Working in Seville 

Finding work in Sevilla
Updated 2021-08-13 09:04

Seville is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and home to its government. It is a vibrant Mediterranean city on the banks of the Guadalquivir River with a population of approximately 700,000, making it the fourth populous city in Spain. As the country's only inland port, it is a busy centre of trade as well as a financial and cultural hub.

If you are an expat wanting a job in Seville, you may find the going difficult. Currently, the unemployment rate stands at close to 25%, higher than the national rate of 15%. However, the City Council of Seville has adopted Strategic Plan 2030 by which it hopes to make the Andalusian capital a more dynamic, open, sustainable, and innovative place. One of the six objectives is to generate employment and economic development.

Seville's labour market

Like many other parts of Spain, Seville's labour market was hit hard by the global COVID-19 pandemic. During the early part of 2021, the unemployment number stood at nearly 220,000, according to the National Institute of Statistics. In the first quarter alone, more than 11,000 people lost their jobs. This was the southern Andalusian region's second-worst first quarter since 2011. Among the industries that shed the most posts were the aeronautical sector and agriculture. However, it wasn't all bad news as the construction sector created work for an extra 6,000 people.

Seville's economy

Seville is Andalusia's largest city and, as Spain's only inland port, is an important trade centre. Among its principal exports are fruit, wines, olives, corks and minerals. Imports include oil and coal. The city's primary industries are aircraft parts, porcelain, tobacco, chemical products, and agricultural machinery. Other important sectors are services and tourism.

The most promising fields for expats in Seville

Anyone who comes to Seville or any part of Spain and doesn't speak the language will find it difficult to find regular work. One option open to expats with trade experience such as plumbers and carpenters is to provide their services to other expats. However, if the community were to dwindle as it did during the 2008 economic crisis, so would the sources of employment.

Teaching English is one of the most popular jobs for expats in Seville, but this type of work is challenging to come by unless you have experience and qualifications. One way to start on your journey in this profession is by taking a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course.

There are plenty of job opportunities in the tourism sector, with bars and restaurants always on the lookout for waiting staff, chefs, and kitchen helpers. But here again, expats will struggle without a good knowledge of Spanish. 

Finding a job in Seville

While the classifieds sections of local newspapers are a rich source of job opportunities, you will probably spend most of your time searching the internet. Among the most popular online job sites are: 







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UK citizens working in Seville after Brexit

To work in Spain, British citizens must hold a valid Spanish work visa obtained from a national embassy or consulate before arriving in the country. Before receiving it, you must have secured a job in the country.

If you are a UK citizen, you will still be able to work in Spain following the UK's departure from the European Union. However, the rules are stricter. When the UK was part of the EU, UK citizens enjoyed the right to freedom of movement. This meant they could live and work in any member state (including Spain) with minimal paperwork. Since Brexit, UK citizens are classed as third-country nationals and no longer have an automatic right to work in Spain or anywhere else in the EU. However, that doesn't mean that securing a job post-Brexit is impossible.

UK citizens are now in the same situation as Americans, Australians and people from other non-EU countries if they want to work in the country. The only way to land a permanent position with a Spanish company is by winning a role on Spain's shortage occupation list. This is a regularly updated list of professionals in short supply in Spain.

If your prospective employer really wants you to work for them, they have to satisfy several requirements. They must be able to demonstrate that you have the right qualifications and that your skills are in short supply in Spain. Then they must be able to provide evidence that other Spanish or EU candidates couldn't fill the post.

Your employer should then work on your visa application simultaneously with your own application.

Note that the rules are more straightforward for UK citizens who were legal residents in Spain before 2021. You have the right to work in the country provided you remain legally resident.


To set up in a regulated profession (such as a lawyer, doctor or engineer) your qualifications have to be recognised. They must be the equivalent of those required in Spain

Applying for a job

To apply for a job in Seville, you may need to provide the following:

  • A criminal records certificate from your home country
  • A Spanish criminal records certificate (Certificado de Antecedentes Penale)
  • A certificate from the Spanish sex offenders registry (Certificado de Delitos de Naturaleza Sexual) to work with children

Working as a freelancer

Non-EU citizens wanting to set up their own business or work as self-employed will need to secure a work visa, a visado de cuenta propia. There are several requirements:

1) A comprehensive business plan that includes details of how you plan to finance your start-up. Note that the business must be profitable within three years.

2) Proof of financial backing/evidence that you have sufficient finances to support yourself.

3) Expected returns once the business is up and running.

4) Proof you have the skills and experience to carry out the work.

5) Any contracts or commissions from companies.

6) If applicable, an estimate of the number of jobs you're planning to create.

Remote working in Seville

One of the most obvious impacts of COVID-19 on the labour force in many countries is the rise in the number of people working remotely. With videoconference facilities and internet technologies, many jobs can be performed remotely without ever having to sit in an office.

If you have a job where you can work from home, you won't have to rely on the local job market. You can find work on an array of freelance websites such as Upwork, People Per Hour and

Types of remote jobs include:

  • Writer
  • Virtual assistant
  • Graphic designer
  • Data entry clerk
  • Transcriber
  • Translator
  • Tutor
  • Web designer
  • Social media manager
  • Accountant
  • Data analyst
  • Software engineer

When you are self-employed, you will have to register as ‘autonomo,' which is the Spanish word for a freelancer or self-employed person.

Job salaries in Seville

If you are successful and do find a job in Seville what sort of salary can you earn? The average salary is 28,121€ which equates to an hourly rate of 14 €.

Typical annual salaries according to the Economic Research Institute are:

  • Pharmacist 49,964€
  • Registered nurse 31,732€
  • Plumber 29,236€
  • Teacher 26,965€
  • Personal trainer 20,328€
  • Bartender 15,506€
  • Bank clerk 15,506€

CV and interview tips for Seville

First impressions count. You may have a stellar work history and be fluent in Spanish, but if you have quickly scribbled your resume on a piece of rough paper, you won't have a chance of landing a job interview.

Unless told otherwise, write your CV and cover letter in Spanish, flawless Spanish. This also includes online and email applications. So, if you are not entirely confident in your language ability, get a Spanish native speaker to read through what you have written.

When you are compiling your CV, it should include your personal details such as your full name, date and place of birth, current address and your NIE (foreigner's ID number).

While a photo is not obligatory, it is a common expectation these days. This should be a headshot with a neutral background, not a picture of you sipping cocktails in a loud shirt in a chiringuito. Then fill out the rest of the CV as you would typically, with details of your work experience, history, education, skills, interests, and references.

Job interviews in Seville

If your CV or application impresses and you are invited for an interview, dress appropriately. If it is a corporate job, you will be expected to dress formally. For all other types of work, smart casual is suitable. As with any interview, prepare for it thoroughly by researching the company and its industry and make sure you have some excellent questions to ask the interviewer at the end.


Here are a few interview tips to get you off to a good start:

  • Shake hands with your interviewer when greeting him or her. Don't lean in for the customary cheek kissing.
  • Even if the interviewer speaks English during the interview, you should answer in Spanish to show that you are comfortable with the language.
  • Use the formal 'usted' rather than the informal 'tu' when speaking.
  • Be punctual.
  • Avoid slang or colloquial expressions.
  • Research every aspect of the company. Your interviewer may ask you about its history, operations and successes. If you are unable to answer, you will leave an unfavourable impression.
  • Be concise with your answers. Like everybody else, your interviewer will get bored if you drone on.

Skype/phone interviews

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased tendency to conduct interviews via Skype, Zoom or other video communications platforms. This practice may well continue to be commonplace, at least for the near future. 

A remote interview is a very different experience, but many of the same rules apply. Remember, it is a formal interview. You may be sitting in your living room or study, but you should still dress appropriately. Wear the same sort of clothes as you would do if the interview were in somebody's office.

There are also some other factors to consider with this format.

  • Before the interview, make sure that your laptop or computer works perfectly, especially the camera and microphone.
  • Have your CV and cover letter beside you for reference and a pen and paper to take notes.
  • Maintain a good posture throughout the interview and speak clearly. Also, use non-verbal cues such as nodding and smiling, as you would in any other interview or conversation. This signals that you are attentively listening to the other person.
  • Practice with the technology. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, Skype or whichever platform your interviewer is using, get accustomed to its features before the interview.
  • Look into the camera while speaking. During an in-person interview, you would maintain eye contact with your interviewer. It is a sign of confidence and respect. This is a lot more challenging to do when being interviewed remotely. However, looking into the camera (not the screen) gives the illusion that you are making eye contact with the other person.
  • Choose a professional-looking background. When setting up your computer, select a tidy space free of clutter, for example, in front of a blank wall. 
  • Your interviewer needs to see you, so pick a brightly lit space for the interview. Near a window is a good option because of an abundance of natural light. However, don't sit with the window behind you as it can cast a shadow. 
  • If your interview space doesn't have an electrical socket, make sure you fully charge your laptop before the interview.
  • If there is anyone else in your household, let them know when and where you'll be interviewed. Ask them to keep quiet and not interrupt you.
  • Silence your mobile phone. One of the last things you want is your entertaining ringtone interrupting proceedings.
  • Use the mute button. If your interview is via Zoom, use the mute button when your interviewer is speaking. This handy feature means you can block out any household noises such as a dog barking.

Buena suerte!

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