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Updated 29 Aug 2012

Finding, and keeping, a job in Sweden is an ongoing process. Even if you secure a job soon after you arrive, you may not be in the industry or role that you were in at home and thus you may be constantly looking for a new job. However, once you have a job, it is always easier to find another one.

The basic requirements to work in Sweden depend on many factors that are unique to every individual. Are you from an EU country? Then you are legally able to work in Sweden, but you still have to find a job and then apply for a residence permit. Are you from another country and you have higher education, or are already a professional, such as an engineer, doctor, dentist, nurse or teacher? Then you may be in a regulated profession and there may be additional requirements; it is likely you will have to learn Swedish and take a test before you can work in your field. Were you employed in the service industry (for example, a restaurant, retail store or bar) in your home country? Then it is not likely you need to take a test but it is very likely you need some Swedish to secure the same type of job and to keep it.

Whatever your background, experience or education, the underlying requirement at some point during the job hunting process is that you must either be in the process of learning Swedish or have the desire to learn it during your everyday life. Registering and attending Svenskundervisning för invandrare (SFI) is a good place to start for several reasons; one of which is because potential employers appreciate your willingness to learn the country's language as an indication of your commitment. Another reason is that, depending on your status (EU citizen or asylum seeker, for example), there may be some government programs that enable you to work and study Swedish at the same time.

The Swedish government has already prepared information to help guide you through this process. There is information in English as well as other languages. Below are some suggested starting points for the research you need to do before and after you arrive in Sweden.


Steps to finding a job in Stockholm

Determine your status to work in Sweden and apply for a permit

The English site of the Migrationsverket (Migration Board of Sweden) discusses some of the reasons you might be moving to Sweden with links to more information. You can apply online for a work permit and download forms you may need. It is a good idea to start the process as it can help you learn what you need to do next. There are also links to information in other languages.

Explore other Swedish government websites

Arbetsförmedlingen (Swedish Public Employment Service) is an excellent starting point to gather more information about working and finding a job in Sweden. Explore the site to find out if there are financial support options (for EU citizens), or learn about how to start your own business in Sweden.

Sweden.se is available in a variety of languages and has lots of useful information. Click the "Work" tab to find information about your unique situation. See if Sweden needs your skills, view a labour shortage list, find out if you work in a regulated profession, learn about starting your own business, and much more.

Create an account with Arbetsförmedlingen

Once you have done some research, and even if you are not ready to start looking for a job, it is a good idea to create a profile in the government database. The process of creating the profile and registering means that you may become eligible for work programmes, for example getting a Job Coach.

Another reason to create a profile is that it helps you identify the Swedish terminology for the job you are looking for and lists the categories that your job type falls into. It is in Swedish, so you will need to use an online translation service for help.

Use online translation sites to help you research and create your Swedish CV

Most Swedish sites and businesses have key information that may only be available in Swedish. With today’s technology, it is not hard to get help with the translation.

Try The People's Dictionary, which  is an online collaboration, for and by Swedish people, and is therefore generally more reliable than an automated translation service. Google Translate is also a great tool. You can copy and paste text or web addresses to be translated.

Use the words collected from the Arbetsförmedlingen database to figure out search terms for your job industry, translate from your language into Swedish and vice versa. Start a translation of a short version of your CV, then find someone to help you smooth out the Swedish (maybe a Job Coach). Find job advertisements in your home country and get some key phrases translated for searching online.

Register with Skatterverket (the Swedish Tax Agency)

If you are going to be here for more than one year, you will need to register with the Swedish Tax Agency (skatteverket.se). But generally, it is best to start this process even if you don't know for sure how long you'll be in Sweden. 


Other tips and pointers

Network

Networking will help improve your Swedish  and increase your inside connections

  • Volunteer somewhere, it gives you Swedish experience for the CV

  • Join expat groups

  • Use your contacts in your home country to help you. Join a professional association or trade union. 

  • Set up profiles on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, where you can track companies you are interested in

Research companies

Use the Internet to search for companies, walk around Stockholm and make a list of company names. Some examples of where to find companies include:

  • Gulex: www.gulex.se 

  • Hitta: www.hitta.se

  • Yellow pages

  • Bolagsverket (Swedish companies registration office): www.bolagsverket.se

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