There are many wonderful things about working in Spain. The average full-time workweek is 40 hours, there are long lunch breaks, siestas, and, of course, the wonders of the Spanish weather, culture, and cuisine. Unless you are going for a job with a multinational company in the busy cities of Madrid or Barcelona, you can expect a much more laid back work environment. However, getting a job in Spain can be a bit daunting and difficult. In this brief article, we’ll go through tips to help those unfamiliar with the Spanish job market succeed in their career endeavors.
Current Spanish Job Market
First, you should know a bit about what the current Spanish economy looks like. Unfortunately, Spain’s unemployment is one of the highest in the European Union, currently around 18 percent for the general population and even worse for those under 25. However, there’s still a great deal of opportunity in Spain. Unemployment is getting slightly better each year, and many economists feel the Spanish economy is recovering steadily from the 2008 financial crisis. Those that have the most difficulty finding work in Spain are often unskilled, so if you have higher degrees and speak Spanish you may have a better chance of landing a job here. Some key sectors in Spain right now include IT, consulting, renewable energy, business management, finance, and engineering.
It may sound silly, but you should really know Spanish before looking for a job in Spain. If you only speak English, you dramatically cut your job prospects. The only job English-only speakers can possibly land, besides working for a multinational, is an English teacher. Also, bear in mind that there are already plenty of well-qualified Europeans on the hunt for those positions. In brief, you really do need to learn Spanish to get a job here.
Quick Tip For A Cover Letter
Unless otherwise specified, you should assume the company wants your cover letter and resume in Spanish. Since the Spanish economy is very competitive right now, it’s important to give your prospective employer a clear, concise, and memorable cover letter. Keep in mind the famous saying from Shakespeare as you write your letter: “brevity is the soul of wit.” Believe it or not, one of the most successful cover letters the Harvard Business Review ever received was only 76 words long. Don’t make your cover letter flowery and pretentious, just make it focused and professional.
As for the resume, the generally accepted format in Spain goes as follows: personal details (datos personales), a photo, work experience (experiencia professional), education (formación academic), languages (idiomas), skills (informática), other interests (otros datos de interés), and references (referencias).
Expressions In Spanish For An Interview
If you are fortunate enough to get a job interview in Spain, you should brush up on your Spanish job vocabulary. There are many good review sites online, but we’ve included a few particularly good
expressions in Spanish for an interview below:
¿Y por qué cree que deberíamos contratarlo?
(And why do you think we should hire you?)
Dígame ¿Por qué quiere este trabajo exactamente?
(Tell me, why exactly do you want this job?)
Porque puedo aportar mi experiencia y muchas ganas de trabajar.
(Because I’ll bring my experience and great enthusiasm for working.)
¿Cuánto es el sueldo?
(How much is the pay?)
Buenas habilidades en inglés, tanto escrito como hablado.
(Good skills at Spanish both written and oral.)
Soy capaz de coordinar grandes grupos de gente.
(I’m able to coordinate large groups of people.)
Estoy dispuesto a viajar.
(I’m willing to travel.)