How to find English speaking jobs in Germany?

It is possible to find a job in Germany without speaking German. There are indeed English speaking jobs in Germany. I am the best example of this. It is possible, but VERY DIFFICULT. In the end, it depends a lot on your field. If the German market is lacking expertise in your field, then good for you! For example, Germany is always looking for engineers. There are not enough local people studying in the engineering field. Therefore, you can see a lot of foreign engineers who are working in Germany. Many of them are coming from India. I know many engineers who did not speak German when they started working here. So it is totally possible to find such English speaking jobs in Germany.

If you are in a general field like me, then it can be more difficult. My study was in an accounting/ business major. The German market is not lacking people in this field. There are actually a lot of German students who study in the business field, since it is considered relatively easier than studying in a technical field like engineering. But it is still possible to find an English speaking job in the business field!

My job-hunting process in Germany was EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING. I was only looking at jobs, which used English in the job description. Because I was not able to speak any German at that time, it made no sense for me to try to apply for a job which was written in German.

There are some English speaking jobs in Germany. Here are some ways how to find them:

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=> Online portal, for example, monster.de or jobs.de

=> Apply directly on the company’s website: This is where I applied most of the jobs. If you have the names of the companies in mind, go to their websites directly and look at the career section. 

=> Look for jobs at universities’ websites: Many universities have jobs listed by different companies. Sometimes you can access this list even though you are not studying at that university. For example, I found my job from the TUM website.

=> If you study in Germany, you can ask your university to give you a list of where all your alumni are working at. I did that and got a list of all the companies and names of the positions. Then I googled each of the companies and looked if there were any English speaking jobs listed on their websites.

Send out as many applications as you can

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I was very crazy during my job hunting period. I was searching SO intensively for English speaking jobs in Germany at that time. Basically, I spent almost 10 hours a day only searching for jobs. I was really stressed out. Because I was so afraid that I couldn’t find a job before my visa expired.

I sent out more than 100 applications in a couple of months. I applied to every job which had a job description in English and was relevant to my study. Even if the job description mentions that you need to know some German, I would recommend you to still try to apply for it if the job description is in English. (The final job I got also stated that German was required in the English job description, but they decided to take me in the end even I did not speak German).

The frustrating part of my job hunting process was that for most of my applications, I didn’t receive any response. For the other parts of them, I got many refusal emails. In the end, I got only 3 interview chances. I was so excited whenever I got an interview.

Looking for English speaking jobs in Germany: Interviews

My first interview

The first interview I got was from a medium-sized company in Berlin. It was an accounting role. I was invited to the office for a personal interview. When I arrived at the office, I was arranged to meet with the boss. When I met him, he was so shocked that I could not speak German. Well, their job description was in English and it did not mention that German was required. My CV stated that I could speak Chinese and English. But obviously, they just supposed that people could speak German when they came for the interview.

So the boss asked me how good my German was. My German was so bad that I couldn’t introduce myself. He told me that it would have been okay to give me a job that only required English reading and writing. However, I wouldn’t be happy working there if I could not speak German because all the colleagues were communicating in German and I would feel left out. Therefore, I did not get this job offer.

I was so sad and wanted to cry after this interview. That was my first interview in Germany and it took me a long time to prepare for it. I had so much hope in it. I was desperate.

My second interview

It was a big international company with headquarter in Canada. I was applying for a finance role. The job description was in English. I got my first phone interview. The interview was in English and all went well. The HR seemed to be happy about me and told me that they would definitely inform me of the next step in the following week.

However, I had never heard back from her afterward. I sent an email reminder. She told me she was still waiting for feedback. I waited for some more time and asked again for the status. And until now I have never heard back from them.

I was actually very mad about this. This was just really unprofessional from my point of view. It was okay if they did not want to employ me. But they would need to decline my application, not just completely ignored it. I had a lot of hope in this interview since I thought the interview went pretty good.

My third and last interview

I was applying for an internship in a supply chain role in an American company. This time I got first a phone interview with HR, then another phone interview with the manager. Everything was in English. All went well and I got the internship offer. I was SO happy. This helped me so much financially. It was a six-month internship. After that, I was able to stay in the same company for another six months to write my thesis. I got a permanent job offer afterward, in my field “finance”. I wrote about my interview for the permanent job offer in another post.

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Lessons learned when looking for English speaking jobs in Germany:

(1) Apply for every job that you are eligible, not only the dream job in your field

For me, my ideal job would be in the finance/accounting field. Because this was the major in my study and I love working in this field. However, during my job hunting, I tried to apply for everything that I was eligible to apply. For example, supply chain, customer services, marketing, etc. These were not really my dream jobs. However, I applied to everything to increase my chance of getting a job. Those jobs required a general business degree, which I had and I was meeting the requirements.

The fact is that it is difficult to get employed in the first place. But if you are already employed, it is relatively easier to change jobs internally within your company. That was what I did. My internship was with the supply chain department. When I graduated, I applied to a finance job in the same company and in the end got the job. If I would have been very strict and only applied for a finance internship at the beginning, I might not be able to get my finance role now in this company.

Note also that when you send out applications to many different positions, do not use a generic application. You should always tailor-made your application to each job based on the job requirement.

(2) Job hunting and learn German at the same time!

Looking for English speaking jobs in Germany was one of the most challenging things I faced in my life. If you can speak German, you would have a MUCH better chance. Many American companies here do not require you to read and write in German at work. But to communicate with your colleagues, you would need to be able to speak and understand German. So you would need an intermediate level of German to get those jobs. Therefore, try to improve your German as much as you can. Even though you are not perfect, but just be able to communicate in German will increase your chance dramatically to find a job in Germany.

The best is actually to take some intensive German class before your study/ work really starts. I described this in my other article here. Once your study or work starts, it is much more difficult to find time to focus on learning German. I have tried countless methods to learn German. If you are interested, check out my 10 fun ways to learn German as well.

(3) Make a good connection with your professors

If you study in Germany, your professors can help to write you a reference letter, which will be useful for job hunting. Some professors have connections with companies. They may be able to recommend you to companies which are hiring. With a recommendation, you will have a much better chance to be hired.

(4) Register in Linkedin and XING

German companies like to use XING. Most companies are using LINKEDIN. Most HR do utilize social media for recruitment. Make sure you have an updated profile there to increase your chance when looking for English speaking jobs in Germany.

(5) Don’t give up!

This is my last and most important point. During this painful job hunting process, you will feel extremely frustrated and desperate many times. You may think about giving up and going back to your home country. It is normal to feel that. I have a very good CV in my field and I am sure I will find a good job pretty easily when I am back in my home town Hong Kong.

In Germany, it was very frustrating that I received so many refusals even with my qualifications. Many times I wanted to cry when I was alone. I felt like I was never going to find any English speaking jobs in Germany.

Believe in yourself!

Once I talked with my professor, he asked me what my plan was after graduation. I told him that I really liked Germany and would like to find a job here.

Then he was like, “I wouldn’t say that it is impossible, but it is almost impossible. Why would any company want to employ you, but not just someone from Germany?” It was devastating. I was both angry and desperate. Why would my professor say that to me? Maybe he was just trying to make me face the reality. In my opinion, it was enough that he did not want to encourage me. But it was not necessary to discourage me like this!

And see, he was not right! I did find a job here. So do not listen to the others! Believe in yourself. If you also give up yourself, nobody can help you. You need to be confident that you can make it! Quitting my job in Hong Kong was really scary for me back then and I have struggled a lot before making this decision. But now I can surely say that this was the best decision in my life!

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Are you currently looking for English speaking jobs in Germany? What is your experience in searching for jobs in Germany? Leave a comment here to share your experience!

27 Replies to “How to find English speaking jobs in Germany?”

  1. I currently planning to have a master degree in Operation management……so can you give an idea that after graduation …..will the job hunt be more or less difficult..??!

    1. Kartik, thank you for your comment!

      The difficulty of the job hunt depends on several factors. As I mentioned in the article, your German level skill is a huge factor. If your German is good, it should not be that difficult to find a job. It also depends on the city. It is more common for international people to find a job in bigger city (like Munich). Other factors like your academic result, internship/work experience, reference letters, how hard are you looking for jobs…all play a role. But I would say German skill is the number one factor you should focus on (if you do not speak German already).

      I will continue to write more about work/study/life in Germany. If you like my articles, feel free to follow me to get more information. Hope it helps!

  2. Hi,

    I will be emigrating to Germany from South Africa, I hold BA in Retail Management were I majored in business, finance and retail, also holds soft development and entrepreneurship certificate. I got the A1 level German speaking skills.

    Hoping to find a job and also continue with my studies in Germany.

    Any advise….

    1. Are you going to do your master in Germany? My advise is to learn German as much as you can. When you are at least conversational in German, it is totally possible to find a job in Germany with your qualification.

  3. Hi,

    My story/experiences are almost like yours. Have got about 15 years experience in IT (BA/QA/Software Testing roles). It’s been a month and still on job hunt. Have applied to many via various job portals and company websites. Since I do not know German , looking for English speaking jobs to start with. I’m almost at the end of my A1 course. Every week feel like going back to my home town. Visa would get expired by June 2019.

    Regards
    Hiten

    1. Hiten, I totally understand the time pressure relating to visa and the feeling of wanting to go back home. I had that too many times back then. One thing I would say is that, going back home is not the end of the world. I think we should try to be a bit more relaxed about it. If we cannot find a job in Germany, we can go home first. You never know what will be the next opportunity for you. You may end up back to Germany later, or even to another country, or having your dream job back home. As long as you do not give up your dream, know what you really want and do not give up, you will end up where you want to be.

  4. I saw you shared this article on Facebook – you shed lights on English speaking job hunting in Germany pretty well, which is also a great encouragement for me. I am also like you, English speaking but still improving German …

    1. Elizabeth, thank you and glad that you like this article! I went through this and can totally understand how it is to hunt for English speaking job here in Germany. Hope I can help as many others as possible, who are on the same journey.

  5. Hello! thank you for your interesting story shared and advice to us whom want to join German as possible as well ,i want to continue my master’s degree in German and work there as well in 2020 in business area ,how am i going to get this offer? help me with that thanks.

    Regards
    Christine

    1. The first step would be to apply for a university program. You can check this website to see what you want to study and if you meet the requirement. Then apply for the program and see if you get accepted.

  6. Thank you for sharing your difficult time about job hunt to all of us.
    Same as you I am from Hong Kong. Completed a master degree there but still not able to speak German fluently. For me, it takes a short time to find a freelance job which is enough to pay my rent and living. I guess it may not be easy to get a place to stay too, right? My visa will be expired soon and I may have to go back if I am not able to find a “Full time job related to my study”.

    I guess you may also feel disappointed to the recent states in Hong Kong too. It is my main struggle if I should go back. But I am not worries because I believe we can take any challange after going through this process. (If you are able to settle yourself in a foreign country start from zero, what else can be much difficult than that?)

    Things take time but cannot be in a rust. Here, I would love to cheer everyone who are hving a hard moment with a slang from Hong Kong ” add oil!” Springs is just right at the corner.

    1. Joephy, thanks a lot for reading! I fully understand how it is for you. I went through that process as well. One thing I want to point out is that, going back to Hong Kong is not the end of the world. You never know what is the next opportunity waiting for your there. I know people who went back to Hong Kong, and after a while, end up finding a job in another country and settling down there. As long as you know what you want, do not give up your dream, you will end up where you want to be. So, add oil!

  7. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story! Never give up is the key! I am going to finish my PhD in the UK and I would like to find a healthcare position in Germany. I know it’s going to be challenging. But, I will take your advice!

    1. Glad to hear that you like my post. Yes it will be challenging, but it is totally possible. I plan to write more posts regarding working in Germany. Hope it will help you!

  8. Thanks for sharing your motivational story !
    Briefly saying about myself, I’ve done my bachelor degree for finance in Dubai. After that i have worked for 2 and half years as sales executive in private company in Dubai and then decided to shift to Germany. Since 2 months ago I’ve been looking for English speaking jobs desperately just like your story ! My visa is expiring in next few months and I’m very stressed out. i spend sometimes to learn German daily.

    1. I can totally understand what you are going through at the moment. It can be really stressful with the visa running out. Do you study in Germany? If so, you can apply for job seeking visa to gain at least some more time. Spend sometimes daily learning German is good. It would be easier to find a job if you are able to hold basic conversations in German.

  9. Dear Sindy,

    Your blogs are really relatable. I could relate to each one of those. I am presently working in Germany and living with my husband here. Your blogs are so motivating and inspiring. I am must say that you are really a hard worker from finding an english speaking job to mastering german language skills. Highly appreciated

  10. Quite revealing I must say. Being able to get a job in Germany after graduation has been my major hold back. I give it a thought everyday.

    I already have an admission for an M.A in Passau, and seeing as my field is in the Arts, I am increasingly worried about being able to secure employment after my degree.

    Whats your opinion about being able to get a job in International Development in Germany?

    1. Michael, thanks for reading. It is definitely possible to find a job in Germany after graduation. Try to work on your German as much as possible. It will not only help you to find a job, but you will also feel much better for your daily life in Germany.

  11. hi.. I am actually thinking of doing master’s in environmental economics or related fields such as economic policy or developmental economics. What are my chances of getting a job after graduation?

    1. It is not uncommon to find a job and stay in Germany after graduating from master study there. It depends on a lot of factors. I am not familiar with this major. But I would say it depends a lot on your German level. The better your German is, the higher chance you can get a job afterwards. You may want to do some research just to see how the job market is like in this area. For example, looking at job portals, or asking people who graduated with this major in Germany (either through your university or online Facebook group, etc.)

  12. Very nice and motivated story ..I am here on the same page like you who’s looking for English jobs and I didn’t study here …but still i am applying for jobs and hope will get a chance ….I have good experience in logistics and supply chain …if you can suggest me some more tips it really helps.

    1. I was in a very similar situation like you before. Your field is not that technical, so it is challenging to find a job, but not impossible. How is your German level? It plays an important role. The better your German is, the higher is your chance.

      1. just started learning I am on basic level soon going to join institute

  13. Hallo Sindy,

    I am so glad that I come cross your blog. I only live in Dresden for four months now . It took me a while to find this kind of insightful and individual way of writing life in Germany.
    I found this article is very helpful and encouraging , I am currently having the same struggle of finding a job .

    Viele Grüße,
    Min

    1. Min,

      Thank you very much. I am glad that you like my blog. I totally understand how you feel now, as I went through the same process few years ago.
      Please share my blog to anyone who may need help too. I hope to encourage and help as many others who are following my path.
      Finding a job in Germany is hard but not impossible. Do not give up and I wish you all the best luck.

      Best regards,
      Sindy

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