Find a job in Rio de Janeiro

Find work in Rio de Janeiro
Updated 2022-03-24 14:25

Rio de Janeiro is Brazil's largest commercial center after São Paulo. With a diversified economy, it offers jobs for those with the requisite skill sets, and it can also offer a high quality of life. But if you'd like to work there, you're advised to begin your search for a job from abroad. You can start by reviewing's general guidelines for working in Brazil.

About Rio de Janeiro

When people hear “Rio de Janeiro”, they usually think of Carnival, which is a huge party. Naturally, most people assume it's a party city, but they'd be wrong here, as Rio has so much more to offer than just this.

As we've mentioned above, Rio is one of Brazil's largest commercial centers. The city is the capital of the state with the same name, and it's the nation's third most populated state.

Not only does Rio de Janeiro have lots to offer in commercialism and nightlife, but also, part of the city was made a World Heritage Site. As you might imagine, it's absolutely gorgeous out in Rio.

The economy of Rio de Janeiro

Brazil has recently emerged from a recession, which has taken its toll on Rio de Janeiro. Not to mention, the pandemic has also had its effects, as it has on the entire world. The economy isn't booming as it was a while back, but it's large and diversified, and so there are always some opportunities available for those who qualify. In addition, Brazil's economy grew by 4.6% in 2021, which is the largest increase in 11 years. This is a huge recovery, considering the fact that the nation had a historic slump in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus.

Important components of the economy of Rio and nearby areas are agriculture, tourism, shipping, finance, and telecommunications. Communications form a key component. Oil has also played a leading role in Brazil's economy in recent years. Mining, principally of limestone and marble, is important to the north. The retail and services sectors are also large.

You might remember that Rio is Brazil's second-largest commercial center. Well, the state has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of B$31,064 (Brazilian reals), which means it's the third-richest state in the country. Over half of the state's GDP comes from the industrial sector, followed by the service and agricultural sectors.

The main exports of Rio de Janeiro include fuel, petroleum, vehicles, chemicals, and siderurgy.

Sectors with potential

Many large Brazilian and international companies are represented in Rio. A few of the larger and better-known companies headquartered in Rio include H. Stern (jewelry), the Globo Group and Rede Globo (communications conglomerates), Eletrobras, Petrobras, Shoptime (TV retailer), Star One (satellite operator), and Vale (mining). Other companies with a large presence in Rio include IBM, Accenture, Oi (telecom), Schlumberger, Nokia, Deloitte, L'Oréal, and PwC.

The tourism and hospitality industries also generate thousands of jobs each year. This shouldn't come as a surprise, considering Rio is one of the most visited cities in the entire Southern Hemisphere. Modern hotel facilities are currently under construction in different parts of the city, representing opportunities for job seekers. Those with experience in hospitality management may find work in Rio.

The banking and financial sectors are promising as well. This is because Rio de Janeiro is one of the leading cities for these sectors in all of Brazil.

Several international schools are located in Rio, including the American School, the British School, Our Lady of Mercy, and Rio International School. Certified teachers or education administrators may find work with one of these.

Writing a Brazilian resume

If you don't already know Portuguese, then we'd highly recommend learning it ASAP. Because it's the official language of Brazil, not only will you need it to interact with your colleagues and to read documents, but you'll also need it to write your resume. Depending on which company you're applying to, you might be able to submit a resume written in English. But one written in Portuguese will always be better since it'll help you stand out amongst other applicants.

When writing your resume, don't go over two pages. So make sure you get all the important and relevant information on these pages. Start with your most recent job, then work backwards. You should also put down your educational experience in reverse chronological order. But there's no need to add your elementary school education.

You're not done just yet either. Like in many other countries, when you apply for a job in Brazil, you'll want to attach a cover letter. This should be no longer than one page and should be unique for every application. In this letter, you'll want to explain why you want the job, how you'll fit in at the company, and how you'll make it a better workplace.

Finding work in Rio de Janeiro

While finding work for foreigners is difficult, it's still possible to find work in Rio de Janeiro. Below are a few ways you can reach out and find employment.


One of your best bets for finding work in Rio is LinkedIn. This is a social media platform that connects you with coworkers and employers, and it functions as a job search platform as well.

The first thing you'll want to do is set up your profile. This includes filling out and uploading your resume, which can save you time on job applications since you won't have to type it out every single time.

When you're ready, you can then try the job search bar. You can type something in if you have something in mind, or you can leave it blank to find more opportunities. After setting the location to Rio de Janeiro, you can then get pages of results (if you're lucky).

You can then apply to the job postings directly on the pages. If the employer is interested in hiring you, their HR department or recruiter will respond to you through either email or the LinkedIn inbox, so make sure you check back often.

If you've got an in-demand skillset, it's very possible to get headhunted on LinkedIn. Otherwise, you should be on the lookout for scammers. If it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.

Inter-governmental and Embassy websites

If you're qualified for the potential positions, then it's worth having a look at inter-governmental and embassy websites. Both of these will have either job postings and/or lists of multinational firms. This can save you a lot of work, as you won't have to look up each individual firm. Just go to each multinational company's site and check their careers pages.

Network references

Do you have any Brazilian friends? Or do you know people who are living in Brazil? Then it's time to get in touch with this valuable network.

You never know if they have some inside information on prime jobs, or know someone who might. By utilizing your network, you just might get lucky and someone will have the perfect opportunity at the right time.

Brazilian newspapers

If there's a decent Brazilian population where you live, then it might be possible to buy Brazilian newspapers at a kiosk. If you can, then browse through the job listings, as physical newspapers still do this.

All hope isn't lost if you can't get your hands on a Brazilian paper though. Just Google the online versions and you can get them that way.

Employment agencies

If you've had no luck or you're in a hurry to find employment in Rio, then try an employment agency. Do note that you'll have to spend some money to hire them, but it'll be worth it.

The staff will already be in Rio de Janeiro and will know exactly what industries and companies are hiring. They might even know of opportunities before they're listed, which can give you a huge leg up, especially since they can connect you with the employer right away.

Tips for job hunting in Brazil

Earlier, we touched upon the fact that it's difficult to get a job as a foreigner. This is because Brazilians must offer opportunities to natives first, and once they've exhausted their options, then they can look elsewhere. Not only that but only a third of their workforce can be externally sourced, so as you can imagine, competition is fierce. The only way you're exempt from this is if you've lived in Brazil for at least 10 years, are married to a Brazilian citizen, or have a Brazilian-born child.

Those aren't the only obstacles you'll face either. Foreign certificates and titles aren't recognized in Brazil. This means if you want those to count, you'll need to retake exams in Brazil, which involves the use of Portuguese. Even if you're fluent, it can take some time to earn Brazilian certificates and titles.

A way around this is to start off with a multinational company in your country. By transferring to Rio later on, you won't have to jump through hoops. Upon transferring, you'll have a secure job in Brazil.

The work culture in Brazil

Brazil follows a Western work culture, so if you're already familiar with that, then you won't have a hard time adjusting to work in Brazil, at least in this aspect. Workplaces are hierarchical, so everyone has defined roles and you're expected to stay within them and respect those above you.

Expect the workplace to be formal and corporate. Many of your coworkers will speak good English since they'll usually have higher education. This is even truer of a younger workforce since they'll have learned more English in school, seeing as Brazil's changed the curriculum to focus more on teaching the English language.

As you'd expect, you'll have a professional dress code. Physical appearances are of the utmost importance to Brazilians, so make sure you look your best.

While punctuality is important in most other cultures, it isn't in Brazil. You'll find that both your friends and coworkers will arrive at get-togethers and meetings late, sometimes up to 20 minutes late. This is normal, so it's bad form to complain about it. Instead, you should just expect to wait. However, you should still be on time, as everyone else will still appreciate that.

While the workplace is formal and corporate, the employees will still cultivate interpersonal relationships. So don't just go to work and keep to yourself, as this will be considered rude. Strike up conversations and get to really know your coworkers, as they'll do the same for you. You should always greet them with a hug, as well as a kiss on each cheek if you're a woman or the person you're greeting is one.

As for Brazil as a whole, the culture gets more informal as you move from the south to the north. Rio de Janeiro is in the middle-south of the country, so situations will be somewhat informal.

Living in Rio

Rio is a beautiful city where many expats have made their new home. The Marvelous City, as it's nicknamed, offers nice weather and a wealth of things to do, including a wide variety of outside activities. The locals are welcoming and known for their distinctive style.

Foreigners in Rio prefer to reside in Zona Sul (the South Zone), which includes Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. Another place popular with expats is Barra de Tijuca. These areas are the most desirable in Rio and accordingly, are also the most expensive.

Real estate prices and rent prices experienced a rapid run-up from 2009 until about 2015, but since then, have been declining steadily. Rent will form a significant part of your budget, but it's probably worth paying more to live in Zona Sul or Barra.

Fortunately, food and drinks can be had inexpensively at local spots, and there are many forms of inexpensive and even free entertainment, with Rio's beaches topping the list.

In terms of safety, Rio has a much lower crime rate when compared to most other state capitals in Brazil. So if this is important to you, then have peace of mind knowing that it's relatively safe to live in Rio.

Useful links:


Jobs in Rio



Go Abroad

International schools

Cost of living

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