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

Hello everyone,

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

Priscilla

My experience may be a little different, because I have a DPI (legal residency) and it includes a work permit. I have met several foreigners who came with an English teaching job that they got through the websites of private schools and language schools, before they arriving in the country.  So if an individual coming here has the skills, experience, training, etc. that would get him or her a teaching job, it would be a great idea to first check the websites of language schools and private elementary-and-secondary schools such as Colegio Americano de Guatemala, Colegio Interamericano, The Village, etc. 

When it comes to interviews, Latin Americans often find typical American interview behavior too bold and brash. The concept we have of being forward and somewhat aggressive as to why we are the best person for the position is off-putting to many around here. However, foreigners have a strong advantage already just by having a working background from other countries, which is a huge plus here. So "toning it down" a bit is not going to really hurt one's chances.

My work experience here has been in international cooperation and teaching college, so that is what i can comment upon. I know there are people in many jobs, from bar-tending to technology, so opportunities abound. It behooves one to bear in mind, however, that things are much slower here, even the hiring processes, and that salaries are much lower than in Europe or the U.S.   

As for CVs, yes, people here ask for a photograph but if it is not asked for, I don't see the point of adding it. But hey, that's me! I believe people should be hired for their skills and experience, rather than for their looks.

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