With incredibly high unemployment, it can be difficult to find a job in Berlin. There are relatively few multinational companies. Any special skills (especially language), increase your chances of finding employment. People who have the best chances are those with a special skill, some savings, and determination.
EU workers are free to work without a visa, but for citizens from other countries, getting a work permit (Arbeitserlaubnis) from the Labour Office (Arbeitsamt) is the most difficult step. Most people who are native English speakers start on a English teacher's visa, and than expand that visa the longer they stay.
Because of Berlin's perpetually struggling economy, you should also expect to receive a lower salary, but note that cost of living is also lower than most other cities.
Speaking German is an immediate advantage, but depending on the position you may be pursuing, may not be a necessity. The banking industry is conducted mostly in English, and there is room in academics for English speakers. The hospitality industry and call centers are usually hiring, but wages are usually low.
Before starting out on your job search, determine what you are looking for.
It is common to spend 3 months looking for work. This can be a valuable time of getting settled, enhancing your German, and making connections. Be prepared for this reality. There is also no shame in first becoming employed as a teacher. This is by far the easiest position for a native English speaker and can help get you started.
Germany usually uses a CV.. International companies stationed in Germany may prefer a resume, but this should be specified in the ad. Prepare both a German and English versions of your resume only if you are fluent in both languages.
A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent. Also known as a cover letter, covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation.
After you have completed your CV, it is time to search for jobs.
As part of the EU, job seekers can access the European job mobility portal EURES. This resource provides information about job vacancies and the labor market. It also provides information on the living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.
Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. EasyExpat's job listings are a great place to find positions.
Several papers have a helpful classified's section.
There are large trade fairs with recruiters and businesses looking to employ. Check at convention centers and with local agencies.
English-speaking expats are in high demand for teaching English. Language schools usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.
The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. The best situations are companies that pay adequately and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition for the largest.
Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not.
It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove themselves reliable and are able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.
It is also an option to work for yourself by giving private lessons. These are usually more profitable per hour, but require a lot more work finding customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's job listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.
Private lessons in technical and business English at private companies is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience. Teachers must provide valid permits for these positions.
TESOL(also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.
Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Research the company before the interview to discover their missions and direction. It is not uncommon for there to be a series of interviews, with the first lasting 30-60 min, and further meetings possibly taking an entire day.
Most jobs rely on an employment contract. The contract must be in writing and can include details of the type of work to be done, duration, salary, and benefits.
It is common to have a probational period at a new job, usually about six months. The length and requirements of this period should be detailed within the contract, including what should happen if either side wishes to terminate the contract. During this period, a notice of 14 days is considered adequate.
Termination of an employment relationship must be carried out in writing. The statutory periods of notice are laid down in the Buergerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB). Employees have to give four weeks's notice, as of the fifteenth or last day of the month. The longer an employee has been with a business, the longer the periods of notice must be. For employment of over 20 years, the period is extended to seven months.
Fixed-term employment relationships with a written employment contract terminate automatically when the agreed period expires. In those cases the employer is not required to give notice of termination. When your employment ends, you are entitled to a reference.
If you are in need of short term work of any kind, there are agencies that will find you employment with another company. As an added bonus, sometimes short term work can lead to longer contract.
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