3 min read

How to get an English-speaking job in Germany, from abroad

My biggest tip: Don’t try to convince people to do something they’re not already looking to do. Instead, find people and companies are who are already looking for people like you.

Your goal is to find and talk to 100 such people. I write about this in How I change careers so “easily”.

Every time I want to try a new career, I conduct a sales campaign and aim to talk to 100 people who might hire me.

Let’s go.

Step 1: Create a new spreadsheet and name it “Germany Dream Job.” Your goal is to identify and list 100 job advertisements (and the people hiring for them).

Step 2: In that spreadsheet, create a new tab. Name it “Keywords.” Here, you will identify and list 10-20 keywords and phrases that signal the job ad is looking for people like you.

In this article, I talk about how to do Step 2 using LinkedIn.

This morning, I talked to a Business Developer from Malaysia who wants to relocate to Germany but doesn’t speak German. I will use her case as an illustration.

Here, our applicant has 3 “main features”:

  1. She’s looking for a “business developer” role
  2. She’s relocating from another country
  3. She speaks English, but not German

I go to LinkedIn Jobs and search for sales and relocation . Initially, you don’t know which keywords are most effective. So it’s better do a broad search, not to jump in and apply, but to identify such keywords.

Here are the results for sales and relocation in Hamburg, Germany.

I get only 13 results. This is not encouraging. Also, the jobs are for marketing and iOS Developer, not business development.

But the results showed up for a reason. I look at a few to figure out why. I see some keywords I didn’t think of:

  • “relocation assistance”
  • international

I add them to my spreadsheet. Then I use it to broaden my search.

I search for sales AND international . Here are the results.


376 results. That’s better. I go through the results and add relevant job ads to my spreadsheet.

Getting back to the main task, I identify more keywords. Here are a few:

  • business development
  • fluency in English
  • account executive

Since her role is “business developer,” I did not even think of looking for the role of “account executive” or “account manager.” But maybe it is a possibility?

I search for ”account manager AND international .

It depends on her goals, if she would consider account manager roles, but you can see how this broadens her search to finding jobs that might be relevant to her skillset.

I continue this exercise until I identify 100 jobs that have a high likelihood of hiring people like her.

This is one of at least three strategies to get an English-speaking job in Germany from abroad.

Here are the three:

  1. Identify companies likely to hire “people like you” Part 1 (keywords in job ads)
  2. Identify companies likely to hire “people like you” Part 2 (look for “people like you” who’ve been hired, e.g. same university, same country, etc. and where they work)
  3. Consider doing a “pre-interview project” to stand out. This takes some work, but goes a long way to make up for the “disadvantages” of hiring you, such as requiring help to relocate and not being able to speak German. Read this article for guidance: How to Get Virtually Any Job You Want (even if you don’t have the “right” experience). Here’s an example of a pre-interview project I did that actually got me a job where I was competing with way more qualified people.

Was this helpful? Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below.

Job hunting in a new country? I’m starting a cohort-based course. In it, I’ll show you over video how I do this, adapt the strategies to your case, as well as offer mutual support and accountability with 2-4 other people who are going through the same experience as you. Read more and enter your email to join the waitlist.