Looking for a job – we have all been there
For most of the new students arriving to Denmark, the 2 struggles that are faced the most are finding a living space and a job. As finding a living space can be solved relatively fast, the latter can take time since there is so much criteria that revolves around it.
A dream job that can cover living expenses, fit your qualification and is enough hours to apply for the SU is hard to land, especially in the period of just arriving in Denmark. We want to share what has been gathered over the past years from our experience with a hope that you land that interview.
You might have stumbled upon Facebook groups created for the international and local community in Denmark, such as Aarhus Internationals, Foreigners in Denmark, International Students in Copenhagen etc. These groups are important to be a part of for multiple reasons, but a lot of times helpful posts from others will surface with possible job positions that are especially fitting for students. Turn your notifications on and the moment a position you would like to have appears, send your CV. The competition is huge – waste no time.
Portals like Jobnet and Jobindex all are based on positions available so keep looking on day to day basis and send your application to positions that fit your qualifications. Most of the positions have written what they are looking for in an applicant and a lot of times one of that criteria is knowing Danish language. Our suggestion is – if you strongly believe that you would be the ideal applicant, look past the language (assuming you don’t know the language) and send your application anyway. You never know – they might be looking for somebody like you.
Finding a company that you see yourself being a part of and not contacting them would be a crime. If you really appreciate what somebody is doing – let them know. Express your admiration to their work and let them know that you would be interested in joining their team if the chance comes. Letting a company know that their work is looked up to could land you a possible future position and if not, at least you could make a new contact in your network. Some businesses don’t know they are looking for a new team member until the right one comes along. Let it be you!
The walk of share
When you first arrive, the most common and obvious thing to do, apart from the above, is to make copies of your CV and bring it to local businesses and if possible, outside of your living area (as far as you would be willing to travel). This is the most common way new students look for a job in Denmark and in many cases it pays off and they land a job. If you are a shy person, try to put that away and go for a job hunt walk, it might pay off. There is nothing to loose.
Vikar companies are hugely popular amongst students and although the work is not the easiest, it can land you the SU and pay enough to live well. The most common companies are VikarDK, TeamVikaren and Adecco (find more by Google-ing vikar dk). Apply online on their website and give them a call afterwards to express your interest in the position and introduce yourself. Most of the times the applications are ignored, but people who make the call get the job.
As Vikars are usually warehouse based, jobs include picking and packing products, but forklift and similar positions are widely popular too. If you don’t own a forklift or similar machinery license, you can acquire one for a relatively small price at companies like Learnmark.
As you start your studies you will hear the word networking more and more. This is a huge part of doing business in Denmark and most positions are acquired exactly like that – through networks. It might be a little awkward to just go and introduce yourself to people, but don’t do it just for the sake of collecting contacts, learn how to engage with other people and learn about them – maybe you can help them as much as vice versa.
A great tip is to create a LinkedIn account if you don’t already own one, and if you do, it most likely needs some updating so get to it. LinkedIn is hugely popular between professionals in Denmark – use it!
If you have particular skills that can be helpful to others, like gardening, cleaning, babysitting etc. print out nice flyers with information about what you can offer, your rates and contact details. Drop these in the mailboxes around your neighbourhood. You might not find a full time job like that, but it can provide some quick earnings AND grow your network.
A job that is highly popular between kids in Denmark as well as newcomers is newspaper delivery. The job is not the easiest as it takes a lot of walking and can get physical, it can bring you some earnings for the beginning. The most popular company to do this through is FK Distribution.
And the final one of course is internships. Getting a steady job through internship is not impossible, but a lot of times knowledge in Danish will be required. But if you have the time (assuming it is not mandatory to take internship while getting education) and are interested in a particular company, there is nothing to loose. You will either gain an awesome new position or learn new skills and gain experience!