Tips About How To Find A Job In Berlin In 2020

Cost Of Living In Berlin - Main
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.

Join our network: Our Facebook group with more than 1,800 people is all about finding a job in Berlin. It’s a place to network with locals and companies who are hiring. We also feature success tips, event listings, upcoming conferences, job postings and more.  

You’ve probably heard that expression that “Berlin is poor, but sexy.” While I personally hate the reference as it’s way too overused, it has a certain truth. Berlin’s known to be a creative mecca for artists and a technology hub for startups, but it’s not exactly a place booming with high-paying jobs that you might find elsewhere, like in the automobile heavy city of Stuttgart or the financial hub of Frankfurt. As of June 2020, unemployment hovered around 11% in Berlin, while the rest of Germany remained at a rate of about 6.3%. Factor in not being able to speak German fluently, not being an EU citizen, and/or a person of colour, you’ll find the odds of finding a job in Berlin somewhat stacked against you. While it’s not impossible to find work in Berlin, it isn’t going to be easy either, even if other online publications tell you otherwise.

Moving To Berlin Guide - Cheryl Howard Berlin

Recommended reading: Published in May 2019, we’ve crafted our most ultimate blog post yet with this Moving To Berlin guide. Jam packed full of tips about how to make friends, open a bank account, get a visa, learn German, buy insurance, and more, this is the most detailed (and FREE) guide out there.

I’ve been living and working in Berlin on and off for more than eight 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 find a replacement client quickly who could provide me with 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 in life. I finally moved back to Berlin two years later in November 2014, after I found a new job with a company who sponsored my visa application.

Since then, I’ve held 5 different visas and worked as a freelance and permanent employee at 7 different companies (startup life is a tumultuous one!) and now feel like a “professional job seeker” in Berlin.

My Personal Advice About How to Find Work in Berlin

Find A Job In Berlin - Cheryl Howard 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 English speaking expat. To that end, here’s a list of my top 12 tips about how to find work in Berlin.

Recommended reading: This post written in June 2020, on The Reality Of Finding Work In Berlin In 2020 (in light of COVID-19 and a German recession). 

1) Be Realistic and Patient

It’s not likely that you’ll 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’ll likely 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 your visa application will be approved. All you can do is hang in there and wait for everything to fall into place.

The good news is that Germany needs skilled workers and in December 2018, the government passed a law that makes it quicker and easier for companies to secure visas for people from outside of the EU. Visa waiting and processing times also tend to be  less than a month these days – although if your visa is complicated, the process can still take much longer.  Overall, these are  positive signals and means things should start getting easier for anyone seeking work in Berlin or Germany  in general.

In the meantime, if you don’t work in the tech sector, 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. Anyone who tells you that you don’t need to communicate in German when you’re coming to work and live in Germany is simply silly.  Outside of the startup and technology bubble, most companies operate in German. Almost all occupations will require that you have a high command of the language. While that’s starting to change as more people from around the globe are moving to Germany, the pace of change is slow, and you need to need to know German in order to succeed in your new expat life.

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.

Recommended reading: Why you need to learn German in Berlin.

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

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. 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

How else can you find a job in Berlin? 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 at Timeworkers or through Zenjob. You might even be able to find a job on Craigslist.

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.

Pro Tip:  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, and even deportation.

6) Apply at Startups

Startups are one of the best ways to find a job in Berlin. Startups are more open to hiring expats than more traditional German companies – so much so that they purposely seek and hire talent from all around the world, relocating 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 startups usually offer a challenging, fun working environment with international teams.

However, startup jobs tend to pay less than industry average and involve long hours. As startups 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 startups that are more mature, around 3 – 5 years old, vs ones that opened their doors within the past 6 months – 1 year.

Don’t take make a decision to take a job at a startup lightly. While the promise of working at a fun and young startup may seem awesome, there are unfortunate and common realities with many Berlin startups – you may end up 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 startup, read my friend Abby’s story.

Where can you search for startup jobs in Berlin? Take a look at these 19 different resources which includes links to Facebook groups, Google Docs, maps and other related Berlin job search startup websites.

  1. Angel List
  2. Berlin Job Board (Facebook group) 
  3. Berlin Job Detector (Facebook group)
  4. Berlin Startups (Map) 
  5. Berlin Startups (Facebook group)
  6. Berlin Startup Jobs (Facebook group)
  7. Berlin Startup Jobs (Google doc)
  8. Berlin Startup Jobs
  9. Deutsche Startups
  10. English Jobs in Berlin (Facebook group)
  11. F6S
  12. Jobbatical
  13. OnStartupJobs
  14. PR and Communication Jobs (Facebook group) 
  15. stackoverflow 
  16. Startup Jobs Berlin (Facebook group)
  17. Startup Sucht
  18. tbd* job board

Find A Job In Berlin - Sunset

7) Search Online

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

Where else can you search for jobs in Berlin online? Try out these 30+ different Berlin job search websites:

  1. Absolventa
  2. Berlin Expat Jobs
  3. Berliner Jobmarkt
  4. The Changer
  5. Expat Job Seeker
  6. Glass Door
  7. Gründerszene
  8. Good Jobs
  9. Honeypot (Tech jobs)
  11.  i-potentials
  12. In Staff (Temp jobs)
  13. Job List Berlin
  16. Jobs in Berlin
  17. JoZoo
  18. Linked In 
  19. The Local
  20. Meine Stadt
  21. MoBerries 
  23. t3n
  25. Stepstone 
  27. WOLOHO
  28. Work in Berlin
  29. Xing

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.

8) Freelance

Even more ways to find a job in Berlin? It’s fairly straightforward 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.

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.

Freelancing is also a good solution for those looking to start their own business in Berlin. Check out some of these resources to start your journey toward finding freelance work:

  1. Berlin Freelancers
  2. Digital Nomad Jobs 
  4. Twago

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 granted to individuals with certain vocational training or other highly skilled individuals who have a university degree. Note, those seeking work in vocational fields need to have a high level of German fluency. For both vocational works and those coming with degrees, it needs to be recognized by the  Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). You cannot work while you have this visa (even freelance), but once you have a contract, you can apply for a proper work permit. An exception to this is that you can work up to 10 hours per week, but only if this is part of a recruitment process. For example, as an Agile Coach sometimes, I need to work a trial day at a company before they decide whether or not they want they want to hire me. The job seeker visa can also not be extended beyond six months.

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’d one of these visas before later applying for the freelancer’s visa. 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 allowed 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. 

Cost Of Living In Berlin - Brandenburger Tor

10) Follow German Norms, Not Your Norms 

Another tip to find a job in Berlin is to be aware that local employment customs in Germany may differ from how things work in your home country. 

Resumes or CV’s – Germans include personal information on their CV’s that are not typically included in places like North America or Australia – a professional looking photo, date of birth, and place of birth. Some people even specify their marital status and if they have children. This information is usually added to the header section of a CV, along with your name and address so that it appears at the top of each page. 

In recent years, I haven’t included my date or place of birth due to reduce the amount of bias a potential employer could have against me based on that information. I’ve never once included my marital status. I’ve only added a photo as that seems to be a common practice these days and not a custom limited to Germany. I personally haven’t found this has hindered me from being able to get job interviews with German companies. 

I advise you to include this information at your own discretion due to possible bias that may occur. It may make more sense to do so if you’re applying at a more traditional German company, like a big corporation or law firm.  If you’re applying at a startup and for a job advertised in English, it’s highly likely that you don’t need to include this personal information as startups tend to be way more informal. 

Cover Letters – For your cover letter (sometimes referred to as a motivation letter), be sure that it’s tailored to the job description and company itself. Try not to start your cover letter with “To whom it may concern” but address it directly to the contact person listed on the job posting. Then depending on how traditional the company is, if someone named Laura Müller is listed, don’t 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.” If there is no contact person, only then use an impersonal greeting.

Some of these practices may seem unnecessarily formal to someone from outside of Germany, but not doing this, could possibly make you appear unprofessional and even rude in their eyes. Again, alter your approach depending on the type to which you’re applying. 

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 headhunters (see a full list of executive search companies) or attend job fairs. One good recruiting agency is AZ Personalkonzepte

12) Be Here

Sometimes, it’s as simple as being here. This is becoming less and less of a factor nowadays, but there are still some companies that 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 do interviews via Google Hangout, Skype, or phone despite your geographical distance. Some richer companies will even fly you in for an interview or trial day. 

Find A Job In Berlin – Expath

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

There you have it, my top tips about how to find a job in Berlin. If you have further suggestions or questions in general, please leave a comment below. 

Find A Job In Berlin – Good To Know Newsletter1) If you’re keen on exploring Berlin, book a city tour. 


2) Visiting Berlin and need a place to sleep that’s not a friend’s couch? Look for hotels over on

3) If hotels aren’t your thing,  book an Airbnb room or flat. First time users can use this link to get a €34 travel credit.

4)  If you’re road tripping through Germany, rent a car.

5) We’ve plenty of other Berlin life and Germany related posts on the blog:

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*Disclosure – This post contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour, car rental, or hotel through any of these links, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Founder of Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.


  12. 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

  13. 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! 🙂

  14. 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?


  15. 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.

  16. 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.



  17. 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 🙂

  18. 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.



  19. 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 🙂

  20. 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.


  21. 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.


  22. 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

  23. 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!


  24. Hi Cheryl,

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

  25. 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! 🙂


  26. 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. 🙂

  27. 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?

  28. 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!


  29. 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!

  30. 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!


  31. 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!


  32. 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! 🙂


  33. 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!

  34. 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. 🙂

  35. 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.

  36. 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

  37. 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,


  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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?

  42. 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!

  43. 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?

  44. 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!


  45. 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?

  46. 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.


  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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!

  50. 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.

  51. 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

  52. 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

  53. 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!

  54. 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.

  55. 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

  56. 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 🙂

  57. 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

  58. Hello, um Zubair form India.
    Can I get part-time job in Berlin. I have got admission in Arden university. My background is Electronics with 3 years bachelors and 2 years masters.

  59. Hi there Zubair – Thanks for reading my blog! I believe that if you’re attending university, you can work part-time with a mini-job. I don’t really know the specifics, but best to check the government website or with your school for more information. Best of luck!

  60. Hi Cheryl – wonderful read and advice! I’m also from Toronto and have plans to move to Munich, Germany and join my partner who is currently working and living there. However, the idea of not having a job secured first is the only thing holding me back from making the big move right away. I have started actively looking for jobs from here in Toronto, Canada but know that it may be harder than physically being in the city itself. I don’t have a set date of when I would move over, but do you think I should apply for a visa (e.g. working holiday visa) first so that I could potentially move over without having a secured job, but be able to continue applying for and potentially begin working if something comes along? Further to that, how long is a working holiday visa valid for (and does it start at the time the visa is approved and issued?)

    Thanks! 🙂

  61. Hey Maggie – Thanks for reading! And cool, you’re from Toronto. 🙂

    You have a lots of options … You could come over on a tourist visa for up to three months and look for work while here on a brief stay. You can apply for a job seeker’s visa which would allow you to live here for six months to look for work as well. You can also come on the working holiday visa – it lasts for a year and allows you to be able to work, study, or live here. You just have to pick your flavour, sort to speak. I’d check out the official website for more info and take it from there.

    Good luck with your search!

  62. hello, i have read through you post and it is very interesting. i am a cameroonian planning to travel to Germany in July to study at a school SRH and i sincerely think this post will help me get a job. i really need help from you in finding out if there is a university in germany SRH. i also wish to ask if it is possible to help me get a job. i am hardworking and dynamic but i wont be able to pay my complete fees if i dont get a job. i am begging you to please help me.

  63. Hiya Njem,

    First of all, congrats on coming to Berlin! Unfortunately (as I mention in the post above), I don’t help people find jobs as I’m not a recruiter. This post is simply intended to be a handy reference guide with some helpful tips that might help you find a job in Berlin. I do hope you can get some valuable takeaways from the article and wish you all the best of luck with your search.

    Kind regards,
    – Cheryl

  64. Hi Cheryl, thank you for sharing such precious infos. But you have to consider that things are different in case you’re not an EU citizen: a German employer will likely prefer an EU expat to an extra-European one since the only thing an EU citizen has to do, in order to find a job easily, is just to have a German residency. When it comes to an American, an Asian or an Australian individual, everything is gonna be though because of a more precarious and unstable situation.
    I’m Italian and I know it works in Germany.

  65. Thanks for your comments Francesco. What you said is somewhat true! 🙂

    If you read the article carefully, you’ll see that this guide was *explicitly* written for people who are from outside of the EU. I myself am from outside the EU (Canada!) and wrote this article to help others based on my personal experience. Directly at the beginning of this article, I also take care to note these challenges you mention.

    These are just some simple tips that may help people who are thinking about coming here and obviously cannot 100% work across the board for everyone. For sure there will always be some bias – the tendency to hire a German or someone from the EU vs someone from outside. In more extreme cases, there’s even racial bias, which is unfortunate but common. 🙁

    I see some companies becoming more open to recruiting people from around the world and take care of securing the appropriate visa. Germany is in desperate need of labour and the government is even working to loosen visa restrictions for qualified workers. Let’s hope the positive change keeps on coming. 🙂

  66. I AM an EU citizen, but I guess it’s because I”m “too old” and black that I”m getting squat here in Berlin. Even from the I.T. industry and for basic help-desk jobs. I swear it’s because I”m black and they think that means “American” meaning “needs work permit” or either that or British meaning “about to Brexit == will need work permit”. I”m FRENCH but that’s not helping whatsoever!! I even put in a copy of my Carte Nationalité and still, either outright rejections or crickets. If I try all the other cities, then it’s, well, I’m in Berlin living in a Frauenhaus. Can’t afford to just move around the country when no one will hire you and your savings runs out and you wind up in a Frauenhaus.

  67. Hey Pamela – I am very sorry to hear about your experience. I’ve heard it can be like this and know for many that the search is hard for the reasons you say. 🙁

    I wish you the best of luck in your search and career ahead and hope you find a job in Berlin that you really like!

    – Cheryl

  68. Hello!, great article. I need help, can’t find the right direction to my situation.

    I’m currently in Berlin, with a tourist visa, I found a job, but they are worried it will take too long until the codiv situation clears, and I’m able to go back to my country to do the work on contract visa.
    Is there some kind of exception, where I could get a working visa, if I find a job during this lockdown period? I’m a programmer, and the fact that I can’t go anywhere to move on with my documents, make my unable to work, and I urgently need to.

  69. Hi Tomas – Thanks for reading and stopping by! Hope the article has been helpful. 🙂

    I am not an expert on visas, especially during this extraordinary time. If you found a job, your Human Resources department should be able to help you. Failing that, you may want to contact your embassy for advice, or email the Ausländerbehörde directly. You can also seek the help of an expat relocation service like

    Best of luck Tomas!

    – Cheryl

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