The German labor market is one of the strongest in Europe, with record-low unemployment rates and high demand for skilled workers. But landing a job in Germany isn’t easy, especially if you don’t speak German fluently. The country has numerous restrictions on foreigners working for their businesses, so it can be hard to get your foot in the door. But fear not! We have insider tips on how you can land your dream job in Germany and get around those pesky restrictions.
Even if you don’t have fluency in German or a university degree, there are still plenty of ways to get hired by an awesome company that will let you stay and work long-term. Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of the German job market, jobs that may surprise you as being available, and how to land the gig of your dreams without sacrificing who you are or what you value most.
Is It Really That Hard for Foreigners to Find Jobs in Germany?
While the German job market has seen a lot of growth in recent years, it’s also become increasingly competitive, especially in sectors like tech. There are also a lot of restrictions on what professions can be practiced by foreigners and how long they can stay in Germany. The law states that you can only be employed in Germany if you have a valid German work permit. That includes both EU citizens and non-EU citizens who have special permission to stay.
There are also special restrictions for non-EU citizens who are on the path to getting a German work visa (called a “blue card”). People with German passports enjoy a lot more freedom and flexibility than non-EU citizens. Because of this discrepancy, many international workers stick to other countries that allow easier entry and let you stay for longer periods.
The Basics: What You Need to Know about the German Job Market
The first thing you need to know about the German job market is that it has two “lanes” you can go down: the standard job market, and the “blue collar” job market. The standard job market includes professions like IT, business and management, marketing, sales, and engineering. The blue collar market is more manual labor-oriented and includes jobs like construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. The blue collar job market is much more open to non-EU citizens.
The standard job market is filled with lots of opportunities, but also lots of competition. Many companies are especially interested in hiring candidates with engineering, business, or data skills. Other employers need people with more creative or soft skills—like in marketing, communications, and HR. The blue collar job market is a little less in-demand, but it’s a lot more accessible to non-EU foreigners. Plus, it offers more flexible work hours and more work visas than the standard job market.
5 Jobs That Are Currently in High Demand in Germany
There are the top jobs and sectors in the country that are most in demand:
IT/Software Management: Germany is currently in the midst of a tech boom, with a strong demand for software engineers. Top businesses like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have offices in Berlin, and other tech giants like Microsoft have significant presences in the country too. If you have skills in data or software engineering, or product management, you’ll be in high demand in this sector. You’ll also be able to pick and choose between top tech employers, since they’re all competing for your talents.
Business/Management: Business managers, marketers, and HR professionals are in high demand in almost all industries in Germany, but especially in tech, healthcare, and media. If you have experience in these fields or want to break into management, you’re in luck.
Teaching: Germany has a high demand for English language teachers and German language tutors, especially if you have experience teaching adults. If you have a master’s degree and are certified to teach English as a foreign language, you’ll have many options for employment.
Medical Professionals: Germany has a high demand for healthcare professionals in many fields like nurses, physicians, and medical technicians. There are special programs for non-EU nurses to come and work in Germany, and there’s also demand for language skills like interpreting and translating.
Sales: Germany has a high demand for sales professionals, especially in B2B sales in fields like IT and healthcare. If you have experience in sales, you’ll have many options to choose from, since there’s a high demand for salespeople in Germany.
Other Unconventional Opportunities
The first and most obvious way to find a job in Germany is to apply for positions you’re qualified for in your field. However, you’ll have a better chance of being hired if you speak German fluently and have a German education or degree. Here are a few more ways to break into the German job market:
Networking: German business culture is heavily focused on networking, so you should start networking immediately if you want to find a job in Germany. Find out who you know who lives in Germany and try to connect with them—either online or in person.
Translation Work: You can also break into the German job market by finding translation work. Many businesses need their documents or websites translated into German, and it’s a great way to get your foot in the door and meet people in the industry.
Working as an Au-Pair: Some families in Germany hire au-pairs who help with childcare and chores. This is a great way to get your foot in the door in Germany, especially if you’re not fluent yet. You’ll have plenty of time to brush up on your language skills and meet people in the industry.
Few Tips for Landing Your Dream Job
These two tricks can help you go a long way in finding your dream job in Germany:
Resume Tricks: On your resume, make sure to highlight your education and skills in German. This lets employers know that you’re serious about learning the language and committed to living in Germany.
Language Partners: While you’re brushing up on your German and applying for jobs, find a language partner to practice speaking with. This will help you speak more fluently and feel more confident when sitting through interviews. Your partner doesn’t have to be a native German speaker; they just have to be committed to helping you speak better. You can find language exchange partners online or through a university language club.
How to Survive in Germany as a Working Professional
Now that you know everything one should know about getting a job in Germany, let’s move on to the situation where you get hired. Moving to a new country can be daunting, and you should try to live a lifestyle that fits your budget. Set a monthly budget for yourself, and try not to spend more than this amount. You should also try to find a place to stay before you reach the country. You can rent an apartment online so that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of finding a place to stay once you reach the country. Familiarize yourself with the general laws of the country as well, so that you become more aware of the way the people live.
Landing a job in Germany can be tough, but it’s not impossible. This article has given you a few insider tips on how you can break into the German job market, even if you don’t speak German well or have a degree in a German field. First, find out what industries are hiring in your field. Then, find out where these industries are hiring and apply for jobs there. Network with people in your industry and build relationships with them. Finally, make sure that your resume is tailored to German employers and that you’re using the best language learning strategies.