Job seeking in Finland
The most typical ways of entering the job market in Finland are 1) finding an interesting organisation and contacting them to discuss possible employment, 2) applying for a vacant position and 3) being recruited after an internship period. Connections and acquaintances are often in a key role when looking for a job. Employers trust the recommendations of their connections, and recommendations are often shared in informal ways.
Things to keep in mind when applying for jobs
Finding a suitable position requires self-reflection: you have to know your skills, be familiar with how you work and also be able to describe this in order for the employer to understand your value.
Many employers also ask for skills in the Finnish language, at least at a conversational level, and this might sometimes feel like an insurmountable obstacle. However, the general expectations of international job-seekers’ skills in Finnish are not very high, so you make a great impression just with a few words or phrases.
Be flexible. Looking for internships, shorter contracts or similar other employments other than full time positions can greatly increase your network and “get your foot in the door”. Remember that a less interesting job may later lead to one that you really like. No one starts from the top.
Where are the jobs?
Hidden job market
It is calculated that up to 75 % of the vacant positions in Finland are found on the hidden job market. For students and recent graduates the percentage is probably a bit lower, but still many jobs are found through acquaintances. The hidden jobs are filled by the employer asking for recommendations from the existing staff, business-partners etc. It is often easier to make a decision on hiring an employee if an acquaintance already knows them.
Happenstance and being at right place at the right time plays a part. Contacting an interesting employer is a sign of your motivation and can improve your chances of employment when a suitable position opens up.
Portals for vacant positions
The most used sources for openly advertised vacant positions are in Finnish, but they often have the pages also in English:
TE-services, in Finnish national vacancy service
There are also portals directed to English speakers:
You can also find vacancies and internship positions in the portal moderated by the university:
Internships for university students and graduates are advertised in the same way as regular jobs. JobTeaser is the main portal for finding internship positions, but you can also reach out to an interesting organisation and describe what kind for tasks you would be interested in working with.
Most internships last between 3 to 6 months and are carried out full-time. The scope of the internship is to gain experience with tasks relevant to your studies within a field that feels interesting to you, and to broaden your network. The University of Turku offers the possibility to use an internship subsidy (which is paid as a reimbursement to your employer after the internship period). Please read more about internships on the UTU intranet.
Starting your own business
If you are interested in entrepreneurship you can use the advisory services of Turku Region Business. They offer individual and peer support as well as accelerator programs.
The public employment and business services (TE-services) also offer services for companies, most notably start-up grants.