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

Hello everyone,

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


I'm retired so I don't know,  but I have heard that one cannot expect to get a job in Panama. Jobs are reserved for the Panamanians. You can get a job with a foreign company that will send you to their Panamanian branch, you can work remotely over the Internet, or you can start your own business. But Panamanian businesses are very limited, by law, in their ability to hire foreigners.

not easy to find a job in Panama because not easy to have the work permit and also in this moment Panama is in crisis, so good moment to buy some business, not the best to find a job.
If you are italian easier otherwise more difficult bacause many companies ask only for peolple with work permit. You need also to speak spanish, of course.

Actually to get your documents is quiet easy if you have a good lawyer and some cash. But thats the only think that is easy.
The salary is very low usually about 500 dollar per month. If you are specialized in something and you have some certificates or connections to companies you can get a higher salary around 1000 dollar per month. But there are not many vacancies here, not much is needed in this country. You can search on websites like encuentra24, olx and learn4good.com, there is also a group on facebook called english speaking jobs in panama.
But usually you do not want to work here because you cannot live of 500 dollar month in panama unless you have your own property and not paying rent. You need to speak spanish too. But to get a good job in Panama you need to have some friends and some contacts. There are security / watchman jobs that also always need trustworthy personal and the salary is above others.

Panama has a big problem with the Venezuelan plague! Venezuelan people work under the minimum wage. For example, in the province of cocle, a Panamanian construction worker earns $ 30 a day, but the Venezuelans want only $ 15 a day!! No matter a simple worker or professional It is difficult to find a well-paid job...

Yes that is the problem now, it really destroys the businesses here because now clients don't want to pay properly because there is always a guy who does it for almost nothing.
I was on a construction site to search for contracts but did not get a chance. this country is economically dead (i traveled to many poor African countries and even in very poor countries with income of 1 dollar a day or less, there is more business going on than in panama). Only people who do not need to work will live good in panama.

Hello Roberto bracco (commented on 14 August 2017),

Would you kindly explain on your note above of "Panama is in crisis.." ?  I'd like to understand what you meant.  Thanks

I know baggers at supermarkets
who only depend on tips
they work without any contract

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