Finding a job in Berlin

Dear job seekers, looking for a job is a job in itself. Berlin is a big city and has more companies than can be seen at first glance. 

Our tip: Let your colleague or friend proofread your application.

We assume that many job offers are not published. Job vacancies are often quickly filled by word of mouth via networks or “employees recruit employees” programs. Some companies use recruitment agencies for resource reasons, others prefer to search for specialists publicly, others search internally, i.e. not publicly. For you, that means that it may make sense to be included in recruiter databases, depending on the sought-after area or qualification. It's worth a try.

OUR TIP: Maintain your networks of fellow alumni or former colleagues! If you are looking for a job, you can make it known there, get tips from them, and let them keep an eye out for you.

International companies in Berlin

Many major international companies may have premises in Berlin, but their headquarters with their centralized HR management could be somewhere else in Germany or in the world. HR matters at the Berlin premises are also co-directed from there. So you should read job offers attentively. Often Berlin is listed as a location in addition to other cities and there is no Berlin address or contact person in the city.

OUR TIP: Search the capital region on our job portal using the main keywords of your desired job, such as sales, optics, electronics, 3D, consulting, etc. Even if your dream job doesn't come up immediately, this will allow you to learn the names of Berlin companies. If a company appeals to you, keep an eye on it.

Small and large companies in Berlin

The adjectives “small” or “large” when applied to companies refers to the number of employees. In Berlin, most companies have less than 500 employees, often even fewer than 200.

These small companies do not always have a human resources department with lots of employees or e-recruiting software that automatically confirms receipt of your documents, for instance. Job vacancies are often only advertised directly on the company's website and there is not always a “career” page for them.

That is gradually changing. Until then, that means you will have to search thoroughly and very patiently. Be persistent and forgive the companies if the process takes a long time. Day-to-day business and the corporate structure do not always allow employees to focus solely on HR issues. It is not uncommon for these companies to be the world market leader in a special area of expertise and offer challenging, varied jobs for you. 

OUR TIP: On the “The Industries” page, you will find links to pages for clusters, associations and technology parks as well as lists of company names. Use this for your search.

Aggressively applying for job offers

In a specialized world of work, job offers often advertise for a generalist and specialist at the same time. Do not be put off. Read carefully whether the core tasks match your skills and experience. If so, you can apply, even if you do not fulfill every point. Ask yourself: Which conditions are truly set in stone, such as certain approvals/licensing and formal qualifications? How could you apply the desired skills to the required tasks?

Go on the offensive if you are lacking. Company-specific details or complementary skills and expertise can always be acquired afterwards.

OUR TIP: Suggest to the employer that you will inquire about offers and sponsorship. Alternatively, we can help your boss-to-be find sponsorship opportunities for Berlin. Please contact us at talent@berlin-partner.de.

Unsolicited application: yes or no

Unsolicited applications must be carefully considered and researched. On some websites, you may see the indication “Please refrain from sending in unsolicited applications.” On others, you may find detailed instructions on which documents you should send and a special e-mail address. You can never be sure if an unsolicited application will be pleasantly received or considered annoying. But the overwhelming majority of cases allow us to recommend that if you are not sure, you should let it be.

If no jobs are advertised, then it is safe to say that none are planned. And if none are planned, many companies don't know what to do with your documents and will find it difficult to archive them. Only companies that have the appropriate resources and the possibility to manage a talent pool electronically can use such applications. For all other companies, unsolicited applications pose a problem for which there is currently no solution.

Short applications and competence profiles

If you get a tip for a job vacancy from your network, including a name and an e-mail address where you can send your documents, then be brief. Don't give your whole life story in the first e-mail.

OUR TIP: Come up with a few brief sentences. What is important is who you are, what your profession is and what kind of job you are looking for in this company. Get straight to the point and state quickly what you want (i.e., send in an application) and ask to whom you should send it. This also applies to telephone calls.

Short competence profiles, or a short CV, are a good idea for unsolicited applications. These should be sent like a cover letter with your name and no photo. It's best to fit your profile onto a quarter of a page. No more, please. This allows you to provide the company with a short summary of your relevant technical and management skills.

OUR TIP: If you need help writing your competence profile, get professional advice.