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Finding & Securing Employment in Finland

Note on Finnish Language Skills
The most important skill in the Finnish labour market is Finnish langauge ability. Whatever you do, show that you are willing to learn Finnish. There are sectors and companies where English is used as a working language but these are exceptions. Lack of Finnish can even be an obstacle at the application stage because most positions are only advertised in Finnish. Knowing at least elementary Finnish helps open many doors; see the Finnish Language Courses section.
Hot Tip: Use Google Translate for an acceptable Finnish to English translation of either a whole web page or a pasted block of text.

Before looking for work:

When searching advertised positions:
Tips from the University of Helsinki, Career Services Unit

Finnish Job Application and CV / Resumé

Sample documents:
from the University of Helsinki, Career Services Unit
CV and Covering Letter - Structure and Content
(Alternate link)
See the next paragraph also!

Europass CV - For European Citizens

The Europass is a "European skills passport" - a pan-European CV / resumé consisting of five documents used in the same form in all EU/EEA countries. It presents a comprehensive picture of your skills and qualifications which you can use when looking for work or applying to educational institutions. The Europass is especially intended for Europeans seeking work or applying to foreign education programmes in other European nations.

At the Europass sites you can create your Europass CV online. Also available at the sites are CV models in Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, German, Greek ,English, Spanish, Estonian, French, Croatian, Icelandic, Italian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Finnish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Europass home page: www.europass.cedefop.europa.eu
Finland's Europass page: www.europass.fi

Finnish Job Interview

At a Finnish job interview - be Finnish!
Apart from 'standard' techniques for successful interviews, pay attention to Finnish culture:

Finding Work in Finland

Typically, job-seekers look for positions which have been advertised, and this site contains other pages which deal specifically with finding work advertised through employment agencies, employment search engines, EURES and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy Employment Service. The reality is that many jobs are taken before they ever get to the point of being advertised; word of mouth goes a long way here and having the right connections is invaluable.

Other ways to find work in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kotka, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Oulu, Pori, Rauma, Riihimäki, Rovaniemi, Savonlinna, Seinäjoki, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa

This section looks at a couple of alternative methods to give yourself a better chance of gaining employment:

Direct Submissions
Many people find success with direct submissions; it's how I got my first job in Finland.

Start Your Own Business
The procedure for doing this in Finland is not difficult, nor is it expensive to set up a sole proprietorship (toiminimi). If you have skills you think you could market, this is definitely an option! Expat Finland has a whole section on it: Entrepreneurship

Enroll in a course related to your field of employment; you can make valuable connections and you may hear of opportunities which would otherwise have eluded you. Also keep an eye on the notice-boards at educational institutions; many jobs 'advertised' there will not be published elsewhere.

Networking is very important; if you can become known in your field of interest/expertise, you may well hear about jobs before they are advertised, maybe even get recommended or "headhunted" for a position. Let everyone know you're in the job market and ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of anything suitable. Join professional discussion boards. Social networking sites and "professional networks" like LinkedIn can also be very helpful.

The Finland Forum and the IESAF Forum both have large active memberships in Finland. Both sites are in English and although you probably won't find work directly from either of them, you'll find a lot of invaluable advice, and learn from others' experiences.

Advertise Yourself
If it's appropriate for the type of employment you are seeking, put up notices advertising yourself wherever possible. Try placing a free advertisement at sites such as www.expatriates.com.

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