Working in Germany – 8 tips for jobseekers
The most important websites and points of contact when searching for a job.
There are numerous online portals with current job vacancies. Among the most important are those of public programmes, organizations and institutions. Their websites are free to use, respectable, comprehensive and well structured.
German Federal Employment Agency Job Board
The German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) is the national German authority for all topics relating to the German world of work. As a rule, anyone fit for work is able to make use of its services free of charge. Staff at the agency offer their help and support with job searches and placement both online and in personal advisory sessions. The online BA “Jobbörse”, the Job and Candidate Board, lists numerous vacant positions in Germany. Users can enter certain professions and specialist areas as well as a desired place of work in the database. In the next step suitable vacancies will be shown. These contain more detailed information, such as the precise job description or application deadline. The search mask is available in seven languages; most job vacancies are in German. Users of the Job and Candidate Board can also set up a profile with information about themselves – employers seeking specialist staff can search and view these profiles.
If you are already staying in Germany, you can visit an employment agency, an Agentur für Arbeit, close to you. In total there are more than 150 employment agencies and around 600 branch offices in Germany. It is best to arrange an appointment with an advisor by telephone or email before you visit. The German Federal Employment Agency’s International Placement Services (Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung, ZAV) are specially tailored to the needs of foreigners. You can contact a member of staff in German or English by telephone or email. The ZAV telephone hotline is 0049 228 713 1313 (local telephone charges apply from a German landline, the respective tariff for international calls applies abroad) and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the website provides relevant information in German and English.
EURES – “European Job Mobility Portal”
The European Commission has developed its own online network in 26 languages aimed at supporting the mobility of jobseekers in Europe. The portal is called “European Employment Services” (EURES). It has a database of vacancies and provides information on the labour markets and the respective requirements. Skilled individuals can search for a job in the section “Jobseekers”. Under “Find a job” users can either select a field of work or enter a keyword, for example a job title. In the next step visitors to the portal can enter a date when they would like to start work and select a country they wish to work in.
“Make it in Germany” web portal
There is a clear recognition that the shortage of skilled workers in Germany needs to be stemmed – this is also the objective of a targeted campaign to attract qualified professionals launched by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy together with the Federal Employment Agency (BA). More information is provided in the section “Campaign”. The web portal “Make it in Germany” is a key component of the campaign. It is available in German and English and is in part translated into six further languages including Portuguese and Indonesian. Here, skilled international workers can find the most important information on the German labour market. The website also lists vacant positions – from the BA Job Board. The advantage of “Make it in Germany” is the “Auto-Translate” tool, which translates the listings into numerous languages. NB: This is an automated translation, for which the portal assumes no responsibility. Skilled foreign professionals can also receive advice in German and English by telephone; the “Hotline Working and Living in Germany” was set up specifically for this purpose. Staff there are available from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CET on 0049 301 815 1111. Local telephone charges apply from a German landline, the respective tariff for international calls applies abroad.
Job exchange for researchers
The European Commission supports the mobility of scientists in Europe with the web portal “Euraxess”, specially developed for researchers. More than 30 European countries participate in the Europe-wide network. They have agreed on a uniform website and coordinated their advice topics. Interested users can, for instance, get in contact with scientists via the portal. Or they can browse a Europe-wide job exchange that also contains numerous interesting vacancies from Germany. Users first select their specialist field, then their career stage, and are then shown an overview of corresponding job advertisements. The national “Euraxess” coordination office in Germany is located at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The “Euraxess Germany” portal is available in German and English.
Deutscher Pflegeverband job portal
At present demand is high in Germany for people who wish to work in the area of the professional care of sick and elderly people. Deutscher Pflegeverband, the German Care Association, has developed its own online job portal. Users of the platform either enter a job title as a keyword or initially select a professional field. Vacant positions are then shown. The search can be narrowed down further by selecting a region. The portal is available in German.
Some qualified professionals have very clear ideas about their employer and may be interested in particular firms in Germany. Some companies also look for new employees on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Xing – it is worth taking a look at their social media pages. The company may have a branch in your home country and have posted information on vacant positions in Germany. The German Federal Employment Agency and many companies are moreover represented at international job fairs. The advantage of these events is that the relevant people to speak to are there in person. The EURES job fairs are a good tip (for more information on EURES see the relevant section on this page): The so-called “European Job Days” are generally held in spring and autumn in European countries. Staff at the International Placement Services (ZAV) and often also staff at German companies will provide information and personal advice on current vacancies.
A further tip: Most large German corporations have their own careers portal where they post vacancies – some of them in English. Qualified professionals can also try making an unsolicited application if a company has no vacant positions on its website. It is important to find out the details of the correct contact person from the website. In our “Applying” chapter we have compiled the most important tips on applying in Germany. Incidentally, there is an online aid, the “Europass”, which you can use to easily put together a clearly structured and correct CV that corresponds to the current standards.
Newspaper job portals
Most German dailies and weeklies publish companies’ job vacancies, also online. They often have their own job portal for this purpose, where users can look for suitable positions. World-renowned national dailies Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung offer two of the most extensive job boards for qualified professionals and managers. Weekly newspaper Die Zeit also publishes job advertisements. These job portals are generally available in German.