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Finding & Securing Employment in Finland

Finnish Language Skills
The most important asset for entering the Finnish labour market is Finnish language ability. Whatever you do, show that you are willing to learn Finnish - indeed, you should learn some Finnish before you even start looking for work. There are sectors and companies where English is used as a working language but these are exceptions. Lack of Finnish is an obstacle even 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, which includes numerous free online lessons and courses.

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
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: europa.eu/europass/en
Finland's Europass page: oph.fi/en/europassi

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

You should really start job-hunting before you arrive in Finland. If you are already here, register as a job seeker at your nearest employment office. Anyone can ask advice from an employment office, and some larger offices have EURES advisers who can provide help specifically aimed at immigrants.

Job seekers usually look for positions which have been advertised, and this site's Employment section contains pages which deal specifically with finding work advertised through employment agencies, employment search engines, EURES and the Finnish government's TE 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.

Notice-boards at Educational Institutions
Look at notice-boards at universities (yliopistot), colleges (ammattikoulut) and other educational institutions. They are particularly useful for students looking for seasonal work or internships, but full-time jobs can be posted too. Many jobs 'advertised' in this way 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 "head-hunted" 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.

Finland Forum and IESAF both have large, active memberships in Finland. Their primary language is English and even if you don't find work directly from either of them, you'll find a lot of invaluable advice, and learn from others' experiences.
See Forums

Advertise Yourself
If it's appropriate for the type of employment you are seeking, put up notices advertising yourself / your services. It's also possible to list yourself in newspapers.


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