Finding a job and working in Italy

applying for a job
Updated 2023-04-17 20:53

Are you looking to move to Italy and find a job there? In this article, we will give you tips for starting your job hunt it Italy, applying for a job, and preparing for the recruitment process. Italy has a particular job market in which it is sometimes difficult to find a place.

Economic climate in Italy

Italy has been hit hard by the global financial crisis of recent years, including that caused by the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, as the country is heavily dependent on Russian gas. Currently, the unemployment rate is 8.3% of the general population, and 24.5% of the unemployed are young people (March 2022 figures / ISTAT), which means that competition for jobs is high, especially in the south of the country. Nevertheless, the engineering, tourism, pharmaceuticals, food and technology sectors are particularly in demand.

Thanks to the introduction of the Jobs Act in 2015, the Italian labor market has changed considerably. The law has restored the balance between the rights of workers and employers, notably by reaffirming unemployment rights and abolishing the most precarious employment contracts. This has closed the gap between Italy and its European counterparts, making the country fairer and creating opportunities for local and international investors.

Finding a job in Italy

In most cases, jobs in Italy are advertised on the Internet, so you don't need to be in Italy to start your job search. You can rely on global job websites like Indeed, as well as national recruitment agencies such as Clic Lavoro (an initiative of the Ministry of Employment) and others, such as Infojobs, MonsterLavorare.netClicca Lavoro. Job offers are also published in newspapers like Il Sole 24 OreLa Repubblica, and Corriere della Sera.

The EURES - European Employment Mobility Portal is another useful search tool for information on job vacancies, market overviews and working conditions in Italy. The website also provides a useful CV posting service for job seekers. You can also register with the public employment service, ANPAL, and choose your nearest job center. However, you will need a digital identity number (SPID) which you can activate with an electronic Italian identity card issued to foreigners.

That said, networking is an excellent way to find work in Italy. Groups such as the American Business Group Milan and Rome, or PonteVia (a French-speaking network), are a perfect place to start. Other expatriate networks and associations exist, such as in Milan, Rome and Florence. Let's not forget LinkedIn, which can help you develop your professional network globally, as well as the Italy forum or its employment section. You can also contact the employment center of your consulate in your destination city in Italy to benefit from training or foreign Chambers of Commerce.

Good to know:

Unsolicited applications are very common in Italy, so it is advisable to research the companies and the sector you are interested in and send your application if you think your profile could be an added value.

Recommendations work well in Italy, as does word of mouth. Also, if you know a few people in the professional world who can give guarantees about you and you have experience, brief or more, don't hesitate to use them, it can be a good way to get noticed.

Cover letters - Lettera di Motivazione/Presentazione in Italy

In Italy, cover letters accompanying the CV are highly recommended; they should generally be one page long and contain relevant information. It is recommended that the letter is addressed to a specific person and uses his/her title. The cover letter aims to get a potential employer to consider your job application. To do this, it should summarize your qualifications and experience, whereas the CV will detail these elements.

Explain why you are interested in the job and the company and what you can bring to the job. Emphasize your experience, the languages you speak, and what makes you different from other potential candidates.

Good to know:

Avoid using Google Translation to write your CV and/or cover letter in Italian. If you are not fluent in Italian, ask for help from a translator or someone you know. Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a sufficient level of Italian because even in international companies, Italian is spoken as much as English. If you are planning a long-term stay and intend to work in Italy, it is ideal to take language courses before arriving in the country.

The Italian CV

European CVs can differ considerably from CVs in other countries. Europass provides useful CV templates, which you should not copy word for word, as employers can recognize this kind of practice.

In Italy, the date of birth must be given at the top of the CV, sometimes even with a passport photo. You should also include your contact details and nationality, especially if you are from another EU country or from outside the EU, as some multinational companies have specific policies. Next, describe your previous work experience, as this information is essential. Start with your most recent experience and end with your qualifications and skills.

Ideally, the Italian CV should not exceed two pages. Include the names of two referees and their contact details. Do not hesitate to include a passport-size photo as well.


If you have a good command of the Italian language in addition to your mother tongue (or even other languages) and a good combination of skills, it shouldn't be hard for you to find career opportunities in Italy, especially with international companies.

Bilinguals in Italian-English, French, Russian, Mandarin or German are usually in demand, especially in the tourism industry.

Be sure to indicate your level of language proficiency on your CV, especially Italian, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

How to apply for a job in Italy

The recruitment procedure in Italy varies considerably from one sector to another, but for a job in, for example, the engineering, finance or technology sectors, you may have to undergo three or four interviews and psychometric tests. You will first be screened by the HR department before meeting a manager and then a director or country manager, depending on whether you are applying for a job in a local or international company.

Interviews are very important in Italy; you must demonstrate your enthusiasm, communication and interpersonal skills. Indeed, in Italian culture, verbal communication complements a CV and social skills are highly valued. The recruitment process in Italy takes an average of three months, especially if you come from outside the EU.

The formalities for working in Italy

If you come from an EU country, you will only need an identity card or passport to find a job in Italy. You can stay in the country for three months without having to complete any formalities. After this time, your authorization to stay in Italy will be guaranteed under the following conditions:

  • if you provide proof of employment or self-employed (permanent or fixed-term employment contract, VAT number, an entry in the company register, etc.) or that you have sufficient funds to support for yourself and your family so that you are not dependent on the state,
  • be enrolled at a school, university, or any other training facility
  • be a family member of someone who has already provided the evidence listed above.

You will be asked for this information when you apply for residence at your municipality.

Third-country nationals, however, will need to obtain a visa, "Visto d'ingresso" to enter Italy in addition to their identity documents. The application is to be made at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Once you have arrived in Italy, you have eight days to apply for your residence permit, which will allow you to work in the country. Please note that the visa will be different depending on the type of work/activity: employee, self-employed, seasonal, or student. For more information on long-stay visas, please refer to our article “Long-stay visa in Italy”.

Being an employee in Italy

Once you have found a job in Italy and have completed all the necessary formalities, you will be entitled to the same social security rights as Italian citizens (managed by the INPS, the National Social Security Institute). You will also be eligible for Italian health services such as health insurance provided by the ASL (Azienda sanitaria locale), paid sick leave, annual leave and maternity leave, unemployment benefits, etc.

Italians are generally keen to have a healthy work-life balance; physical and mental well-being, as well as social relationships and family time, are just as important as work. However, this depends on the region. For example, in the big cities in the north, such as Milan, there is a tendency to spend more time at work than in the south or in the provincial cities, where the principle of "making a career" is much more widespread.

Regarding health and safety in the workplace, Italy recognizes the existence of particular categories of "at risk" workers for whom specific treatment is provided: this is the case, for example, for disabled people, pregnant women and minors. For example, pregnant women in Italy are not allowed to work for two months before giving birth and for three months after the birth of the child.

Employment contracts in Italy

Most job offers from employers in Italy are for full-time, indefinite employment contracts (Contratto di lavoro subordinato a tempo indeterminato). However, many jobs are subject to a trial period of several months or even a year on a fixed-term contract before they can be converted to a permanent contract.

There are also fixed-term employment contracts in Italy which are more widespread among young people. Indeed, it is not uncommon for some employees, not by choice but by necessity or to gain experience, to accept fixed-term jobs one after the other. However, the Jobs Act of 2015 stipulates that fixed-term contracts cannot last longer than 36 months, nor can they be renewed beyond this period unless the work is seasonal or specifically regulated by the collective labor agreement of the sector concerned.

Other types of contracts exist, for example, part-time work contracts, temporary work contracts (contratto di lavoro in somministrazione), intermittent work contracts (contratto di lavoro a chiamata), seasonal work contracts and apprenticeship work contracts (contratto di lavoro apprendistato) reserved for young people between 15 and 29 years of age, whether or not they have a diploma or qualification.

Wages in Italy

Italy is one of the six countries in the European Union that has not defined a legal minimum wage. According to Article 36 of the Italian Constitution, employees have the right to a salary in line with the quality and quantity of work they provide in order to guarantee a decent lifestyle. During your job search, you will frequently see in advertisements that the remuneration will be established according to the experience accumulated by the candidate for the position.

The average gross salary of an employee in Italy in 2022 was €30,000 per year; this is the Retribuzione annua lorda (RAL). You will notice that this average is lower than in other Western and Northern European countries. However, there are significant differences between the south and the north of Italy, where salaries are generally higher, for example, in the banking, pharmaceutical, engineering and telecommunications sectors. The main reason for this wage inequality is related to the greater presence of national and international industries in major cities such as Milan, Turin and Bologna.

Useful links :




Clicca Lavoro


EURES - European Job Mobility Portal

American Business Group Milan and Rome

Il Sole 24 Ore

La Repubblica

Corriere della Sera

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.