Professional networking in Berlin
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Updated 3 months ago

Professional networking is as crucial in Berlin as anywhere else, and it works much the same. In this article, we will go through some specific steps below, which you can use to build your professional network in Berlin. As a general rule, be respectful, not too friendly, and offer value! Also, make sure to read over our tips for networking etiquette.

Join groups

Just as it is for social networking, Facebook can be a key tool to find other professionals like you. It may not directly lead to a job, but you never know. If you're freelancing, for example, referrals and connections can always lead to something a few degrees away. Your first step might be joining groups with shared interests. For example, if you're a content writer, you'll find writer groups and readings that you can attend. People go to meet others, so these environments are prime for networking. Also, remember the value of small businesses. These are a key driver of the German economy, so they're everywhere. You can follow businesses you care about or that overlap with your professional interests.

Attend events

Attending an event at a cafe or art studio might seem insignificant, but if you connect with the staff or owners, or other business people, it might lead to a job!

MeetUp is great for more official events, often with production. It is also great for strictly professional activities like Sales and Marketing or Tech. Search by industry or job title and go out to these events to socialize. Use the topics presented as a conversation ice-breaker. Again, if you're a freelancer, you need to be scheduling events to attend consistently. Relentless networking plus referrals and recommendations are bread and butter. Job fairs are also common in Berlin, so these can be an important way to put your face in front of a company.

Important:

Also, you'll likely get offered food at networking events (including pretzels). I suggest grabbing food on your way out, not when you're trying to talk to new people.

Online professional networks

Online job searches are mixed. Getting a job by applying to a company's website or post in a job board is a difficult, but not impossible, way to get a job. Indeed, BerlinStartupJobs, AngleList, and LinkedIn Jobs are key search engines. But often to get started in Berlin, you just need someone to offer you a chance. Developing a professional network with real people is a crucial step. LinkedIn can be a great way to reach out and introduce yourself. Find managers at interesting companies, peers who do similar work as you and recruiters who specialize in sourcing people with your skills.

It doesn't hurt to say you're new to Berlin, but get to the point and show how you fill a box and offer value. Don't forget to search for people with whom you have a direct connection. Friends of friends is always a good first step, and you can ask your friends to introduce you.

How to stand out

Keep in mind that if you don't have a visa yet, conversations with HR managers may fall flat quickly. Have a backup plan or ask upfront if visa sponsorship is available. Don't wait until you have had several rounds of interviews. Also, build a CV. Some expats prefer to use their resume. It may work, but it also may not. Many recruiters are focused on hiring quickly for a role they've been told to hire but likely haven't worked in first-hand. Make it easy for them! They want to spot your value quickly and know how you fill a box. In short, put yourself out there. Every day offers new opportunities.

Useful links:

LinkedIn
Meetup
Berlin Startup Jobs

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