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Looking for work in Germany

Looking for work in another country requires more than just the obvious CV translation. You will be confronted with issues that probably didn't even cross your mind when you decided to go for an international career, but don't underestimate the big impact they can have on the outcome of your adventure! Think for example about the different rules and habits regarding immigration, job application procedures, the selection procedures and the management culture.

Expertise in Labour Mobility has prepared practical fact sheets to support you in your job hunting abroad. A thorough preparation will give you a head start in the country of your choice. Here is some info on Germany:

Work permits in Germany

  •     EEA citizens are free to move and work wherever they want to, within the EEA (including Germany).
  •     You need to apply for a residence permit. This is valid for five years and should be issued within six months of your arrival.
  •     Contact the German embassy in your home country for more information.

The application procedure in Germany

  •     The German application procedure is extremely formal.
  •     Prepare yourself for questions regarding your current activities, expected wage and activities of the company.
  •     Having experience is one of the main selection criteria in Germany.

Writing a CV in Germany
    The key focus of your CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it.
    The German CV is always in strict chronological order. Reverse order is getting more common.
    A photograph is either scanned in or attached to the right top corner. Do not use a paperclip to attach the photo, but glue or alternatively staple the photo.
    The style of writing should be concise, to the point and clear.
    Make sure that there are no gaps in your CV. Account for every period, even unemployment.

The application letter in Germany

  •     The application letter should be typed and start with the name and title of the person who is supposed to be dealing with it.
  •     Give a complete and precise description of the position you previously held. Personal motivation for a job is less important in Germany.
  •     A conservative letter style is preferred.
  •     The entire application package is usually 10 to 20 pages. Candidates present their information in a special map that allows you to categorize the different types of supporting material you have to include (grade lists, letters of reference, examples of previous work, etc). Never fold the letter or CV - that is considered 'not done'.


  •     Shake hands firmly - and introduce yourself.
  •   Look interested - ask questions.
  •     Ask for clarification if you don't understand the question.
  •     Provide examples to illustrate your achievements.
  •     Answer questions with precision in a German interview.


  •     Be late for appointments.
  •   Ask people directly for a job in their company.
  •     Sit until invited.
  •     Criticise former employers.
  •     Go over the top - stay calm and stick to the facts.

Management culture in Germany

  •     The German organisational culture is characterised by hierarchy with a strong management.
  •     Germans work on carefully planned tasks, and make decisions based on hard facts only.
  •     Meetings are orderly and efficient and usually follow a tight schedule.
  • "    Discussions are held with the goal to reach compliance and a final decision in Germany.
  •     Time is a well-defined concept therefore people are very punctual. Be aware of it!


This information is based on the Looking for work in Germany guide (ISBN 978-90-5896-057-3), written by Expertise in Labour Mobility, and has been used with their kind permission.  For more information please visit www.labourmobility.com

Expertise in Labour Mobility are a company who specialize in advice and guidance regarding international labour mobility.  Expertise in Labour Mobility assists organizations in their communication with their expatriate population, ranging from cultural management advice and job hunting information to writing complete expat policies and preparing expat tool kits for a wide range of clients.

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www.CosmosJobs.com : Αναζήτηση εργασίας ανά ειδικότητα για εύρεση εργασίας σε Ελλάδα και Ευρώπη.

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