Working in Hanoi

A woman having an interview
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Updated 2023-11-19 10:27

With Vietnam's new visa regulations, you will need to secure a job before entering the country. Opportunities to start as a tourist are fleeting and will cause unnecessary stress. Keep in mind that if you arrive on an employment contract and want to terminate early, your employer can cancel your visa and residence permit. The good news is that networking is your best bet to switch careers or find opportunities, meaning what you put into your career in Vietnam is what you will get out of it. 

Finding a job in Hanoi may not be too challenging if you are in a niche career field or being recruited before your arrival. Despite being from a foreign country, there is an abundance of opportunities for any person with the appropriate skill set.

There are dozens of reasons to consider finding a job in Hanoi: the city, the surrounding countryside, the culture, charm, motorbikes, food, and people. The economic growth rate in Hanoi is steadily improving and is nothing short of impressive. Paired with lower living costs and elegant accommodation, a lifestyle here can be incredibly satisfying.

Although Ho Chi Minh City is the economic hub of this country, Hanoi is regarded as the traditional epicenter. Agriculture used to contribute massively to Vietnam's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the service sector took center stage. As there are now myriad advancements in the technology used in this sector, agricultural farming is quickly returning to Vietnam's spotlight.

Throughout this article, we will be taking a look at the types of employment that are available to you as a foreign citizen. We will try to unearth the best methods of finding a job and securing residency in the country.

Where to look for a job in Hanoi

There are numerous tried and tested methods of finding a job in Hanoi. Generally speaking, the internet is the best place to start.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a valuable asset, and we highly recommend keeping your profile up to date. LinkedIn is specifically designed to connect employers with workers, and it is one of the most powerful means of building your professional network. Search for local opportunities or follow leaders in the desired field you wish to enter in Vietnam.

Once you have set up an account, you will be able to upload your resume, add other professionals to your network, acquire references and reviews, and apply for jobs. It's possible to integrate this platform with your own website, and you have the option to upload your profile in numerous different languages. Above all, millions of employers take LinkedIn very seriously. Thus, having an account that's clearly established and active will help you create a strong first impression.

Freelance platforms

Freelance platforms are a great starting point if you work in any kind of creative industry, such as graphic design or web development. All major employers across the globe utilize these platforms daily. As a freelancer, you'll likely be working on a project-to-project basis, leaving you with plenty of time to explore Hanoi and Northern Vietnam. Getting a contract on a freelance platform may also connect you with long-term work with Vietnamese clients. Be transparent about your visa status to avoid uncomfortable discussions later.

Vietnamese recruitment websites

We suggest using these websites after moving to Vietnam or with the help of a native speaker. While they all have the option to translate to English, they are not entirely foreign-friendly. As one of the primary destinations of thousands of employers in this country, Vietnamese recruitment websites should be at the forefront of your arsenal. These recruitment platforms offer exceptional levels of convenience and promptitude for employers and the workforce alike. The following websites are among the most well-known in Vietnam:

  • Vietnamworks - This is one of the most prestigious recruitment websites in the country and daily traffic is in the millions. Be prepared for a pre-requisite of bilingual capabilities.
  • Careerbuilder - This multinational site boasts thousands of well-paid positions, so be prepared for some fierce competition.
  • Vieclam24h - More than 25,000 jobs are posted on this website every day, making it one of the most illustrious recruitment sources in the country.
  • Itviec.com - This recruitment site would mainly be of interest to anyone with a background in information technology. Employment opportunities found on this site are well-paid the majority of the time.
  • Mywork - Over 400,000 employers utilize this site daily. Contrasted with the 200,000 active workers, the odds are clearly in your favor.

Networking

Even though we have already mentioned this, it is incredibly helpful to be blessed with the gift of gab when moving to Vietnam. If you insist on using this method of finding a job in Hanoi, try to demonstrate your value in numerous ways. When making initial contact with a friend or family member, take the initiative. Anyone can send a quick message on Facebook. But going above and beyond could make all the difference. Ask to meet up for a coffee or brunch and make your acquaintance feel like they are more than simply a turnkey. Make it clear that your meeting would be to ask a small favor, but at least make it worthwhile for them, too. Perhaps there is something you could do for them in return. Make them feel valued as a person and potentially rewarded for their time and connections. By doing so, they're much more likely to put effort into your appraisal and recommendation rather than simply sending your resume to someone's inbox.

Types of employment open to foreigners in Hanoi

You may experience the harsh reality that not every industry is seeking foreign workers. However, there are opportunities to volunteer and get a foot in the door with local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as children's charities or various environmental projects.

Anyone who is an expert in the fields of medicine and pharmaceuticals would have a fighting chance at securing employment in the private sector. For expats with an IT background, there are a handful of options. Common types of work include:

  • Web development;
  • Software engineering;
  • Graphic design;
  • Illustration.

Teaching English in Hanoi

One of the most prominent occupations in Hanoi for foreigners is teaching English. Vietnam's demand for English teachers is among the most extensive and most rapidly growing worldwide. This is because the government has been relentless in growing the local economy since the 90s. If local people can speak English, rising numbers of tourists will flock to the country. This is obviously great for any economy. Furthermore, foreign businesses are more prone to setting up shop if English is well-spoken across the board. Hence, more jobs are created for locals, which in turn increases economic stability.

At present, English is a compulsory element of education from primary school upwards. Several classes are taught each week until the upper secondary level of education. In addition to this, many kindergartens also employ English teachers, meaning that thousands of infants countrywide are also exposed to the English language. There are hundreds of English centers in Hanoi, too, giving professionals and mature students access to English education. Many of these English centers are situated in the Cầu Giấy district. Salaries for teaching English can range between USD 15 and USD 30 per hour, depending on your credentials.

Unfortunately, there are numerous stigmas attached to teaching English in Vietnam. For starters, a certain degree of prejudice is apparent within the ESL (English as a Second Language) sector in this country, especially in terms of racism. People of color are often discriminated against, regardless of their qualifications and suitability for the role. There is also a misunderstanding that English speakers from North America are elite versus European or other native speakers. Luckily, the more prestigious English institutions attempt to be more objective and professional. Furthermore, this discrimination has stirred up both the expat and local communities. If you are a person of color hoping to work in Vietnam, we advise you to be prepared for many ignorant questions. It is interesting that Asian citizens are also people of color but turn against each other so easily globally.

Useful links:

Vietnam - GDP distribution across economic sectors 2022 | Statista.

Vietnam Unemployment Rate 1991-2023 | MacroTrends

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.