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Moving to Berlin without a job


So you’re all ready to make the move to the world’s hippest city, but you haven’t found a job yet? Never fear, it is possible to move to Berlin without a job and here we give our top tips to finding one fast and how to save money whilst you’re looking.

Take some savings before you move

Whilst it’s possible to move to Berlin without a job, avoid doing it without any money in the bank. Ideally you need to have enough to pay for a deposit and a few month's rent, bills and food so that you can stay afloat until your first pay packet.

How to find a job in Berlin

Berlin is a thriving city, and it shouldn’t take you too long to find a job. If you’re looking for something casual such as bar work, the best thing to do is go door-to-door to restaurants and bars, with a large pile of CVs/resumes. Those looking for work in the technology or creative sectors will find there are plenty of jobs in these booming areas. Having said that, as a major city, there are jobs available every imaginable sector and industry, especially for German speakers. Whilst you can search for jobs online using local search engines such as Monster and Stepstone, the fastest way to find a job is to sign-up with a suitable recruitment agency. Also worth a visit is Job Point in Neukölln, a one-stop shop for those who want to know how to find a job in Berlin. At the Job Point PCs and phones are provided for job seekers so they can fill out application forms and contact employers.

Tips for English speakers

Those who are fluent in English should check out the Facebook group, ‘English Speaking Jobs in Berlin’, a group where employers post regular jobs which are ideal for those with limited German. Regardless of the number of jobs for English speakers, it would still be wise to learn German as fast as you can, which will broaden the amount of jobs you can apply for. If you can’t afford to attend German language classes use a free app such as Duolingo.

Writing your Lebenslauf

A German Lebenslauf differs from a US resume or English CV. It’s much more factual, less wordy, less personal and doesn’t allow for a ’personal statement’ or ‘hobbies’ section. A German Lebenslauf requires a photo and date of birth.

Getting a visa to work

EU citizens have free access to the German labour market and don't require a work visa. Citizens of non-EU states will need to apply for a Residence Permit to find work.

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Finding somewhere to live in the short term

Berlin has a high number of rental properties in comparison to many cities. Low rents can be found in many areas, but particularly worth looking at are Moabit to the Northwest and Hellersdorf and Mahlsdorf to the East. Rooms in flat shares are up to half the cost of a one bedroom flat. A short-term room share gives you the flexibility to save money on rent whilst discovering the city and choosing where you want to live in the long term.

Hold fire on the nightlife

Berlin is mega exciting and you’ll no doubt want to start partying straight away, but it would be prudent to hold back until you've found a job. For now make use of the free things to do such as art galleries and parks and avoid expensive big nights out until you have found work. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Berlin for less money, see our blog ‘Cheap Living in Berlin’.

Getting around

Despite the fact that Berlin has one of the best public transport systems in Europe, a day pass for use on the metro, train and bus will set you back around 7 Euros per day. Instead consider buying a second-hand bike. This will help you get around to job interviews and flat viewings across the city for free.

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