My job-hunting in Sweden
My master’s program is coming to its end, I am writing my master’s thesis and I’ll present it in the beginning of June. I decided to stay in Sweden to work after that, therefore I am looking for a job here. I will tell you how my-job hunting have been, and maybe you can be inspired for the future, if you see yourself in the same situation.
- Learn Swedish. If you want to work in Sweden, put effort into it. Despite the fact that everyone speaks English, Swedish is required in many trainee programs and job positions. It also depends in the work field. I am an Architect and Urban Planner, and most of the Architecture companies prefer that you speak Swedish, or at least that you are willing to, that you are learning. If I want to work with Urban Planning, it’s even more necessary, since I will have to read laws and to work with Swedish municipalities. Some trainee programs are in English, IKEA’s for instance, and others I was interested required fluent Swedish. I was brave and applied for some anyway, since I am studying Swedish, and in one of the processes it kind of worked, they tested my Swenglish in an interview and are aware that if hired, I will start in Swenglish and switch to Swedish when I am ready. So keep it in mind and start learning Swedish as soon as possible if this is your plan. There are free courses, such SFI, and paid courses at Folkuniversitetet (and as a Chalmers student you get 20% off, I do this one and I strongly recommend).
- Start early. Mostly of the trainee programs are launched in January to March, and those who will be selected, will start to work in September. So don’t wait until you are almost done with your master’s to apply. And besides the trainee programs, keep looking at companies’ websites for open positions, also apply for open applications, where you apply for a company and they contact you if there’s a position that matches your profile. Mostly companies, specially the big ones, have this open application option in their websites. It works, and I am right now in a train to Stockholm going to a second interview with a company that I applied openly!
- Network. Go to all job-internship-thesis fairs at Chalmers, get to know the companies, talk to their representatives, keep your CV, personal letter and LinkedIn updated, tell the right people you are looking for a job. Another good thing is that here in Sweden is very common to write your master’s thesis within a company, and your chances to be hired by the company, if you do a good job, are high.
- Once you get interviews, just be yourself, be confident, honest and get informed about the company and the position before you go to the interview.
I hope I can tell you soon that I got a job! Wish me luck!