How to Get a Job in Germany as a Foreigner

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Getting a job as a foreigner in Germany or a new country is not easy. If you are considering working in Germany but do not know how to find your way around, then this post is definitely for you as the guide here would be of immense help. Meanwhile, a post on high-demand jobs in Germany has already been discussed here

Is getting a job in Germany easy?

Depending on your area of specialty: Doctors, nurses, engineers, and IT specialists are continuously in demand for their jobs. Fill out the “Quick Check” form on the Make it in Germany website to see how simple it is to find a job in your sector in Europe. Based on your professional background and country of origin, you can quickly determine your prospects of getting employment in Germany.

Do you speak German?: Even while it is feasible to work in Germany without any German, understanding German will greatly increase your chances. Even while there are many international job opportunities that only demand English, these tend to be more competitive, so knowing at least a little bit of German is a significant advantage.

You can always get in touch with “Hotline Living and Working in Germany” if you’re having trouble finding something appropriate. This no-cost service is available to listen to you and offer tailored guidance regarding your job hunt. If you think you could use some individualised assistance, don’t be afraid to contact them by phone, chat, or email. 

work collogues

How to get a job in Germany

Learn German Perfectly

As it has already been mentioned above, you are probably sick of hearing/reading this, but studying German is a surefire way to get a long-term career in Germany. Getting a job in Germany that speaks English is not difficult; there are many available. However, you must master German if you want to find a long-term position that will further your career. Additionally, even if your profession calls for proficiency in English, not all coworkers may be native English speakers. With sufficient German knowledge, you will quickly reach the top. No one is expecting you to speak German fluently, but being able to carry on a professional discussion will help you advance in your career here.

However, you may relocate here, refuse to learn German, whine that Germans only speak German in Germany, decide that life in Germany is too difficult, and then leave for a place where you can speak English and whine that no one else does. Simple advice: Don’t worry about speaking in a German translation of “The Queen’s English”; accents are amusing and colourful. Germans generally love listening to foreigners try to pronounce those annoying Umlauts and find accents quite endearing.

Learn German

Go out and network

Contrary to common perception, Germans are not stoic, quiet people; on the contrary, they are social creatures who enjoy interacting with others. Just wait for the first warm spring days; you will be lucky to find a seat outside anywhere as the Germans cultivate relationships over coffee and cake or a few Aperol Spritz. The business and professional areas of life also apply to this. Everywhere in the world, business networking is a common practice. You put on clothes, leave your WG, and start mingling with people who are involved in your line of work.

But where can I locate these people? You inquire. Go to a Jobmesse in your city. You’ll need to compose one before you can shake some hands and throw your German resume around. Look into any local networking events for professionals and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and exchange contact information with them. Additionally, you might simply go to a weekly Stammtisch at your neighbourhood bar, join a Verein of your interest, or socialise with other expats.

If you’re the introverted sort, you might find all of this socialising to be tedious . However, there is some good news for you as well: online networking is very popular in Germany. Create your profile on sites like LinkedIn, Xing, and even here on Setlinn (the LinkedIn equivalent for the DACH region). Make a list of your favourite firms, then start inviting others and introducing yourself to recruiters. (However, don’t go overboard; nobody likes a stalker.) Get some face time with someone you like by inviting them to a “pick your brain over coffee” encounter.

Improve your resume (CV)

 Contrary to what you might be accustomed to, a German CV is slightly different. You must be incredibly precise and direct while discussing your work experience. There’s no need to exaggerate or embellish. Employers are just concerned with the bare facts of your employment history. See the CV templates on this page.

In brief, you must compress the following information into two A4 sheets

Photo: An up-to-date passport-sized mugshot with an attachment is shown in the upper right corner. 

Personal Information: This area contains your first and last name, birthplace, date of birth, marital status, country of citizenship, and contact information. While it may seem strange to be asked for your photo and marital status, failing to do so may automatically exclude you from the screening process. 

Educational background: Add your (appropriate) educational background under Ausbildung or Education. 

Work Experience: In this part, list your most recent (related) employment in reverse chronological order. Keep it brief and direct.

Additional Information: For individuals with additional (related) certificates or training, this area is optional.

Identify the recruiting manager’s name and email address

It goes without saying that you should tailor your cover letter to each job listing, and there are many  sentences you can use to make your cover letter stand out. However, knowing to whom the cover letter is addressed will enable you to customise the content and build a connection with the recruiting manager even before you have spoken. You may effectively investigate the kinds of subjects they are enthusiastic about using LinkedIn, and then use that information to craft a narrative that explains why you will be a perfect fit for the company. When  time comes to shortlist candidates, it will help the hiring manager relate to you better and make a lasting impression. 

Meet people

Which cities are popular for working in Germany? 

Berlin: Germany’s expat community is centred in this trendy international location. Berlin, a city of more than three million people, is home to a wide variety of prospering startups, positions in the creative industry, and offices of numerous foreign corporations.

Frankfurt: Germany’s financial centre, Frankfurt, is surrounded by skyscrapers and banks. Frankfurt is the city for you if you want to work in finance or banking and live in a cosy, not-too-large city.

Munich: Munich, with a population of over a million and a half, is an excellent location for foreign job seekers due to the proximity of the Siemens and BMW corporate headquarters. Not to mention the Oktoberfest, which draws millions of visitors each year from all over the world!

Hamburg: Germany’s second-largest city, Hamburg, is situated in the north. Along with being the third-largest port in all of Europe, it also has a thriving start-up community. This might be the best location for you if you’re considering a career in banking and finance and enjoy a laid-back metropolis!

City in Germany

Job search engines in Germany

  • Your first point of contact should be the official job center, Federal Employment Agency.
  • 39% of job seekers use these job sites: Indeed, Monster, Stepstone, Jobbörse, and Xing.
  • Looking for English-speaking jobs only? Take a look at, English Jobs Germany, Germany Startup Jobs or The Local.
  • Don’t downplay LinkedIn’s influence. Germany also makes extensive use of this platform.
  • If you’re a young European seeking job opportunities in another European nation, the EURES portal may be of great assistance to you. Not only does it include a list of potential employment offers, but if you are ready to deal with the paperwork trouble, the relevant EU initiative may also be able to provide you with a relocation fund and a monthly supplementary salary.

Work visa in Germany: How does it work?

Finding out what kind of visa and other residency permits you require should be your first step when looking for a new job in a foreign country. Also, be sure to find out if your academic credentials are also officially recognised in Germany.

Are you from:

  • Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the European Union, or Lichtenstein? Then it is simple. You can come and remain as long as you like without needing a work visa or any other type of resident authorisation.
  • Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, South Korea, Israel, Japan, or Australia? You are permitted to enter Germany and remain there without a visa for up to 90 days (as a tourist). You must apply for a residence permit if you intend to work there as well.
  • Besides the countries mentioned above, you must submit a work visa application. Therefore, before visiting Germany, you must get a written employment contract.

Contact the German embassy in your country to request a visa. Always be cautious to allow yourself adequate time because the work visa application process could take some time to complete.

Having a college degree, however, is an exception to this rule. Higher education graduates are eligible to apply for a six-month contract-free visa and hunt for work in person in Germany. Check out Germany’s visa policies for additional information.

Work Visa in Germany

There you have it, some top tips for getting a job in Germany. It highlights some of the big cities have to offer in terms of job options, an overview of the various visa types for which you can qualify, and then it explains how to go about the application process. Wishing you good luck as you start your job search. 

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  1. @Dorcas
    In the Learn German perfectly, you wrote: ‚ Without sufficient German knowledge, you will quickly reach the top.‘
    WITHOUT – Do you really mean this or it was a typo?

  2. Stammtisch! That was my first outing alone to network. Just like you advised, I looked up things to do in my small city, Lübeck, back in 2014, and opted to join a Stammtisch after classes that day.
    It was one of the most spontaneous things I had ever done – joining a bunch of not only strangers but also foreigners drinking beer and talking about any topic that you can imagine.
    Some key traits to making it in Germany are being open, honest, outgoing and respectful. These traits will take you places.

    1. Openness, honesty, outgoing and respectful! These are the ways to win the heart of Germans. I always see in articles I read that Germans are very friendly, coming from you who resides there, I believe now!