Job-seeking is harder for foreigners

News article

A career night for international students sought ways of demonstrating one’s skills to Finnish employers. A smile helps, at least.

Some 200 international students arrived at Aalto University in Otaniemi, Espoo, to listen to how it is possible to find employment in Finland. No magic tricks were on offer, but a lot of small tips were.

In a panel discussion in the official section, people who had found employment in Finland warned the audience that finding employment requires a lot of activity and several applications.

– You have to be active. I always sent e-mail to those in charge of filling a position. Foreign applicants have to tell the employer of their special skills that Finns do not have, said Ziwei Wang, an employee of Kone.

– Apply for all jobs that you can find. The odds are against you, said Bernardo Clementino, who works at Reddall.

Clementino also reminded students that a foreign applicant must tell potential employers of skills that Finns rarely have. Wang says that one good way of standing out from Finnish job seekers is to be social – and smile.

Network and work already during your studies

Perhaps the most important tips offered during the evening were networking and working already during studies. TEK’s career coach Heini Hult-Miekkavaara highlighted that TEK’s student survey has shown that one in three students work regularly during the semesters. Employers appreciate diverse work experience. Finding employment in your own field can become easier with work experience once approaching the completion of studies.

Clementino put it straight that for a foreign student, the easiest way to find employment is via a thesis.

– When hiring a thesis worker, employers are not committing for a long period. A thesis worker, on the other hand, is given an opportunity to demonstrate their skill.

“Major improvement from last year”

Amir Meirbekov and Radek Tomsu attended a similar event last year. Their shared opinion is that this year’s event was considerably better than the one last year.

– I got something out of every presentation, Meirbekov said.

Tomsu found it a good thing that TEK’s operations were presented briefly in general. Tomsu also praised the presentation that gave a brief introduction of different forms of incorporation.

Meirbekov, Tomsu and Misha Mishin all agreed that the panel discussion at the end was the best thing about the evening, with people who had studied and graduated in Finland speaking about how they found employment and what they had found useful.

  • TEK, TAKU (The Art and Cultural Professionals' Trade Union) and The Finnish Business School Graduates [Suomen Ekonomit] took part in arranging the My Career in Finland event on 1 December in cooperation with the Aalto University student union.

Pirre Hyötynen, Advisor, Education and Employment Policy at TEK (left) and TEK’s career coach Heini Hult-Miekkavaara at the My Career in Finland event on 1 December.