If you have recently arrived in Finland and would like to start looking for a job, there are a few things you need to know to make the process smoother. Please read the job search material on your University’s career services pages for general information on the job search process and application documents. The points raised below can be regarded as complementary, as they highlight particular aspects of job hunting which can be considered specific to Finland.
- Start learning Finnish as soon as possible. Knowing at least some Finnish will increase your chances of getting a job. Finnish language skills are necessary in order to have wider access to the job market and to find good positions. Knowing some Finnish also supports social and cultural integration.
- Be active, get to know people and build networks. Many employment opportunities (70-80%) in Finland are not advertised publicly, but remain “hidden”. To be able to access the jobs in the hidden labour market (https://lehti.tek.fi/english/hidden-jobs-what-are-they) you need to work on not only your professional network, but also you can get to know people through hobbies, volunteer work or by getting involved in an association. It is very common in Finland to be active in an association; there is a wide array of different associations that always welcome new members. A great way of building a network and gaining information on working life in Finland is to join a mentoring programme. Check with your University which mentoring programmes are available to you.
- The working culture in Finland can be regarded as punctual, equal and relaxed. There is a relatively low level of hierarchy amongst employees. Working conditions in Finland are well regulated and employee well-being is important to employers. Familiarize yourself with the rights and duties of an employee in Finland. Trade unions and employer unions create general conditions and salary contract for every field of business in Finland. The legislation and collective agreements determine, for example, minimum wages, working hours, holidays, sick pay and the terms of dismissal.
- If you want to work in the hospitality industry, please note that the employer will require that you have a hygiene passport (hygienepassport.fi). Certificates like this are very important in Finland.
- Attend events and workshops organized by your own University’s career services, and find out what a typical CV and motivation letter look like in Finland.
- Use LinkedIn as a source of information about the job market in your field and to find alumni and hear about events, projects, etc.
- Note that it’s important to get some (unpaid or paid) work experience on your CV, preferably alsofrom Finland. There are many ways to do this. You can think about volunteer work, thesis work in a company, an internship or summer job. Experience shows an employer that you have work life skills as well as academic skills.
- Signing up with a recruitment agency can also be useful, depending on your field and what you are looking for.
- Be active, keep applying, speak to people and don’t give up!