What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in Austria?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Austria? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in Austria? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


The unemployment agency are the first place to start really. Recruitment agency costs are probably high and also demand a commission. I had trouble finding a job. My age and experience was a huge hurdle to overcome, having been in retail for over 30 years. The Kollektivvertrag or agreement between the unions and employers is highly restrictive, demanding pay according to your experience. Hence I was not able to find a position in retail, and had to seek employment elsewhere.
Luckily the unemployment agency or AMS were very helpful. There are employment schemes for older unemployed, where you can get a job subsidised by an agency for up to 6 months. They also paid for re-training in Vienna, even paying for the rent of a flat if you dont live there, as well as paying for travel to/from your home address.
Even though the EU demands all vocational/educational qualifications should be recognised throughout the EU, the Austrians seem to have trouble grasping that fact. Austrians love their academic titles, and lay a higher worth on their traditional titles rather than the internationally recognised B.A./B.Sc.//M.A./M.Sc. If they had found out I had also lectured in what is now a University, I probably would have been considered over qualified. Hope this helps!

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