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Finding a job in Germany

Many foreigners come to this forum, or to Germany, with unrealistic expectations about how easy it is to find a job. To help those people, I will post my recent experience here:

Over a five months period, I sent out over 50 (individualised and targeted) job applications to suitable employers, most of them replying to advertised openings (which I found on various online job boards). I only applied for jobs that I was sure I can perform well in.
I had interviews with seven companies and eventually got one job offer, which I accepted and will start work there soon. The time between starting my search and starting work was six month, and between applying for this job and starting three months, which is both considered quick. I don't think it is possible much faster!
I am German (thus fluent in the language and can be employed without additional formalities), have a M.Sc. in technology and many years experience in an industry with high demand. I am thus considered easily employable.
The number of applications and time it took me to find a job are below average. If you are foreigner, and/or without university degree and applicable work experience, you probably need more effort and time (and if you are non-EU-citizen or don't speak German, MUCH MORE!).

Please take this to heart and do not expect to find a job within a few months or with minimal effort!

I think it also depends on which industry you work in, the seniority of the position, how well you can network, ability to think outside of the box and use some initiative to get what you are looking for.

There are more English speaking jobs than people think there are, but most people simply look in the wrong place. Or perhaps better said, they are looking in the right place but everyone else is looking there too, so there is much more competition for the few jobs available. It's a bit like trying to date the hottest girl at school.

I've just written an article on this on my blog. A bit of research and initiative goes a long way.

I agree with you up to a point though....some people expect the world handed to them on a lollipop stick and think they can just walk into a job which pays 75k€ a year by applying to a few positions they see on StepStone.de

So which way should we look liveworkgermany? Do you have any clue or lead? It might be termed unrealistic but believe me you, we honestly need these jobs

I'm a communication proffessional with Bsc in Communications and Public Relations

Kogot Peter: Whether you "honestly need these jobs" or not makes no difference to potential employers. You need to convince them by other means that it is in their own interest to hire you.
I recommend you identify the suitable potential employers in your field (e.g. through connections, your own research or scouring online job boards) and contact them accordingly.

It is important to say that looking for a job in Germany is different from other countries. I have experienced job hunting in some countries where it is enough for example, for you to contact companies / job offers online and the interview is the most valued part. Here in Germany - for my short 2 months experience - I am seeing that you must be much more formal and structured with the way you approach the companies, how your resume is formatted, how good your headshot is, how well you present yourself and show knowledge of your skills and the company on the cover letter, good written recommendations from previous employers and also diplomas/certificates from university / MBAs you attended. This so far was the minimum required from me where applying for a job. Even though knowing this, it takes effort and patience for sure, specially if you are in a city with lots of other foreigners as high qualified as you are. You must find in yourself what will stand out and present that in the best / most creative form as possible to your future employer.

Dreesbach: Thanks for your valuable comment!
Yes, in fact you should spend a few hours on each application, researching what sets the company apart from others, and describing why you (with your unique points) are a good fit for it.
A standard copy&paste application will immediately land in the dustbin, and even grammar or typing mistakes can lead to that. You can only make a first impression once!

Moderated by Bhavna 4 months ago
Reason : Drop an advert in the jobs section please.
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Hi all!!
I am looking for a job in Berlin. My previous experience was at https://www.rund-ums-fenster.at
Please, let me know if you can help me by suggestions or direct invitation.
Thank's a lot in advance!!

DerekMeine: Your ex-employer is less important for a job search than what you did there and which skills you gained.
But please don't post these details here - do send them to potential employers!

Hi im a nurse from the Philippines and currently taking up A1 German Languange training.. Anyone could help me find any agency where I could apply.

Danke Schön

Rather than going through an agency, which will never offer you the best possible deal, you should apply at hospitals dorectly.
There is a shortage of nurses, so your chances are good. But you might need better German language skills (B2) and a recognised nursing certificate.

They are currently looking for Filipino Nurses in and around Germany. Should be easy for you to find a job especially that you're already learning A1 too. Will advise you if i find any source. Best of luck!

thank you very much!

Hi Beppi

Did you reside in Germany when you had interviews with the 7 companies? Did you have any skype interviews or do they prefer face-to-face (which is a difficult if one is not in Germany)

Thanks
Otto

I was in Germany during the entire job search period.
Most hiring managers prefer face-to-face interviews, so even if they agree on a first phone screening, you will have to show up in person before a final decision is made.
This might of course reduce the number of invitations you get when applying from abroad.

Yes Germany is in demand for nurses and doctors. So you should apply directly through the hospital. It seems that you will need some knowledge of Medical Latin however..

Hi Beppi,
As you have appeared for 7 interviews to get first job. How was your interview experience? What are the  differences have you noticed between Germany and your home country's interview?
Can you please tell me what went wrong in 6 interview? If please you can share your major learning points of interview preparation  it would be highly appreciated.

Jacksri :

What are the  differences have you noticed between Germany and your home country's interview?

Germany IS my home country!
In my experience (with interviews in various Asian countries, USA, Austria, Switzerland and Germany), the interview style depends on the company and the individual, rather than the country.
However, Germans are probably a bit more likely than others to ask uncomfortable questions or attempt to find out how you act under stress.

Jacksri :

Can you please tell me what went wrong in 6 interview?

Nothing much went wrong, but they probably just had other candidates who were better.
That said, I had three "strange" encounters during this round of applications. First at Bosch, a company reputed for being employee-friendly, the interview was suddenly ended on spurious grounds (the job description suddenly changed to something unsuited for me) after I mentioned that I previously took a year paternal leave. Second, at a major Swiss technology company, the interview went fine (and they told me there's only one other candidate in the running) but I needed to have a teleconference with their US office, which didn't go well (the US guy disliked my Asian experience and basically tried and failed to convince me that America is a more important market for them).  After that, they said they will "have another look" at the previously rejected candidates - so my only competitor seems to have fared similarly badly. The third one was a company that actually wanted to hire me after the interview, but was so disorganised that they couldn't give me a job description, agree on who my boss would be or where I would work. I stopped talking to them before it came to the salary negotiation.
(And then there was a fourth company, which came back three months after the interview with an offer, which I had to decline because I had accepted my current job in the meantime.)

Jacksri :

If please you can share your major learning points of interview preparation  it would be highly appreciated.

One thing I always did is to find out as much as possible about the company and the job in question. A good network in the industry and Linkedin contacts go a long way here. It impresses to no end if you tell them you "would do it in this or that way and/or work with these partners" if that is what they are actually planning to do (but never though you'd already know)!
Other than that, be yourself - unless you want to continue playing somebody else for them after they hire you (which you will fail at!).
And, since it's as much an employee's market as an employer's market, take the first impression of the company as serious as they take the first impression of you: The slightest hint of negativity should make you stop and think "If this turns out not only to be true, but much, much stronger than what they made me believe, do I really still want that job?" Believe me, in many cases, it will be that bad (as I have found out the hard way)!

Hi Beppi,
Thanks for giving time and sharing your experiences.
Definitely it would be helpful for me when I will give my interviews in Germany.

medet from turkey...
a Architect..
want make architect jop in germany

devranoo1 :

medet from turkey...
a Architect..
want make architect jop in germany

Do you speak German?
How many architecture firms in your field of expertise did you already contact?

my germany language is still beginer... Contact firm in Germany ?
hmmm.. i thought this platform will help me  or any proffer ?

This forum is a platform for exchanging advice.
My advice is: Learn German and contact appropriate companies, then you maximize your chances of finding a job in Germany.

What platforms would you recommend for job-seeking? have some advice?

alexandree93 :

What platforms would you recommend for job-seeking? have some advice?

You can find job ads on various online job portals - the  most popular of them at the moment is Stepstone.
But, possibly more so than in other countries, the best method is targeting specific companiesa in your field - their company web pages often show more job openings than the portals, and even more unpublished ones exist, so you need to get a foot in the door!

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