Finding a job while you are studying in a foreign country can be 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.
You may not like SoMe, but Facebook is 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 ‘real’ job groups, but people still post there, so keep an eye out in expat groups. If you have a good network, write a post yourself, that your are looking for a student/survival job and with a little luck someone within your network will help.
If you aren’t already a member, then be sure to join the English Job Denmark group on Facebook. It’s Denmark’s fastest growing recruitment community for internationals.
Another way to find a job is by talking to people within your network. Ask your classmates at your place of study, school officials (don’t be shy about asking if they have a student or part-time position. They may not have anything now, but will remember you are seeking employment). Make sure you attend school events. There are so many available and the majority of them are free ( this is also one of the best ways to network).
Your CV is one of your most important tools and you must use it correctly. It is 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 ask an Employment Specialist like the service provided by English Job Denmark. You can also ask older students how the system works in Denmark and if they can help you to get on the right track. Very often your network is your greatest asset, so remember to use it and don’t be afraid to ask others for help.
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 to find out what recruiters want now. Read our CV Checklist for more details about layout and structure (the link is available below). We would recommend a 1-page CV for all ‘survival’ roles, as this quickly communicates what you can do.
How to find a ‘survival’ job in Denmark
How long does it take to find a job? Well, that really depends on you and various other factor, such as your network, your past 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, which makes the job search process longer, but that doesn’t mean that 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 sometimes require Danish. This of course limits the job search, but there are lots of other jobs that only require English, such as hospitality positions in large hotel chains and waiting in restaurants or bars.
Face to face
The best way to find a survival job is to prepare a 1-page CV, and to visit places of interest. Smile, show your personality and ask if they have a position available. They won’t take your CV (Due to GDPR) but some may take your number or request that you send them an email with your CV attached. Always remember to show respect and if there is a big queue waiting for service, then visit another time as the cashier will be stressed and unable or unwilling to help you.
You may also be interested in reading our CV Checklist