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

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Colombia? 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 Colombia? 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.


1.  Don't presume you can overcome the language barrier if you are not extremely fluent in español.

2.  Don't presume you can overcome the national bias in favor of giving jobs to qualified locals over a foreigner.

3.  Don't start a job without obtaining a work visa from the Cancillería.  However, you may apply for a job without a visa or other permiso.

4.  Don't expect to get a year-round visa if you are slow in obtaining employment unless you have a steady income or other qualification for a visa.


5.  Unless you have a connection to help you get a job in Colombia or are related/involved with a Colombian, consider applying in a country where English is spoken.  Google:  countries and territories where English is official language.  There are scores of such places around the globe.

cccmedia in La Zona Cafetera

Another thing to keep in mind - assuming you are able to find a job, it will most likely pay less than what you are used to if you come from one of the "developed" countries like the US.  Usually much much less.  The exceptions are if you are highly-skilled and in demand for something not found in Colombia, and/or if a US employer will pay you US wages while you're working in Colombia, for a fixed time or on a contract basis.

For instance, from the site … -salario#/

...a manager of information systems (gerente de informática) with 15 years of experience is likely to make only about 1.9 million COP/month.  A website programmer (programador de sitios web) with 12 years of experience is paid only 1.5 million COP/month on average.

If your not an experienced oil patch engineer in the middle of an oil boom, your chances of finding a high paying job in Colombia is about as good as training pigs to fly.

And even if you do, DIAN will take 33%.

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