During my time in Sweden as a student, I’ve noticed two different types of students: the ones that are here only for their degree and the ones that plan to stay to work after their studies. I’m from the latter group. This post aims to shed some light on the challenging task of finding a job in Sweden as a soon to be graduate/graduate.
Okay, first things first. I’m no expert in job-hunting. The following tips are based on my experience, observations and from different discussions with my classmates. I’m figuring the way as I go. That being said, let’s get started.
Before moving to Sweden I had the idea of starting my career right after my studies in here. At that time the idea was just that, an idea. Now, it is one of my New Year’s resolutions. Last week, the job-hunting season began. And so far this is how it’s going.
This is now my last semester as a master student, which means that if I want to find a job, I have to start looking. As my quest begins, I decided to share some tips I picked up on my time here. The post is divided into two sections, the first one explains how the universities give you a solid base to begin your search. The second one is a compilation of tips that I think can improve your chances of landing a position.
Lunch seminars, career fairs, guest lectures & academic projects.
Landing a job after your studies is no easy task. One of my favorite quotes is “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity“. And it is true, no one gets a job out of luck. There is no such thing as a “guaranteed job” along with your acceptance letter. It is hard, but not impossible. But, how you can improve your chances of getting a job?
Universities are very good at delivering a solid foundation for you to start your search. How? You may ask…one word: Networking. That’s right. Programs in Sweden are popular because of their close relationship with companies. Last year, in almost all my courses there was someone from the industry going to campus to give a lecture. On top of all the guest lectures, every now and then I would get an invite to a “lunch lecture” or a “lunch seminar”, which means that someone comes to school and talks about a specific subject. Why these lunch lectures, lunch seminars, and guest lectures matter? Because it is your chance for growing your network.
For example, I know a few classmates that got their thesis topic just because they asked the teachers or the guest lecturers about opportunities within their area of interest. Even some of my friends got their topic by writing to someone they met at a student fair a year ago.
We live in a time where connectivity is what matters the most. Just think about it, every technology company has a strong tendency towards improving connectivity among their users. If we extrapolte this idea and grow our network then, our chances of getting a job are higher.
My mom always gave me great advice, one of the things she continuously said to me as I grew up was “open doors in your life, don’t close them”. In other words, you never know what a new relation will lead to, but you can always give your very best, be positive and I’m sure it will bring new opportunities.
• I strongly believe that networking gives you a better chance of landing a job.
• Universities have a close relationship with a lot of different companies.
• LinkedIn in Sweden is very useful for networking. Keep your profile updated.
• Tailor your applications depending on the company. Don’t submit the same cover letter everywhere.
• Some jobs are posted in Swedish. If you feel you make a perfect fit for the position, apply even if you don’t know Swedish. You never know…
• If you applied for a position and haven’t heard from the recruitment department, give them a call, they might have a pile of CVs.
• Anita wrote a post about tips for writing a CV Check it out.
• Gimmy’s experience on how he got a position in Volvo right after his degree is also a must-read. Check it out here.