How To Convince A German Employer To Hire You Before You Speak German

My company interviewed me about an important issue for expatriates: How do you convince a German employer to hire you before you speak German? Few expats take the time to consider this simple truth: To hire you in English will cause a lot of work, unrest and possibly conflict for a German employer. How to convince him to hire you? Read on.

PS: If you apply for job after job, but you never get job interviews – my new book “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans” offers solutions and step by step advice.

English job offers in Düsseldorf. The Top 10 professions in demand in Düsseldorf

English Job Offers in Dusseldorf


Part of my job is to analyse the complete German jobmarket. I had a closer look at our home town Düsseldorf and compared English job offers in Düsseldorf with German language job offers in Düsseldorf. The good news: Companies in Düsseldorf offer more jobs in English than in the rest of Germany. The data is from August 2017.

The bad news: The number is still insignificant. Only 4.5% of the 10.655 open positions in  Düsseldorf are advertised in English. And don’t be mistaken: A closer look at a good part of these job advertisings will reveal that the position “requires fluent German”. In total there are currently 482 English job offers in Düsseldorf. You will find many of them here. (Compare this to Berlin.)

Across all of Germany only 3.5% of all job offers are in English.

The Top 10 “English” professions in demand in Düsseldorf

01. Software Developer
02. Risk Manager
03. Project Leader
04. Account Manager
05. Sales Manager
06. Data Scientist
07. SAP Consultant
08. Business Adviser
09. Customer Service Agent
10. Recruiter

The Top 10 employers in Düsseldorf who advertise jobs in English

01. Henkel
02. McKinsey
03. Gea Group AG
04. Qiagen
05. Ubisoft
06. Metro
07. C&A Buying GmbH & Co KG
08. IBM
09. Hunkemöller
10. C&A Retail GmbH

Please note: “Advertise in English” does not neccessary mean, that they will hire in English as well. Past the “Top 10” there are 197 other organisations in Düsseldorf who advertise jobs in English. That’s 5.9% of all employers in Düsseldorf.

Education required

Only 8% of English job offers in Düsseldorf do not require a university degree. More than 17% demand a PhD. 40% of job offers ask at least for a Master degree. (Bachelor: 34%).

What to do with this info!

More than 10.000 foreigners move to Düsseldorf every single year, according to the city administration. They compete for less than 500 English job offers in our city.

“I actually attended one of your webinars back in 2016 when I was starting the job hunt, I took many notes and thankfully found a job here at InterNations.”
Rachel Enright, InterNations GmbH

How do you want to stand out of the crowd? Find advice in my new book “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans“. If you would like to discuss your career challenges with me: Please book an appointment.

Source: Immigrant Spirit GmbH / Textkernel B.V., August 2017

RePatriates Struggle And Succeed

“Ich freue mich dir zu sagen, dass ich eine Stelle in Deutschland gefunden habe. Ich fange am 1.11. als Projektleiter… in Frankfurt an 🙂 Deine Hilfe und Tipps funktionieren und haben mit sehr dabei geholfen.”
Martin Enting

Nicht nur Expats, sondern auch RePatriates haben oft Schwierigkeiten wieder in den deutschen Arbeitsmarkt zu finden – trotz erstklassiger Erfahrung. Ich bin froh dass ich Martin helfen konnte.

Mein neues Buch “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans” ist jetzt auf Amazon erhältlich.

How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans


How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans

A new book aims to open doors for international professionals in Germany –and points at a flaw with the potential to derail the German economy.

More than 100 job applications and not a single interview. This is the typical experience of international professional in Germany, according to research by Chris Pyak, author of “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans”.

“When graduates from Berkeley or the London School of Economics can’t find work for two years –something is clearly wrong with our labour market”, says Pyak.

Half of Greeks and 2/3 of Spaniards who seek employment in Germany, leave the country within the first year, shows data published by the OECD. Despite a good education and substantial work experience they cannot break into the German job market.

An experience that could soon be repeated by thousands of British and European citizens that are leaving the United Kingdom after Brexit. Many of these people look for prosperous Germany as a future home – and are setting themselves up for a harsh disappointment:

Only 3.5% of all job offers in Germany are in English reveals data provided by Textkernel B.V. and evaluated by Immigrant Spirit GmbH. This equals 22.000 English job offers for 1.2 million European citizens and immigrants moving to Germany every single year.

“Your education, your work experience, your ability to contribute: None of that matters in the eyes of German HR managers”, says Pyak. The headhunter has talked to hundreds of recruiters over the years: “They all want to hire international talent –and they all believe they can find professionals with the exact skills they need, who also speak fluent German.”

Hiring international talent that is already fluent in German is a pipe dream, says Chris Pyak. Instead companies need to hire in English and train the local language on the job. Not only in Germany, but all over Europe. Labour mobility in Europe is only 1/10 of the US level. “English as an additional service language – as demanded by German liberal party FDP – could create 2 million additional jobs in the EU, states a report by the European Parliament.

The United Kingdom was a vacuum cleaner for European unemployment, quipped Jeremy Cliffefrom The Economist lately in a German TV talk show. Now it is time for Germany to fill this role, says Pyak. Individual professionals, the German Economy and suffering South European countries would all benefit. Even the Euro depends on higher labour mobility, as The Economist points out. And the employers themselves?

Pyak points to an example from his home town Düsseldorf: Trivago is working in English since its inception – and gets more than 40.000 job applications every single month. Not surprisingly: If 97% of companies reject talent based on language skills – then companies who remove that obstacle will have their pick.

Europeans and international talent are stuck: English speaking companies get more candidates than they can handle and German language companies would not consider candidates who don’t speak German. Chris Pyak offers a way out in his book “How to Win Jobs & Influence Germans”: The author shows how international candidates can deal with the “German angst” and speak to employers’ deepest needs instead.

“How to Win Jobs & Influence Germans” is available on Amazon.