I want to move to Sweden: will I find a job?

I get this question every week, sometimes 2-3 times a week. And I thought it would be a whole lot easier to write in a post here than copy/pasting my answers.

Let’s say you visit Sweden on a vacation. You fall in love with the country. You decide you want to move to Sweden.

You google a bunch of stuff on making a Swedish friendly CV, wondering about the hiring process, and planning your move across the world to the north pole.

And then you email me a bunch of questions (great questions) about finding jobs, interviewing, and moving to Sweden.

This is when life becomes difficult. I appreciate your unbridled enthusiasm, but there are few MAJOR things you need to consider before derailing your life for Scandinavia.

1. You don’t need to worry about the CV structure as much as you need to worry about *what* you will put in the CV. How will you stand out from the rest of the pack?

2. As a foreigner to Sweden (especially non-EU), a Swedish company will wonder the following when they read your CV:
– Why is this person better than a Swede with the same qualifications?
– What is this person bringing to the table that we must go through the long and expensive process of visas?
– How many languages does this person speak? Are they already speaking Swedish?

3. Do you have the chops to survive a long, cold winter. It is fucking cold and if you have lived in a snowy environment, then ignore this question. If all you have done in life is experience a cold front of 50F (10C), then you are in for a ride my friend.

4. Are you in a unique industry? Computer science, engineering, mobile, and high-end banking will put you to the front of the pack. Sweden is desperate to fill these positions and you have a *slightly* better chance than someone looking for a construction job.

Honestly, forget how different the hiring process will be from your native country. You need to show that you’re actually *worth* hiring over a Swede. You need to have job skills that are so unique that a Swede cannot possibly fill this role (and this is the law – companies cannot hire foreigners unless that job cannot be completed by a Swede. plus, the company must make every effort to hire a Swede first).

This may sound and mean, but you need to position yourself that you are so amazing that a regular Sweden can’t compete with you.

For example, do you have any of the following skills:
1. Speak more than 3 languages including English?
2. Have masters degree or higher?
3. Experience in management for several years?
4. Experience in the most common programming languages AND some unusual ones?
5. Have the ability to work in the fields as a fruit or vegetable picker on a temporary basis only?

If you cannot say yes to at least one of the above, then you need to reconsider spending time applying for jobs in Sweden.

Good luck!

2 thoughts on “I want to move to Sweden: will I find a job?”

  1. At least in Sweden it’s possible to have an interview. Here in Italy jobs interviews are written in the history books, currently. All the migrants rescued in Lampedusa dream to reach Sweden. We are talking abut of hundreds every day. Anyway first question here is: How old are you ? more than 30 ,you are out.

  2. Well, my Swedish husband said that there is not such a law: companies cannot hire foreigners unless that job cannot be completed by a Swede. plus, the company must make every effort to hire a Swede first.

    He wonders where you are getting your info!

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