How do I find a job in Berlin? Over the past 22 years, we have helped students from all over the world start a new life in Berlin. Finding a job in Berlin is a central topic in our consultations. So, what do we recommend to our students? Here is an essential guide:
Searching for a job in Berlin: Basics
Before searching for a job in Berlin, make sure to have covered the basics such as having a valid residency permit. Qualified workers with vocational training can apply for a residency permit at the Berlin Immigration Office.
Next, you need to understand the market. Berlin is a vibrant centre for creative industries, artistic ventures, IT start-ups and services. In fact, the service sector accounts for 84% Berlin’s overall economic output. More and more global corporations are opening service centres in this innovative city. The Berlin Business Location Center can give you the most valuable insights into businesses and employment opportunities in the city.
Find a job in Berlin with a strategic plan
When searching for a job in Berlin, you should start off with a plan, a SWOT analysis if you will. To begin with, make a list of your interests, strengths and qualifications (education, certifications and job experience). Then, develop a clear understanding of roles, activities or industries that interest you. What opportunities are open to you? Are you qualified for them? What can you improve to stand out from your competition? In fact, you might need to find a stepping-stone job first until you can fulfil the criteria for your dream job. Many international graduates start with service roles in international companies where they can learn new skills.
Which jobs in Berlin are open to you?
You can use the the power of the internet to find a job in Berlin. Here, start by searching for broader terms to see what kind of jobs are available. For example, if you worked as a course administrator for years, you can search for jobs in the “Education Services” or “Sales.” In this way, you will get a full overview of hat is available to you. Several portals serve you up with a fresh list of jobs in Berlin each day. Some portals have dedicated search pages under the category “jobs Berlin.” However, most people prefer googling relevant keywords for the most comprehensive results. If you have a LinkedIn or a Xing account, definitely use it. Even searching on Facebook can give you exclusive results.
Are you qualified for the job?
In Germany, certain jobs require a vocational qualification. The usual path to such a qualification is formal training (Ausbildung). The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) provides a complete list of the so-called “Ausbildungsberufe” in German. Luckily, they also offer free consultations and can actively help you find a job in Berlin. Here, you can speak to an expert about your career objectives, qualifications and preferences. They can even help you by sending you suitable job offers. In some cases, your foreign qualifications will be recognised. For the recognition of qualifications in the fields of industry, commerce, hospitality or services, you can contact IHK FOSA (Foreign Skills Approval) of the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK). If you stumble upon an interesting job announcement, call the recruiter directly and ask if your qualifications are what they are looking for.
What can you do to improve?
Learning German is the first step to a successfully integrating into life in Germany. With this, you can explore different opportunities in Berlin by visiting German courses, events (e.g. job fairs) or seminars. Most importantly, you can make local friends. People who are good at networking are also good at finding jobs. At first, you can get a job that requires your existing language skills, however, not long after you will see that you are limited in your chances. When you have local friends, they will support you in your search for a job in Berlin. Perhaps it goes without saying that most jobs in Berlin require German skills. Therefore, make sure you find a good language school to start speaking German as soon as possible.
Learn Digital Skills
Berlin is smart and modern city and most jobs in Berlin require digital skills. Moreover, Berlin is leading the implementation of a Digital Skills Map for Europe. Businesses here anticipate the latest trends and developments and implement solutions quickly. Can you find, evaluate and share information online? How about creating content using information technologies and the internet? No matter which career path you take, digital literacy can pave your way to success.
Prepare a great job application
Finally, prepare a great job application that will set you apart. Make sure your CV is well structured and comprehensive. Our article on the golden rules of a German CV could help you. Remember to also write a letter of motivation in which you clearly communicate your strengths, with direct references to your professional experiences.