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Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job

German is not always the most intuitive language in the world, and looking for a job can leave you lost in a sea of unfamiliar vocabulary. So here’s a chance to brush up on some of the words you’ll need most when you go job-hunting in Austria.

Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Stellenbörse

This is where your job hunt may begin, a space – usually online – where companies and employers can advertise their current openings.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about finding a job in Austria

Stellenbörse translates as “job exchange”, and is also known as a Jobbörse  or a Stellenmarkt.

From independent websites to exchanges attached to the major newspapers, there are dozens of Stellenbörsen out there. The best one, of course, is The Local’s very own, which gives you a brilliant overview of all the best English language jobs going in Austria.

Vollzeit/Teilzeit

One of these two words is likely to be on most of the job postings you look at. Teilzeit means part-time, while Vollzeit…well, you can probably work it out.

Fachkräfte

Fachkräfte are always in demand, and many companies will post opportunities for Facharbeiter. This means that they are after a specialist.

A Fachkraft is somebody who is highly qualified in a specific field, so if you are looking to learn on the job, these positions are probably not for you.

Azubi (Auszubildende/r)

One of our favourite German words, an Azubi is a trainee or an apprentice, and an Ausbildung, in job market terms, is a traineeship.

Unlike an intern or Praktikant, an Azubi is usually somebody who is doing a formal education with a view to entering a specific occupation.

Working in Vienna: How to find a job in the Austrian capital

Fest Angestellte and freie Mitarbeiter

A Stelle is a position or job, and someone who is angestellt is employed. A common turn of phrase is to differentiate between a fest angestellte Person, who is a salaried employer, and a freier Mitarbeiter, who is someone doing freelance work.

Lebenslauf

Once you’ve trawled through the Stellenbörse and picked out a job which suits you, there are certain things that you will need for any application. One of them is your Lebenslauf.

Your Lebenslauf is your CV – in fact, it’s an almost direct translation of the Latin phrase curriculum vitae. Your qualifications, language and IT skills, experience and references should all be in there. CVs are also often dated and signed in Austria.

READ MORE: Six things you should know about creating a cover letter and résumé

Bewerbungsbrief

Another key thing to include in any application is your Bewerbungsbrief, or cover letter.

As in the English speaking world, this should be no more than a page of writing, describing your motivation and suitability for the job.

Striking the balance between formality and flair can be difficult in German. If in doubt, the tried and tested “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren” and “Mit freundlichen Grüßen” are always safe bets, but depending on the job you are applying for, you might want to spice it up a bit by sending your Grüße either “nach Hamburg” or “aus Berlin”.

Arbeitszeugnis

Along with your Lebenslauf and Bewerbungsbrief, most employers will want a reference or two, so make sure you include an Arbeitszeugnis.

Just as they are elsewhere in the world, these should be written by a former employer or someone similar. You would normally attach them to your CV.

Vorstellungsgespräch

If your written application is enough to impress your potential employer, you will be invited to a Vorstellungsgespräch.

Though it sounds nicer in German (the literal translation is “introductory conversation”), this is a job interview, plain and simple.

READ MORE: These eight words show just how different German and Austrian Deutsch can be

As with the CV, the law forbids interviewers from asking you questions about your private life, sexual orientation, marital status and religion. There should also be at least two people interviewing you.

Probezeit

Congratulations! You’ve impressed with your Lebenslauf and Bewerbungsgespräch, got through the Vorstellungsgespräch, and now you have been offered an Anstellung!

In most employment contracts, you will at first be put on a probation period or Probezeit. During this time, your employer is technically allowed to dismiss you with just two weeks notice. Under German employment law, the period should last no longer than six months.

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EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Though Austria is mainly known for its winter resorts, there is no shortage of possibilities for those looking for seasonal jobs in summer.

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Summer is coming up, and those few hot months are a perfect opportunity for many people to get a seasonal job and earn some extra cash.

Austria’s economy is heavily based on tourism. But even though the winter resorts and sports are what the alpine country is most well-known for, the summer months are also hectic in the tourism and gastronomy sectors.

The demand for seasonal workers usually is high but has increased even more in the last few years. According to the Austrian employment agency AMS, there are more than 15,000 open positions in gastronomy and tourism still lacking workers.

The pandemic widened the gap, as the sector was hardly hit by lockdowns and changes in consumer behaviour. With coronavirus restrictions, the field lost some of its attraction. It is still having trouble finding new labour, AMS boss Johannes Kopf told broadcaster ORF.

A summer without coronavirus restrictions

However, for the first time since the pandemic started, Austria will see a summer with almost no coronavirus restrictions.

The country has recently dropped its 3G rule for entry for travellers, meaning that tourists (and residents) no longer have to show proof that they were vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from the disease or tested negative.

The expectation is high that this will boost tourism, especially as the 3G rules and the mask mandate also fell in most indoor areas.

READ MORE: LATEST: What are Austria’s current Covid-19 rules?

Last year, even with some restrictions still in place, the sector saw a recovery compared to 2020 but was still not at pre-pandemic levels, according to Statistik Austria.

Still, the May to October season had more than 66 million overnight stays, with almost half of them (42.7 per cent) coming from Germany.

From imperial cities to lakes and mountains, Austria has no shortage of offers during summer. As travelling resumes, the sector is desperately looking for workers.

vienna, pratter

Vienna is big touristic destination also during summer months (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)

Where can I find summer jobs in Austria?

The capital is undoubtedly where most visitors come, according to Statistik Austria. However, it is also where many establishments have a year-round crew, and seasonal work might not be as easy to find.

It is far from impossible, though, and it is worth the search if you have your eyes set on Vienna.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

However, other major Austrian cities also have openings, most notably the touristic towns of and around Innsbruck and Salzburg. Of course, the mountainous region of Austria might be most famous for its ski slopes. Still, they also offer breathtaking summer views, cool and beautiful alpine lakes, and numerous hiking trails.

Plus excellent hotels for people to stay in and great Austrian restaurants – all looking for employees.

What types of jobs are available?

There are many job openings to skim through, but most will be the most traditional service work in tourism and gastronomy: waitressing, housekeeping, cooking, and reception.

If you look outside of Vienna, several professions in the tourism and gastronomy sector are included in Austria’s list of shortage occupations.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

Those include some surprising ones like department store sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, masseuses, and others. If you don’t have a right to work in Austria (non-EU citizens without a work permit, for example), being skilled in a shortage occupation makes it easier to be hired and get a residence permit.

Most of these jobs will require a certain level of German, especially since Germans are an overwhelming part of tourists entering Austria. However, the high demand for workers might help those who do not speak the language yet, especially for positions that don’t require much customer interaction.

READ ALSO: Austria: Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

Another popular job for summer is instructor, or caretaker, in summer camps. As many of them are bilingual or in English, German is not usually a mandatory language – there are also positions for English teachers, especially in camps and schools with summer courses.

Where can I find these jobs?

As with most industries and professions, searching online is usually the first step in finding a summer job in Austria.

Outside of known employment platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, Austria’s Karriere.at might be a good place to look.

READ ALSO: Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Hogastjob is also a local platform with plenty of seasonal offers in Austria, Germany and Italy (South Tyrol region).

Another approach is to contact resorts or hotels directly to find out when they are hiring for the summer season and the types of roles that will be available – they should also have a job vacancies page on official websites that you can check.

Or get in touch with friends that have previously worked in the summer season in Austria and ask for a recommendation.

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