Finding Job in Dusseldorf
Finding Jobs Getting Started Living Working

Top 3 Tips to Finding a Job in Düsseldorf

May 17, 2016

Because many of us can resonate with the fact that it is not always so simple finding a job as an English speaker in a German city, today we have Malaika Neri, writer at giving us her top 3 tips to finding a job in Dusseldorf. . . . .

Malaika Neri: We went to college together, then he moved to the Middle East and taught himself Arabic. After three years in Dubai’s advertising industry, Derek was ready for something different. He wrote me last week, about finding a job in Dusseldorf.

“I’m ready to move out of the Gulf region,” he says. “It’s not me. I want to move to Germany, I think it would be a good fit.”

“That’s great,” I tell him, smiling, remembering the passionate, intellectually curious polyglot who joined me for late-night falafel runs in New York City.

“So I’m open to any opportunity,” he continues, “but I’m scared of not finding anything,” he admits. “I’m unsure if not knowing German will be a big burden.”

“No worries, dude,” I tell my old friend, “You’ll definitely find something. After all, I found two great jobs here.”

“How did you do it?” he asks. 

Well, here’s what I told him and what I will tell you.


My top 3 tips for finding a job in Dusseldorf:


Brand yourself as a specialist.

Germans don’t do generalists; local hires are often expected to have a string of certifications in a highly specialised area, and although this expectation is less strongly applied to foreign hires, Germans have a tendency to think “If you haven’t studied computer science, you can’t be a programmer.”

You can prove your abilities once you’ve been hired, but in order to get hired, pick a silo, and fit yourself into it.


Market your outsider perspective.

Though I’ve picked up enough German listening to 1LIVE and chatting with Deutsch colleagues, I’ll never be a native speaker, and still have difficulty planning vacation more than three months in advance. So why try to be what I’m not?

Instead, I apply to organisations specifically seeking candidates with international and/or non-traditional backgrounds, who can think on their feet, and add a fresh perspective to the team. Sitting down for a coffee with my previous boss, I asked him, “Why did you hire me?”

“Because I knew you’d bring us lots of new ideas,” he said, without missing a beat.


Apply only to jobs targeting international candidates.

Stop looking at postings that want native German skills; apply instead to jobs that specifically look for high-level English speakers and internationally minded candidates who have studied outside Germany and have experience in countries and contexts outside Europe.

TIP: The international development and NGO sector frequently hires non-EU citizens, and operates in an English-language environment; possibilities abound, with several international NGO’s based in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, and Frankfurt, and over 100 development and humanitarian aid organizations based in Germany. Wondering where else to look? Here is a list of the only 5 websites you’ll ever need to find a job in development.


Relax, and remember that Germany, and particularly the Rhineland, despite its quirks, is enormously open to foreign hires. Use the lists above to identify the organizations that inspire you, and, depending on the job posting, you can send in a German Lebenslauf or an international CV.

finding a job in dusseldorf

Looking for more tips about finding a job in Dusseldorf? Do you have any other questions about living #LifeInDüsseldorf? Feel free to send us an email with your questions at If you have tips you’d like to share with others, we’re also accepting guest posts which include the author’s name, bio and photo. 

Looking for some more tips? Join our group of community explorers and register for our monthly newsletter (packed with the hottest events, seasonal activities, upcoming job opportunities and more)!

  1. Reply


    October 14, 2017

    Thanks for the tips. I’m from Brazil and I’ve been applying for some jobs and haven’t been successful yet even by having B.A and a MBA. Hopefully soon!

    • Reply

      Jenna Davis

      October 14, 2017

      Hey there Andreia!

      I know ???? the job market in Düsseldorf at the moment isn’t easy to get into… but my fingers are crossed for you! You can do it! ????✊????

      All the best,



Life in Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf, Germany

This is our online publication for sharing the best about life in Düsseldorf in a generous and honest way. We spend our mornings writing content and our afternoons interviewing locals, participating in forums and calling businesses so you don’t have to.

Here We Are
Join us on Facebook
New to Düsseldorf?

Start Exploring

Proudly Supported By:

ISR Info Day

Fatty's Irish Pub




For monthly highlights, job opportunities, discounts, tips and events!

Enter your name and email to consent to joining the Life in Düsseldorf newsletter list, to process your email address to send you monthly updates. You can unsubscribe anytime via the unsubscribe link in all of our emails.
Looking for Another Language?
Join us on Instagram
Follow us on Twitter
Looking for a job?

Our Tip For Your $
The Best Weekend Getaways

Download the Full Guide

We’re Here to Help