So, you’ve got a great education and a few years’ work experience under your belt.
You’re considering emigrating to Europe to either further your career, work for a world class company, get some international experience, or move in search of a better quality of life for you and your family.
Maybe you’ve heard that Germany has many unfilled positions, skills shortages, world-beating companies and a reputation for good work-life balance.
All of this is true.
But have you thought about how you’re going to get hired?
Applying for Jobs in Germany from India: Is it worth it?
If you thought that German companies are desperate to hire Indian candidates, then I’m afraid it’s not the case.
Did you know that in Germany, and indeed in all European Union countries, employers must first give priority to EU citizens when seeking to fill a vacant position?
Did you also know that 95% of job ads are in German, aimed at German speakers?
Don’t despair! That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get hired. Far from it.
However, it does mean that you have to have a unique selling proposition (USP) of why you’re the best candidate for the role. Being average won’t cut it.
So, what’s your USP?
Perhaps it’s because you studied at a world class university in the US, Canada or Australia. Or perhaps it’s because you were in the top 10% of graduates from your academic institution. Or you hold a PhD in a field which is very specialised and in high demand (for example, cybersecurity).
Or maybe your experience is in one of the job roles where the German Federal Agency for Employment has recognised there are acute worker shortages.
Without any of these, you’re just another job seeker who needs a visa and likely doesn’t speak the language. So, if you’re looking where everyone else is looking, and for a position where there aren’t really any worker shortages, then you’re going to struggle.
If this is a harsh reality check then I’m afraid I’m just telling it like it is. I’m potentially saving you a lot of time and money to ensure you’re prepared and ready to tackle this with the right mindset and expectations.
Where to look for jobs
What can you do to be more strategic?
Well, first of all, you shouldn’t be looking where everyone else is. I call this the “hottest girl in high school” principle. Everyone chased after the most popular girl at school, but very few of us were actually successful in dating her (as a weedy teenager and one of the shortest guys in my year, I certainly wasn’t, just for the record!)
The same applies for job applications.
If you’re applying to huge corporations that have a reputation for hiring in English, then guess what?
Everyone else is looking there too.
That invariably will mean suitably qualified EU citizens are also applying. Because they don’t need a work permit, they’re clearly going to be more attractive to employers.
So, first things first.
If you don’t yet have a strategy, you need one. As a bare minimum, you should confidently be able to answer these questions before you embark on your job search…
1) Why should they hire you over other candidates?
2) What are you going to do to differentiate yourself from what everybody else is doing in their job search?
3) Where are you going to look for jobs to help get one step ahead of the competition?
4) How are you going to answer when they want to meet you face-to-face for an interview?
When does applying for jobs in Germany from India make sense?
It’s obviously much easier to attend interviews when you’re actually in the country and physically able to take a train or domestic flight to meet with your potential employer.
If you’re applying from the other side of the world, this isn’t possible.
As Indian citizens, sadly you don’t have that luxury because you need a visa to enter the country.
And even if you did, would you spend over a thousand dollars just to attend one interview?
Therefore, logic would suggest that applying for jobs in Germany from India only makes sense in 2 scenarios:
1. Those industries where face-to-face interviews are not seen as an absolute must-have
2. If you already have applied for (or have already secured) a Job Seeker Visa which will enable you to travel to Germany to look for work and attend any interviews.
Let’s deal with the first scenario. Most industries in Germany will want to meet with you face-to-face and have a physical meeting with you.
The first interview may well be a Skype or Zoom video conference, led by the HR department. Usually when they have shortlisted candidates, there will be second interview and in most cases this will be with the hiring manager.
The only industry I’m aware of where interviews with hiring managers are quite routinely done via video conference are in tech industries and with startups. So, if you’re a programmer, a software developer, a data scientist, an agile coach or something similar, you’re in luck.
When is it less possible?
Pretty much every other industry will want to meet with you. So, how are you going to commit to an interview if the process of getting a visa takes several weeks, and even after securing your visa, you still need to book a flight?
It’s a rhetorical question because you know you can’t.
Perhaps you’re lucky and possess a skill or a specialism that makes you wildly employable. If you do, then great. A potential employer may be willing to wait, while you go through the visa process to travel to Germany for an interview.
But for the 99% of you who don’t belong in this segment, you need to physically be in Germany to have a realistic chance of securing a job offer.
As an Indian citizen, the easiest and most effective way to do this is through a Job Seeker Visa.