Skip to content

Job Application

Expatrio 2024-02-15
Job application in Germany


After arriving in Germany, finding accommodation, and arranging a health insurance, it's time to start looking for work. And as any job-seeker knows, that means completing as many job applications as it takes until you find the right position.

However, what every job-seeker doesn't know is that a job application in Germany can be a little different to elsewhere. Let's explore the theme a little further and help you land a dream job. 

How to apply for a job in Germany

Check out our tips

Every position is slightly different, and there may be minor variations in specific sectors of the economy. However, in most cases, the process of applying for a job in Germany will run roughly like this. 

1. Research the best areas to work

Firstly, you'll need to know which jobs are needed in Germany? There are some excellent resources around which aggregate German jobs data, but the government's Make it in Germany portal is probably the best option to start with. So if you're wondering if there are jobs in Germany within your sector it's a great place to begin the journey. 

2. Ensure that your qualifications are recognized

You will also need to ensure that your existing qualifications are officially recognized in Germany. Again, the government runs a handy site to check whether your degree is sufficient, or additional training will be required. And sometimes, the answer to the question "can foreigners work in Germany" is unfortunately no. If your qualifications aren't in demand or recognized, work will be hard to find. 

3. Search job vacancies

Now you can start searching for specific posts, and finding jobs in Germany for foreigners is usually surprisingly easy. Make it in Germany gathers together a lot of jobs that are suitable for foreign applicants. 

If you are looking for jobs in Germany for English speakers, try resources like or the German branch of Indeed. And if you are wondering how to apply for a job in Germany from India​, check out MonsterIndia. There should be a wide range of potential openings. Or if you are looking for an IT job, you can search on GermanTechJobs.

4. Complete your application

Next comes the application. This requires an updated resume, a current photograph, and copies of any relevant professional qualifications. See below for information about the CV and cover letter

5. Secure a working visa

After being accepted, there's still work to do. When you have secured a contract, you can then apply for a working visa via a local consulate or embassy. If you already have a six month job-seeker visa, in which case you'll be able to convert that into a long-term permit. 

6. Organize health insurance

Every worker in Germany must be insured, and there are plenty of providers to choose from. This is where Expatrio's expertise and contacts help you to secure a coverage that balances healthcare and value for money. 


Different levels of insurance include different benefits. Whichever you choose, don’t forget that health insurance is compulsory for all!

Get your Health Insurance

With our Health Insurance Plus you will benefit not only from excellent healthcare coverage, but also from additional benefits specially chosen for you.

Get Health Insurance

The Cover Letter

How to nail this important component in the job application process

The cover letter is a key aspect of the job application process, but it's also something that many job-seekers get wrong. So here are some basic do's and don'ts to keep in your mind: 


  • Ensure that you address the correct contact person. If necessary, give the company a call to check that you have the right individual.
  • Be honest about your achievements and abilities, but show your passion and interest in the job you are applying for as well.
  • Stick to the job and its responsibilities, or any qualifications that are relevant to the post. Don't waste time talking about your hobbies or other activities.
  • Add a hand-written signature at the end of the letter. It's a nice human touch and shows that you haven't churned out a form letter for the post in question.


  • Write in large paragraphs without space in between. Use shorter paragraphs where possible, with short sentences that are easy to read.
  • Use slang or informal language. Avoid sounding conversational. Reading the letter back after completion can help to achieve the right balance of personal content and formality.
  • Resort to exaggerations or untruths. Any dishonesty is sure to be exposed, and often jumps out of cover letters as a potential red flag.

Can I get a job in Germany without speaking German?​

The idea of writing a cover letter in German can be out of the question for some people, but as we've seen, there are plenty of English language jobs in Germany. In these cases, cover letters will still be needed, and the same rules apply - just translated into English

How to structure a typical cover letter

Most cover letters follow a similar template. The first paragraph states the full name of the position, and may reference the referrer who informed the applicant about the job. 

The second paragraph explains why the applicant is interested, what qualities that have that make them suited to the job, any relevant experience in the field, and discusses how the applicant will contribute to the company in the future. 

The third paragraph lets the company know when the applicant is available for an interview (or phone interview if they cannot be in Germany at that time). And the fourth paragraph states what has been supplied with the letter (such as a CV and photographs), and includes contact details for the applicant. 


The Curriculum Vitae

Find out more about this vital feature

Your CV sums up your personal history, and forms a core point of reference for German employers, so it's vital to get your CV right when applying

There are some important differences between German CVs and the ones that applicants may be familiar with. Most importantly, there's no room for boasting or stressing personal qualities on a German CV. So stick to relevant information, instead. And in Germany, CVs tend to include a passport-sized photo in the top right corner, something that US or UK versions lack. In case you need help translating your CV to German, you can also book translation services online.

The content of the CV is also slightly different to other countries. German CVs always start with educational information (from high school level to postgraduate), before listing work experience. German employers also tend to be more keen to see supporting documents (such as professional certificates or degrees). These should be supplied along with the CV in either hard or digital formats.


How to create the perfect German CV

If you want to wow employers, keep in mind these simple tips and you should do fine: 

  • Education first, then work, then anything else.
  • Keep it short. Two pages is routine.
  • Remember the photo in the top right corner.
  • Include your address, email address, phone number, date of birth, and full name at the top of the document.
  • Use bullets to list your accomplishments in jobs or academic courses.
  • If you have any gaps, be sure to provide a short explanation.
  • Don't include reference addresses. Instead, you'll need to secure written references to send to your prospective employer.

When applying for your visa

This advice also applies to the one page CV for German visa​ applications, and it's a good idea to write both at the same time. The shorter format doesn't require so much detail - just stick to the length of your stay, what kind of work you are seeking, and your professional qualifications. 


The Job Interview

The final step to get your dream job

If your cover letter and CV are successful, you'll be invited for a job interview. And - as with every other stage of the process, it's important to get the interview right if you want to succeed. So, here are some tips: 

  • Make sure you are completely punctual. Any lateness could kill your chances.
  • Dress smartly - even if your work attire is relatively informal. Press your trousers, iron your shirt, and make sure any stains are brushed off before attending.
  • Never criticize past employers or colleagues. Keep things objective and neutral, if possible.
  • Stay engaged, feel free to ask questions, and don't just drone on and on. Employers appreciate applicants who show initiative and can hold a conversation.
  • Be confident about what you have accomplished, and state your achievements clearly - without sounding boastful. And never exaggerate.
  • Do some research about your potential employer. Find out about their leaders, product areas, achievements, and goals.
  • Never overreact. Expect interviewers to be fairly direct, even rude in some cases. They will try to test your initiative and resolve, so don't take their tactics personally.
  • Come prepared with a pen and notepad, preferably with some intelligent questions ready to ask.
  • Eye contact is important, but don't overdo it. When asking questions, be direct and confident, but try to relax as well.


Employers want to see evidence of effective collaboration and cooperation - not personal dominance. So even if you are super-confident, try to help your team members and work with them, not against them.

In general, the process of applying for work in Germany isn't as daunting as it may seem. So don't worry too much about questions like how do I apply for a job in another country​?

Just use the resources available and come up with a killer cover letter and CV!

About Expatrio

We're building the best solution for internationals coming to Germany.


This might also be of interest to you

Koffer mit gepackten Sachen

Factors to Consider When Relocating to a New City

Are you considering relocating to a new city? According to the United Nations, over 232 million people have relocated in search of a better life....

Social Security and Taxes in Germany

Social Security & Taxes

Ever since Otto von Bismarck created the world's first comprehensive pensions and employment insurance schemes in the 1880s, Germans have looked to...

Job application in Germany

Job Application

After arriving in Germany, finding accommodation, and arranging a health insurance, it's time to start looking for work. And as any job-seeker knows,...

A student working in Germany in a cafe

Part-time jobs in Germany

Your guide to finding part-time jobs in Germany in 5 steps. Part-time employment is a great way to cover costs of your study abroad. In this article,...

PG for Doctors in Germany

PG for Doctors in Germany [Process, Licensing]

Germany is becoming more popular among physicians and is one of the renowned destinations for medical students looking to pursue their postgraduate...

Female hands typing on a laptop

Starting a Business in Germany

Every year, over 2 million new businesses are registered in Germany, spanning a vast range of different specialties. From cake designers to wedding...

An office in a company

The Best Cities in Germany for Expats: Over vs. Underrated

Germany is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Germany has something to offer everyone, whether you are looking for big-city excitement...

Two peoples working in front of their laptop

Types of Employment in Germany

Thanks to a strong and stable economy, the German employment market is extremely attractive to international applicants. As well as a diverse range...

After Bachelor's degree in Germany

What to Do After Your Bachelor’s Degree in Germany

You’ve just finished your Bachelor’s degree in Germany and are now looking for the next steps in your personal and professional life.