Finding work in Spain
Updated 8 months ago

Finding a job in Spain can be a challenge for many foreigners. Knowledge of Spanish is often an essential prerequisite. To start seeking for a job in Spain, send unsolicited applications, use the Internet, visit temporary work or staffing agencies online or on site, and consult job ads in the free, traditional or specialized press. Networking is also a great way to find a job in Spain. Tell friends and acquaintances about your situation and attend professional meetups. Many jobs are indeed not advertised at all and are filled through connections.

Your job search in Spain can easily take up to six months. Although it is best to start looking for a job from abroad, most opportunities are found in the major cities. Note that the job market is very competitive and has a large number of job seeking professionals. In all cases, work experience and a good command of Spanish are valuable assets when looking for a job in Spain. If you are looking forward to settle and work in Catalonia, knowledge of Catalan is recommended.

Expect salaries to be lower than in most European countries. Madrid and Barcelona offer most job opportunities, where as Barcelona is known for its start-up community. In fact many European companies have moved call centres and marketing teams to Barcelona to serve the rest of Europe while taking advantage of low salaries and the city's popularity among expats.

Submitting your CV

Regarding your resume, be sure to comply with the local requirements: list all your degrees, diplomas, courses or trainings. You can attach your picture on your CV: it is not mandatory but may sometimes prove very useful.

Write your cover letter according to Spanish standards: be clear and concise, avoid spelling mistakes at any rate. Put forward the positive aspects of your application in connection with the desired position. Your cover letter should not exceed one page in length.

If you send spontaneous applications, do not hesitate to call back all the targeted companies if you do not get any feedback about your applications.

The most frequented online search portals in Spain are Infojobs and LinkedIn, where it's not unusual for employers to receive 300-500 applications for a job. The apps are easy to use and ideally you should aim to be among the first 50 applicants. It's important to make your CV stand out and to communicate strong assets.

Especially in Barcelona and Madrid, numerous job offers are posted in English and mostly it's OK to send an English CV. Although translating it into Spanish will be an advantage. Be patient and prepared that most advertisers won't get back to you.

Applying for jobs in Spain

Once in Spain, visit the nearest "oficina de empleo" (employment agency) offering job listings, employment tips and helping you with the paperwork such as how to obtain social benefits in Spain, for instance.

One of the best ways of finding a job in Spain is browsing job search portals such as Infojobs, LinkedIn, Monster or Talent Search People ' depending on your field of expertise.
You can also try classified ads in local newspapers. Indeed, you are likely to find several national and regional newspapers that are entirely dedicated to jobs. Moreover, many major daily newspapers offer a special Jobs or Economy edition every week. El País, for example, provides a special edition called Negocios on Sundays. El Mundo, which is a popular national daily newspaper also offers a special edition on economy every Sunday.

You will also find many special regional magazines such as the Segunda Mano in Madrid, the weekly Actualidad Economia which publishes high profile jobs, etc. All these are available at newspaper stalls and will give you a better picture of the Spanish labour market.


It will be easier to find work from within the country. Be aware that it is common for companies to offer you a job based on hiring you as a freelance, even when working in their office full time. You would then be responsible to register as autonómo (freelance) and pay your own social security (of around 270 EUR per month, although the first three years will be cheaper). As an autonómo you are not eligible to receive any unemployment benefits, even if you have paid in for years prior to a freelance contract.

Information for EU and EEA nationals

Foreign nationals coming from the European Union and the European Economic Area can start by seeking information from employment organisation in their home country or in Europe. The European Mobility Portal, for instance, provides not only an overview of the Spanish labor market but also a list of current vacancies.

Other specific programs are also available for European nationals seeking a internships or short missions in the country. In case you have submitted spontaneous job applications, employers may request for an online interview before proceeding further.

Information for non-EU and EEA nationals

Foreign nationals coming from outside the EU and EEA must have an employment contract from abroad before obtaining a work permit, as explained in the article Work visas in Spain. However, it can be quite difficult to find a job from abroad given the complexity of related formalities. Spanish companies also apply a quota on the recruitment of foreign professionals, but you can still enquire about these with your home country's Chamber of Commerce in Spain.

You could also upload your resume on specialized online recruitment agencies or job websites such as LinkedIn, Monster or Jobs Abroad.

Useful links:

Oficina empleo - National Agency for Employment
Servicio público - find a job in Spain
Eures ' The European Mobility Portal
Language jobs
Bolsa de trabajo
Linked In

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