What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in Cape Verde?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Cape Verde? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in Cape Verde? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Do you have experience searching for a job in Cape Verde? How did you go about it and which method worked best? I've found work for myself and others in Cape Verde. The only jobs that are advertised here are government jobs and tenders because that is required by law. Some of the foreign non-profits also advertise. But by and large, almost all private sector jobs go to someone who is known or introduced to the company by owners or current employees. So it is based on who-you-know.

I found my job by pure coincidence. It was a new company started by a group of American investors. I just walked in, asked for the boss and told them who I was and what my background was. They hired me to do a consulting project. Then they asked if I wanted to fill the role of CFO.

The jobs i found for others were simply based on me introducing the individuals to hiring managers I knew. They were not advertised jobs.

[b]Are there any aspects of CV preparation or the interview process that were different to that of your home country? For professionals...not really. You need to present a resumé. And the interview process is no different than anywhere else, Most professionals in CV have lived and worked outside of CV before returning home. So they are quite familiar with the interview norms practiced everywhere else.

However for service (non-professional) jobs, the process is completely different. Jobs are not advertised. People looking for work simply walk in the door and drop off a resumé not knowing whether a job exists at the establishment. The secretary takes the resumé and drops it into a file cabinet. Should there be an opening, the hiring manager will go to the filing cabinet and look through resumés that have been collected there over months. This is assuming that a current employee has not already presented a friend or family member for the opening.

Do you think knowledge of the local or regional language is necessary to apply for a job in Cape Verde? To apply for a job in Cape Verde, you must be FLUENT in written Portuguese and you should be able to comfortably converse in Portuguese. Your resumé must be in Portuguese. Expect all your colleagues and the clients of the business to speak with you in Portuguese (or Krioulu). In exceptional cases, you may be able to land a job without having a working knowledge of Portuguese (usually in Sal or boa Vista where the business serves foreigners most of whom are not Portuguese speaking). If you are multi-lingual you will have better chances (in Sal or Boa Vista),

Please keep all of this in context. Cape Verde is a tiny nation with few natural resources. So there is little industry and thus very few jobs. As a result, there are onerous laws protecting workers. Once hired, it is almost impossible to fore a worker except a great cost to the company. Therefore, most workers do not leave their jobs even if the job is menial. This adds to the scarcity of work.

Most new jobs are being created in the tourism sector as investors build new hotels and other tourism related services. Expats have the best chance of finding work in Sal or Boa Vista which is where 85% of tourists spend their time and money in CV.

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