Is an employment counseling trustworthy

EU equality body

Are you new to Germany and looking for a job? Do you have a fixed-term employment contract? Are you threatened with dismissal? Would you like to change your career? In Germany there are various ways to help you find a job in these situations.

1. Finding a job from home

If you are still in your home country, you have the option of contacting one of the numerous private placement agencies there that offer support in finding a job in Germany.

Danger: Be careful! Some placement companies are dubious. They promise legal work, good wages, accommodation and demand money for their services. Not infrequently, however, they fail to keep their promises. There is a risk that you will end up in cheap collective accommodation, work 10 to 12 hours a day with little or no pay and not get an employment contract. Before accepting an offer from a private recruitment agency, you should check that the agency is trustworthy. If you are already in Germany and have the impression that you are not even receiving the minimum wage, you can contact the minimum wage hotline.

If you want to find out about vacancies in Germany on your own, the Internet offers help via various network portals or various job exchanges. Larger companies in particular publish their requirements in the “Personnel” or “Career” sections directly on their company websites. In addition to researching in newspapers and on the Internet, you can also use the information offered by the Federal Employment Agency, the EURES cooperation network and the Federal Government.


2. Support services when looking for a job in Germany

If you are already in Germany, in addition to the possibilities of independent job search, you can also register with the Federal Employment Agency as “job seeker”. This can be done via the “JOBBÖRSE” Internet portal, by telephone or in person at the responsible employment agency. If you are registered as “jobseeker”, you can as an EU citizen from the Employment Agency receive the same help and support in finding work as German citizens.

Danger: In the event of impending unemployment, employees are obliged to register as jobseekers at the responsible employment agency. Certain deadlines must be adhered to in order not to suffer any disadvantages (“blocking period”).

When you change your career want or have toIn order to increase your chances of finding a new job, you should make use of the free advice and placement services of the Employment Agency as early as possible.

2.1 Advisory and brokerage services

As soon as you have registered as a jobseeker, the responsible employment agency can provide you with comprehensive support in your search for a new job or apprenticeship position. The best thing to do is to arrange a personal consultation to discuss your individual situation. Your responsible counseling and placement specialist can answer any questions you may have about the topics

  • Job choice,
  • professional development,
  • Change of job and job,
  • Job search including application and introduction,
  • The situation and development of the labor market and professions,
  • Your individual placement options,
  • Vocational training opportunities as well
  • Competent advice on employment promotion services.

Note: If you do not yet have sufficient knowledge of German and do not know anyone who can translate for you at the appointment, you should inform the employment agency in advance. In this case, the employment agency can provide you with a Interpreter hotline provide.

Job placement in employment agencies usually begins with a situation analysis. Together with your integration and placement specialist, all relevant professional and personal skills and qualifications as well as your individual support needs are documented (potential analysis). An individual applicant profile will then be created for you and published anonymously in the job exchange. If there is a suitable job offer for you, the corresponding placement proposal will be sent to you either in person or in writing or by telephone. In addition, in the so-called Inclusion agreement recorded in writing which specific steps must be followed by you and the employment agency so that you can find suitable employment as quickly as possible.

People whose professional integration is difficult due to various placement barriers (e.g. lack of language skills or lack of recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad) are increasingly supported by the employment agency.

You can find more information about the counseling and placement services of the Employment Agency here.

2.2 Activation and professional integration measures

If the advisory and placement services of your employment agency are not sufficient to find a job for you, it is possible to support you with measures of active employment promotion when starting work - even if you are not entitled to unemployment benefit.

Important: Active employment promotion benefits are discretionary benefits to which there is no legal entitlement. This means that the placement specialist checks in each individual case whether the individual funding requirements are met. It is therefore very important that you find out about the individual options and eligibility requirements at an early stage and personally from your responsible employment agency.

Note: If your employment agency at the employment agency or the job center does not approve active employment promotion benefits, you can request a written notification of this decision. The employment agency must justify why a measure is not suitable for you (decision free of discretion) so that you can take action against this decision. If you do not agree with the reasons given for the decision, you can object to it.

2.2.1 Promotion of taking up work - "placement budget"

As an EU employee, you can apply for financial support from the so-called placement budget if you want to take up a job that is subject to social security contributions. The possibilities of individual support through the placement budget are diverse and offer your employment agency a lot of leeway to reimburse you for various costs in individual cases.

For example, the following expenses can be covered under certain conditions:

  • Costs for the recognition of foreign educational or professional certificates,
  • Costs for preparing and sending application documents,
  • Costs for trips to job interviews,
  • Travel expenses for the trip to take up an external job,
  • Costs for commuting when taking up work away from home,
  • Costs for work equipment such as work clothing and tools,
  • Other costs, e.g. B. Translations, instruction / certificate from the health department.

Important: If you are in a permanent or permanent employment relationship or are looking for a new job for personal reasons (e.g. higher earnings / change of residence), you are not threatened with unemployment and will not receive any funding from the placement budget.

Tip: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) also offers a recognition grant. Comprehensive advice and information on the recognition of your foreign educational or professional qualifications can also be obtained from the “IQ Specialist Office for Advice and Qualification” or at

2.2.2 Activation and professional integration measures

If you are unemployed or you are about to lose your job, you can receive support through “measures for activation and professional integration”. With the Activation and placement voucher (AVGS) Your employment agency will certify that the funding requirements have been met and will work with you to determine the specific goal and content of the measure. The AVGS gives you the right to choose one Carrier, one private employment agency or one Employerwho offers an approved (operational) measure that corresponds to the formulated objective and content. Possible contents of such a measure can be, for example:

  • Application training,
  • Competence assessment,
  • Coaching,
  • Professional knowledge transfer including job-related language training
  • Trial work
  • Voucher for private employment agency.

In addition to the output With an AVGS, the employment agency can also direct you to take part in an activation and professional integration measure to assign. Your employment agency will make the decision about what suits you better, taking into account the local range of measures.

Tip: Before the personal interview with your placement specialist at KURSNET, find out about suitable measures in your region.

Note: If you are entitled to unemployment benefits and have been unemployed for at least 6 weeks and have not yet been placed, you are entitled to a placement voucher for free use of a private employment agency. By engaging private labor market service providers, additional opportunities for new employment can arise.

The following also applies here: If you are in a permanent or permanent employment relationship or are looking for a new job for personal reasons (e.g. higher earnings / change of residence), you are not threatened with unemployment. It is then not possible to fund a measure for activation and professional integration.

2.3 Promotion of professional development - "education voucher"

If you are unemployed and further vocational training is necessary in order to improve your chances of a permanent job significantly, then you can receive support from the Employment Agency. Even if you are employed and your professional knowledge and skills have to be adapted to changed requirements in the professional field in order to avert an impending dismissal or if you want to catch up on a missing professional qualification, you can receive financial support under certain conditions. If you meet the funding requirements, you will receive a so-called from your employment agency Education voucher. This certifies that you have taken over the further training costs (course costs, travel costs, costs for external accommodation and meals as well as costs for looking after children) and, if applicable, that you will continue to pay unemployment benefits while participating in the further training measure.

Among other things, professional training measures include:

  • Adaptation qualification
  • Preparation for external exams
  • Partial qualifications
  • Retraining with a carrier
  • Company individual retraining or
  • Part-time vocational training (possible in combination with job-related language training).

Important: The issue of an education voucher requires, among other things, that you seek personal advice from the Employment Agency before you start taking part.

You can find more information about the education voucher and other funding opportunities in professional development on the homepage of the Federal Employment Agency and in this information sheet.

Note: If your employment agency at the employment agency or at the job center does not approve a certain support measure (further training, measure for professional integration, etc.), you can request a written notification of this decision. The employment agency must justify why a measure is not suitable for you (decision free of discretion) so that you can take action against this decision. If you do not agree with the reasons given for the decision, you can object to it.


The following indications suggest that an offer from a placement agency is probably dubious:

  • You have to pay money in advance for the brokerage. Fees for some services of the agency are permissible, e.g. translations of necessary documents, costs for the way there and back. However, you do not have to pay any fees that are incomprehensible. And you are not supposed to pay anything in advance.
  • You are told that you owe the recruitment agency to obtain the necessary papers.
  • You are not allowed to contact the employer yourself. You don't have his address or his full name.
  • You do not have an employment contract or precise information about the work you are supposed to do.
  • They have no information about accommodation and meals.

You can also obtain information through a placement agency from the competent employment authority in your home country. If it is a German placement agency, please contact the Central Foreign and Specialized Placement Agency (ZAV)

In addition to looking for work and training, you and your family members can obtain advice and support (funding) in the following areas from the Federal Employment Agency:

  • Career counseling,
  • Vocational training,
  • professional training, also for employees,
  • occupational integration of people with disabilities.

You can also receive financial support in the many steps on the way to a new job, for example:

  • Assumption of costs for further training,
  • Travel costs for job interviews or application documents,
  • Application training,
  • Language training

Further information on the individual services can be found in this information sheet.

If you are already looking for work in your country of origin, EURES advice is a first point of contact for you. EURES is the cooperation network of the European Commission, the public employment services of the EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and other partner organizations. EURES has over 700 advisors across Europe who offer information, advice and placement for workers and employers as well as for all citizens in general who want to make use of the right to free movement. The network has compiled its range of services on its homepage.

2. Foreign placement by the Federal Employment Agency
The Central Foreign and Specialized Placement Service (ZAV) at the Federal Employment Agency is responsible for cross-border job placement. The ZAV has put together extensive information on its website for workers from abroad who want to work in Germany.

3. JOBBÖRSE of the Federal Employment Agency
The Federal Employment Agency has set up the “JOBBÖRSE” portal on its website. Here, domestic and foreign jobseekers can independently research published vacancies from employers in Germany and set up their own applicant profile.

4. "Make it in Germany"
Further information about the career opportunities the German job and training market offers is available on the internet platform In addition to a job exchange, this online portal provides information on how the path to Germany can be designed - from the preparations in the country of origin to the first steps in Germany. “Make it in Germany” also offers personal support via a chat function, e-mail or a telephone hotline.

Tip: Private, personal contacts with companies and their relatives can also be helpful. Start building networks as early as possible.