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Top tips to finding a job in Denmark

Job searching can be challenging and tiring, so it is important to know and accept that it is a process.

Photograph: iStock

Text: Greete Eluri

There are days, where you go forward and days, where you sit still. Do not give up and keep going - you will find your spot.

Use your network - actively use it. Reach out to people, let them know what and where you are searching. Ask interesting and relevant people out for coffee meetings. Remember, the idea with coffee meetings is to get to know someone and exchange knowledge, not to get a job.

Be social and get out there - literally. Back in 2015, I made the mistake of only looking for a job online - this is a no-go. Over 50% of employment in Denmark do not even make it online, so there is a lot of ‘action’ going on behind the scenes. If you do not know people and people do not know you, you are missing out, big time. Find interesting events via Linkedin, Facebook and Eventbrite to attend. You never know who you can meet. Once you have met someone face-to-face, they are more likely to share their network and help you further.

Call the hiring manager, if you are in doubt about a position. Yes, it is common practice in Denmark. Prepare the questions, for example: “Which skills are most important in this role? What do you weight the most as a hiring manager?” Only call, if you are prepared and know what to ask - you do not want to ask a question, which you can already find in a job ad. This would not be a good start and might ruin your chances.

If someone said: "I might have something for you in two months" then mark it in your calendar and reach out again in two months.

Apply even if you are not 100% qualified - this applies especially for female candidates. If you can do 50% of the job, apply. The hiring process can be long, complicated, and the final decisions are often made once the company has gathered all the CV’s. You probably have something else to offer, which other candidates do not. Many skills can be taught, and it is also essential that you are a good fit for the team - this is more difficult to change, compared to learning a new skill. Be as specific as possible and let the company know what you can do for them, how can you solve their problems.

Be consistent and persistent - keep track of who you have been in contact with. If you are talking to people, remember to follow up, it is your job, people will not do that. If someone said: “I might have something for you in two months” then mark it in your calendar and reach out again in two months. Take notes, in excel or calendar, of whom you have been in contact with, what they said, and what is the next step.

Dansk - let me make this short. If you plan to stay and work in Denmark, I strongly recommend you to learn the language.

Say “Thank you”. I personally think that it is important to recognise the help you have gotten in your journey. The emails, calls, shared contacts and coffee meetings - it all counts. Sometimes a nice small message can make your day and make a huge difference, so say ‘Thank you’ to those people.

If you are interested in more job-seeking content, you are welcome to connect with me

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