BI Jobs in Germany - Tips and Templates

Many job seekers requested for tips about how to find and apply for BI jobs in Germany. So I felt there was a real need to provide pointers to job seekers. Here is a list of tips and couple of templates that I think could be useful for your Business Intelligence (BI) job search in Germany and hopefully you get your dream job. Some of the points could be applicable for other jobs too and not just limited to business intelligence jobs, However, I do not have experience in other areas or sufficient knowledge to confirm this. Before I start with my list of tips I would like to bring your attention to these disclaimer points below. 

Disclaimer:
  • All points here are my own views and it does not represent the views of my current or previous employers or any of my clients.
  • This is based on my 10+ years of BI experience, which includes several years of experience both as an interviewer and an interviewee, experience of reviewing hundreds of CVs and around 5 years of living and working in Germany.
  • There are always exceptions.
  • Following these tips & templates does not guarantee a BI job in Germany. It only increases your chances of getting a BI job.
  • Following these tips & templates does not guarantee that you will be invited for an interview. It only increases your chances of getting an invitation for an interview.
  • Not following these tips & template does not limit you from getting an interview invitation or getting a job.
Tips:
  • Even now around 90% or more of the BI jobs require business-level (C level) fluency in German language. So, if you learn German language till you are business fluent then you can apply for 100% of the jobs in the private sector based on your experience matching the requirements of the job. In general there are no reservations for local talent, at least in the private sector.
  • If you are not fluent in German then you are limited to try your luck for the remaining 10% (guesstimation) of the BI jobs. But note that competition is very high in this category. Most Germans in IT sector have very good command of English language. So you not only have to compete with outsiders all around the world but also with locals. Your profile has to be really good and should have experience with latest technologies to compete well.
  • There are higher chances of getting a permanent job in Germany if you are already in Germany. You could be already in Germany for studies, on deputation or on job search visa, etc.
  • It is easier to get a job as a trainee/intern than as a professional. People on dependent visa without experience or with less number of years of experience, people who have a gap in their career, and people who didn't manage to find permanent jobs try to get into companies as trainee and showcase their skills and talent and most often convert trainee job to a permanent job. University students also join as interns and then most often are offered jobs in the same company after they complete the course.
  • To search for BI jobs there are two ways. Search directly in any of the company websites or on job portals. Google for list of Germany based companies and check current openings. Business Intelligence is no longer a "good to have" but a "must have", and BI is no longer only for big companies but also for small and medium size companies, so most of the companies have openings in BI department.
  • As of now, the best job search website in my view for all Germany IT jobs is Stepstone.de. But there is one small problem, you will notice that most of the job descriptions are in German. There wasn't a job site that focused exclusively on BI jobs world wide. The JobsBI.com portal was launched on 9th July 2017 to fill this gap. This site probably has the potential to become the best site for BI jobs world wide. It already has many BI jobs in Germany with English job descriptions. Make use of it.
  • Apply for jobs that actually matches your experience. For example, if you are a MicroStrategy developer then apply for MicroStrategy developer position and not for IBM Cognos developer position unless the job ad specifically mentions that experience in similar tools is sufficient. If you are a IBM Cognos developer and you apply for MicroStrategy developer position then most likely your application will be rejected. Usually the expectation is that you are an expert in that technology/tool and you will start delivering from 1st week (1st day in some cases).
  • Apply for a specific job. Do not apply for all available jobs on the career page. Applying for all jobs on the career page indicates that you are not interested in a particular job. It also implies that you are not passionate about a particular job but just want some job. Most likely application will be rejected.
  • Hiring managers or HR expect at least two documents: CV and a cover letter, along with details such as expected salary and earliest joining date. Usually no one will ask you about your current salary, no need to mention it. You may additionally provide degree certificates, previous work experience certificates and recommendation letters to impress the hiring manager.
  • Generally the expectation is that the documents are in the same language as the job description. So if the job description is in German then the recruiter is expecting the documents (CV and cover letter) in German, unless specifically mentioned otherwise. Also, if the job description is in English then it is better to provide the CV and cover letter in English to avoid a situation where the recruiter themselves don't know German that well.
  • If you don't know German well then please don't create a CV or cover letter in German by taking assistance from someone else. If you don't know German then just don't apply for jobs that have job description in German and that require German skills.
  • A photo (CV photo) is a "must have" in the CV. As far as I know there are no official rules or written rules but it is a convention almost strictly followed here in Germany. There are some recruiters who will not even read a line in the CV if there is no photo in the CV.
  • Provide link to your professional profile (LinkedIn, Xing, etc.) in the CV. Of course ensure that your profile is up to date, has a professional looking photo and captures important and relevant work carried out.
  • In general a CV should not be more than two pages. You are required to provide a CV which is concise and work experience is described in reverse chronological order.
  • Review your CV and cover letter thoroughly and ensure that there are no spelling mistakes. Unfortunately spelling mistakes in CV makes a quick bad impression. I have seen CVs that have spelled business intelligence incorrectly or footer on the 4th page that says "page 5 of 4".
  • For those who know German it is better to apply for BI jobs that require fluency in German. If your skills match requirements then in general there is no difference between you and a local. There are some jobs like HR or marketing or sales jobs where local candidates are probably preferred for various reasons but this is not applicable for BI jobs.
  • In Germany the standard notice period is 3 months. So if a company hires a person already on permanent job in another German company then it could take around 3 to 4 months for that person to join. Your chances of getting a job are higher (assuming everything fits) if you have a shorter notice period and can start earlier. So don't forget to highlight your shorter notice period either during application submission or during the interviews.
  • If you get a job offer from a German company and that offer meets the salary requirements for blue card (currently EUR 50800 gross - check Blue card latest requirements) then you are eligible for a Blue card. It is different from how it works in the UK for example. In the UK, the company that hires you has to sponsor the visa but here in Germany, the company does not have to sponsor your visa. They provide you a job offer and you can apply for Germany work permit in your country's German visa application center with the job offer. So all that you need is a job offer from Germany-based company that meets Blue card salary requirement.
Templates:
  • Cover letter should include: What is your motivation to apply for this specific job? Does your past experience match with the job description? Do you have something to highlight regarding how you fit well for the job?
With this I end my tips and templates for BI jobs in Germany article. I will add more tips if I remember later. I hope this is useful for a lot of people across the world who are not familiar with how it works in Germany. I wish you all the best in your BI job search.

Comments

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