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

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!

Hi all!!
I am looking for a job in Berlin. My previous experience was 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)


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 wrote:

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 wrote:

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 wrote:

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 wrote:

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.

alexandree93 wrote:

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!

I am new in this forum and I would like to check, how likely for someone to get a job in Oil & gas industry (closely known as Energy industry) or Marine industry (Vessel / Ship build or repair). I am experience in Commercial and contract.

I am looking at specific location in europe i.e : Hamburg & Rotterdam.

Currently in the middle of learning Deausche (Vastier ein bishen)

I will only start looking for a job within 6 months before my actual plan to be in germany or in netherland and as after arrival i only have 3 months until I could secure for a job. With the plan I need to see the possibility of getting a jobs in german or netherland. If anyone knows.

Thank you and appreciate for an advise.

Whether you can find a job depends on many factors, including your education and work experience, whether there are EU nationals who could do the job, and not least your language skills (which you might want to improve substantially, judging by the few German words you tried to write).
Good luck!

Thank you, Beppi. I think that my expectations are unrealistic ( But I could try

Danke Shone beppi,

I have done complete checking on the status of my educations and it is meets to european/germany education level requirements neither my work experience. However, i still have to compete with a european qualified personnel for such job factors and industries. Thank you for your kind advised, at least I have a complete view of where I am standing right now.

Hmm. This move to Berlin sounds more tricky than I expected lol.

Hello all,
I'm from India. But I know How difficult it is to get job in Germany. There are many legal prospectus. To move and do job in other country. Especially its create problem in the visa process. And after completing the process of visa. There is no guaranty that you will get job.
I'm not discouraging anyone. Its just whenever you plan to go in other country for any reason, You should be prepared properly So that u will not face any difficulties and not be stuck in any trap..... ***

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HI All,

How is the job market for Information Technology on cloud technologies-AWS,Devops-Ansible,puppet for 10+ years of experience.Is German language  mandatory for getting a job.I am thinking to apply for job seeker visa.Which month IT market will be good to get a job quickly.

I have no idea about the IT job market, just heard it is supposed to be goood - although many jobs are outsourced to cheaper locations like India.
Without German language skills, you are excluded from all roles that need to communicate with customers, partners, suppliers, colleagues, etc. This would reduce your chances tremendously, although of course there still are some such jobs.
Hiring cycles tend to be slow, with commonly several months between advertising a vacancy and making the final hiring decision.
There is no preferred time for a search, but summer months and two weeks after Christmas tend to be slower.

Dear Sir ,( liveworkgermany)

if may I ask you regarding bookkeepers in Germany ( English speakers) + only A1 German language ,

I am from Egypt I have  almost 10+ years of experiance as an Accountant moreover I have got IELTS band 6 , as per my graduation certificate I can not work as a recognized Accountant there but I can only work as a Bookkeeper .. so my question if I come to Germany for 6 months visa

will I find job vacancies as a bookkeeper basicly in English ?
or difficult ?  if yes  which cities I can head to land there ?
  BTW how much approximate salary Monthly or rate per hour ?

I hope I can get a clear and true answer from an experted person same as you .. I have read your posts and that encouraged me to ask you

have a good day and all the best ever
Ahmed :)

I believe the same principles apply to any newcomer in any country. You need to start from scratch and show what you are capable of doing. At least, this is how I was able to make it. I started off with a Call Center job (there are plenty available for English speakers) and got gradually promoted until I applied for a management role in an industry that was really interesting to me.

English language call centre jobs in Germany?
I have never seen or heard about any, but since these would certainly be interesting to some of our readers here, please post more details. Thanks!


I just joined this forum. After seeing the conversations in this thread, I'm thinking you might be able to help me out here.

I'm currently working as Software Developer in a reputed German-based company. I've been to Germany several times on short business visits (2-3 weeks / 2-3 months) and I'm quite familiar with the German work culture. I have completed German A2 and currently pursuing B1 course. I will be taking the exam in April.

I have been applying for jobs in Germany online (Stepstone, Indeed, etc) from past 2 months and I also got few calls from there regarding job opportunity (some also tested my German speaking skills), although they were convinced, they somehow seem to disconnect with me once they find out that I'm not in Germany for having a face-face interview. As @beppi said they mostly prefer candidate to be present in Germany to get a better insight of the candidate.

Even if I wish to go to Germany on Tourist visa to attend the interview, it will be difficult to plan suddenly to get the visa in a very short period of time and also chances of my sudden unplanned leaves getting rejected by my boss :D

So I decided to resign from my current job and I'm thinking of applying for Job Seeker Visa which is for 6 months and I thought of looking out for jobs in Germany within that period. In the meanwhile I'm continuously applying for Jobs in Germany online from India while I'm serving notice which is standard 3 months in my company. My last day at work will be Arpil 30, 2018.

Now all I'm worried is :
What are my chances of getting a job offer within 6 months?
Will I be able to land into suitable job within that period?
I have few contacts in Germany from my current and previous employers but still would it help me in getting a job?

Thank you.

Shriharsha: Congratulations, you did everything right for a non-EU-citizen who is serious about working in Germany:
- You started learning the language.
- You put in an effort to understand the German mentality and work culture.
- You monitor online job boards and continuously apply for suitable vacancies.
- You take the time off to be present in Germany during the job search.
I believe such dedication will pay off and give you a good job in due course. wrote:

What are my chances of getting a job offer within 6 months?
Will I be able to land into suitable job within that period?
I have few contacts in Germany from my current and previous employers but still would it help me in getting a job?

Your chances and the timing depend on many factors (not the least of them is luck), so it is impossible to predict here. Contacts are always a good starting point for getting a foot in the door, so you should defeinitely make best use of them.

Hi beppi,

It took a while to get this commitment to work in Germany. I was always a bit sceptical in applying for Job Seeker Visa and getting into Germany but due to few motivators like you I finally made up my mind to give full dedication towards finding a job in Germany.

Vielen Dank :)

I think it's generally difficult to get a job in Germany unless you understand german

Hello Beppi..

I recently got a job in the Automation field at Dusseldorf, Germany. They are offering a good salary, 3000 euro/ month after all the deductions. I am married with no child and and I am doing well with this salary.. Having a good savings also.

I want my spouse also do job here in Germany. She has done Masters in Environment Science and want to build her career here. Is it possible to work in Germany having a Spouse or family reunion VISA. If not, is there any procedure??

She is also planning to get a German language training. Hopefully that may help some kind.

Guten Tag!!!