Are you an expat looking for a job in Berlin? Or are you a Berlin Resident pursuing a different career path? There are a lot of working opportunities in Berlin, but finding the best requires ample research, experience, and effort. To make it easier, we provided a guide to help you navigate through the job market and finding a job in Berlin.
No matter whether you are fresh from college or a working expat, Berlin is a good pick for people who want to grow to their full potential.
The Job Market in Berlin
The job market in Berlin, has numerous offers for different job types, levels, and industries. People looking for jobs in Berlin are likely to find one, in sectors that require highly skilled workers, in start-ups, and also in the service and creative industries. The workforce in Berlin mainly comprises of young, highly educated, and talented people from both local and international backgrounds, hence, turning it into a hub for young innovators and tech start-ups.
In 2019, the unemployment rate in Berlin was around 7.9%, which is slightly above the German national average of 5%. The number is, however, anticipated to go down considering the fast rate at which the city’s economy is growing. The city has a wide variety of available jobs, in private companies, organizations, universities, and other institutions of higher learning.
The city is home to thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that throughout the years, became highly successful in the global market.
Requirements for Finding a Job in Berlin
Expats that don’t speak German, can still find a job in Berlin, as there are a lot of opportunities when it comes to English-speaking jobs. You should, however, find means to learn German, because it is challenging to rise the ranks if you can not speak the country’s national language.
Most jobs that do not have fluency in German as a requirement, are mainly available in start-ups that hire English speakers, to help them in international business. You should, however, note that you have a better chance of finding a job in Berlin if you have a basic understanding of the German language. Even the start-ups will most likely choose a person who can speak both English and German because the jobs for English speakers may sometimes require a little understanding of the local language. For example, you will communicate and interact better with the management, workmates, and clients if you can speak the language.
Qualifications and references
Some professions like teaching, opticians, and doctors are regulated in Germany. Meaning expats looking for employment should check out the regulations for their occupation in Germany and how they can get the required recognition. People from countries that are signed up to the Bologna Process are not likely to have any problems, as such qualifications are recognized in Germany, but those from elsewhere should get their foreign university degree verified through the Central Office for Foreign Education.
Getting a German Number
It is recommended to get a German mobile number as soon as you arrive and add it to your CV details for easier communication with recruiters and potential employers.
CV and Cover Letter
Expect to compete with a massive number of candidates for the best roles in the Berlin job market. Those who are looking to take a job, should ensure that they have an impressive CV and a cover letter that stands out from the rest. There is nothing wrong with having a dual language CV if you also speak German, but ensure that translation is correct.
The CV writing format in Berlin is similar to other countries, but, unlike some, you have to include a photo (passport photo), to increase the chances of catching the recruiter’s attention. Ensure that the cover letter is brief, tailored for the advertised job and address the reader by name i.e. dear Mr or Mrs followed by their surname, or in German, Frau or Herr.
Read our guide on writing the perfect CV.
Citizens from counties such as Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, USA, South Korea and Taiwan can visit Germany without a Visa. Visitors from such countries having agreements with Germany should, however, apply for a residence permit at the local Alien’s Authority in Berlin. The country also gives foreign graduates a six-month permit to enable them to look for jobs.
EU and EAA citizens can live and work in Germany without a visa. They only need to find a job in Berlin and can move to the city and live freely like a local. A work visa is a must-have for people who want to work in Berlin, but are from a non-EU country with no agreements with Germany. Permits that will enable you to work in Germany include:
- The EU Blue Card
- VISA for Self-Employed and Freelancers in Germany
- Employment VISA for qualified professionals
- VISA for jobseekers
You can also use a student visa, but it has some restrictions. Another method that expats use, is through a legal marriage with a German citizen.
Read our overview of Geman VISA types to determine the best VISA for your purpose.
The Most-Common English Speaking Jobs in Berlin
The most common English-speaking jobs amongst expats in the Berlin are:
- Customer Service
- Sales and Business Development
- Marketing and Account Management
- Childcare and Teaching
How to Find a Job in Berlin?
By now, you already know the type of job you want and the next step is to find out whether you can find a vacancy in Berlin. Some things you need to know are if the industry is available and succeeding in Berlin, whether your skills are in demand and if they can get you the salary you expect. To help you get started, here are the main ways of finding a job in Berlin.
Search Online Recruiting Platforms and Job Websites
Finding a job in Berlin comes instantly easier if you utilize popular recruiting platforms that are well established and connected in the Berlin job market. A renowned platform for job seekers is Monster.de. Such job websites are a great start as they list all types of jobs that are available in the city. They are also easy to navigate and have a filter option to enable job seekers to concentrate on the jobs that they are interested in and have the qualifications for.
These types of websites save job seekers the stress of visiting hundreds of individual company websites looking for vacancies. The sites make the research easier and more efficient, because you can specifically search for the type of job you are looking for, or you can decide to search for available positions for your skills and qualifications, e.g. ‘English teacher’ or ‘customer service’. You will get the search results within seconds, plus there will be hundreds of options to choose from.
Job Boards in Berlin
You can also use Job boards, but your options may be limited because most of the start-ups and small companies avoid using them due to the cost incurred to be listed. Another challenging factor is that a company should use the correct keyword planning for job seekers to find the job quickly. Job boards are, therefore, platforms usually used by larger companies that have a larger budget for job adverts and have more experience in the process.
You should expect to have a much wider audience for job openings on larger job boards because they are easily found. The use of large job boards is also the traditional method of finding a job in Berlin, meaning the job posts that are advertised and very competitive as a result of a large number of candidates. The only way to minimize the competition and increase the chances of landing an interview, is by applying for jobs that have a smaller audience.
Here are some helpful tips to help you ace job interviews.
Start-up Jobs in Berlin
Out of the main cities, Berlin has the highest number of employees working in start-ups, meaning that, expats can find countless opportunities offering English speaking jobs.
Another factor to consider for those who are in the process of finding a job in Berlin is the fact that Berlin, is currently the European hub for Start-ups. For example, big internet companies like eBay (Germany) and Groupon, all started as small companies and have made it to the list of leading brands with hundreds of employees.
Some of the reasons why most investors decide to start their companies in Berlin are the lower costs of living and the availability of international job seekers. Most of the employment opportunities for expats are in start-ups or the tourism and service sectors.
Most of the job opportunities in start-ups are advertised on the company’s websites, or in third-party websites about start-ups like Gruenderszene and Deutsche- Start-ups. There are also a lot of job fairs and conventions for people who are interested in upcoming sectors like programming and online marketing. With some effort and preparation, finding a job in Berlin should be achievable in a matter of the first couple of weeks.
Freelancing in Berlin
Being a freelancer in Germany offers another opportunity to find a job in Berlin. All you need to do, in order to obtain a freelancing visa, is to prove that you have a steady income and you have met a number of requirements. You can take advantage of this opportunity if you can work from any remote location. There are a lot of freelancers in Berlin as it tends to be easier to get freelancing jobs in Germany. People also prefer freelancing due to its financial benefits that may surpass those of a full-time job and many expats also use is as a start-up to their own business in Germany.
Job Search via LinkedIn
English-speaking job seekers can increase their chances when searching for a job in Berlin through the job searching LinkedIn function. Some useful tricks are setting up alerts for new jobs and having your location settings to Berlin and specify the type of job you want using the keyword function. Keyword examples include ‘part-time’, ‘English’, ‘customer service’, and many more. This gets you a step closer to getting the job you want.
Managing a LinkedIn account gives you access to many opportunities and with a premium account, allows you to message employers, directly and provides detailed search options. Make sure that you set your privacy settings to the option that lets the recruiter know whenever you are open to another job. The feature enables recruiters to find you more quickly if you have the skills that they need.
Other alternatives to LinkedIn are Xing and Woloho’s newspaper. They are both popular in Germany, meaning they can help you when finding a job in Berlin, especially the Woloho’s newspaper that sends weekly lists of available jobs, which are mostly English-speaking jobs.
Find an Agent or Recruiter
Recruiters are another valuable tool when finding a job in Berlin since they can help you make useful connections in the right industry. Some of the best recruiters who can help you when finding a job in Berlin include Blu Professionals( for internships and entry-level positions and AZpersonalkonzepte( for coaching and recruiting jobs).
Go to Networking Meet-ups
Meeting local professionals and interacting with potential future employers face to face, is one of the best methods, that will help you leave a lasting impression on your employer and eventually, finding a job in Berlin.
The in-person job fairs are unbeatable when searching for a job in Berlin, but you can also make use Facebook groups and other digital networking platforms to interact.