As one of the strongest economies in Europe, Germany currently boasts a low unemployment rate. As of 2018, the unemployment rate trickled to a low 5.3, according to this report by DW. In other words, now is a great time to look for job opportunities and a future in Germany.
If you are looking to find a job in Germany and also belong to a non-EU country, this article will help make the journey a little easier. If you are already working in Germany and would like to find a better paying job or position, this article will help you understand the little nuances of the German hiring culture.
Short-term Visas to find jobs in Germany
Entering Germany with a valid short-term Visa and finding work is possible. Listed below are the few short-term visa options you can consider to find work in Germany.
Student Visa: There are 3 types of student Visa
- Student Applicant Visa: This Visa allows prospective students to visit Germany, explore universities and enquire about study opportunities.Valid: 90 days (3 months), with a possibility for an extension till 6 months.
- Student Visa: Students specifically enrolled in a German University can enter Germany with a valid student visa. International students are allowed to stay for 18 months after graduating. This is the common way that most non-EU residents stay on in Germany.Valid: Duration of the university degree.
- Language Course Visa: The only sure way of integrating in Germany is by learning the language and learning it well. Much like its self-explanatory title, this is for those who specially learn German.Valid: The Visa is valid till the duration of the course. This can usually be anywhere from 3 months to 1 year.
German Job Seeker Visa
This Visa is specifically targeted towards those who want to visit Germany for one thing – to find a job. The only crux of applying for this Visa is that your education qualifications should be recognised in Germany.
Valid: 6 months
After finding a job, you can directly seek the residence permit and begin working after your residence permit is approved.
As a resident of a non-EU country, you can enter Germany on a short-term Visa known as a Tourist Visa. This type of visa is granted to those who want to travel and explore Germany. Although this visa is valid for 90 days, you’re rarely allowed to stay for all 90 days. Your Visa is only valid for the number of days mentioned in your travel itinerary. For e.g., If you have mentioned that you are traveling through Germany for 2 weeks, then your visa will be valid only for that time period. You’re not allowed to study or work while on the Tourist Visa.
Rewire Tip #1: Finding a job while on a tourist visa is rare, although not wholly impossible. Sending in your resume in advance, securing an interview and coordinating your travel dates, can be done if you’re a little adept and have qualifications to match.
Professional Networking sites
Before embarking on your job search, make sure your career profile is updated on the following networking sites.
- LinkedIn: This professional networking site is a great platform to stay updated with latest job vacancies, connect with potential recruiters and get noticed. German recruiters use this site to promote vacancies in both English and German language.
Rewire Tip #2: Follow company pages on LinkedIn as they are always up to date with the latest job openings.
- Xing: Although LinkedIn attracts a more international talent pool, this German networking site is preferred with German recruiters and head-hunters. Your profile information will be in published German.
Job Vacancy search
To stay in touch with the German job market, you need to constantly spend some time on the following platforms which advertise jobs.
Job search portals
The following websites are most popular and commonly used by German companies and their talent specialists to advertise job vacancies.
You can find job vacancies listed in German and English. It is advisable for you to register yourself on these sites and create a basic profile. Upload your most current resume, this will make it easier for you to apply for jobs as quickly as you spot an opening.
English Language portals
Jobs in (This job site has more city-specific portals such as Jobs in Düsseldorf, Jobs in Hamburg etc.)
Is there a specific German company/company in Germany that perks your interest? Adding these company websites on your browser’s bookmark will be a good way to start.
Most recruiters advertise on multiple platforms and if you’ve missed a listing in any job portal or networking site, then you’re sure to find it published on the company site.
Government Job Sites
The German Federal Employment Agency is known as The Bundesagentur für Arbeit, and their services are used both by job seekers and recruiters alike. Although it is a government agency, their official website has plenty of information regarding the German labour market and job search in English.
Registering on their website and updating your current CV is advisable, as most recruiters comb through their database for potential employees’. The only flipside if you don’t know German is that you have to upload your profile completely in German.
Applying for a Job
Once you have found a job that fits your educational background and professional experience, you have to prepare the necessary documents required to apply for the job.
Rewire Tip #3: If any part of the job description is unclear to you, then it is highly recommended that you contact the HR via an e-mail or phone call to have your question clarified. Most German HRs foresee this curiosity as a positive move from most potential employees.
Almost all jobs that are advertised on professional networking sites clearly mention what documents are required from the job applicant.
Standard application: Unless explicitly stated, it is required for you to send in your CV + cover letter.
Comprehensive application: Jobs that require a comprehensive application state the complete set of documents that need to accompany a job application. This list consists of your CV + cover letter + references + copies of school, university or diplomas + additional professional course certificates.
- Covering Letter: When writing a covering letter to a German job application, try and keep your letter as specific as possible. In this letter state very clearly the job you are applying for and why you are the right candidate for the job.Avoid including too many details about your educational and professional experience as that will be listed out in the CV. Keep the letter short and to the point, as recruiters receive a dozen applications for one job and your covering letter should stand out amongst the crowd.
- Curriculum Vitae (German format): The one main aspect that makes the German CV (Lebenslauf) different from the standard American CV format that’s followed around the world is the application photo. It is standard practice for all Germans to include their professional photo in their CV. So get a professional picture taken and including this picture in your CV would indeed enhance your chances of securing an interview.Apart from the photo, the German CV also follows a specific format to classify all your educational and professional information. Remember that under each category, your most recent experience must always be mentioned first. Listed below are all the categories that need to be included in your CV.
- Personal details: Include your name, address, date of birth, age. e-mail address, marital status and number of children.
- Work Experience: Mention the company name, location, role at the company and a brief description of the role. The information should be listed in a chronological order.
- Education: School, University, Post-Graduation or masters, list out all your educational qualifications.
- Additional training: Have you done any additional courses that support your career profile, then list them out under this sub-category.
- Language Skills: Try and list out the languages you’re proficient in by classifying them as native, fluent, conversational and basic.
- Interests: List your hobbies and extra-curricular activities.
The waiting period
After sending in your job application, you usually receive an automated confirmation e-mail from the company. If you haven’t received a confirmation e-mail wait for a day or two and contact the company via e-mail or phone to check if they have received your application.
If your profile fits the job description, you’ll receive an e-mail from the HR within 2-3 weeks requesting for an interview.