Last week we invited 4 guest speakers to share their stories of how they cracked the code to working in Sweden. Interestingly enough, there was a common thread between the four stories that were shared. Our guest speakers were all foreigners living in Sweden who obtained a university degree here, and ended up finding employment not via the traditional job searching method (applying to posted positions), but rather instead via their network!
Here are a few tips & tricks we received from our guest speakers, Matt Goble, Susan Sjölund, Sonja Ruhnke and Quinn Ertel:
- Find your own “champion” (someone who you can bounce career and other general ideas with, a mentor/a job coach/a career counselor)
- Networking is key (join student associations/book clubs/meet-up groups/volunteer/informal lunches and fikas can be excellent forums for meeting other people)
- Make an effort to learn Swedish and Sweden’s business culture (even while applying to international companies, you immediately feel more a part of the group if you can follow a Swedish conversation. The number of positions you can apply for also increases dramatically if you are comfortable speaking Swedish)
- Set a goal and time line (give yourself something to strive for)
- Have a clear objective (post it on your CV and have it prepared when your network asks what job you’re looking for, know your ‘pitch’)
- Create a CV you’re proud of (this is your marketing tool, so it’s crucial that you send something out that properly represents you and that you’re proud of)
- Publish your CV via different channels (LinkedIn, Monster, recruitment sites, Future Finder etc.)
- Choose the right job (it is better to apply for fewer positions and really adapt your CV and cover letter to those, than sending the same CV to tons of companies. Recruiters notice when you send them a standard/’cookie cutter’ CV)
- Be both specific but also general for future hiring (apply for a specific job, but make it clear you desire above all else to work for this particular company)
- See a job as a step in the right direction (finding a dream job is tough, so look at finding a job which could be a solid step in your desired career direction, remain flexible in your needs, requirements and desires)
- Don’t rely solely on job search engines, create a list of your ‘target’ companies (create a list of companies that are on your wish list to work for, and proactively market yourself to them)
- Tone and substance (match the company keywords, values and tone in your application)
- Dare to do something different (don’t be afraid to stand out)
Be confident, be proud, and don’t be afraid to stand out. The approach you take towards your job search will have an immediate impact on the results you get.
Everything and everyone is an opportunity; activity breeds activity!
Annie Schreiter, Careers Service