Berlin is a city of freedom and free spirit. The city’s inventive spirit is evident in the numerous start-ups, research institutions and future locations. As the undisputed start-up capital of Germany, the trends of digitization are conceived and promoted here. Practically all Dax and numerous international corporations have set up their digital subsidiaries in Berlin.

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As a city of innovation, Berlin’s economy has always been and still is successful: since 2016, Berlin’s economic growth has always been well above the national average, and in 2018 and 2019 it was in the leading position. In terms of wage growth and newly created jobs, the capital is also well ahead of the other German states. Even in May 2020 – at the peak of the corona epidemic – there were 10,000 additional jobs compared to May 2019, and there is every reason to believe that the city will be able to build on these successes after the pandemic.


I. Crisis resilience and climate protection are on the agenda


For years now, the Berlin innovation strategy has been focusing on fields that will be in particular demand after the crisis, such as the health, energy and mobility sectors. There are particularly strong players in these areas of industry and science. The lessons of the virus are: Promote crisis resilience and digitization and tackle the decarbonization of industry in time to combat the climate crisis. Berlin’s business community will be able to offer solutions for the rest of the country and the world.


In Berlin’s eleven Zukunftsorte (future locations), the network structures between science and business, between start-ups and established companies are lived out. With this strong digital competence, Berlin supports the change in production technology towards modern manufacturing processes that are more efficient, more flexible and more resource-saving.


II. Science and business networked in lighthouse projects


This transformation is essential for a growing city like Berlin with its special challenges as an industrial location. Here, industry, research and the IT industry are networked in joint projects. Here, urban development and industrial lighthouse projects are combined to make Berlin a reference platform for future technologies. The decision by Siemens to invest high triple-digit millions in Siemensstadt is evidence of this. Siemensstadt 2.0. shows how the buzzword “urban industry” can be brought to life. After all, the return of the industry to the cities is one of the megatrends of our time. Digitization, decarbonization and emission-free production need the creative environment of science and research.


Berlin is already the city in Germany where new things are being invented. It is increasingly the place where new things are produced. To expand this position, Berlin is dependent on clever minds, especially in the fields of engineering and IT. Berlin is equally attractive for international specialists from both a professional and private perspective. For women and men alike. Affordable rents, a high quality of life and good education are the prerequisites for this. These supposedly feel-good issues have become hard location factors for Berlin.


Talents from all over the world ensure that Berlin is also the city where new things can be experienced by the rest of the world. Because Berlin is the city that has always grown stronger out of crises: with its desire for freedom, its inexhaustible creativity and its spirit of innovation. Are you coming too?


Germany is a special case when it comes to the application process compared to other countries. So much emphasis placed on job references can hardly be found anywhere else in the world. What else should you consider when applying for a job in Berlin? Here we have the five most important tips for you.

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I. The work permit


It is particularly easy for EU citizens: they can apply for vacancies throughout the European Union. However, thanks to the Skilled Immigration Act, it is now also possible for skilled workers from non-EU countries to enter the country to look for work. They receive a residence permit for up to six months. The prerequisites are that the foreign qualification has been recognised by the respective authority in Germany (for more information click here) that the livelihood for the stay is secured and that the applicant has the appropriate knowledge of German for the intended job. Here you can find further information on the Skilled Immigration Act and on the topic of work permits.


II. The personal application


In Anglo-Saxon countries, anonymous application is widespread: Here, applicants leave out their name, age, photo and origin – and are then surprised in Germany that they are never invited for an interview. This is due to German application processes need your personal information. A missing or unprofessional photo, for example, is one of the top ten rejections of applications. In the cover letter, HR managers also want a personal text explaining why applicants are applying for this company. Under no circumstances should it appear as if the application is a “mass application” that is sent out to countless companies.


III. The language


Anyone interested in a job in Berlin should pay attention to the language of the job advertisement. If it is in English, you can also apply in English. If it is in German, it is better to apply in German. In any case, the application must be free of errors. Spelling mistakes are one of the most common reasons for rejection. It’s best to have a native speaker take another look at your application.


IV. The structure


The established structure in Germany is as follows:


– cover letter

– curriculum vitae

– certificates and references

– samples of work, if necessary


In the cover letter, applicants explain their reasons for applying, their strengths and why they are applying for this company in particular.


It is important for the curriculum vitae to include references from important stations. After all, Germany is not only the country of efficiency, but also the country of certificates. If you do not have a certificate from a previous employer, you can request a letter of recommendation as a reference.


The curriculum vitae is listed in tabular form and includes the most important working stations as well as a brief description of the skills gained.


When it comes to the topic “gap in the curriculum vitae”, the following applies: Gaps are ok, lies are not. If you have not been employed or studied for more than three months in a row, you should explain this honestly but skillfully. At the moment, for example, the Corona pandemic is making it enormously difficult to find a job; if this is also the case for you, use this time for personal continuing education – if possible, with an officially verifiable (online) course – and also indicate this in your CV.


In addition, a short part of the curriculum vitae is sympathetic to personal interests or to a social commitment. However, both should fit in terms of content. Team sports, for example, are good proof of teamwork, and volunteering is a sign of personal commitment and solidarity. For recent university graduates, certificates of internships or workshops that provide evidence of practical experience are also attractive. This could be an internship where you helped build a robot, for example.


V. The right channel


Application experts advise applicants to choose the channel recommended by the employer when submitting their application. If the job advertisement links to the company’s own job portal where applicants can upload their documents – then this is the best channel.


Alternatively, it is often preferable to apply by e-mail. Applicants should take care that the e-mail is not too long. Under no circumstances should your attached documents be more than 5 MB. Otherwise the E-Mail could get send to the spam filter. Some employers also find it important to receive the documents in one coherent PDF file instead of many individual ones.


The haptic application folder is a thing of the past: only three percent of German HR professionals now wish to receive applications by post.


Berlin likes to appear relaxed, tolerant and cosmopolitan. No wonder: only 47 per cent of Berlin’s capital city residents were born in Berlin, so more than half have moved to the city. The range of offers for new Berliners from all over the world is correspondingly broad. We have the best tips for you after work!

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1. Find friends at Zombie-Bier


With the many meetings offered through Meetups, you can combine the pleasant with the useful: Celebrate, make friends, learn a language. Due to the corona-related hygiene rules, the events are currently somewhat smaller than usual and in some cases only possible with advance notice – but safety first. The evenings of viaNumo for example take place under the motto „International Fun Socialising & More“. This is where expats, tourists, locals and newcomers meet at changing locations, such as on October 12 at BrewDog Berlin-Mitte. The pub mainly attracts beer lovers with a selection of more than 30 types of beer, including tempting ones like the Zombie Cake beer with aromas of chocolate, vanilla, toffee and nutty roasted malts.


For the Spanish speaking community there are of course also Meetups, as well as for the Russian, Brazilian and many other nations… Just have a look here!


2. Comedy on the Spree


Laughter unites: So an international comedy series is always a good idea. The English language show „Laughing Spree” takes place every Monday and Tuesday at 6.30pm in a very special location: the Floating Lounge on the hostel boat “Eastern Comfort”, which is located at the Oberbaumbrücke between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Here you can enjoy the sunset with a gentle swell and a view up to the Berlin TV Tower. The hosts of “Laughing Spree” are the comedians Chris Doering and Dragos Cristian, who offer a stage for both established fun makers and newcomers. Before the show, by the way, it’s worth visiting the East Side Gallery, which stretches near the riverbank. The longest preserved section of the Berlin Wall is more than 1.3 km long and was painted by 118 artists from 21 countries.


3. Films in original version


For all those who want to see films in their original version, the Odeon in Schöneberg is the first cinema address in Berlin. And literally: It was the first cinema in the city to show films exclusively in their original English version with subtitles. But also those who prefer to see an Almodóvar or a Chabrol in the original version will get their money’s worth in this cosy cinema with a nostalgic ambience. After the cinema, numerous bars and restaurants in the nearby Akazienkiez entice you to stop for a bite to eat.


The Hackesche Höfe cinema in Mitte is more central. It mainly shows original versions with German subtitles. Special highlight: Selected German and international movies are offered with English subtitles due to increasing demand with Berlin’s expat community.


4. Berlin theatre air


Do you prefer high culture? In numerous theatres there are regular productions with English surtitles. The Maxim Gorki Theater generally surtitles all performances in English, the Schaubühne Berlin offers monthly selected performances with surtitles in English or French. The Deutsche Theater Berlin and the  Ballhaus Naunystraße also show some plays with English surtitles, as do HAU Hebbel am Ufer and, in summer, the open-air stage of the Monbijou Theater. In the Komischen Oper even every seat is equipped with a display on which the libretto of all productions is translated into German, English, French and Turkish. In the independent theatre venue The English Theatre performances are exclusively in English: From concerts to comedy shows and dance performances, the English Theatre presents a variety of offerings from Berlin’s international, English-speaking theatre and music scene.