Living in Sweden: Finding a Job

The first step to moving to Sweden is to find a job. Without a job, you are pretty much SOL in terms of living in the country. There are a few exceptions to living in Sweden without finding a job. Here are the exceptions:
Student in Sweden – Exchange students, post secondary education, graduate students. Link here.
Asylum Seeker to Sweden – Obviously very tight regulations here.  If you are not from a war torn country, most likely you will not be approved as a refugee in Sweden. See more here.
Researcher visiting Sweden – Here’s information directly from Migrationsverket: Visiting researchers do not need a work permit but may only work as visiting researchers with the research organization (for example, university, institute or business) that has employed the researcher. The research organization must be approved by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. Visiting researchers who will work in Sweden for a period exceeding three months must have a residence permit.”  And for more information, you can read here.
Performing Artists in Sweden – Includes singers, musicians, dancers and circus artists, etc.  Those accompanying the artist as technicians, road managers, etc, also come into this category and must therefore have permits as well.  There are quite a few exceptions so be sure to read information page about it.
Au pair in Sweden – Fairly simple as the program is similar to other countries.  Two key notes: the Philippines does NOT allow for au pairs to any European country and you should between 18-30 years of age in order to apply as an au pair in Sweden. For more info, go here.

Employee seeking in Sweden:

If you don’t fall into any of the categories above, then go find a job, now. Yes, now!  People ask me if they should look for a job when they intend to work in three months time, that’s the point, you need to prepare to find a job now.  When I searched for a job almost two years ago, the online resources were scarce.  Today, you have the advantage of a lot of resources and helpful advice.  The merger between Arbetsförmedlingen and Migrationsverket has also reduced the paperwork and confusion when applying for a work permit.  Start with the find a job in Sweden resource from Arbetsförmedlingen; they have some great bits and I’ve summarized the most important below.  Read the full guide here.

Education:
Have it; have a good secondary education. Swedes themselves may not care about the level of education you have, but companies who are hiring foreigners do.  I know I got my foot in the door at interviews because of the university I went to and the experience I had there (btw, I only hold a BA).  If you are close to obtaining your degree, please complete it before coming to Sweden, it is definitely an intangible benefit.   If you do not hold a degree, have a strong CV documenting your experience and strengths in work.   You can check out the other page on job interviews and CVs in Sweden.

Current industries looking for employees:

  • University-trained healthcare professionals
  • Skilled tradespeople and engineering graduates in the industrial sector
  • Skilled tradespeople and engineers in the building sector
  • Specially trained chefs (especially in Stockholm and tourist destinations)
  • Qualified sales representatives
  • Accountants
  • Drivers and motor mechanics
  • Preschool teachers and schoolteachers
  • Information technology graduates

If your profession does not fall into one of these categories, don’t fret, you still have a great chance of coming to Sweden.  Just know that pool of applicants will be tighter.

Places to find open job opportunities in Sweden:
http://www.workey.se – A large database of jobs.
http://www.academicwork.se – Great place to post your CV if you are a new graduate or still a university student.
http://www.jobsinstockholm.com – It has jobs in Stockholm as well as jobs all over Sweden.
http://www.arbetsformedlingen.se –  The Swedish umeployment board, a great place to look for postings.
http://www.monster.se –  The Monster in the Swedish version.
http://www.xpats.nu –  Small site that discusses moving to Sweden and has a jobs board.
http://www.manpower.se –
http://metrojobb.se – One of the major daily newspapers in Sweden.
http://www.stepstone.se — StepStone
http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/sokjobb — Job classifieds from Dagens Nyheter, another major Swedish newspaper (I think one of the best)
http://eures.europa.eu – A database for job applicants in all of Europe.

http://www.thelocal.se –  The English Newspaper for Sweden.  The quality of writing is mediocre at best, but they have a pretty extensive job listing.

Sweden Networking Sites:
http://www.swedenintouch.se – A forum from the makers of Sweden.se.
http://www.siliconvikings.com – For people who lived in the Bay Area or do business with the Bay Area (that’s silicon valley in San Francisco).

I hope this helps you all out in the search for a job.  If you have questions or suggestions, definitely post them before.  People are always looking for job opportunities in Sweden, we can all use a little help.

26 thoughts on “Living in Sweden: Finding a Job”

  1. @Puntino – Yes, JobsinStockholm, Workey, and TheLocal (links are above) all are in English and can help you out.

  2. In the Global world every person is searching job to full fill the need of job requirements many new online job portal are coming. The http://in.fulltimejobs.com is also one job portal come do the registration. The recruiting companies as well as agencies can posted their job requirement on this site at free of cost for a limited period.

  3. What a lovely blog. Thank you so much. I was researching so much to get information you have posted here. I appreciate that. I am actually thinking about Sweden. I am a EU citizen,but living in the States for the last 8 years. I got my MBA in Finance. I am young, even though I have experience in different fields I am more on the entry level.
    Of course, I am fluent in English. And wonder how much Swedish is required when you move there for work if I (hope it is possible) get the job with an international big corporation? I have no problem living it. But is it possible to get a job before coming there? or am I dreaming?
    Where are you from? I would absolutely love if you could answer me. Thank you so much in advance and I will get back to reading your blog.

    Regards,
    Ana

  4. Good day:

    Thanks for this highly informative article and useful resources.

    I have a question regarding recruitment agencies. Are they highly dependable? Can they get a candidate a job? I.E RHANDSATD and Micheal Page?

    Also,

    Please can you provide me with resources of Swedish companies operating in Norway in the oild and gas sector? Are there special recruiters for these off shore positions?
    Can you enlighten pls.

    Thanks !

    B~

  5. Hi there,

    My name is Rober, I am looking job for my friend, Who now living in India, please tell me what is the requirements for doing a job in Sweden. Please give me details.

    Thanking you !
    S.

  6. Hi,

    Great information! Thank you! However, I find myself a big problem of finding a job in Sweden although I have got my Ph.D degree. A big reason is because I do not speak Swedish. Any body agree with me? What should I do? Will I still survive in Sweden?

    Thank you

    Shi

  7. Hello people

    I am looking to move to Sweden in some stage in a few months from now. I am from Montenegro but have EU citizenship as I was born in Slovenia which is part of EU.
    Now, I do not hold any of university degrees but I have worked in newspaper and I am professional with page layout and some design such as flyer, posters, magazines, visit cards and other designs for press.

    I will not be looking to work in my branch but will also be glad to find any decent job such as driving (some van or something), packaging for DHL (or other shipping company) and other similar jobs.
    Can someone please help me and answer how easy there is to find that kind of jobs and I would appriceate on any helpful link.

    Thank you

  8. Hello,
    I am Phani Sekhar from India. I want to travel to Sweden on tourist visa. Is there any chance that I can get a job here and convert my visa to work permit? I have 10 years of experience in customer care. I am good in english but I dont know Swedish. Can someone please help me.
    Thanks in advance.

  9. @Phani – To be honest, it will be near impossible for you to find a job. From what you’ve written, you don’t possess any extraordinary skills that a Swede or EU citizen could not possess. Have a great trip visiting the country but don’t be coming if you think you’ll get a job magically.

    @Marko – If you are willing to take on a construction, blue collar kind of job, then you might be able to find something. There are jobs open in the construction, trucking, and agriculture sectors. Your best bet would be to start with Arbetsförmedlingen website and see what is available. Good luck!

  10. Hey! I wouldn’t mind finding a job as a waitress in the beginning – i have appropriate experience and can communicate in 5 languages (Latvian, Russian, English, Greek and some Norwegian) and understand some Swedish. How difficult would it be to find a job in Stockholm? Most likely, the best period of year to search would be late spring before the summer season starts? Thanks in advance!

  11. hello..
    i just got to Sweden and i was wondering if i’m allowed to work here..
    i’m Lebanese but i have Spanish residency.
    hopefully u guys can help me up with that info..
    gracias

  12. I doubt it. Your residency in one EU nation does not carry on to another EU nation. But of course you must check with Migrationsverket for this information.

  13. Hello,
    I am a B.TECH Marine Engineer from India, Looking forward to do my Masters at KTH.Firstly how is the institute?.And Job opportunities after completing my Masters in Maritime Engineering?.Well, would like to learn Swedish if it’s necessary.Also I am a seafarer sailed on two vessels.It’s a Nordic 5 Tech Masters in Maritime Engineering what I intend to do, How good is it?

  14. @Vasudev- KTH is a great school. If you do well, you can look to getting a good job.

    You should network with people in similar fields to understand more about pay, availability and competition in the market.

    Good luck!

  15. Hello, i’m an italian musician, 24 years old. I play oboe and got a degree from the conservatory of Rome.
    I play in many genres of music, classical, folk, world music, electro..
    I have been in Lund for a music european youth exchange and i loved it.
    As in italy the situation for artists is horrible, I am looking for opportunities in sweden, maybe cultural associations or orchestra.. teaching, or music courses… stages… everything!!
    I would like to move there as soon as possible but don’t know where to start from….
    Thank you
    Ale

  16. Hi @Alessandra! I would pull all the resources you know from Lund to get information about music positions. Check the bulletin boards, ask your teachers, go to student group meetings. Try to learn as much Swedish as possible, brush up your awesomeness, and pull together your repertoire on how/why you should be hired. Lycka till!

  17. You blog post is very helpful and it’s so nice of you to reply to questions in the comments!

    I do have a questions that maybe you can shed some light on. My husband and I with our 3 children live in Honduras currently and want to start making plans to leave. We are English/Spanish speakers in our mid 30s. My husband runs a restaurant right now and I am staying home with the children and helping him with the restaurant. I do have a BFA from U of Wisconsin with 6 years corporate job experience in my field (drafting, design). We want to move to Sweden next year after we sell our business and study some Swedish, but we are not sure who should try to find a job first. My husband has only blue collar type job experience (truck driving, machine operator, carpentry, and now 6 years restaurant owner and manager) Do you think it would be easier for my husband to try to find a service type job first as they might be more likely to be in demand and I might be too educated and can’t compete with the native work force? Do people enter Sweden as a tourist and try to find a job and stay? Or should it always be done through the work permit process? Also, how is Latino food there? My husband is hoping there is a market for it :O). Blessings!

  18. i am Ramesh from India (a non EU-EEA country). i am post graduated in Chemistry and wanna apply for a work there in a pharmaceutical organization.
    i do not have any problem to live and feed there in stockholm. but only problem to find a work.
    hope u can help me.

    thanks

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