Finding a job while you are studying in a foreign country might be quite tough, especially if it´s a country where you don’t speak the language. We all know that there are a lot of challenges. The following suggestions might help you to get a better idea of what to look for, if you are searching for a job whilst studying or newly arrived, we call them “survival” jobs.
I know, some of you might hate it, but Facebook is a quite a good place to look for a job. Your friends or friends of friends might post a job opening. There are various job groups out there, some are not even job groups, but people still post there, so keep an eye on those. If you have a good network, write a post yourself, that your are looking for a student/survival job and with a little luck you might find something.
If you aren’t already a member, then be sure to join English Job Denmark group on Facebook. It’s Denmarks fastest growing recruitment community for internationals.
Another way to find a job is by talking to people within your network. Ask your classmates where you are studying, school officials (don’t be shy about asking if they have a student or part-time position. They may not have anything now, but know will rememberers you are seeking employment). Make sure you attend events. There are so many available and the majority of them are free ( this is also one of the best ways to network).
If you aren’t already a member, then be sure to join Events for Internationals – Denmark group on Facebook. The group features lots of events from around Denmark.
Your CV is one of your most important tools and you must use it correctly. At the beginning I sent a lot of CV’s without any luck due to the fact that I didn’t make any preparations. Later, I found out that it was badly formulated and after some changes I started to receive replies to my emails, even though replies were mainly negative, I was on the right track.
It would be a good idea to get your CV checked by a professional. You can do that at the job centre, or you could ask a recruiter or your teacher at school. You can also ask older students how the system works in Denmark and if they can help you to get on the right track.
Another thing to keep in mind is the structure of the CV. It is different in every country and it changes with time. What worked before might not work now, so you need to keep track and find out what recruiters want now. Of course, since this is about a “survival” job, you don’t need to panic too much if your CV is not the best. However, why limit your chances by not optimising your CV?
How long does it take to find a job? It depends of various factors, such as your network, your work experience (if you have any), luck, your personality (we all know that some people are better at talking to others and making themselves known). Others aren’t , that makes the job search longer or shorter, but that does not mean it will never happen. Usually it takes a few weeks to a few months to find a job in Denmark. Just don’t give up! The most important thing for an employer when recruiting for a survival job, is that you are a hard worker and trustworthy.
Language is a real struggle, especially if you can’t speak it! Jobs such as a sales assistant are quite hard to find, because they require you to know Danish. This of course limits the job search, but there are dozens of other jobs that only require English, such as hospitality positions in big chain hotels ( kitchen, waitress, housekeeping, etc ).
Working in an international environment, you don’t get to experience the Danish culture to its fullest. Instead we experience an international culture within the workplace. Of course, there are differences, which make it very different from a Danish work environment. If you would like to be accepted into a Danish workplace, then pay attention to the small details and maybe read up on Danish work culture.
When traveling it almost always pays to respect the culture of the people you are visiting. Whether you are visiting Denmark or plan on staying, remember these small gestures and acknowledgement of culture and customs get noticed, so try to learn them and be mindful of others.
About the author, Christiana
Christiana has a BA degree from her home country and came to Denmark to study Service management, hospitality and tourism and Sports management in Copenhagen.
Don’t sit around and wait for a recruiter to come knocking, that pretty woman recruitment style went out in the 80’s! If you would like to find employment, then take charge and make it happen!
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