love if you’d reference the blog post to anyone who’s looking for work in Berlin as well. 🙂

  • Reply Hazel October 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Hi, Cheryl! I’m a law fresh graduate and I am not working yet – and do not intend to work in law anymore. Do you have any suggestions as to some possible jobs I can look into, for moving to Berlin? I speak only a litte German – and am trying hard to improve it.
    I also really love cooking – but is it a “good enough” job to find, for Germany to accept me in the long run?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 10, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Hiya Hazel – learning German is a good start. If you can find someone, like a restaurant, to sponsor you for a job, you might be able to get a visa. However, a career in tech is always a good start as there are lots of jobs available in that sector, especially with start-ups.

      Good luck on your search and journey to Berlin!


  • Reply April Lynch October 13, 2015 at 5:24 am

    Hello Cheryl, I am going to study in Berlin. My plans are to live in Germany. I hope I could find a job. I read a lot of articles that people were disappointed of not giving them a chance to work. You give me hope with your post. Best regards!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 14, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Hey April – If you’re coming as a student, you’ll be permitted to work here! I believe there’s a limit as to how many hours per week you can work when you’re a student, but depending on your skills and background, there are plenty of jobs to be found in Berlin. Definitely check out the startup scene.

      Best of luck!


      • Reply April Lynch October 19, 2015 at 10:13 am

        Thank you for the useful information 🙂 I will 🙂

  • Reply Jamil November 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Cheryl !
    I found your post on a Google search and found it very informative and useful, I feel like it is tailored-made for me, since I have decided to move to Berlin to find a job there and hopefully live there for a long time. I was once there for a 2 month visit in 2012-2013 and I loved the vibe of the city, even if it was during the cold winter months.
    Later this week I will go ahead and check some of your links, I’m especially concerned with the visa situation, I will be getting there on a 3-month tourist visa and I need to know what can I do to get a work visa right away or if I should wait until I find an employer that will sponsor my work visa and stay with my tourist visa while I look for a job. I recently started basic German with Duoling and downloaded Rosetta Stone so I plan on taking their whole course. Once in Berlin though, I would love to enroll in a cheap language class, can I enroll without having a student/work visa?
    Some background info on myself: I’m 28, Honduran, industrial engineer with 3 years of professional experience in my field, Spanish native speaker,fully fluent in French and English and semi fluent in Mandarin Chinese as well. Do you think the odds will work in my favor or against me?
    Thank you in advance for your time to reply!


    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 12, 2015 at 5:44 am

      Hi Jamil,

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! Always glad to hear that this post is helpful.

      First of all, best of luck in your plans to move and find a job in Berlin.

      Great too, that you’re already working on your German. Most definitely, you can enroll in a language class without a visa.

      As I am not an expert on visas, I’d suggest contacting for advice on which visa type is best to your situation.

      Hope this helps and all the best! 🙂


  • Reply Charlotte H November 21, 2015 at 11:10 am

    This post is fantastic!

    I moved to Berlin a month ago with my boyfriend. I love the city, the history, the streets and the chance to learn a new language. But the past few day I have been feeling pretty despondent about the whole move – it has been tough finding a job and meeting new people.

    I think what this post made me realise is that if we can’t make the move work this time around, we can still re-strategise and try again in a few years. AND we have only been here a month, so we still have time to give it a go!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 23, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Thank you Charlotte! I’m always so happy to hear when people find that this blog post is useful to them on their job hunt here in Berlin. From experience, I know that it’s no easy feat to find something!

      Unfortunately, finding a job here takes time. This time of year is also difficult as many companies are ramping down their business as we get closer to Christmas. I wish you both the best of luck and hope you get to stay.

      If you’re looking for a way to meet new people, be sure to check my post about how to make friends in Berlin or come to one of the meetups hosted by my friend Adam and I. 🙂

  • Reply Bastien November 25, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I’m so glad you mention learning German, it’s also something i am trying to get across to expats moving to berlin. I created my blog out of frustration of explaining what reality is in Berlin, especially around the job market.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 26, 2015 at 5:15 am

      Thanks for your comment Bastien. Hopefully, people will find a great resource from your blog as well.

  • Reply Julia Kolegova December 18, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Thanks. I found this article to be very useful for me. Thanks a lot.

    I work myself in a start-up and I just being in love with its culture, agile environment. I would advise anyone to try at least once to work at a start-up

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 18, 2015 at 4:48 am

      Hi Julia – Happy to hear that the article was useful. There are definitely ups and downs involved with working in a start-up. Glad that you’ve had a positive experience so far!

      All the best,


  • Reply Dani Piñovski January 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Very interesting article! I,ve been in Berlin 3 weeks ago and certanly is a beautiful and nice city… For me is not a problem move to another countries i have a lot experience and i thing the most important thing that u need know is to do with motivation. I,m starting sending my cv,s to some companies there! Thanks Cheryl!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 8, 2016 at 6:38 am

      Hey Dani!

      Thanks for your comment. All the best on your quest to find a new job.

      Hope you find something soon.


  • Reply Brendan Hinds January 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Fantastic information here Cheryl, thank you for the effort you've put into this piece. I believe another issue here in Germany (not just Berlin) is the lack of a sense of urgency in hiring managers and HR departments. Unlike the USA, Canada, UK and Australia, where employers are fighting each other for the best employees, managers and HR folk here are very slow to reply to emails and often take up to 3-4 months to reply to an application, whether it be an interview invite or not. Additionally, I often see jobs listed for months at a time, e.g. jobs I saw listed back in early September 2015 are still listed right now – This would simply never happen in Australia, the position would be filled within a month and the listing removed.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Brendan – thanks for your comment. Yes, it sometimes takes them long here but this may be due to the fact that in Germany, many employees have to give 1-3 months notice before they can leave their job. I think this is what slows things down. Yet on the other hand, I’ve also had experiences where I’ve been hired really quickly.

  • Reply Rune January 9, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Cherly, I am also a canuck ( born and raised in Ottawa) that has recently returned home from a stint in London for a year.

    I visited Berlin and loved it and now I’ve been offered an internship there. But, I need a working holiday visa as expected.

    I can’t wrap my head around the health insurance requirement for the visa. How did you find one for the application?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Hiya Rune!

      Congrats on the internship offer.

      Getting health insurance is one of the most expensive parts of the working holiday visa, that’s for sure. I got travel/health insurance coverage through RBC. As they tend to be on the expensive side, I recommend Merit Travel instead, which should cost somewhere close to $800 Cdn.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

  • Reply Andy Edye January 10, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Cheryl good article. I am Australian with British passport as well. I am a professional executive assistant working with CEO and managing partner level but keen to take my well earned gap year albeit 20 year later. What do you suggest I might look at given age and skill set? I am going to enrol in German classes this year on your advice so hoping I might get a private secretary role or social secretary for embassy etc. thoughts?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 11, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Enrolling in German classes is a great start. As I’m not really an expert in your field, I cannot give out any specific advice. I’d suggest that you get in touch with and they can help you with more specfics.

      Best of luck!


  • Reply 12 Pragmatic Tips on How to Find a Job in Berlin March 13, 2016 at 5:07 am

    […] The 12 TIPS ABOUT HOW TO FIND A JOB IN BERLIN is exquisitely written by Cheryl Howard as part of her quest to inspire and equip individuals to move abroad. […]

  • Reply Satyam Sundar Panda September 13, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Hi CHERYL great article Thanks for sharing.
    Cheryl i am from India and planning to go Berlin for Job search(IT System administrator/System engineer) and i don’t no German. And now planning to join for German course, so upto what level(A1,A2…) should i do so that it will help me to find a job in Berlin?and How is the Job market there as a System engineer/ System administrator?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard September 13, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Hi Satyam – My pleasure! 🙂

      A couple of remarks:

      1) Keep up with your German. Be sure to check out my other article about learning German in Berlin. See –

      2) You will find many companies looking for System admins or engineers in Berlin! Such positions are in great demand! Check out some of the links above to see open positions. Also, my company is always hiring, so check us out too.

      Good luck with everything.


  • Reply Soumya Behera November 23, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Cherly, great blog really helpful for every one. Mam i am now planning to go Berlin for job searching.I am a Oracle Database Admin, and having 1+ year experience can you tell me how is Opening for a Oracle database admin in Berlin as i can able to do basic conversation in german.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 25, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Hey Soumya,

      Thanks for reading! Working in IT should make it easier for you than others to find work in Berlin. Unfortunately, there’s never a guarantee of course. All I can suggest is to follow the tips outlined above and to learn as much German as possible. Wish you the best of luck!

  • Reply Resume for Life to resume your Life | Hank the Real January 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm

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  • Reply How to find a job and work in Berlin - oddBerlin May 17, 2017 at 10:40 am

    […] Tips About How to Find a Job in Berlin by the Agile Coach Cheryl Howard shows you how people go about finding work in the German capital. […]

  • Reply tour du lịch nha trang December 19, 2017 at 10:40 am

    While some of your suggestions are specific to Germany, most of these ideas are brilliant regardless of where you live. This is actually one of the best lists of how-to’s for employment seekers I have ever read! Thank you for taking the time to compile it and for sharing such absolutely gorgeous images of Berlin while you were at it!

  • Reply Expat Advice for Finding a Job in Berlin - Indie Places January 10, 2018 at 3:34 am

    […] tips as a starting off point for landing your dream job in Berlin. Check out the original post here for more advice and links to other helpful tips for living in Berlin Good luck and happy […]

  • Reply SP July 8, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Waoo.. No words to say anything about your tips. Planning to move soon and want to start a photography job there. Can you please give me some idea / tips about photography market in Berlin? Is it possible to start a part time photography in Berlin? I am more in to Wedding,Portrait and baby shoot.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 8, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Hey SP –

      There’s definitely is a market for photographers in Berlin. It’s a city for creatives after all.

      I’m no expert as I work in tech, but the one problem I see would be that the market’s totally saturated and it could be hard to make a living with so many other competing photographers in the city. However, I’m sure if you’re able to network and you’re talented, there will be something out there for you.

      Best of luck,
      – Cheryl

  • Reply Sherinah July 31, 2018 at 4:08 am

    Hello, thanks for your advice, me I am a non EU but I am a business analyst with 5years and having 5 years in project management having MBA degree I want apply for housekeeping visa, do they consider non EU like Ugandans who apply? I also like to continuing with Germany language

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 31, 2018 at 9:59 am

      Hiya Sherinah – If you have a background as a business analyst or project manager, you may be able to find yourself a job doing that. There’s quite some demand for it. Another option could include getting a visa to come and study German. You could work a mini job on the side and do something like house cleaning then. Yet unfortunately, you cannot get a job to come and do work such as housecleaning only as the government is looking for highly skilled professionals and lucky for you, a project manager is just that! Good luck with your search!

  • Reply Leah Petrosino August 21, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Hi Cheryl,
    Thank you for your advice, I am currently moving to Berlin this year and have been applying for jobs with Customer service roles that are focused on English speaking. I have had a few set-backs from these jobs, I’m not to sure on why as I have a over 5 years experience in customer service. Do you think it’s because I am currently living in the UK and havent registered as of yet?
    Also what personal information should you have on your C.V?, as i know its different to an english one.

  • Reply Cheryl Howard August 22, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Hey Leah! Thanks for reading and glad the advice is helpful.

    It could be any number of things – but definitely being here really helps as you can easily come in for interviews or whatnot. On the other hand, a lot of companies (especially younger ones like startups) are willing to interview you over Hangouts or Skype and they don’t care where you’re located.

    Same goes for CVs. I’d suggest that if you’re applying for more traditional and older companies, a professional photo can really help, as well as where you’re born, and listing what languages you speak. Maybe also Google German CV format and you’ll see some examples that can provide further guidance.

    Hope this is helpful and best of luck in your search! x

  • Reply Milena October 8, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Hi Cheryl,

    I’m wondering if you have any advice on whether it is possible to find a job in Berlin before relocating to Germany from Canada? The idea of taking the plunge to move before finding work is daunting, and it would be preferable to have some employment set up before moving.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Hey Milena,

      Yes. As mentioned in the article, it’s certainly possible, but your chances are better if you’re here so you can meet one another in person. That’s why many come on a temporary basis and look for work while on a tourist or job seeker’s visa.

      There are some companies that seek out international talent but there are only a handful that actually do this. These companies are willing to interview via Skype, Hangouts etc., hire you, help you with your visa, and even pay relocation costs. However, this only applies for professions that are in high demand and/or don’t require a high level of German proficiency. I’d suggest looking at bigger firms or startups with a good amount of seed money and see where that gets you.

      Best of luck!

      – Cheryl

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