How to find a job in Germany
I put together a guide for mothers who want to find a new job in Germany after a long break of maternity leave.
If you are an international mother living in Germany and are looking for a new job after a break, you should definitely read this post!
Your first steps to kickstarting your career
If you are frantically sending out job applications and hitting “easy apply” on LinkedIn and panicking after every rejection, you might have skipped some essential steps in finding a job in Germany. These are my tips on getting started:
- Define your vision, mission and goal
- What’s your story?
- Creating a job search strategy
- Activate your professional network
- Updating your documents: CV and cover letter
Check out my job coaching programs if you want to work on all these topics.
Defining your vision and goal
Before you figure out which jobs you should be applying to, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on your vision. What kind of life do you want to lead? What are your priorities? What’s the dream? What goals can you define to achieve it?
The famous saying by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says “a goal without a plan is just a wish”, which means that once you have a vision and defined goals to make it a reality, you need a plan. For this, SMART goals are a good option: Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time-bound
Your strategy to find a job in Germany
When applying for a job, you are presenting yourself to a potential employer with your CV, cover letter and maybe your LinkedIn profile. This is your first impression and you want it to be a good one. So what story are you telling them? Are you giving them a good idea about what kind of person you are? While it is important to present your qualifications and experience, you also want to make sure you’re telling your unique authentic story. Most people skip this step, so if you do it, you’ll already improve your chances of getting a job!
Then you can develop a strategy for your jobs. Being organised in your job search is extremely important so that you don’t spend many months applying for all kinds of jobs that aren’t relevant or interesting to you. You want to make sure that you are applying for relevant jobs and in the right way, for which you need good research and a strategy.
After you design your CV, address the gaps like Elternzeit and write a strong cover letter, you can start preparing for your job interviews. Here are a couple of points to remember:
- Your CV should contain information that is relevant to the job. You don’t need to put ALL your information in there. Nowadays, there is no problem in mentioning breaks in your career like Elternzeit, prolonged illness, etc. if you want. But if you’d rather not, you can leave that out.
- Keep the formats simple. There is no harm in adding some colour and creativity, but don’t overdo it. Make sure the fonts are easy to read and the colours aren’t distracting from the content. If you’re applying to big companies, you should check that the program you use to create your CV is ATS compatible
- The cover letter should add value and complement your CV, so you give additional information that would be relevant to the potential employer.
- Provide references and scans of your certificates in PDF format in Germany.
Working with a job coach is a time-effective way to address these issues. Check out my programs for job coaching for mothers.
Plan your return to work
Of course, your potential employer needs to understand your reality as a mother, offer you flexibility and a number of other things. These need to be talked about and negotiated.
I always say that when mothers go back to work, you also need to discuss the new life and rhythm with your partner. The dynamic is about to change soon and capacities and expectations need to be discussed. It is very important to make sure your transition back to work is smooth.
If you are a mother looking for a new job in Germany after your Elternzeit, you should sign up for the workshop on February 27th at 7 pm “how to find a job in Germany” to learn more.
The Confused Mother Podcast
Do you want even more content on motherhood? Here is The Confused Mother podcast, where I talk to mothers and experts about everything related to motherhood and work. Click below to tune in on Spotify or Apple podcasts:
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