Aussies in Sweden

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Employment

A WORD OF WARNING

The most common mistake Australians make when they arrive here is to underestimate the much smaller population base and market compared to home. Sweden is a small country and has a well-educated and extremely competitive job market. There is tough competition here even for jobs that you would consider low status and low pay back home.

If you are set on working in a particular area, then you need to do a lot of research. Check if the market is oversaturated. Do you need to speak Swedish and if so, forget about applying if your Swedish is poor as you will not even get an interview for that position. Speaking English is not such a big advantage here as most Swedes have a good grasp of English. Remember your lack of language skills will eliminate a large number of jobs. When searching the links below, try typing "Engelska" or "English" into the search criteria for jobs that specify English skills. Many will also require Swedish, though.

Initially, you could investigate niches such as English-speaking embassy work, English-speaking schools. But remember you need to be qualified and to bring proof of that qualification with you. Do not assume that because you are a native English speaker that you can just teach English "for a while". It doesn't work like that. Same with jobs involving customer service (eg waiter/bar work). How can you take an order if you don't understand the language? Find out if there are Australian companies established here and contact them to see if there are positions you could fill.

People are sometimes resentful that the Australians already established here don't help them out more. But it is really hard for us as well. We can't write you references if we don't know you! And it is really not a good idea to apply for jobs without much experience or any qualifications. Swedes generally will only hire the person with the best qualifications and the most experience and often the ability to speak Swedish. The magic word in Sweden is networking. In many fields, positions are filled almost exclusively through contacts. So you need to be out there making those valuable contacts.

We make every effort to keep this up to date, but note that site addresses frequently change, so you may need to search the company name if the link does not work. Sometimes not all of the information is current or applicable all of the time. Some of these sites are employment recruiter sites. Some sites simply list current jobs available. Some sites provide a little "employment coaching". It's important to read through the sites see if and how the information within the sites meets

WORKING IN SWEDEN

General information You can only work here if you have a work permit. These are available BEFORE you get to Sweden by applying through your local Swedish Embassy. If your employer is bringing you to Sweden, they can usually take care of that. You can apply for a permit once you are here, but it can be difficult to obtain if you are say here on a tourist visa. In that case you need to contact Migrationsverket There is an interesting article and some links about expats finding work in Sweden at Stockholm Bulletin (E).

Once you arrive, you must register at the local taxation office or Skattemyndigheten within three days and get your all important personnummer which you will need to even scratch yourself in Sweden. You can check out your responsibilities at this RSV brochure. There are a good articles on tax for expats working here at Stockholm Bulletin (E).

As in Australia, when you are searching for a job you do as much research as you can on a potential company. This involves doing a search of the company website to learn about their products, services, financial information and also who are the decision makers who may be in a position to offer you a job. Once you have learned as much as you can about a company, send in you CV even if a job is not posted yet. It is important to be proactive.

Six job tips and advice to land that good job in Sweden is an article put out y Xpats.NU wgich may be of some general help.

Language Test Want to test your Swedish proficiency? You can test your "employability" in Swedish at Arbetsförmedlingen (S).

Current conditions Sweden has suffered a recession recently and unemployment rose quickly. However, the country remains prosperous and seems to be recovering well with lots of new incentives to encourage foreign investors. Although the foreign labour force makes up 5% of the market, the Swedish authorities are cautious of employing foreigners.

Working hours A 40 hour week is standard, and most staff receive at least 5 weeks of holiday and a further 12 public holidays.

General conditions Employment legislation is very thorough and protects both employer and employee. Fringe benefits are good also, with contributions made by employers to subsidise canteens, transport, health and leisure facilities. Many are also obliged to help foreign employees with learning Swedish and accommodation.

Salary Salaries are good although the cost of living is very high. Tax is claimed at both a national and regional level, although many foreign employees can avoid paying national tax, which is currently 20% above a set level. Even so, tax is quite high, spanning a broad band from 30% to 70%.

C.V's and Covering Letters There are of course different conventions in Sweden about what to include on a CV and covering letter. There is a good guide in English about what is expected in a Swedish CV at How to Write a Swedish CV or résumé. It is wise to check out the tips offered at iWork.com, Going Global and Jobera about writing a resume and cover letter for the Swedish market. On the Supreme recruiting website there is a downloadable pdf file in English on how to write a CV. There is also some tips and several examples at CV-Guiden, but it is only in Swedish. There is also a place that will do an on-line resume translation service. It's not cheap, though!

USEFUL ADDRESSES

Arbetsförmedlingnen is the home page of the Swedish Labour Market. Information about what you need to work here and some jobs are listed as well. (E) You can also test out your employability with their online language test. One tip is to put English or 'Engelska' into your search criteria to bring up any jobs specifying English speaking skills.

International Academics There is a branch of Arbetsförmedlingnen (Internationella Akademiker) which specifically caters for academics seeking work in Stockholm. They are located at Strandbergsgatan 61 (4th floor) and are open weekdays between 9 and 3. Remember that you will need to make sure that your foreign qualifications are first evaluated and translated by HSV before you approach them. You are free to email them for further details.

Skatteverket The Income Tax Department It offers some material translated into English. Here you can information on Working in Sweden, Tax Account Brochure, the Swedish tax system - income from wages and capital, and Excise duties. If you look in the top right corner, there is an icon showing links to other languages, including English. There is also an interesting advice about payroll tax responsibilities in Sweden at Aurenav for those individuals working here freelance. (S) (E)

Work in Sweden Offering quality construction jobs in Stockholm Sweden to English speaking tradesmen. Check out Southern Cross Sweden , which despite its name, covers all of Sweden.

Jooble "Our company Jooble develops a search engine for work and employment worldwide, we work in more than 55 countries and our traffic hits around a million visitors per day. "

Career Jet is a Swedish job search engine. In one simple search, it gives job seekers access to a huge selection of jobs that are sourced from various internet sites, saving the trouble of having to visit each site individually.

The Scandinavian Recruitment Worldwebsite offers an extensive list of many companies involved in the recruitment industry with links to their websites, contact information - and ALL in English! (E)

Going Global A site designed to support international job seekers and professionals with an extensive array of original country-specific career information. Information is in all in English and covers the whole range of services here, plus great tips on handling CVs and interviewing here in Sweden.

Invest in Sweden Agency The ISA has some great practical information about living and working in Sweden - in English.

Olsten Personalkraft has links to a variety of job sites in a lot of areas, including summer and part time work. There is information in English. (S) (E)

Phone Book You can also search the Swedish Yellow Pages online. Go to Gula Sidorna and enter the word Personaluthyrning in the box marked "Rubrik/sökord". You will get a list of companies who are looking for workers.

Resumé AB has a link on the left hand side ("Jobb") that opens a pop-up window with links to a range of available jobs. (S)

International Communications Group is co-run by fellow Aussie John Ellard. ICG offers services geared to Scandinavian business wanting improved skills in English. They are based in the Mälardalen area and are always looking for people with good English skills to work there. Check it out.<

EF Corporate Language Training is another place that does advertise for native English speakers with teacher training to do in-house language training for businesses. (E) (S)

Mother Goose is a private, non-profit international pre-school and elementary school that caters for children from nursery level to elementary grades. They often have employment opportunities for English speakers. (E)

Planet Kids is a nursery school in Stockholm which also has employment opportunities for English speakers who are qualified and have some experience in pre-school education. CVs can be sent to the head teacher. (E)

English i2i is a Swedish company based in Stockholm and set up in 1999 to teach English to business clients. They are always looking for suitably qualified English teachers for all over Scandinavia.

Craig's ListThere are sometimes jobs posted on the Stockholm version of Craig's List. They range from simple part time or casual positions like dog walking, cat sitting etc which may help you make ends meet to full time jobs. There are all kinds of positions, so it is worthwhile checking from time to time.

Marcus Evans We get a few queries about this firm and it's a tricky one to answer. Marcus Evans advertises for people in the English news site, The Local. They seem to be continuously hiring people. They offer a very low base salary with the promise of big commissions and the work involves high pressure sales pitches to companies. If that's your thing, you may do well there.

ONLINE RECRUITMENT

Platsbanken labour market a site and has around 16,000 current job listings in Swedish.

JobsinStockholm.com was started in 2006 to help expats find good jobs, social networks, and other resources to forge a decent life for themselves and their families after moving to a new country.

Job Safari The website at Job Safari is one of the more useful of the job sites. It is only in Swedish, but it does offer the possibility to search in the various counties for available jobs. Some jobs are listed in English and the advanced search feature combs through all of the other sites for you.

Offentlig If you are looking for a public sector job, you can search through the pages at Offentlig Jobb or alternatively submit your CV there for consideration (S)

I See Headhunting and Consultancy has a Swedish office for those looking in IT, telecommunications, media and manufacturing sectors. (S)

100.nu is a website of links and on this page, you will find links to 10 job websites in Sweden.

Job HelpThere are many listings on Jobhelp as well as some good tips, but the site is in Swedish only. (S)

Jobline - Monster Has listings of many jobs in Sweden, both in Swedish and English. Check out the monster site.

SUNET'S Web Cataloguehas a section with many links to work related sites. It may be slightly out of date.

TEMP & EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES

This is a list of some general temping agencies and general employment services available in Stockholm and some of the larger Swedish cities. I've sorted them by rough categories for ease of deciding which ones to approach. Remember that a lot of these will be in Swedish, but you can search and see if there are English speaking jobs available or contact the agencies directly. There is a long list of recruitment agencies at the Jobbguiden website as well.

Xpats.NU - st of available jobs in Sweden, with jobs in Stockholm, Malmö and Götborg that all have English as the working language. Please share your job success stories and job hunting tips with us so we can share them with others. /p>

First Reserve offers temping contracts in general office jobs - economics, personnel, administration, reception, clerks etc (S)

Kontorsfixarna also offers a wide range of contracts in general office work, with offices in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Sundsvall, Vaxjö and Fränsta. They advertise positions in accounts, reception, admin, marketing, IT and transport. (S)

Manpower This is the Swedish branch of Manpower which provides temporary staffing and recruiting services to Swedish businesses. Many jobs offered, so it's worthwhile to register with them. (S)

Proffice You can search the Swedish site for jobs on offer. Proffice operates in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and offers temporary staffing, recruiting, outsourcing and career and development programs. The jobs are listed in Swedish only.

Resurs Bemanning You can search the site for available work or contact them to submit your details. (S)

Sikta Urval - is a recruiting service as well. Their website is in a variety of languages, including English.

Stepstone Here you can browse through over 1100 current Job listings in both Swedish and English

NETWORKING

Ampersand is an informal Stockholm-based network for editors, copywriters, technical writers, translators, journalists, teachers and communication consultants who pretty much work exclusively in English. They offer networking events, professional development seminars and issue job bulletins as they come into headquarters. To join the mailing list, just send an email address to

EuroCircle Stockholmis a European based networking community that organises many social events in cities around Europe. The Stockholm group was launched in June 2005. It is useful if you are interested in expanding your business and/or private social network in Stockholm. The club language is English. (E)

OpenBC is another of the growing number of networking organisations in Sweden. They are to be found in Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmöand have regular get togethers, meetings and a chance to network with others in your field. (E) (S)

BCA Open Network The BCA has a networking section, Open Network, which arranges activities and provides information to its members to help people ease into settling, living and working in Sweden.

BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT

KommerskollegiumThis site is a mixture of government and private sector and is the central administrative body in Sweden dealing with foreign trade and trade policy. (S)

Exportrådet - The Swedish Trade Council - Gives information on Swedish companies, business sectors, business opportunities, fairs and events, finances, imports, exports and investment in Sweden. The directory has a guide to Swedish companies and their products and includes name, address, phone, fax, email, management, turnover, equity, area of operation and information about the products.(E)

Patenting PRV site is a good resource for when you want to start up a business in Sweden (S) (E)

WORKING HOLIDAYS

General informationYou can only work here if you have a work permit. These are available BEFORE you get to Sweden by applying through your local Swedish Embassy. If your employer is bringing you to Sweden, they can usually take care of that. You can apply for a permit once you are here, but it can be difficult to obtain if you are say here on a tourist visa. In that case you need to contact Migrationsverket. Click on Work Permits to see the current requirements. You can then apply from the Swedish Embassy in Australia. Note: You must obtain a residence and work permit first, before coming here.

>Work Permits Check details at "http://www.migrationsverket.se/english.html>Migrationsverket -Migrationsverket site (in English)

Once you arrive, you must register at the local taxation office or Skattemyndigheten within three days and get your all important personnummer which you will need to even scratch yourself in Sweden. You can check out your responsibilities at this RSV brochure. There are a good articles on tax for expats working here at Stockholm Bulletin (E).

Do I need to speak Swedish? Julie writes: I'm only learning Swedish at the moment at Folksuniversitet<, but I had an advantage in coming to Sweden in that I spoke some Norwegian from an exchange program years ago. Most office jobs do require Swedish, but I know several waitresses who know only basic Swedish. I am working two jobs at the moment, one as a babysitter to a Swedish family wanting to improve their kids English, and secondly as a blackjack dealer, speaking in Swedish, but once you get the numbers and other phrases down, no problems with the language.

Is accommodation hard to find? I lucked out with apartments so a friend arranged something for me here. Accommodation is reputed to be very hard to find. There are places that will find accommodation for you on a temporary basis. I know one is in Södermalm (I think Ostgötgatan, but not sure). There are also places like City Backpackers Hostel or the Bootsnall website . (Marie)

Should I get work before I get to Sweden? If you can arrange a job before you get here, it could be good, especially in multinational organisations that use English as their business language, eg, Ericsson. Newspapers are good - that's how I got my jobs, some are advertised in English. Otherwise somewhere like Mässrestauranger, where they take lots of non-Swedish speakers. Also, Arbetsförmedlingen but don't be surprised if it takes them up to a month to reply. They have a web site, but you can also go in personally and use their computers for free. Have heaps of casual positions.

Would you recommend Sweden as a place to come? I've not really had any problems here, so I definitely recommend it if people are interested. It is very expensive if travelling on the Aussie dollar, but once you're earning, it is more cost effective than UK.

People are friendly and Australia is definitely a huge hit over here. The transport system is simple to work out and very effective. More importantly, once you've got your visa, the tax system is extremely easy to manage. WHV's just go to the tax office, the lady that handles foreigners speaks fluent English, show your passport, she'll help with the form and you get your personal identity number and from there it covers everything from taxes to renting videos.

Food is the same and you can even buy Vegemite at The English Shop. Everything is very straightforward to work out. Overall, for a working holiday visa that is different than doing the average UK or Irish (done those too!!) ones, Sweden is great because you can choose how much you want to get involved language wise, etc. But if you are hesitant about your ability to cope with the foreign language, everyone here speaks English. (Marie)


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