Your Survival Guide:
All you need to know about starting a life in Germany.
Good news for all expats looking for jobs in Germany – statistics are on your side! Germany is currently experiencing a “Fachkraeftemangel” – a lack of experienced workers – and many companies are desperately looking for qualified workers to fill thousands of vacancies nationwide. But just because the jobs are there doesn’t mean they’re easy to find. Whether you’ve already started your career in Germany and are looking for a change of pace or you’re fresh off the plane and trying to get your start, we’re here to help.
If you’re looking for jobs in Germany, don’t be shy about chatting up your friends! “Beziehung” is an important word to know in German; it means “relationship” and the Germans are big believers in using your relationships to find new opportunities. The phrase “Vitamin B” is frequently used to describe this old-fashioned way of moving forward in life. Tap into your social circles and ask your friends about vacancies at their companies. Research shows that internal referrals are one of the best ways to ensure that new employees are a good cultural fit for companies and many German companies offer hiring bonuses to incentivize existing employees to bring in candidates for their open positions. Furthermore, some jobs in Germany may not even be posted on a company’s website or online job network and word of mouth is the only way to hear about them; this gives you a great advantage when it comes to landing a new job. If you’re on the hunt for a new position, don’t be shy about putting out the word. You can also reach out to different networking groups on social media platforms, for example, US expats might be able to find jobs in Germany for Americans through special “Americans in Germany” Facebook groups.
Americans in Germany
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Since LinkedIn is an American company and used all over the US, most Americans are probably familiar with the professional networking platform. But it’s also frequently used in Germany, and a great way for US expats already registered on the site to find jobs in Germany for Americans, although any expat can find good opportunities on LinkedIn.
All you need to know about starting a life in Germany.
Additionally, if you haven’t already discovered Xing yet, this site can help your search for jobs in Germany exponentially. Xing is Germany’s answer to LinkedIn. A lot of traditional employers in Germany prefer to search on Xing and creating a profile there will also help boost your presence on search engines.
Once you’ve finalized your move to Germany, make sure to update both profiles accordingly. Consider changing your headline on these sites to reflect your current job searching status: “Looking for new opportunities in Germany,” for example. Follow companies you’re interested in working for and look for mutual connections who might be able to help you expedite your job search.
What to expect when moving to Germany
Germany is currently experiencing a start-up boom. The wave of globalization in businesses means that start-ups are actively looking for international professionals. This also means that even if you’re not yet fluent in German, it might not work against you. Many traditional German employers prefer to hire candidates with at least a working knowledge of the language, but others will see it merely as a bonus. Whatever your native language, chances are good that there’s a company who wants to expand to that region. So position yourself as a native speaker for that market and increase your chances even more.
For example, many German companies dream of expanding to the US. If you’re looking for jobs in Germany for Americans, don’t be shy about showcasing your knowledge of the US market when beginning your search.
Every day, events are hosted in cities throughout Germany specifically to help professionals network. So find a niche that speaks to you and start actively attending events to make new connections in your city. Websites like GründerSzene, Meetups.com and Eventbrite can point you towards events that fit what you’re looking for. Use these opportunities to get a sense for interesting companies in your city, and get another step closer to finding relevant jobs in Germany. Even if you don’t immediately shake hands with the CEO of your dream company, you can increase your chances of finding the next contact who could connect you to the right fit.
To stay updated on all new opportunities that might be of interest to you, register online for newsletters specifically targeted for jobs in Germany that fit your profile. Try creating saved searches on JobLeads.com, LinkedIn, Monster and Stepstone.
This will update you every time a new position that might be a good match for you and your professional profile opens up. Experiment with variations to increase your chances of finding a job that might be of interest to you.
Although Germany is comparable to many European countries, not all jobs are transferrable. For example, a pharmaceutical representative might not be allowed to practice their old profession without a medical degree, even if they were permitted to in their home country. As you begin your transition to Germany, it’s possible that you may need to reconsider a different career path; either a variation on your old profession, or something completely new. If you’re encountering difficulties with finding jobs in Germany in your previous field, start broadening your horizons. By casting a wider net, you increase your chances of getting your foot in the door.
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