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

Hello everyone,

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


The best place.. for jobs... is Info jobs...and the spanish unemployment office
and word of month...there are not really many
job the part of spain where I live...

Interview.. conduct .. same as England.. however I normally follow .. the other person
if they shake hands.. then I would ...


Unfortunately i have not be contacted by anyone, I am looking to improve my Spanish and then become an English teacher. I really would like to work in the autism field, but no one has offered me the chance here in Spain and I am sure I would be able to contribute with my knowledge and experience in many ways, as I did in the UK.

Thank s for asking

i am a student, i've lived here for 4 months, i still dont have any experiences for seeking a job in Spain :)

Definitely word of mouth and social media sites. I've been here for 4 months and am working for the past 3.

Plenty of work of if you're willing to get stuck in, be flexible and adapt well.

Good luck

Before getting started, you must have a Residence Card in order to land on a job. You may land in illegal jobs as an English Teacher (private tutoring, au-pair or baby sitter). If you don't have papers there's no chance.

The Spanish workplace? It can be tricky and very old-fashioned! It can be feudal and there are a lot of slave drivers out there... so beware!

CV's? As an American, I use résumé w/o photo and for Spaniards a résumé (CV) w/o photo is a no-no. Spaniards are not keen on people that think outside-the-box, if they even smell that you can be a threat  for a manager your résumé will be RULED OUT! So it's a good idea to be naive instead of outgoing. Last but not least, you may have every single credential to succeed or get the job but if you don't have some inside, your chances are going to be "slim" - at best! This is what in Spain is known as "ENCHUFE" (connection).

Spanish Language? I must admit this one is quite interesting. I have sent my cover letter and résumé drafted in English language for a job advertised in English and later on I have been asked to send a résumé in Spanish (w/ the photo)! Therefore, knowing the language and having a résumé in Spanish is a big + (even if you don't master Spanish, have a professional résumé drafted in Spanish).

Very important: As an American I have been rejected from jobs because of my accent!!! (Upstate NY), so expect the unexpected and things here can be weird.

Remember: When in Rome, do as Romans do! If you stick to this quote you'll survive, Otherwise pack your bags and return home.

Dear Priscilla
Learn Spanish first...Yes you can! With english you will get open doors...Spain needs english teachers...english speaking people! Try international/european Schools...Have a look in the net: Internet is the best connection in a first time! Suerte!!

The demand for teachers is there, w/o a doubt. The doors are open but sometimes I had to wedge myself in.

Some people make it sound like getting a job is just like a walk in the park and this is not true. In order to get a formal job the applicant must have a legal alien status in Spain (Tarjeta NIE, similar to a green card). For example, academies or companies WILL NOT hire applicants w/o resident card.  Some companies could be willing to offer sponsorships but it's rare...

Then the job seeker has two choices: Self-Employed (autónomo) or Contract. Both have pros and cons. It also depends on how serious you want to be or if you're just backpacking around Europe.

Do have a job lined up before you move is probably the best thing.
Having qualifications beyond hairdressing, TEFL, bar work and building would be even better.

Exactly! Having a degree makes a huge difference.

Hey, im planning to have student mobility programme there. At Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. May I know how much times the food is expensive than in Malaysia? May I know if anyone willing to become my foster parents there.. Also about Muslim foods is it available? Thank you so much for your help!

If you're not aware of, Spain is a heavy pork eater.

As of foster parents, try to rent a room on your own (alquiler de habitación). Halal food is available (not widely). Food is not as expensive but if you compare it w/ Malasyian prices, it could be. For local standards is reasonable. Also depends where you shop.

Don't know mucho about Muslim communities in the area, perhaps you'll find a Muslim family willing to rent a room. I've seen a few Indonesian Muslims here in Spain.

Just try to blend in unnoticed.

Set up your own business?

If you're a citizen of any EU country you may sign up to be self-employed and then setup your own business and things could be more easier. If you plan to apply for loans of any nature you will have to show colateral or credit history - no bank will lend money out of the blue.

If you're a foreigner you would have to check as a "foreign investor" but in this given case, the capital you plan to sink in, will make a huge difference. There are guidelines for this and the paperwork can be tedious.

paperwork can be tedious.

Yep anywhere in the world. But if you want something then it is just part of the path one has to take.

Exactly, there are ways of doing things - but they're not easy nor impossible.

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