Expert Tips About How To Find A Job In Berlin In 2021

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Expert Tips About How To Find A Job In Berlin In 2021 – Estimated reading time: 34 minutes

So you’re a newbie Berliner. Or maybe you’re an aspiring Berliner. Whatever your situation, 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 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 Feb 2021, unemployment hovered around 11% in Berlin, while the rest of Germany remained at a rate of about 6%. 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.

Recommended reading: I dive deep into the reality of finding a job in Berlin during 2021 and the possible obstacles you may encounter. Check out, The Reality Of Finding Work In Berlin In 2021.

While it’s not impossible to find work in Berlin, it isn’t going to be easy either, even if other local content creators tell you otherwise. There are so many things to consider like German language skills, education requirements, not to mention racial and other biases that can creep up during the recruitment process. The pandemic certainly hasn’t made things easier either.

My Personal Advice About How to Find Work in Berlin

Working In Berlin - Cheryl Howard Career Coach
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I’ve been living and working in Berlin about 10 years now and can personally attest to the difficulties of finding a job. Since moving here, I’ve had five different visas and worked as a freelance and permanent employee at eight different companies (start life is tumultuous). I even managed to find a new job during the pandemic!

So you can say, I truly know what it takes to find a job in Berlin. So here are my top expert tips about how to find work in Berlin in 2021.

1) Be realistic and patient

Find a job in Berlin - It take patience
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First there’s the job hunt itself.

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, personality, and skills.

I asked members in my Find A Job In Berlin Facebook community (please do join us!) to tell me how many companies they applied at and how many interviews they had before they found a job. These were just some of their answers:

  • “80 online applications. 15 interviews. Job was eventually found through a friend of a friends network.”
  • “100+/-, maybe more.”
  • “100 applications and 2 interviews. No job.”

And these responses were collected BEFORE corona. Some of you may find a job really fast, but as you can see from the responses, a lot of people have their work cut out for them.

Of course it’s not hopeless. I created this article to help you out, so keep on reading. I’ll also share my personal story:

When the pandemic hit in 2020, my company entered the Kurzarbeit program (read an overview about how the program works). While the government assistance was welcomed, it meant that my hours and pay were significantly reduced. After months on the program, the situation was no longer financially tenable for me and I started to look for work.

Over the course of several months, I applied at many different companies. In some cases, I got immediate rejections and in other cases, I went quite far in the recruitment process and still got rejected. This was after countless interviews and several hours spent taking tests, completing case studies, and running day long workshops. It was a time filled with a lot of highs and lows and I lost faith in myself at moments. In the end, I am happy to say that I received two offers, accepted one of them, and started a new job in December 2020.

Then there’s the waiting for your visa to be approved.

Notethis section only applies to those from outside the EU who do not have permanent residence or citizenship. Skip ahead to point two if this is not relevant for you.

Even once you’ve a signed a contract with an employer, you’ll 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 for it to be approved. Pre-corona, visa waiting and processing times tended to be less than a month. The pandemic has slowed things down a lot and the waiting and processing times now vary from a few weeks to several months. Complications can occur that slow things down, like a backlog at your country’s embassy or extensive investigations into your academic credentials on the German side. I once had my visa rejected because they didn’t recognize my business degree and I had to come back to them with additional information. This back and forth process delayed my visa approval by more than month.

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. I know that for myself and hearing from others who’ve moved here, that this waiting process is angst ridden and it can be extremely hard to remain positive. The situation is completely out of your control and accepting this can be difficult.

While it’s a really tough experience to endure, do know that most visas do get approved. Take it from someone who knows – I’ve gone through it on five separate occasions!

There is good news of course.

Germany really 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. Germany has also weathered the pandemic fairly well from an economic standpoint compared to other wealthy nations and there are still job opportunities out there.

Recommended reading: If you’re wondering what jobs are in demand here in Germany, check out this list. Even better, use Make It In Germany’s quick check to find out about your chances at finding work. Although this tool was created in the pre-Corona times, it still offers up helpful insights.

All in all, while it’s essential to remain realistic and persevere throughout your job search and/or visa application process, there are very positive signals emerging for those of us who are foreigners seeking to work in Germany.

2) Learn German

Find A Job In Berlin And Learn German
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Do you need to know German to find a job in Berlin?

Honestly, the answer to this question is not at all straightforward.

While there are a growing number of companies in Berlin operating purely in English, we’re still in a moment where an even bigger number of companies do not speak English (or any other languages) in the workplace. This is Germany after all and German is the country’s official language. While things are starting to change for the better as more people from around the globe move to Germany, the pace of that change is snail-like slow. There are also certain professions that almost always demand fluent German, like healthcare or law for example.

Recommended reading: Find out why it’s so important to learn German when you live in Berlin and this other post, which dives more deeply into the situation with English speaking jobs in Berlin.

Don’t fret though. It’s most definitely possible to find English speaking jobs in Berlin, but not speaking the German language really narrows down your pool of potential opportunities. Just think about it, the more German you learn, the better your chances are at finding employment. You’ll set yourself apart from others if you’re able to communicate with potential employers in their own language.

I’ve always worked in English language companies since I’ve been living in Berlin and even after all my time here, my German is at a beginner level. I’m very fortunate to work in a job that’s in high demand so not knowing German hasn’t been a hindrance for me to date. When I looked for a job in 2020, my job search as angst filled as it would have been way easier had my German skills been up to par.

Follow these pros tips to help with the language topic:

  1. Enroll in a language class long before moving to Berlin. If that’s not possible, enroll in a class as soon as you get here. If your company offers a class, take advantage. Make it a priority to learn as much German as you can and be as fluent as possible. Use a language learning app like Rosetta Stone, Memrise, and Duolingo to complement your class learning.
  2. Indicate your level of German proficiency on your CV and be sure to display it prominently so recruiters can access whether or not your level is what they require for the job position. Make sure to specify the level of German that you know like A1, B2 etc. versus writing that you’re “good” at speaking German. No one will no what the latter means as it’s not objectively qualified (people often overestimate their own abilities) but employers will have an idea about your proficiency if you say A1.
  3. Job descriptions written in German generally imply that native German fluency is required, but if you really like the position, go ahead and apply! Take the chance as the employer may like you and decide to hire you despite your lack of language skills, but just be honest from the start with sharing your level of German on your CV and with the recruiter or hiring manager in the first call.

Bottomline, being fluent in German will not only make your job search easier and ensure you have a higher chance of finding work in Berlin, but more importantly, improve your overall quality of life here.

3) Have savings

Image by athree23 from Pixabay

How much money should you have in the bank while you’re waiting to find a job in Berlin?

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 this was my situation, 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 and/or wait for your working visa to be approved, 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 the same for everyone else.

That sounds like a lot of money and I admit, it really is. Many people probably don’t have that much cash on hand. If you don’t the six months in savings, look into getting access to an emergency credit card or line of credit as a backup plan. Perhaps ask a friend or family member if they can support you with a loan should you find yourself in a tight spot.

How much you need to survive in Berlin without a job is entirely up to you. It all depends on your lifestyle. i.e. Living in a shared WG versus living alone, living in a popular district vs living outside the Ringbahn, eating out a lot over cooking at home.

Recommended reading: To get an idea for the cost of living in Berlin, check out my post on the topic. I share a detailed breakdown of my monthly expenses and also feature some anecdotal data provided by fellow locals.

Stay on top of your finances while you’re unemployed.

Make sure that you don’t burn through all of your savings just trying to find a job. Monitor your budget carefully to know when you’re going to come to that point where you may need to rethink whether staying in Berlin makes sense. If you come to a point where money is running out, you’ll need to seriously consider your options. Make sure you have enough money left to support a move back home or elsewhere. You may need money to buy a plane ticket, ship your belongings, pay off final bills, and more.

Not only that, 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.

I once worked at a startup and made a decision to leave when the company failed to keep up with one their most basic legal obligations and ethical responsibilities – they stopped paying us on time and when they did, it sometimes even appeared in “installments”. It put me in a fairly precarious financial situation and it was a humiliating and stressful time for me, burning through my savings, borrowing money from friends, and even hustling some freelance writing work just to get by.

So take it from someone who learned the hard way, don’t overlook the importance of money in the bank.

4) Work your way up

Find Work in Berlin - Work Your Way Up
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Get your foot in the door with an entry level position.

How else can you find a job in Berlin? As you may not find that perfect job right away, one option is to take on 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 and even give you a promotion and of course, pay raise. Or take a job as a junior in a field in which you’re interested in gaining more experience, such as software development or data analysis.

This tip is obviously more suited to recent graduates than seasoned professionals, but it could be a great starting point for someone without a lot of experience.

Be careful of dysfunctional workplaces and exploitative employers.

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

5) Be someone with multiple side hustles

Work In Berlin - Hire Cheryl Howard Career Coach

Take on multiple gigs and do a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

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. Offer services as a photographer, website designer, you name it. Work temporarily for food delivery services like Lieferando or Wolt. Whatever it takes!

When I’ve been tight on cash, I’ve done things like sell backlinks on my blog, ghost write for sex sites (that was actually fun!), and even done transcription work which is way more tedious than you can imagine.

Make money while you’re looking for more serious work and you never know, perhaps one of those gigs could lead to something more. I know an accountant from the US who started doing tax returns for Americans in Berlin. She turned that into a fulltime job and a thriving business. An article I wrote on this blog about making friends in Berlin became so popular that it inspired a friend and I run a social meetup group that eventually grew to 7,500 people. We held meetups in cool places all across the city and got to meet loads of wonderful people.

A word of warning.

It’s important to acknowledge that this option doesn’t apply to people who don’t have a visa that gives them permission to work in Germany. If you hold a tourist visa or a job search visa for example, you’re not permitted to work.

What’s more, 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.

It’s a tough time out there in the world right now and it’s perfectly understandable if you take on paying work when you shouldn’t. If you decide to do so knowing the risks, be careful and take care. i.e. You may not be covered by insurance if you get hurt on “the job”.

6) Apply at startups

FInd A Job In Berlin And Work At a Startup
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Startups offer promise and opportunity.

Startups are one of the best ways to find a job in Berlin. Startups are more open to hiring foreigners 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 startup 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.

Startups come with other fun things like regular parties, Friday evening socials with free booze, and other things like gym memberships, free transit passes, and more. The social aspect is especially appealing and I’ve made some of my best friends through work.

However, working at Berlin startups involve taking on a certain level of risk.

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. Startup jobs tend to pay less than industry average, the company may be run by inexperienced founders, and involve a toxic work environment where bullies thrive and overwork is encouraged. The startup industry is highly competitive and it’s not uncommon for companies close their doors or go through regular downsizing exercises.

Do you research before signing on with a startup.

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 a 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.

I’d also recommend looking on websites like Glassdoor or AngelList to see reviews from people who’ve worked for those companies. Google the company name and check out recent news articles about them. Are they unethical like N26, trying to quell their staff’s effort to form a work council? Has the company secured a massive round of funding like Gorillas.

By doing this research, you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to apply for a job there, take an interview, or accept an offer.

7) Use all of the job search websites

Find A Job In Berlin - Job Search Websites
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Use the right job search websites to find a job in Berlin.

There are so many job search boards out there dedicated to working in Berlin, it’s really hard to know where to get started. Lucky for you, I got you covered.

Recommended reading: Head on over to my new website, The Berlin Life and read my article about the best Berlin job search sites. At time of writing, there are more than 100 resources listed there, including recruiting agencies, job search sites for students, where to find the best startup jobs, and more.

Although there are an overwhelming number of job search sites out there, choose a handful that are relevant for you. Scan them regularly (actually religiously) for fresh opportunities – I’d advise to look daily if you’re really serious about finding a new job. Subscribe to alerts or mailing lists to be made aware of new postings that may suit you and be one of the first to apply. 

Google makes everything easier.

A simple hack 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.

You can also refine your search by adding a language filter – Google “agile coach jobs in Berlin English” for example to see if there are any opportunities available in your spoken language.

Apply directly through company websites.

Another way to apply for jobs in Berlin is to apply directly through company websites. Perhaps you’re eying certain companies to work for, perhaps companies like Blinkist and Ableton, both which are known for being a good place to work.

Recommended reading: This list of companies in Berlin that are hiring right now.

View their careers page and if you see something that looks interesting, be sure to apply right away.

8) Be a freelancer or start your own business

Find A Job In Berlin And Freelance
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Go out it on your own and be an independent freelancer.

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 kind of visa can be especially ideal for those who desire having a flexible schedule and being self employed.

I’ve a number of friends in Berlin who work as writers, graphic designers, tour guides, software developers etc. and all make a living from existing contracts in their home country, here in Germany, and/or elsewhere. My former boss now works as a freelance agile coach, so he can spend more time with his family and pursue his his passion for theater.

After my first working holiday visa expired back in 2012, I applied for a freelancing visa which allowed me to work as a travel writer and a project manager. I made money writing content for a Berlin hotel, through my blog, and doing project management consulting for a local med-tech company. It was such a fun time! One day, I’d be out on assignment attending a Berlin fashion week show for the hotel, another day I’d be jetting off on an all expense paid press trip to Italy, and other days, I’d be hacking it out as a regular old joe at the office.

Launch your very own enterprise.

Another way to find work in Berlin is to start your own business in Berlin. You can open a business to help other Berlin newbies and be a career coach or a relocation consultant. You can open your own restaurant. You can sell your art on Etsy and at markets around Berlin.

There is so much potential to be had, if starting your own business is something you strongly desire.

Of course, it won’t be easy, but it will be worthwhile.

Being an independent freelancer or a business owner is no easy feat. There will be a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

Fortunately there is a lot of help out there, like Berlin Partner, an economic development agency for the state of Berlin. There are also plenty of support groups on Facebook, like Berlin Boss Babes (for women only) or Berlin Creatives Network.

9) Think about the type of visa you’ll need

Find A Job In Berlin And Get The Right Visa
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What are some of the visa options for foreigners planning to move to Berlin and find work?

If you don’t want to be a freelancer or a business owner, getting the right visa will determine how long you can stay in Germany and whether or not you’re permitted to work. 

Note If you’re already a citizen of Germany or the EU, skip this part as it doesn’t apply, and move on to point 10 on our list.

Some of the visa options for non-Europeans include:

  1. The tourist visa – Depending on where you’re from, almost anyone can come to Germany, and stay for up to 3 months as a tourist. Yes, you’re allowed to search for a job when you’re here with this visa. While you’re not allowed to actually work, you can at least stay in Berlin and begin your job search.
  2. The job seeker visa – This is a fantastic visa for those who don’t have a job yet and can financially afford to come to Germany while not working for a period of time. The job seeker visa grants temporary residency to qualified professionals with a relevant university degree or recent graduates from German university or trade schools. The permit will be granted anywhere from 6 – 18 months, depending on your circumstances. While you hold this visa, you cannot work, but you can search for work. As with most visas, you’ll need to prove you have money in the bank, health insurance, and related education recognized by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) or training. Read more at berlin.de.
  3. Working holiday visa – Also called the youth mobility visa, citizens from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong can apply for a visa that allows you to stay in Germany for up to one year to study or work. Approval of these visas requires you to show that you have a certain amount of money in your account and health insurance, among other things. Unfortunately, these working holiday visas are not available to Americans or “old people”, which is anyone over 35. Read more at berlin.de.
  4. Regular work visa – If a company in Berlin has given you a job offer, you can apply for a regular work permit. Most companies will help you through this process – check out this step-by-step guide of the German visa process which explains what the company must do versus what you need to do. This will permit you to live in Germany and work only for the listed company and the position specified. If you lose your job, you will need to apply for a new visa. These visas tend to expire after two or three years as well. Read more at berlin.de.
  5. Blue Card – Certain qualified professionals can apply for a Blue Card, another type of work permit focused on skilled workers (i.e. software engineers) earning more than €55,200 annually (gross). Exceptions are made for those working for a profession where there’s a labor shortage and then you only need to earn €43,056 annually. Most companies will help you through this process as well. Blue cards are the gold standard for visas in Germany, as the path to permanent residency is not only easier but shortened. You can apply for permanent residency after 21 consecutive months of employment and knowledge of some basic German. Blue cards typically last around four years. Read more at berlin.de.
  6. Residence Permit (For Spouses and Children) – This visa is available to people from outside of the EU who are married to a German or EU citizen and/or have a child with a German or EU citizen. Read more at berlin.de.

Some other crucial items to note with German visas.

Some more advice when it comes to applying for a visa here in Germany?

  1. If you come to Germany and search for work while on the tourist visa or job seeker visa and then get hired for a permanent position, you’ll have to apply for an entirely new visa before you begin working at the new company.
  2. Some people think that you’re allowed to work with a job seeker visa. Let’s dispel that myth now – you’re legally not permitted to work with this visa. A small exception is that you’re allowed to work a maximum of 10 hours a week for evaluation purposes with a prospective employer. For example, when I applied for the job that I have now, I had to do a trial day which lasted six hours and involved a couple of hours of prep work the day before.
  3. There are a lot of weird cases when it comes to getting a visa in Germany, with much of it having to do with where you’re from. That said, it can be hard to keep track, so check out the requirements for your country.
  4. Be sure to research your visa requirements extensively so you know what you need to do and will succeed in getting your visa approved on the first try. Ensure that you look on official government websites or hire an immigration lawyer to help you through the process. Don’t rely on what people tell you in Facebook groups or by watching someone’s Youtube videos. While those people surely mean well, their information is often wrong, confusing, or over simplified. Sometimes, even human resource employees hired to help you are not familiar with visa laws, which causes issues as well. So the more you know yourself, the better off you are.
  5. Stay on top of your company’s human resource department. If they submit the visa application on your behalf, make sure that it’s been submitted, ask for updates often, and don’t be afraid to challenge them if they are being unresponsive or slow. Of course, be professional, but I’ve had friends who showed up for work on their first day, only to find out that their visa hadn’t been approved yet and in another case, not even submitted. They had to go home and wait for another month. This happened due to human resources completely mishandling (aka fucking up) the situation.
  6. Companies work with Berlin Partner on a number of things, including processing visa applications. Together with the Senate Department for Economics, Energy, and Public Enterprises, they created Because Berlin. They offer 100% free services and you can contact them for questions relating to your visa, the current situation with the pandemic in Germany and more. I can’t recommend them enough and wish they’d existed when I first moved here and experienced a lot of angst around visa applications.

10) Know How To Format Your Cover Letter and CV

German cover letters and CVs
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Don’t assume that employment customs in German are the same as where you’re from.

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. This is especially important when it comes to your cover letter or CV, especially if you want to stand apart from other candidates.

I’ve started a new website, The Berlin Life, with the express purpose to help people move to Berlin and find work. While the site is still new, you can already found some content there to help you get started.

Cover letters in Germany and do you even need one?

A lot of people wonder whether or not cover letters are even needed in Germany? Doesn’t a person’s CV tell their story already? While this is true, cover letters are still essential.

Cover letters should never be a cut and paste job, filled with generic jargon. These letters should always be personal. It gives you a chance to tell a company about why you want to work for them and how you’re uniquely qualified. It’s a chance to get the employer interested in you right away.

I dive into this quite deeply in my post, Do You Need a German Cover Letter?

German cover letter tips and tricks.

Now that you know cover letters are an important part of your job application package, where do you get started? How can you write an impressive cover letter that you grab the attention of your potential new Berlin employer?

There are a number of things that are musts for a German cover letter – keeping it short and to the point no one wants to read a novel (i.e. avoid simply regurgitating the job description or your own CV), ensuring it’s addressed to the contact person listed in the job advertisement, and so much more.

Read more on The Berlin Life, German Cover Letter Tips To Help You Get Noticed.

What about creating the right CV for the German job market?

I’m still in the process of creating a guide to German CV’s, but can share one main point now.

Germans tend to include personal information on their CV’s that aren’t typically included on CV’s in other countries. Many people include 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 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 based on your gender, ethnicity, age, and more. 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 as they many expect to know this data.  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. 

The German job market is definitely different in certain aspects. It’s ultimately up to you to follow some of their employment practices.

Some of these employment 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 and with what makes you feel comfortable.

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

11) Build a network and use it

Find A Job In Berlin With Cheryl Howard Career Coach and Longtime Resident

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.

Recommended reading: 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 other Berliners from far and wide. 

Berlin has a terrific tight-knit community of newbies 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 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 later on at another company, as a scrum master.

Some of my top ways to build a network in Berlin:

  1. Create or use your existing social profiles – In the minimum, have a LinkedIn profile. Use it to connect with local Berliners in the same field or area of expertise. Join related groups on LinkedIn and jump in on discussions. Be sure to share your related projects and accomplishments if relevant. Twitter can also be another great place to tap into the local community and build connections. Join Facebook groups, filled with other Berliners looking for jobs and connect with more people there.
  2. Attend professional meetups – Berlin has what seems like a gazillion meetups for anything you can think of, especially from a professional development standpoint and more specifically, tech. There are meetups for agile coaches, front end developers, lovers of Ruby, product management, and more. Join the related groups and start attending their events. During the pandemic, many of these groups have kept up their meetings through online events.
  3. Tell people you’re looking – Share this on social media, with friends and family, etc. Say it loud and proud! You never know who may be aware of an open position somewhere or knows someone in Berlin they can connect you with to start a conversation. There have been times I lost my job due to being laid off and sharing this on Twitter really helped. A lot of people retweeted my post and it got in front of even more people. I had people refer me to their companies and I landed not only job interviews but job offers through this way. There’s truly a wonderful community of people out there willing to help!

12) Be here physically

Berlin - Just Be Here
Photo by Kadir Celep on Unsplash

If you’re already in Berlin, your chances at being contacted are much higher.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as being here. This is becoming 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 CV and can be available for in-person interviews.

A lot of companies are recruiting internationally.

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.

13) Employ the use of a relocation company

Find work in Berlin with cherylhoward.com
Image by Michael Bußmann from Pixabay

How can a relocation company help me move to Berlin and find a job?

Relocation companies can help you sort out visa processes, advise you how to better format your CV and cover letter, tell you where to apply, and more. You can trust them as experts to help make everything easier for you.

Relocation companies offer different packages and an array of services and of course, they usually come with a big price tag attached. We know not everyone has this kind of money (which is why we offer this content for free), but check out companies like Nomaden for example.

Recommended reading: This list of top relocation companies in Berlin.

There you have it, my top tips about how to find a job in Berlin. If you have questions or comments, drop us a line down below. I respond to all comments posted here!  ❤️

How I Can Help You Find a Job in Berlin

As mentioned, I’m a career coach who can help you with your Berlin job search. I’ve lived in Berlin for close to a decade and during this time, I’ve held 5 different visas and worked as a freelance and permanent employee at 7 different companies. I’ve been “around the block” so to speak and can say from personal experiences about what works or doesn’t work when it comes to finding a job here. 

Aside from reading all of the different articles I’ve referenced throughout this article, there’s more ways I can help:

  1. Join my Facebook community to connect with other job seekers for support, be alerted to employment opportunities, and more.
  2. Subscribe to my mailing list to get notified about exclusive online workshops, job hunting tips and tricks, and new blog posts published on The Berlin Life.
  3. Sign up for coaching sessions with me, where I can walk you through how to structure your cover letter and CV for the German job markets, answer questions about your specific situation, and more. By the end of our conversation, you’ll come away with a plan for next steps and a personalized template for how to structure your CV or cover letter.

Good To Know

1) If you’re keen on exploring Berlin (whether you’re new to the city or a longtime resident), 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 booking.com.

Booking.com

3)  If you’re road tripping through Germany, be sure and rent a car.

If you like this post, share it on Pinterest.


*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 cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.

102 Comments

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

    Cheryl

  13. 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

  14. 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! 🙂

  15. 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?

    Sandra

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    Regards,

    Masa

  18. 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 🙂

  19. 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.

    Thanks!

    Cheryl

  20. 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 🙂

  21. 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.

    Cheryl

  22. 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.

    Cheers!
    Cheryl

  23. 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

  24. 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!

    Cheryl

  25. Hi Cheryl,

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

  26. 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 [email protected]

    Hope this helps someone! 🙂

    Rachel

  27. 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. 🙂

  28. 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?

  29. 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!

    Cheryl

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

    Cheryl

  32. 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!

    Saludos!
    Jamil.

  33. 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 expath.de for advice on which visa type is best to your situation.

    Hope this helps and all the best! 🙂

    Cheryl

  34. 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!

  35. 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. 🙂

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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,

    Cheryl

  39. 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!

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

  43. 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!

  44. 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?

  45. 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 Expath.de and they can help you with more specfics.

    Best of luck!

    Cheryl

  46. 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?

  47. 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 – https://cherylhoward.com/learn-german-in-berlin/.

    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. http://www.fyber.com/

    Good luck with everything.

    Cheryl

  48. 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.

  49. 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!

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. 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

  53. 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

  54. 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!

  55. 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.

  56. 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

  57. 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 🙂

  58. 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

  59. 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.

  60. 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!

  61. 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! 🙂

  62. 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. https://canada.diplo.de/ca-en/consular-services/visa/yma

    Good luck with your search!

  63. 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.

  64. 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

  65. 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.

  66. 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. 🙂

  67. 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.

  68. 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

  69. 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.
    Thanks!

  70. 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 https://expatsinwonderland.com/.

    Best of luck Tomas!

    – Cheryl

  71. Hi Cheryl,

    I’ve really appreciated your post. I’ve lived in Berlin for 6 months more than 1 year ago. I just came as tourist but since I was loving the language (don’t ask me why!) and I’ve also always been passionate about linguistics, I decided to stay and make it my home. At the time I was around my graduation and looking for a job, I’ve though about Berlin has a great place to move because of its vibrant start-up scene.
    Now, that I’m living in UK and working in my field, as a paralegal, I think that there are some misconceptions about the city and the country in itself. Despite I feel nostalgic about those times, which were really exciting – good times, good people, wonderful experiences and travels – I’d kindly recommend to move to Berlin if and only if there is job offer secured. If not, only if somebody is willing and serious about making it new home.
    Berlin is not like eg. London where the internationality of the city in itself makes the job market more vary: it’s a relatively young city with a smaller job market and, never forget, the capital of a hyper-bureaucratic country called Germany.
    I’ve seen thousands of people moving there, especially from the UK after the Brexit vote, to secure a “place under the sun” in the EU, with generic qualifications, ending up working in extremely underqualified positions and going back home with a fist of flies.

    Like you said, Germany is on need of immigrants but that definitely doesn’t help if you don’t fall within the category of the most requested professionals. You are either lucky enough to get a dream job without effort, or you end wasting your time.

  72. Hey Francesco –

    Thanks for coming here, reading the post, and sharing your story. It’s important that aspiring Berliners get to know different perspectives.

    It’s very true that it’s not easy for everyone who comes here and this actually prompted me to write-up this post earlier this year – https://cherylhoward.com/work-in-berlin/ – which covers the reality of finding work in Berlin.

    Hope you’re enjoying life in the UK and now I’m wondering, is the magic of Berlin drawing you back? Post corona / winter, of course, for a visit at least? 🙂

    All the best to you!

    – Cheryl

  73. I’ll definitely have a look on it.
    Sometimes I daydream and feel nostalgic about those dates. Especially in the Summer, Berlin becomes one of the most exciting places in Europe to be, because the climate is mild and the city boils like a pot.
    I really want to come back for a visit one day, maybe for a weekend or more, but nothing more than this. I’m not thinking about moving back there.
    Sometimes I think about Berlin as a city for eternal tourists, and especially if you aren’t a software developer, a marketing specialist or a somewhat talent in sometiming like a designer or an artist, you’ll probably only hit a glass ceiling. Living in London and coming from a large city in Italy, have always made me think about Berlin as the rebel sister of the first and a real European metropolis, but I prefer to live in UK because is giving more opportunities than Germany. Even though I’m fluent in German, I think my sector is really competitive, especially there.

    Maybe one day, I’d split myself between London and Berlin, who knows. I love both, and unfortunately I’ve always been the kind of person who keeps the foot in both shoes.

    But, yeah, there are no places as both of these two cities and especially the magic of Berlin is sometimes drawing me back memories of its parks and biergartens.

  74. Berlin is very nice during summer! Hope you will be able to get back to the city to enjoy it at some point. Glad you find a home in London too. I can’t speak for others, but Berlin is my forever home. I know many treat it like a playground, but it can be possible to make a decent life here and one that doesn’t involve clubbing, drinking, and all those clichés.

    Wish you a happy holiday and all of the best. 🙂

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