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Work in Europe

This article focuses on Europe and starts by telling you that working in Europe can be fun but finding a job there is not achieved in a single day. The European labor market contains some unexpected hurdles as national differences between the countries of Europe manifest themselves not only in different languages but also in different recruitment practices. To demonstrate the differences between countries this article tells you about job-hunting in France, Spain and Italy. But, if these countries are not the countries of your choice, do not fear, the answer is near. Just keep reading and you can pave your own road on your way to a job abroad.

Applications across Europe

Working in Europe may sound to many people as an exciting adventure. However, just realize you are bound to come across some unexpected differences. To start with a resume is called CV - Curriculum Vitae - in Europe. And whereas resumes are a reflection of your main accomplishments only, European CVs are detailed accounts of your education and work experience to date. Therefore, the most important advice to those interested in a job abroad is to take national differences into account, if they want their application to be taken serious. Looking for work in another country entails more than writing your resume or CV in another language. Remember that no matter in what country you are looking for work, the key element of your resume or CV is to persuade the employer to invite you for a job interview. And how will you achieve that? The following information on France, Spain and Italy will help you to put things on track.

Job-hunting in France

Nr. 1 mistake to make: Do not send in a typed application letter! The French use graphology as a means of selection in the application process. So type your CV but handwrite you application letter.

Newspapers are a main source of job adverts;

  1. "Le Figaro" on Monday
  2. "Le Monde's Initiative" supplement on Wednesday
  3. "Le Figaro" and "France Soir" for technical jobs
  4. "Les Echos", "Enterprises et Carri'res", "INVESTIR", and "Le Monde" for administrative, financial and management jobs
A French application

Tips for a successful application

  • The CV is either reversed chronological (the last first) or functional (activities grouped thematically).
  • The CV, often with a photo attached, is brief, two pages at the most.
  • Your personal details include; your name, address and telephone number with international access code, your nationality, your civil status, your age and your place of birth.
  • Mention only your highest educations but be specific in job-experience and responsibilities. Language skills should be described in detail and hobbies may be added.
  • A handwritten application letter of about 15 to 20 lines, focusing on your most recent activities and demonstrating with examples why you are the right person for the job.
  • References and copies of diplomas are not included, however they should be brought to the application interview.

Job-hunting in Spain

Nr. 1 mistake to make: Do not mention your salary first. It is custom to discuss the payment after you have been hired. If you tackle the subject first, you will seem very rude.

The main newspapers publish Sunday supplements with major vacancy overviews:

  1. "El Pa's" issues "Negocios"
  2. "El Mundo" issues "Su Dinero"
  3. "El ABC" issues "Nuevo Trabajo"
  4. Regional papers are extremely important in their respective areas:
  5. "La Vanguardia" in Catalonia
  6. "La Gaceta del Norte"in Bilbao
  7. "Segunda Mano" in the Madrid region
Successful way of getting a job:
  • Personal contacts: You can use a temporary job, a summer job or an internship as a steppingstone on your way to a permanent job. Your first job provides you with the right contacts for your second job - that"s the way it works in Spain!
A Spanish application
  • Send in your CV, a typed application letter, a recent photo, translated copies of your qualifications and copies of your diplomas.
  • The CV is well-structured, no longer then two pages but there are no strict rules.
  • Under personal details you are required to mention you passport or ID number.
  • The application letter is short and direct. The letterhead refers to the number of the vacancy.
  • The letter contains a reference to the vacancy in the first paragraph, in the second paragraph you mention your education and job-experience and you end the letter with a standard sentence such as "En espera de sus noticias, les saluda atentamente".

Job-hunting in Italy

Nr. 1 mistake to make:
  • Make sure your shoes and your bag match! This is not a joke; Italians feel that detailed care of how you look reflects how you work. If you are up-to-date in fashion, you are most likely to be up-to-date in your work as well, too their opinion.

Italian newspapers are a good source of information regarding vacancies and employers recruiting at that moment. On either Thursdays or Fridays the next papers carry extensive job advert supplements:

  1. 'Il Corriere della Sera'
  2. 'La Repubblica'
  3. 'Il Giornale'
  4. 'La Stampa'

The Monday edition of the financial magazine 'Il Sole-24 Ore' is also useful in this respect.

Successful way of getting a job:
  • Speculative applications are very common. Use a very formal style for your letter and include impressive references with your open application.
  • Personal contacts are the best way to a job. An introduction of a well-known person will be very effective, because in Italy the emphasis is more on whom you know, than on what you know (although as a foreign job seeker the right qualifications are essential, even if you have some distant Italian relatives).
An Italian application
  • The application consists of a typed CV and a short typed letter.
  • The CV is in chronological order and about two pages long.
  • Your personal details should include your date and place of birth, your nationality, your telephone number and your civil status.
  • The style of the letter is stately and official. Explain briefly why you want the job, they will ask more in-depth questions during the interview.
  • Three or four interviews are not uncommon and you should bring copies of references and diplomas to the first interview.

Looking for work in another country in Europe

Whether or not you are finally going to get the job you want in the country you are interested in depends not only on your qualifications and your skills, but also on your personal qualities and your determination. And if Spain, Italy and France are not the countries you are interested in, do not despair. The information given above exists for over 30 countries all over the world. Expert on international labor migration issues, Expertise in Labour Mobility has published a series of 28 guides on "Looking for work" in the country of your choice, both within and outside Europe. The guides offer not only information on your CV (with an example) and your application letter, but also on Visa requirements, cultural management differences and some useful addresses. They are the key to the door into the job market in the country of your choice. Visit the Expertise in Labour Mobility website and find out if the country of your dreams is already added to their list. Expertise in Labour Mobility and their "Looking for work in "" guides can get you started in the right way. And once you have found that right way, the feeling of being on top of the world and having made it all on your own is not far away!


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