Being referred to as a Silicon Valley of sorts, Berlin is attracting companies, visionaries, and expats from near and far to join in on the startup craze, and so far it has been a mutually beneficial venture for both the German companies and the expats coming to them.
Why work at a startup
Startups are a fantastic culture of creativity, innovation and exceptional growth, which means they need all the quality people they can get. One of the biggest draws of this sector to internationals is that these companies are constantly expanding operations into new markets and new countries. They require not only programmers and designers, but also native speakers of various backgrounds in order to be able to properly support their growth into these new markets.
It is one of the few industries where merely being born speaking a language can actually count as a plus on a resume, and this is why expats should consider the fantastic opportunities that a startup venture can offer. Plus, by working in your native language it is an easier option to start with if you don’t know the national language fluently.
Furthermore, as a foreigner can only qualify for a work visa as long as they don’t take a job from a German citizen, the native speaker requirement of startups should keep expats in the clear. It is one of the best possible jobs to set you up for easily obtaining your work visa and being allowed to stay in Germany.
How to stand out and land the startup job
The startup culture is incredibly well knit, so if you want a way into a tech startup company, building a network of connections is vital. If you take the time to attend events and volunteer you will put yourself in direct contact with all of the right people. When the time comes to go after that dream job, you will already have a network of connections to fall back on.
Of course, you also need to dazzle them with your personality and skill-set, so it is also important for you to build your personal brand. If you want to appeal to international startups, it’s not a bad idea to have a digital resume or your own website in order to showcase your skill-set in a way that jumps off the page. If you’re already a programmer, then you’re set, but if you’re in marketing or content creation, then feel free to use a website creation package like this to help you out. The bottom line is that if you’re applying at a tech startup, regardless of the position you are applying for, you need to show prospective employers that you are tech savvy, or at least not tech shy.
Finally, if you have been noticed, be sure to seal the deal in the interview by being thoroughly prepared with knowledge of the company, the position you are applying for, and awareness of the language. Even if you are applying for a native speaker position, you should be able to understand the basics of the national language of the country that you are in. It is best to start learning before you make the move, and certainly before you start applying for work. It is also advisable to take a formal language course. If you plan on staying in Germany on a long-term work visa or applying for permanent residence (which you can do after five years) then there will be a language requirement to satisfy the visa process.