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Top Tips for landing a job in Spain

Alex Dunham · 2 Mar 2013, 20:03

Published: 02 Mar 2013 20:03 GMT+01:00

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We've put together a list of valuable tips to help kick-start your Spanish job search.


Having the right contacts in Spain can play a crucial role in getting you the job you’re after, much more so than in other countries.

Don’t despair if you've just landed or if your Spanish isn't up to scratch yet.

International accounts manager Benoit Folinais tells The Local: “When I first arrived in Madrid four years ago, I met many expats who gave me advice about where and how to apply for jobs.”

Learn Spanish:

Aside from giving you the chance to understand the culture and people better, speaking Spanish will definitely open more career doors for you.  

As recruitment giant Manpower says: “There aren't many jobs where you’re only dealing with foreign clients.”

Build an online presence:

Face-to-face contact may make you stand out from the crowd of job-seekers, but building a professional profile on websites like LinkedIn can also give you visibility and allow you to start making contact with potential employers in Spain.

Websites like internations.com or meetup.com are also a good starting point for meeting expats in Spain with similar interests and career goals.

Think of your competitive advantage as a foreigner:

Leticia de la Herran, head of Antal International’s recruitment branch in Spain, says local candidates don’t usually have the international experience that foreign applicants do.

Have a think about what can make you stand out from the rest, whether it’s your language skills, your international diploma or your experience of another job market.

Have a Spanish-style CV:

Spanish CVs tend to be as factual and bullet-point-based as in any other country.

The main difference is that they have a passport-sized photo in the top corner.

Have a Spanish friend or a local recruitment agency check your Spanish CV for spelling or grammar mistakes.  

It's also worth finding out if you need any of your certificates or diplomas certified by the Ministry of Education.

Here’s a good example of a Spanish resumé and here's how to make your own.

Get all your paperwork sorted out in time:

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If you want to open a bank account or legally work in Spain you’ll need a NIE (ID number for foreigners).

You can book an appointment before you set off at any consulate or once you’re in Spain, but make sure to find out what documents you need to bring along.

You’ll also need to get a social security number to work and get access to free healthcare.

Use language teaching as a back-up plan:

Unless you've found a job before moving to Spain, finding work as a language teacher is one of the safest bets around. There’s plenty of demand and private or in-company classes are generally well paid.

Madrid-based relocation agent Pierre Alban Waters says “taking a month-long TEFL training course and contacting the main language schools before arriving in Spain will give you many opportunities to find short language teaching stints while you keep looking for a real job without worrying about how you are going to pay your bills.”

Click here for The Local's jobs listings. 

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

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