About the employment situation in the city

73 posts in this topic

I don't know if it's the right section to post, so I apologize with mods in advance for the inconvenience. 

 

Before moving to Munich, I lived in Berlin for 4 months. It has been a city that I loved very much, in there I left a piece of my heart and I met very nice people.

I moved to Germany mostly to learn German, since I had very serious plans for my future, as this country is giving me good opportunities for my previous university studies (the only barrier is the linguistic one, that's why).

 

While I was there, learning German at school, I started actively looking for a job as it was my main aim to remain in Berlin. And so I started sending applications everywhere, for skilled vacancies (various startups) and either for unskilled ones. 

During that period of time I got rejected by almost everyone. Only a McDonald's (the other 5 dumped me) and some hotels answered me back and invited me for an interview. Neverthless the more I was going further with my German level (B1, B2), still fews where the answers (mostly by hotels to work as a receptionist).

 

Did everything smooth and almost near perfect (all in perfect German, proofreaded by my language teacher, CV + motivation letter + sometimes references + degree certificate).

 

Some months later I sent an application to a company in Munich, and they answered me back immediately. So it was the same in Stuttgart and in Dusseldorf. Yeah, it was a bar, but I mean, it was the same for the other two: in 3 days, I got also an answer for an interview for a skilled job too.

 

How could this happen? Why is there this huge difference between Berlin and other German cities in terms of work? I know there's a high unemployment rate in Berlin and a terrible competition of workers as well, could this be the reason why?

People still depict Berlin as one of the best cities in the world to find a job, while actually i see that if you're not IT oriented or skilled, cannot survive on a longer period of time (however I knew a lot of IT guys working in fast foods!).
 

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3 hours ago, Hometown said:

How could this happen? Why is there this huge difference between Berlin and other German cities in terms of work? I know there's a high unemployment rate in Berlin and a terrible competition of workers as well, could this be the reason why?

 

Well yes. High unemployment rate also means that employers have many applications to choose from and possibly they already hired someone who came knocking on their door saving themselves the trouble of reading an application and setting up an interview. This would be especially true for low skilled jobs. However with a low unemployment rate the employers will advertise and have few or no applicants. Hence they are very excited about each application.

 

3 hours ago, Hometown said:

People still depict Berlin as one of the best cities in the world to find a job, while actually i see that if you're not IT oriented or skilled, cannot survive on a longer period of time (however I knew a lot of IT guys working in fast foods!).

 

Which people depict Berlin as one of the best cities to find a job? I've seen someone living there state that Berlin is the city where people come to live off benefits. I've had someone I knew who lives there tell me his gf got this job making 10€ an hour and they were so happy. They were not even foreigners. Sure, Berlin is considered cool by many but people who move to Berlin are often as you say IT ppl or aspiring artist financed by their parents or the like.

 

 

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The problem with unskilled jobs is that there are way too many people trying to get them.  Berlin has been hipster capital of Europe for way too long, the influx of young foreign "artists" and plain hipsters makes things very complicated.    At least with the introduction of minimum wage things got a bit better, because if was becoming plain exploitation (people working full time while being paid a minijob salary).

 

Skilled jobs WHEN you ALREADY have some German experience and you speak decent German are relative easy to find.  An empty CV with no German experience is tough in Berlin.   But there are jobs, specially in IT.  We ourselves have always problems filling up out vacancies, it takes way too long to find people with the correct skills.  Sometimes we compromise with applicants that do not really fulfill the requirements and train them.

 

Saying that Berlin is the city where people come to live from handouts is a bit unfair nowadays.

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In Berlin 20% of the people are considered poor.

In Heidelberg and Munich 5-7%.

So, if you want to become poor, go to Berlin.

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2 hours ago, LeonG said:

Which people depict Berlin as one of the best cities to find a job?

 

Having lived in Berlin for about a decade, I have lost count of the number of foreigners (Germans presumably know their country well enough to know its false) who have come to Berlin because they believe germany is europes financial powerhouse, and obviously the capital is the place to be, so Berlin must logically be the best place for employment.

 

It has been common amongst people from Greece, Spain, India and plenty of other countries.

 

It probably hasnt helped that people living in berlin are constantly banging on about the art scene, startups, gentrification etc so I can understand why they would infer that its a good place to find work.

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6 hours ago, Hometown said:

I moved to Germany mostly to learn German, since I had very serious plans for my future, as this country is giving me good opportunities for my previous university studies (the only barrier is the linguistic one, that's why).

 

What did you study?

 

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How could this happen? Why is there this huge difference between Berlin and other German cities in terms of work?

 

I think that you are also forgetting that Berlin was a city that was divided for decades. West Berlin was basically supported through state subsidies from West Germany (and now by the Länderfinanzausgleich) and there is not much in the way of industry. The largest employer in the city is the city itself and the majority of these jobs are not suitable for foreigners who can't speak proper German.

 

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I know there's a high unemployment rate in Berlin and a terrible competition of workers as well, could this be the reason why?

 

There is also a huge pool of unemployed and more importantly underemployed workers in Berlin.

 

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People still depict Berlin as one of the best cities in the world to find a job,

 

 

Which people? When has Berlin ever (at least after the fall of the Wall) been one of the best cities in the world to find a job!?!!?!? :blink:

 

2 hours ago, Krieg said:

Skilled jobs WHEN you ALREADY have some German experience and you speak decent German are relative easy to find.  An empty CV with no German experience is tough in Berlin.   But there are jobs, specially in IT. 

 

What about all the people who are NOT in IT? Skilled doesn't always mean that someone has IT skills.

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Just now, engelchen said:

What about all the people who are NOT in IT?

 

Its getting better.  I know long term unemployed in Berlin that have now got permanent work that 3 or 4 years ago seemed impossible.  I dont think Id say its easy as such, but its not as bad as it was.

 

It also depends varies wildly from field to field.  There are plenty of jobs in Kitas and Pflegekraft, and Im sure other fields outside IT.  But then every second person you meet is an unemployed architect.

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7 minutes ago, engelchen said:

What about all the people who are NOT in IT? Skilled doesn't always mean that someone has IT skills.

 

If you are skilled and you speak German and you have German experience it is not that difficult to find jobs nowadays.   I can't vouch for every industry segment, but things are really not that bad nowadays compared to 20 years ago.   

 

The problem is mostly in the unskilled labour and the people who are already unemployable.

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1 hour ago, zwiebelfisch said:

 

Its getting better.  I know long term unemployed in Berlin that have now got permanent work that 3 or 4 years ago seemed impossible.  I dont think Id say its easy as such, but its not as bad as it was.

 

I definitely agree that it is better than it was. The OP probably wouldn't have had a chance even at McDs 10 years ago. That is not the point.

 

1 hour ago, zwiebelfisch said:

It also depends varies wildly from field to field.  There are plenty of jobs in Kitas and Pflegekraft, and Im sure other fields outside IT. 

 

I agree that there is a huge shortage in both Kita and Pflege, but although they are both jobs that are skilled positions, these are Ausbildungsberufe

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

 

If you are skilled and you speak German and you have German experience it is not that difficult to find jobs nowadays.   I can't vouch for every industry segment, but things are really not that bad nowadays compared to 20 years ago. 

 

Yes, it is better than even 10 years ago. That is not my point.

 

What are the prospects in Berlin for university educated foreigners who are not in IT? Especially those whose German is not good enough for an office job?

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14 minutes ago, engelchen said:

What are the prospects in Berlin for university educated foreigners who are not in IT? Especially those whose German is not good enough for an office job?

 

It will be probably very difficult.  But it is like that in plenty of places if you do not speak the local language and your work can't be done in a common third language like English.

 

The problem here is that plenty of people come to Berlin without a plan, they come for a weekend, fell in love with the city and move here without doing any research or only listening what friends who work in a totally different segment and do speak German tell them.

 

A nurse who does not speak German will have the same problems finding a job in Argentina without speaking any Spanish.   And it is a job for which Germany has plenty of openings.

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1 hour ago, Krieg said:

It will be probably very difficult.  But it is like that in plenty of places if you do not speak the local language and your work can't be done in a common third language like English.

 

Therefore, although the economy has picked up, it doesn't mean that it is any easier now than it was 10 years ago for foreigners with neither an IT background nor business fluent German to find good Akademiker jobs in Berlin.

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

The problem here is that plenty of people come to Berlin without a plan, they come for a weekend, fell in love with the city and move here without doing any research or only listening what friends who work in a totally different segment and do speak German tell them.

 

For example, foreigners like the OP.

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

A nurse who does not speak German will have the same problems finding a job in Argentina without speaking any Spanish.   And it is a job for which Germany has plenty of openings.

 

Nurses require a minimum of B2 German and qualifications that are recognised here. Unfortunately, these are not type of expats who end up here asking for advice.

 

Going back to the OP's original question:

 

9 hours ago, Hometown said:

Did everything smooth and almost near perfect (all in perfect German, proofreaded by my language teacher, CV + motivation letter + sometimes references + degree certificate).

 

1. I suspect that many employers assume that all foreigners do what you do and that an application without grammatical mistakes is taken for a given. Foreigners who don't have their applications proofread are not that interested in the position.

 

9 hours ago, Hometown said:

Some months later I sent an application to a company in Munich, and they answered me back immediately. So it was the same in Stuttgart and in Dusseldorf. Yeah, it was a bar, but I mean, it was the same for the other two: in 3 days, I got also an answer for an interview for a skilled job too.

 

How could this happen? Why is there this huge difference between Berlin and other German cities in terms of work? I know there's a high unemployment rate in Berlin and a terrible competition of workers as well, could this be the reason why?

 

 

2. I studied in Germany and most of the courses I took were taught in German. Despite indicating in my applications that I speak business fluent German, I can't count the times that I've been asked during or after an inverview where I learned to speak German so well. Although I've always just smiled and answered the questions, I always want to ask them what they expected.

 

3. I suspect (I have no real proof) that many employers assume that foreigners overestimate their language skills. Considering how many people with foreign parents who were born and raised in Berlin still don't speak proper German, I think this is especially true regarding employers in Berlin.

 

4. If someone has special skills that are difficult to find or there is a large enough labour shortage points 1 - 3 above don't matter anymore; then employers are grateful for anyone willing to work.

 

Munich has a massive labour shortage and employers are desparate for workers in almost sectors. Employers in Munich cannot afford to be picky.

 

Berlin has an oversupply of workers who want to stay in the city and employers in most sectors can still afford to be picky. Considering that Berlin is still the city of choice for unskilled EU hipsters, this probably won't change much in the near future.

 

For the record, there are many jobs in Berlin at the moment for workers who can work in German (and by that I mean have the ability to actually complete tasks in German without needing instructions translated into English every few minutes).

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41 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Munich has a massive labour shortage and employers are desparate for workers in almost sectors. Employers in Munich cannot afford to be picky.

They are picky, even in IT. This is Germany, after all.

I reject probably 4 out of 5 applicants even after 1 or 2 interviews. Including CV review, we reject probably 95-98% of applicants.

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1 hour ago, MikeMelga said:

They are picky, even in IT. This is Germany, after all.

I reject probably 4 out of 5 applicants even after 1 or 2 interviews. Including CV review, we reject probably 95-98% of applicants.

Can you afford to reject otherwise qualified applicants during the CV review for having a few minor typos?

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2 hours ago, engelchen said:

3. I suspect (I have no real proof) that many employers assume that foreigners overestimate their language skills.

 

During my working life in Germany I came across many Germans who overestimated their language skills (esp in written English).  At the IT companies I worked for especially management would send written communications in poor English whilst knowing they had a native speaker at hand.

True theirs was better than my written German skills but I never put anything out to a wider audience without having it corrected.

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26 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Can you afford to reject otherwise qualified applicants during the CV review for having a few minor typos?

Most of the CVs we get come from recruiting agencies, so they already filter a lot for us. The CVs come mostly in a standard format, written by the agency, together with the candidate. Typos is of course not an issue.

 

We usually reject them by CV review because:

  • skill/experience mismatch
  • being a jumper
  • avoid automotive embedded contractors <-- usually very bad candidates

Then we call a few for interviews. Surprisingly, most candidates lie on the CVs. We catch most of the lies during these interviews. As soon as we catch a significant lie, interview is stopped.

But the main reason for not accepting them after an interview is related with teamwork. As it is well known, SW developers are socially awkward and prefer to work alone. They also have problems with conversational context and they have only a technical mindset, no customer mindset. Worst, most of them are no real engineers, despite what their degree says.

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14 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Typos is of course not an issue.

 

I've heard that in some HR Departments in Berlin they sort out the applications with typos in the 1st round when they have over 200 applications for one position.

 

14 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Surprisingly, most candidates lie on the CVs. We catch most of the lies during these interviews. As soon as we catch a lie, interview is stopped.

 

What do people lie about? Do they really think that they could get away with it? (Now I'm just curious)

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59 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

I've heard that in some HR Departments in Berlin they sort out the applications with typos in the 1st round when they have over 200 applications for one position.

 

 

What do people lie about? Do they really think that they could get away with it? (Now I'm just curious)

 

We had an applicant who said he was schwerbehindert and was asked to submit proof by HR but never did. On the day of the interview he said that he checked that box because someone told him to. Needless to say, he didn’t get the job.

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1 hour ago, MikeMelga said:

SW developers are socially awkward and prefer to work alone.

 

This doesn't match my experience.

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2 hours ago, engelchen said:

What do people lie about? Do they really think that they could get away with it? (Now I'm just curious)

 

You could lie about work experience for example. Make up jobs you didn't have or make up job duties to give you fitting experience. Write your own reference letter. Get your friends or family to give their number to put on there so they can vouch for you if someone calls. Or you could stretch experience you really have or claim to have excellent knowledge about something you've just barely seen. I'm sure many ppl get away with it.

 

 

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