7 Tips for Germans Seeking Jobs Across the EU

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Are you a German speaker who is looking for jobs outside of Germany? That’s fantastic! First of all, check out our job opportunities for German speakers.

Here are 7 things that you should know before you begin your job search abroad.

7 Tips for Germans Seeking Jobs Across the EU

1. Change up your CV

In general, in Germany, CVs often have less text and explanation of work experience. There are no listed descriptions under the roles on the CV, and instead, the description of roles and experience comes written in an accompanying letter of purpose. This should be changed when applying for jobs abroad. Instead, a short description of your responsibilities in that role and your experiences need to be clearly listed on your CV. You need to have all relevant experience listed on your CV, otherwise, many hiring managers will not consider you for a position because it does not look like you have any experience in that field. For example, if you want a position as a team leader or manager you need to explain how you have past experience in that position.

Another difference for what is expected to be on a CV is that most hiring managers in Germany expect a picture of the candidate on the CV. It may not be explicitly required, but there is an expectation that there should be one. However, when applying for jobs abroad this may not be required, and in fact it is possible it should not be on the CV at all.  Other examples of things that in general are not expected on CVs could be birth date, marital or family status, and birthplace. To fully learn what should or should not be on your CV for a specific question, a quick Google search can make the difference between your CV being looked at, or immediately binned.

2. Understand your qualifications

In some countries, like in Germany, master’s degrees or short internships and trainee positions can be considered enough experience to be considered for a managerial position. However, in most international working environments, having a master’s degree or having a short internship are not enough experience to be considered for a managerial position.

In order to be considered for most managerial or senior roles, education is a bonus but not the only requirement. What is really required is previous experience in a similar capacity. In some countries like Ireland, working your way up through a company is the best way to attain a higher position. It is nearly impossible to be hired in a senior or managerial position without having the junior experience to back it up.

Graduates fresh out of school should be willing to work their way up a company, gain experience, and prove that they can handle increasing responsibility; rather than expecting that learning the theory of management is sufficient. If you want a company to trust you with leading a team or a project, you need to show that you have experience outside of school, doing just that.

When you apply for a management or leadership position, and then are questioned on your qualifications; you need to have relevant examples to back up your experience. If you say that you have management experience, expect to be asked about KPIs, how you motivate a team, and/or how you lead your team. Not having examples of you actually performing the functions of a leadership team, and you simply knowing the theory learned in school, will not be a strong enough case for a company to entrust you with a management role.

Often, experience, personality, and ability of a candidate can build a stronger case for employment than simply having a high degree.

3. Explore Unique Benefits

Having international work experience can be a great addition to your CV, and can make you stand out amongst other applicants! Experiencing and learning from international business styles are skills that you can bring back after your working experience abroad is completed. These are experiences that you can’t have in school or learn from a book, and so being able to have those real-life experiences can be quite a bonus.

Working hierarchies and company organization can be quite different abroad, and so experiencing those different styles can help build experience you can use in future companies. For example, in Ireland most companies have a much less rigid or hierarchical working structure. Often, companies seem like more of a flat working structure, where the higher employees do not distance themselves from the junior employees. By having these diverse experiences, you can learn a blending of working and company organization styles that you can learn from for future jobs.

4. Do your Research

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Is it common practice for countries in that country to offer healthcare? How can you cross over healthcare providers to a new country? Do companies have a probationary period? How long are contracts usually? Are they temporary or permanent contracts? Most of these things differ across countries, but in general the information can be found online. Doing your own research, and asking companies if the information that you researched online is correct can show that you are driven and committed to opportunities, and that you are resourceful and independent. Don’t expect companies to provide all the information to you, sometimes you have to research the local job market to understand what companies will expect of you.

5. Know the market

The wages may look significantly different for starting salaries, but you have to do your market research. Wages outside of Germany might look low, but things to consider are the taxes for an area, including benefits that are not taken from the salary, and cost of living in an area. For example, in Ireland, education alone does not beget a job candidate a higher salary. Rather, experience in a position is what leads to a higher salary offering.

6.Don’t apply too early


In Germany, generally, job candidates and students can start applying for jobs half a year in advance of when they are available to start. And in some cases, students can begin applying for positions almost a year ahead of when they have finished their studies. However, most jobs outside of Germany do not have such a long recruitment process. For example, in Ireland, the recruiting process can only take up to a few weeks from application to interview to hiring offer. So being aware of when you should apply for positions can greatly aid your job search, because often if you apply too early your application will not be considered.

But this can be quite an advantage! Because the hiring process can be so quick, you don’t have to wait too long for your next job. It also means that there are new job opportunities much quicker, so the odds of finding a job that you like and that matches your profile are much higher!

7. Get excited 

Working abroad is such a unique experience, and one that will gift you experience and memories to last a lifetime! You’re doing something new- and something that most people aren’t brave enough to do. You’re moving abroad, experiencing in a new working culture, and connecting yourself to the world. Don’t forget to enjoy the experience and travel around your new home! Engage in cultural exchange, and explore your newly adopted country.


Author: Nicole