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

Hello everyone,

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

Hello,

I found the majority of the jobs I got were through agencies.  Most speak English.  If the company asks for Norwegian Speakers only still apply for if they want you they work around it and the software packages also are in English.  I would suggest applying to: Shell, Statoil two great companies to work for.  Good luck!

Ok I was one of the lucky ones who found a dream job before I moved. So tips.

Language, if you want a job with prospects and in line with your education you need to speak Norwegian. Yes everyone here can speak English but it doesn't mean they want to.

What level? I had friends in Norwegian class who live here and were working to B2 level and were unable to find a job it all depends on your field.

I filled in the application form in Norwegian and had a local check it. It's your first chance to make a good impression now isn't the time to practice.

Friends, contacts anything is a good way to get a job.
If you are determined to come and learn along the way be prepared to work in supermarkets etc but you still need a basic level of Norwegian.

Personally I love the place but a word of warning, the quality of life is high here Norwegian style!

Can you give us more details about your job? And what did you say about your Norwegian skills in the resume? And how did you find the job before you moved? Like which websites did you use?

Thanks!!

Hi,

I used NAV which a lot of jobs are advertised on but it really depends on what you do. I am an environmental advisor so I looked in places you are likely to find them local authority and consultants. It really is specific to what you want to do. Many companies advertise on their website.

In terms of using a CV I didn't use one, I applied for jobs that were advertised. One advantage to that is if you apply in Norwegian and get it checked there is an assumption that you are reasonable at it. If you have to describe your level it is hard so many employers use Bergen test as a benchmark for fluency. With an application form it's rare you are asked what level you are.

Another big thing is be prepared not to move to the big city. It can be much easier finding a suitable job if you don't mind where you are. It might mean you have to move again but it's invaluable for experience, it also cheaper outside Oslo.

Thanks for the details, I really appreciate it. :) I'd love to move to Oslo, but a little outside won't hurt. :) I'm a freelancer, so it is a bit different for me. Still, I'm looking to find a full-time job as that will help me adjust better and earn a stable living. :) Hope you have fun in Norway.

Hi,

I have EU nationality and love nature. Norway is on top of most beautiful nature. Staying in Norway would be no problem to me, but finding a job is rather difficult. Some time ago I started to learn norwegian from a CD. I didnt find it too difficult maybe since I speak German and English. It looks like it is a mix of several european languages.

So far I never had a problem applying for jobs here. I honestly just applied 2 times here and both application that I did, i got offered the position. You might call that luck because I get to choose which one I want to work for.

My tips are:

1. Do not rush and if you can invest your time and energy in learning the language.
- If you really want to work at certain field you want. within my first year no matter how much pressure I feel from my classmates in language class because they always talk about job application, I kept telling myself that I will wait until I know that I have enough norwegian skills before I apply for a job. I am a nurse so of course my target is to work in the healthcare field even not yet as a nurse, therefore the language is a must.

2. Set Goals and timeline
- you should have an idea of what jobs you are planning to apply for and have a target date/month/year. I told that i will finish norwegian language within a year, so I tried my best learning the foundations of the language and skipped B2 level, jumped to level 3 norsk an equivalent of Bergenstest which is more than what they require if you want to enroll in any bachelor courses or if you want to apply for certain authorizations if your field of work is regulated (example is in healthcare)

3. If you don't want or doesn't have the time to learn the language completely, you should know your market.
- cleaners or kitchen helpers at hotels/restaurants/canteens accepts applicants without norwegian skills, there are also several IT jobs that hires if you have good proficiency in english, there are also certain companies that hires english speakers purposely so you gotta make good research on where  you will start. Do not be choosy.

4. Apply personally if you can or get really in touch with the job you are applying for

-this I've done twice and I think the employers or potential co-workers who receives the cv of the applicant will see that you really show eagerness in applying for the job. It gives a personal effort that you went there and really wanted the job.

The first and luckily my current work that is what I did, there was no opening but I showed up handed my application. I said I am open to volunteering to learn the system if they are currently hiring. After returning home 2 hours later they called me to report the next day which I thought was an interview, which turned out to be my orientation. I was in cloud 9 that the very first cv I handed since I came to Norway landed me a job though a part timer, the best part is after 3 months they hired me as a permanent regular employee which was so fast and many where surprised.

5. Be honest when an employer calls you about your availability

my second experience is I had a friend send my cv at her workplace (hotel), but when they called me I was on vacation. I said I honestly can't but I said that my vacation finishes in 3 weeks, and then I said I'd give the manager a call when I am available and they can give me a try if they had an opening then. Fast forward after a month I just sent a text to the manager that called me, and yes I was lucky again when they asked me to report for the job and they actually offered me a contract. Unfortunately I couldn't accept it at the time coz we suddenly bought a house and needed to move (that's another story). But they said I am always welcome to come back when I needed the job.


6. Have lots of connections
- I know many who got hired whether norwegian or not because they know someone somewhere who needs someone . :)

7. Never let the "no calls" break you
- just never give up, send as many cv as you can whether online or personally. You'll never know when there's something for you

Hi there!

I am a 28yo New Zealander and have recently moved to Oslo with my girlfriend who is studying at a local university. I have keen interest in travel, music, health and fitness, sport, literature and of course beer + wine. I have thoroughly enjoyed living here in Norway and recently travelled to Tromsø to see the Northern Lights - an absolutely spectacular experience that shouldn't be missed! The natural beauty in Norway is unparalleled, but I've also found the people welcoming and friendly.

I am qualified physiotherapist with 8 years experience however cannot practice here in Norway until my norsk improves (and I pass the Bergen test). I also have administration, team leadership and event management experience.

I'm looking for any kind of work suitable for a native English speaker (with a little norsk) in or around Oslo. Any tips or insider knowledge on available positions would be most appreciated.

Thanks and hi to all!

Alex

Hi everyone,

Alex, i have moved your post to this thread, please read it from the top, you will get some useful advice. You may also read the articles of the Work in Norway section of the Guide.

All the best,
Bhavna

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