October 21, 2015
Sweden is a great place to work and comes with a heap of benefits that you don’t get in many other countries. But getting started is hard.
There are English speaking jobs here, but they are few and far between, and competition is fierce. If you move to Sweden and don’t speak Swedish (like I did), I’ve compiled a list of my top tips and resources to help you get started.
This is a helping guide and by no means a guaranteed guide to success.
If you don’t have a personummer, don’t worry too much. I didn’t have a personummer when I started applying for jobs in Sweden, and most companies will work with Skatteverket to push your application through. Mine took 2 weeks.
Some jobs like bars and restaurants won’t help out, so take this into account. Once you have a job offer, your personummer will come much quicker so speak with your potential employer about this if you have any questions.
Indeed is like the Google of job searching. They have sites all across the world but I found this to be a great help in Sweden to search the job market before I knew when to look closer.
Using Indeed is really easy. Just search what you’re looking for in the “vad” box and where you want to work in “var” (I’ve just used cities but sure you can be more specific/general if needed).
When you get the search results, the top few results are paid promotions. There is also a link that says “lägg upp ditt CV” (upload your CV) which is worth doing so you can quickly apply later and also so recruiters can find you. You can refine your search with the left-hand menu:
When you find a job that interests you, click on the link to get started. Some links open the website of the company listing the position. Others open an Indeed application form and let you apply through the site. Just click the “Ansök” button.
Indeed is great because it crawls company and job listing websites to make a single search engine to help you find all of the jobs available at the moment. This means you can spend more time applying and writing introduction letters, and less time searching around.
Metro Jobb is another great resource. They have a great selection of jobs to apply for, but the website is a bit of a mess. Here is a quick guide on how to use the site.
Metro Jobb is aimed more at professional jobs like marketing, sales, HR, etc, but take a look as they have some great listings there with some fantastic companies.
More and more companies in Sweden are looking for employees and listing jobs in Facebook groups. These are some good groups to follow:
You can either check these groups for new jobs or introduce yourself when you join the group in case anyone is looking for a candidate like you. I’ve seen some great results here as a recruiter, finding passionate applicants and members of these groups even recommend their friends for other jobs.
Some of these groups are closed so you will need to apply and wait to be accepted, but this normally takes less than a few days.
If I’ve missed your industry, just search on Facebook for “jobb” and there is bound to be a group there. Then email me and I’ll add it to this list.
Finally, there are some great expat meetup groups in Stockholm (and Sweden) and these can be a great place to meet other expats that are looking for other non-Swedes for current positions. Try and spend some time joining and networking at some of these events to get connected.
For example, you could attend an event like STHLM Tech Meetup and mingle, give our business cards, and network/job hunt that way. I have not tried this, but it’s something that could work for newcommers.
Swedish Startup Space is a small community of people interested in startups and tech in (mostly) Stockholm. They have a good pool of development/marketing/sales jobs from some top companies in Sweden. These companies are always on the lookout for English speaking candidates.
Most interviews in Sweden are a much more casual affair than in the UK and USA. Unless you are applying for a very formal role (banks, finance, government, etc), the dress code for most interviews is smart casual:
Obviously, don’t take this as it and apply your gut feeling for the job you are applying for.
When you get your job sorted, there a few other things to consider.
If your company should make you redundant or fire you, you can get protection from A-Kassan. For a small fee per month (50-200kr varying on salary), you will receive a monthly unemployment insurance should something unfortunate happen to your job.
You can learn more info on their website here. Unfortunately, it’s all in Swedish with only a Google Translate option but that might give you a start. You should be able to call up and ask for info in English too.
Some companies offer something called kollektivavtalet which is a collective agreement to make sure that staff are paid fairly and give the rights they are entitled too.
If your company does not offer this, that is another safeguard you might want to consider. You can read more on the Unionen website and this handy guide.
So they are my tips for finding a job in Sweden as a foreigner. If I’ve missed something or you have some ideas and suggestions for finding work, please let me know in the comments or via email.
Welcome to Everything Sweden, the community magazine all about living in Sweden as an expat, and how to move to Sweden. More about us.