Five tips for finding a job when you move to Spain

Thinking of moving to Spain, or already living there and looking for work? Here are five tips to help you find a job.

Moving to a new country is always an adventure filled with excitement, challenges, and uncertainties. If Spain is your chosen destination, the allure of its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and sunny climate awaits you.

But alongside the adventure comes the pragmatic need to secure a job. Finding employment in a foreign country can be daunting, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the local job market and nuances. This guide will provide you with five essential tips to streamline your job search in Spain.

1) Understand the local job market

Before diving headfirst into the job hunt, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the Spanish job market. Here are some things to be aware of:

  • Seasonality: Spain’s tourism industry booms in the summer months, offering numerous short-term job opportunities in areas like the Costa del Sol or the Balearic Islands.
  • Main industries: Key industries include tourism, agriculture (think olive oil and wine), automotive, and renewable energy. Research industries that align with your skills and experience for a higher chance of success.
  • Local versus multinational: While local companies provide authentic Spanish work experience, multinational firms might offer more roles requiring English or other languages.

2) Get your paperwork in order

Spain, like many countries, requires specific paperwork for foreigners looking to work. Here’s some of the documentation you may need to organise:

  • Work permits: Non-EU/EEA citizens typically need a job offer to obtain a work permit. Ensure you know the type of visa and work permit you require.
  • NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero): This is an identification number for foreigners and is crucial for any administrative task in Spain, from opening a bank account to signing an employment contract.
  • Certified translations: Your qualifications and documents might need to be translated into Spanish for official use. Certified translations services in Spain can assist with this to ensure that your documents are accurately represented and recognised.

3) Network, network, network

Spanish society values personal relationships. So, networking can play a significant role in your job hunt. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Local events: Attend local job fairs, industry conferences, or expat meet-ups to connect with potential employers or get leads.
  • Online platforms: Websites like LinkedIn are popular in Spain. Join Spain-specific groups, participate in discussions, and connect with professionals in your field.
  • Language exchange: Engage in language exchange programmes. While you help someone improve their English, they might provide you with job leads or introduce you to valuable contacts.

4) Tailor your CV and cover letter

While your CV and cover letter might have been successful in your home country, it’s vital to adapt them to Spanish standards. Here are some things to consider:

  • Length: Unlike in the UK, where CVs are typically two pages, in Spain, it’s common for CVs to be just one page, especially for less experienced candidates.
  • Photo: Spanish CVs often include a passport-sized photo at the top right corner.
  • Personal details: Apart from professional experiences, include personal details like date of birth, marital status, and sometimes even nationality. This is standard practice in Spain.
  • Languages: Highlight language skills, especially if you can speak Spanish or other sought-after languages in your industry.

5) Embrace the Spanish way of life

While skills and experience are critical, showing genuine enthusiasm for Spanish culture can give you an edge. Here are some quick tips:

  • Learn Spanish: If you’re not already fluent, invest time in learning the language. Even basic conversational skills can open many doors and show potential employers your commitment to integrating. For personalized instruction and a supportive learning community, try searching for Spanish classes for adults near me to find the perfect fit for your language learning journey.
  • Cultural nuances: Understand the local work culture. For instance, the Spanish workday often includes a long lunch break, with work resuming in the late afternoon and extending into the evening. Familiarise yourself with such customs to seamlessly fit into the workplace.
  • Stay persistent: While the Spanish economy has seen its ups and downs, don’t get disheartened if you don’t find a job immediately. The key is persistence and adaptability.

In conclusion, finding a job in Spain requires preparation, adaptability, and a keen understanding of local customs and the job market. By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the Spanish job market and secure a position that aligns with your career aspirations. ¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)