Find a proper job in Berlin

As of march 2020, Berlin had an unemployment rate of 7,9% overall compared to the 5,4% in Germany on average.  You might think it’s still doable to find a job in Berlin but those statistics are also counting the infamous mini-jobs and Nebenjobs that are widespread in Germany.

The thing is: it is not that difficult to find a job in Berlin.

Yep, I said it!

What is really difficult is to find a stable and decent one that is calling out to your education field. I have seen several people come to Berlin to enjoy its sweet life, stay for about 1 year and a half; and leave again because they didn’t have money anymore. It is apparently symptomatic of a city that is counts numerous underfunded start-ups & little money for the art scene.

Find a job in berlin

The key to a proper job in Berlin is…

I will give you however a little secret of mine, the key to a durable career in Berlin. You won’t get away with it: you need to master German!

You need to speak German fluently to find a job in Berlin.Sure you will be able to get English-speaking jobs in cool companies, but that won’t get you too far at some point.

The first reason for that is that there are many overqualified foreigners like you applying for the same jobs. And even if you get the position, you won’t be able to progress so far within the company. I am sure that there are plenty of people out there that got their jobs in Berlin without peeping a word of German! But on the long-run, those people are likely to hit a glass ceiling and his/her colleague who spoke German got the long deserved promotion.

Learn german to find your job in Berlin
The Door to Success : German

The reason I’m telling you all this is that the key decision makers are still often German people. They make the decisions, hire or fire and set-up strategies. If you are not able to play on the same level with them, it won’t be possible to eventually convince them that you are the good manager for the Berlin unit. Another valid reason beyond promotion and career is that not speaking German might negatively impact on your salary.

There are plenty of options to get started on this mission. You can go the good ol’ fashion way with language tandems and language schools. You can also go the more flexible and innovative route too with online languages schools like Lingoda. Make use of micro-moments of free time with learning apps. They are all great options depending on your needs. The main point is to get started (full guide here).

Now if you are planning to stay only a little while, it might not be necessary to learn German to find a job in Berlin. You might not find the best fitting one or the best pay, but it will be enough to pay your rent and your lifestyle.

The best places to look to find a job in Berlin depending on your industry & skills

You are young and hungry for experience, it might be why you came to Berlin: for its vivid start-up scene. Berlin has impressively raised up its profile and it is now known as true hub in Europe. Start-ups provide a lot of opportunities and are usually a lot more flexible concerning German skills. Showing motivation and spirit is often key. Money is sometimes not great but that can change quickly if you do well. Online Marketing, business intelligence, product management, sales & customer support know-hows are often what they are looking for.

Here are the best websites to start-up jobs in Berlin:

You can also check the major venture’s websites that constantly looking for fresh blood for new ventures. Turnover can be quite high in those ventures but you will get plenty of responsibilities & experience and learn a lot in a very short time.

The following placement companies can also help you if you work in e-commerce or online marketing. They work for companies which search specific profiles for a position. You send them a CV and go through an interview, and they call you when they have a match. They get paid by the company with successful placements.

If you have graphic design skills, those website are a good starting points. Berlin is a great place for graphic designers. Each start-up more or less needs one. In that case, to know a bit about HTML & CSS is often a big plus :

If you are an IT rock star, you won’t have much trouble finding a job in Berlin. Thanks to the many web based start-ups, you can hope for a good situation here, even if you don’t speak German at all. In addition to all the generic websites, you have those:

If you are more of a creative type and want to find something in the arts, dance, music, film or theater industry, you might want to have a look at those websites. Competition is tough but the scene is very vivid and full of opportunities.

If you want to commit to a career in NGO, non-profit, sustainability-oriented or socially-responsible organisations, you might want to give this a shot:

You can also turn to science and engineering jobs on this job board:

People interested in the hospitality industry or jobs in cafés, restaurants can turn to:

If you have a medical background

Another few more with English speaking jobs in Berlin:

Some Facebook groups are also offering jobs in Berlin for English speakers especially:

You have of course the big generic job boards:

Don’t forget the listings like:

For students with decent level of German

  • You can signup for ZenJobs, who offers small jobs on a temp basis. You can signup and receive new offers daily for small jobs lasting a few hours. It’s a nice flexible option.

How to secure a job from abroad, if you don’t have a visa yet

If you are a software engineer, there is a good chance you could secure a job in Germany, as it is a highly-sought after skill. You can go through job search and visa application on your own, which is possible, but often lead to a stressful process, with a fair chance of rejection. To secure a great application, you can also turn to support organisations like Imagine, which help you every step of the way and maximize your chances of success.

How to make sure your are getting a fair salary offer:

Don’t sell yourself short by doing your research on how much you should ask when negotiating your salary. I have made a dedicated post on how much you should get paid in Berlin this way. This is an important step to getting a job you are excited about. Added to that: don’t forget that rent prices have increased much quicker than salary levels in Berlin; the excuse that some employers used (“You should decrease your expectations because the city is cheaper than where you come from.) is now more and more obsolete.

How to make sure the company you applied for offers a good work environment:

One of the trends that came with web 2.0 is the ability to leave reviews for pretty much anything on the web. What started on Amazon products has expanded to local shops, tourist attractions, services or hotels. Companies and employers did not escape that trend and platforms have emerged to provide insider information on what it is really like to work there. You can access testimonies by former/current employees or people that applied to some jobs. Although reviews are by nature biased, they can give you a good idea of what’s it like. If you are interested head to:

Alternatively, you can also try to search for former employees on Facebook groups above or via a quick Linkedin search and ask there.

Tip 1 : I really can’t state that enough : to find a job in Berlin, you need to learn German. Please do invest some time in the language!
If you need some guidance on this topic too, you might be interested in this article.

Tip 2 : Improve your chance to find a job by signing up for a profile on Xing. It is the German equivalent for LinkedIn or Viadeo. Xing has also a job board of its own with many job offers that cannot be found elsewhere. Having a profile there also allows to do better networking and shows that you are proactive to integrate the local job market. Interface can be switched to English. It is a must-have for anyone being serious about their work profile in Germany. It’s totally worth 2 min of your time to get started.

Good luck. 🙂

Source: 1

87 Comments

  • Reply ismili 18/02/2019 at 18:07

    super cool list but some links don’t work! i like also joblistberlin.com with a lot of work for people in berlin
    bye!

  • Reply Alvin 09/04/2018 at 09:12

    Another job board you should try is Lunar Careers – https://lunarcareers.com – you can easily discover jobs in Berlin where only English is required (or where German is a nice-to-have), matched to your skills, growth interests and preferences. Good luck! 🙂

    Disclosure: Co-Founder here. I would definitely appreciate it, if you’d consider adding us to the above list. Thanks!

    • Reply Vitesh Bhatia 18/05/2018 at 10:15

      Hey Alvin,
      Can we get in touch?
      You have a job portal and I have a good database of students who would want to work in Germany in IT sector.

      If you think we have a possibility of working together for this, do drop a message on [email protected]

      Thanks

    • Reply Rebecca 15/10/2018 at 14:30

      Apparently this website doesn’t exist? LOL.

  • Reply Ena 21/03/2018 at 00:26

    Hello,
    I will appreciate it, if You help me find companies that organize “witrebildung” – in english ofcourse. I found a lot of companies, but all of the courses are in German.
    Kind Regards.
    Ena

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/03/2018 at 19:00

      Hi Ena. That’s a good point that i can add to this post in the future.

  • Reply Vani 18/01/2018 at 16:36

    Hi,

    I am a graduating student from outside of EU and will be done with my studies in May 2018. I have been searching for a job in Berlin since September 2017, and it has been really challenging. I have lived in Berlin for sometime before, and I can speak German fluently. My applications are all submitted in German, but they don’t seem to be working.

    I am half the mind of applying for the Job Seekers visa and venturing into Berlin for half a year. Do you think it will work out? I am very discouraged at the point in time, but am still determined to make this work. Do you have any advise?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/01/2018 at 19:55

      Hi Vanessa. No further advice than just to keep trying. I don’t think i can do more within a comment section. 🙂 . Good luck!

  • Reply Zainab Makena 22/12/2017 at 22:02

    great website with a lot of information…… I am from Kenya a recent graduate in mining engineering and I want to move to Berlin bt I heard it hard to get a job there without a master…is it true?and can I find a mining job in Germany?

    • Reply Roger 21/10/2019 at 17:53

      Hi Zainab, I think the place for you to go is Canada…

  • Reply Beth 14/12/2017 at 05:27

    Hi, Bastien! Do you have any suggestions for professional translators? I speak English, German and Spanish. I have a Spanish passport, eventhough I grew up in Latin America. I have experience teaching German and working as freelancer doing subtitles. However, it seems like Germans expect you to have a master (I don’t have one). I only get offers for call-centers.

  • Reply Martin Breznovits 08/12/2017 at 15:59

    I would like to recommend another Jobsite for jobs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, http://www.careerjobs.de/

  • Reply Celia Brightwell 18/11/2017 at 17:08

    Hi there, it would be really valuable to have information on the necessity of adapting your CV to a Lebenslauf.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/11/2017 at 14:40

      Hi Celia. Depends on the job and the industry. I never adapted my CV to German standards but it might be different in more old-fashioned companies.

  • Reply shruthi 06/11/2017 at 07:19

    A web based jobportal for both employers and jobseekers in hotels,restaurants,Catering companies,coffee shops,cruise liners.
    Visit: http://www.hotelierjobz.com

  • Reply Daniel 04/10/2017 at 18:09

    Hi there! Great post and very helpful information! I will drop a question if you let me so. As far as I know in Germany there is a relatively high demand for Mechanical Engineers but I am not very aware of the demand in Berlin, is it possible to find a position as Mechanical Engineer in Berlin? I still don’t know much German (Almost anything at all). Thank you very much!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/10/2017 at 14:22

      Hi Daniel, you have big companies like Siemens, Rolls Royce & Bombardier. Maybe you should start there?

  • Reply vipul 12/08/2017 at 14:29

    Hi, First I would like to thank you for this wonderful website with so much useful information. Keep up the good work. I need an advice on “job seeker/ work visa”. I am a recent graduate from a German university, found a job and got the “anmeldung”. I have to start the job from September, but there is no visa appointment till September end. I heard from friends about an option of getting a temporary visa or a certificate/letter from visa office Berlin. The letter I can show to my employer and this would allow me to start the work. Is there any provision of temporary visa/letter? and what is the German name of this document. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/08/2017 at 11:36

      Hi vipul, i’m not an expert on visa issues, i’ve found this page, maybe it can help.

  • Reply Gabriel 04/07/2017 at 20:36

    Hey SiB, hey guys,

    I’m planning to move to Berlin in October this year, with the idea of working in an organic food store, or any store with sustainable values and products I can fully support, since I have had a pretty solid experience working in this field in France. Seeing as apparently a lot of people go to Berlin to work in startups and the like, I have little to no idea of how it is to work in stores as a foreigner. That might also mean that it’s an easy kind of job to get, since that doesn’t seem to be one people seek when settling in Berlin…

    I would love to have your enlightened advice regarding my situation 🙂

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/07/2017 at 09:45

      Hi Gabriel. I guess you will need to speak German quite well to work in those stores. You can apply at stores like Biocompany or Denn’s. There is also a search engine there.

      • Reply Gabriel 05/07/2017 at 12:15

        Yes, I’m working hard on it now, although it’s unlikely I’ll be fluent when I arrive… Bah, now that’s a challenge !

        Thanks a lot for the search engine link !!

  • Reply Vivienne 14/06/2017 at 22:40

    Thank you so much for putting in time to make this article. I found it very helpful

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