Working in Denmark

Finding work in Denmark
Updated 2020-04-30 13:19

Are you thinking about relocating to Denmark for work? Denmark is an open and welcoming country where expats adapt easily to local working conditions. Here is a guide to help you start your job hunt. 

Understanding the Danish labour market

Denmark is a prosperous country with significant foreign ties in the major export areas of agriculture, energy, design, pharmaceuticals and technology. If you have an education in one of these fields, your job hunt for a new position in Denmark will be much easier. There are also job opportunities outside of these areas and taking steps such as learning Danish will help you take your search to a new level. 

Denmark has a flexible job market that allows for quick changes in a company’s workforce with the ability to hire and fire relatively easily. Employees, on the other hand, have a high level of social security with generous unemployment benefits, maternity leave and sick leave. 

Work culture and conditions in Denmark

The rumours about Denmark’s shorter work week and generous leave days are true. A standard workweek is usually 37 hours and working hours are flexible, allowing workers to collect their children from daycare or school in the early afternoon. Paid leave is accumulated throughout the year and workers are also allowed to take up to five weeks of unpaid vacation per year. 

Salaried employees earn 2.08 days of paid holiday for every month they have worked. Hourly workers earn holiday money equal to 12.5% of their annual salary, which is paid into a ‘Feriekonto’ (holiday account) quarterly. If you work in Denmark for a Danish employee, you have the right to claim your holiday allowance

As with its Nordic neighbours, Denmark favours a flat hierarchy in the workspace. This means that it is hard to distinguish the CEO from the most junior workers; everyone is dressed in a similar casual style, and there are often open working spaces with no designated grand corner office for the boss. 

Job-hunting in Denmark

Patience is the key to finding a job in Denmark. Job-hunting is known to be a lengthy, drawn-out process and applications can take weeks or even months to be processed. Often, prospective employers do not respond to unsuccessful applications so you might be left waiting for an answer that will never come.

Here are some steps to make a job hunt more successful: 

  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile page. Always include a cover letter that has been tailored for the company at which you are applying. Consider getting a free CV review at TopCV. If possible, find a translation service that can help you produce a Danish resume as this is attractive to employers.
  • Find out if your area of expertise is on ‘Positive list’ of skills that are in shortage. These positions usually require documented professional qualifications. 
  • Search on job websites (see the list of links at the end of the article)
  • Look for opportunities in other areas besides Copenhagen such as Aalborg and Esbjerg since the job market may be less competitive
  • Take the initiative by following up on applications 1-2 weeks after they have been submitting. A simple phone call or e-mail is enough to let the company know that you are genuinely interested in the position. 
  • Attempt to expand your social and professional networks since networking is very important in Danish culture. Learn more in the article "Developing your professional network in Copenhagen".
  • Start learning the language. Although many international companies in Denmark are fine with just English, learning to speak Danish will give you an edge over other competitors. Denmark has made it easy to learn the language by offering Danish lessons for expats. 

Remember to check out the visa and residence permit requirements while searching for a job so that you can relocate as quickly and easily as possible. If you have received a job offer, use the Official Portal for Foreigners to make sure that you will be able to get a residence permit. 

 Useful links:

The Local

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