Many companies are open to applications in English although an application in German is a big advantage. In most companies, at least some understanding of German is required even for teaching English. Language requirements vary by sector: all medical jobs require verbal German skills whereas software developers in start-ups might get by without speaking German.
The application process
Check with the company before applying whether you can simply apply by e-mail or whether they prefer applications via some online application tool. Include a cover letter, a CV and copies of your diplomas and work references.
You might get invited for a first interview round via Zoom or Skype although you probably have to come to Germany in person for a final interview. Staged application processes where applicants first speak to the human resources person, then to colleagues working in their field of expertise, are the norm in many companies. Software companies often ask applicants to do a coding test.
Expect long and formal application procedures up to several months at big companies and more informal ones at start-ups. Many companies in Germany opened up to remote application and work settings during the Corona pandemic.
Some professions like engineers or tech workers can expect to get offers from recruiters via Linkedin or Xing. It's important to signal on your profile pages to recruiters that you are still located abroad but are about to relocate to Germany so that they have you on their radars. Usually, recruiters get a commission from the company and applicants don't have to pay.
Foreign qualifications and diplomas in Germany
While expertise for some tech jobs will be tested during the interview, most jobs rely on formal qualifications. You can check on this website whether your qualification is recognized in Germany.
Germany has some 150 regulated professions like teachers, lawyers, doctors and opticians source. You can check this EU database for regulated professions to see if your job is regulated in Germany. You have to get your qualification recognized by the relevant German authority or professional association if you want to work in a regulated job.
You find more information about recognizing foreign diplomas in Germany on the website of Central Office for Foreign Education (Zentrale Stelle für die Bewertung ausländischer Qualifikationen) or select the responsible authority directly by the federal state (Bundesland).
Job search websites in Germany
List of the biggest job search websites in Germany
The following job search websites have listings of many jobs across all of Germany. These are the big players among job portals in Germany.
- Bundesagentur für Arbeit - 1.5 million jobs. The Bundesagentur für Arbeit is an agency of the German state.
- Stepstone.de - 600.000 jobs from 60.000 companies.
- Meinestadt.de - 580.000 jobs.
- Arbeitnow - Remote jobs in Europe.
Meta job search engines
Meta job search websites search across many websites with job listings and compile the result. This saves you the hassle to enter the same search query on several websites.
English jobs in Germany
A list of websites specializing in jobs for English speakers.
- Jobmesh.de has a filter option to search their large database for jobs that don't require German language skills.
- LifeworQ - English-speaking jobs in 12 countries including many German cities.
- Englishjobs.de - jobs for English-speaking professionals in Germany.
Jobs by company size
Specialists and management jobs
- Academics.com - academics and research jobs.
- Ingenieur.de - engineering jobs.
Food service, bar and hotel jobs
- Germantechjobs.de - tech jobs sorted by tech stack, location and remote options.
- Webentwickler-jobs.de - web and frontend developer jobs.