I am coming to work in Finland
Coming to Finland to work in a job? At Job Market Finland, you can find information on starting a job and working life in Finland.
Here you will find the steps towards starting a life and a career in Finland.
Finland is one of the world's best countries to work and live. Working life in Finland is equal and fare.
Find in advance if there is work available in Finland in the field of your expertise and start searching before you move. At Job Market Finland, you will find the current vacancies. EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal, maintained by the European Commission, and Work in Finland -webpage also provides combined information on vacancies and the job market in Finland. If you want to become an entrepreneur, find out what establishing a company entails.
Registering as a job seeker and job search for Ukrainians in Finland
Those who have fled the war in Ukraine have the right to work in Finland. For this, you will receive a certificate issued by the police or border authority upon registration. You can register as a job seeker at the TE Office after you have received a decision on a residence permit.
Before obtaining a residence permit, and registering as a job seeker, the TE Office provides general advice and assistance regarding job seeking, choosing a profession, training, and coaching.
Make sure that your permissions are in order
The permissions and registrations required depend on your citizenship. If you have arranged with an authority in your native country (an EU/EEA country or Switzerland) that you will search for work in Finland, report in person at a TE Office within seven days after you leave your country and bring a U2 form with you, in addition to your ID card. In doing so, you will be eligible for unemployment benefit from your native country for the period during which you are seeking work in Finland. Make sure that your passport or your official EU identity card are valid for the period during which you stay in Finland.
If you are a EU citizen or a citizen of Liechtenstein, Switzerland or one of the Nordic countries, you need not to have a residence permit. You can move to Finland and search for work during three months. Citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) shall register their stay with a magistrate. If you are a citizen of the EU, Liechtenstein or Switzerland and stay in Finland for longer than three months, you need to register your right to stay in Finland with the Finnish Immigration Service.
Ensure that your professional competence will be recognised
A professional qualification requirement is set for certain professions; in such cases you need to have your vocational or academic degree recognised. Find out which party is responsible for the recognition of your degree or trade/profession. Furthermore, a professional competence license is required in some branches. Such licenses refer to tests on professional skills, which, after you have passed them, give you the licence to practice a certain profession.
When you start working in Finland
First, sign an employment contract on a paper with your employer. Such a contract will determine the terms of your employment which you agree with your employer. Open a bank account; you need one for your salary/wage payment. Clarify any issues related to taxation, order a tax card form a tax office and submit it to your employer, which will withdraw the percentage of your salary/wages determined by your tax card. Improve your linguistic skills – mastering Finnish or Swedish language is the key to integration.
If you are a citizen of a country other than the EU, Liechtenstein, Switzerland or the Nordic countries, you need to apply for a residence permit for an employed person in your native country. Before you can be granted a permit, you must secure a job in Finland. On arrival, register with a magistrate and submit a notice of change of address, if you plan to say in Finland for at least twelve months.
When you move to Finland, TE Services provide you with assistance for integration and employment.
Integration and employment services to help you
When you come to Finland as an immigrant, it is important to become integrated, that is, to adopt the knowledge and skills needed in Finnish society.
There are various services available to help you integrate. Family members moving here with you may also be entitled to integration services. It is also a good idea to start studying Finnish or Swedish, as language skills help with integration.
If you need help in finding a job, then you can also get help from the TE Services. A wide range of services is available to support your employment.
Initial assessment and integration plan
You will prepare an initial assessment and an integration plan with an expert at the TE Office or the local government pilot.
The initial assessment provides a preliminary assessment of the types of services that best support your integration and employment.
The initial assessment can include, for example
- an initial interview,
- language proficiency testing, and
- a competence assessment.
You will also draw up an integration plan together with your expert. In it you agree on the measures aimed at supporting your ability to acquire sufficient Finnish or Swedish language skills as well as other knowledge and skills needed in society and working life and to promote your opportunities to participate in society as an equal member.
For example, participation in services that support your integration and employment will be agreed upon in the integration plan. Suitable services may include integration training, job seeking or career coaching, or a work try-out. Studying Finnish or Swedish or, for example, teaching one's mother tongue or reading and writing skills can also be agreed upon in the plan.
You can improve as a job seeker when you master the basics of job search.
On this page, we have gathered tips to help you improve your chances of employment. We provide guidance on, for example, how to get started with your job application documents and how to prepare for a job interview.
At Job Market Finland, you can automate your job search by creating a job applicant profile. In it, you can introduce yourself, highlight your skills, and list your education and work experience. Based on the provided information, you will recieve job recommendations that suit you, and employers interested in your skills can contact you.
Before sending a job application
The job seeking process consists of several stages, and it is advisable to start by acquiring information. Once you have found an interesting job, try to obtain the best possible understanding of the employer and everything that is involved with the open position. When you have acquired information in advance, it will be easier for you to apply for the position.
When you find an interesting position, read the job posting carefully. It is a good idea to find answers to at least the following questions related to the open position.
- What are the main responsibilities and special requirements of the position?
- Do you need a specific degree or certain type of work experience?
- Do the tasks correspond to your competence?
- What can you learn from the job requirements?
- What kind of person are they looking for to fill the position?
Before submitting a job application, you should also familiarise yourself with the employer. Visit the organisation’s website and find out at least the sector, size, and structure of the organisation, as well as its vision, values, and objectives.
Once you have familiarised yourself with both the position and the employer, and you still want to apply for the position, you should consider your next step. Will you contact the employer before sending your job application? Will calling or visiting the workplace, or sending an email help you write your application? Sometimes the job advertisement contains the contact details of the person participating in the recruitment process and the times when you can approach the employer. If you really have questions about the position and feel that it is useful to contact the employer, you can do so before submitting your job application. However, you should carefully consider the most suitable choice for your situation and proceed accordingly.
Job application documents
Although it may seem old-fashioned to draw up traditional job application documents, almost every job application process still requires an application letter and a CV. A one-page application letter and a resume of maximum two pages is usually a good combination.
It may be challenging to formulate your own competence in a comprehensive yet interesting manner. The following instructions will help you create a successful application letter and an interesting CV.
It is a good idea to invest some time and effort in writing your application letter, as what you write can help you get a job interview. The aim of the application letter is to attract the recruiter’s attention so that you will be invited to a job interview.
In the application letter, you will describe
- why you are applying for the job,
- how you meet the selection criteria for the position, and
- why you should be selected for the job in question.
The application letter should give a positive impression of you. It should be concise and targeted specifically at the employer whose position you are applying for. You describe your background and work history in your CV, but in the application letter, the focus is on the future.
Avoid making lists. In the application letter, you can describe yourself and your competence more informally. In addition to subject-related competence, you should also highlight your other strengths that are useful for the position you are applying for. In addition to describing them, it is essential to explain in the application letter what you can offer the organisation.
If you are applying for a position for which you do not have any previous experience, explain how your competence fits the position, and emphasise your motivation, good attitude, and ability to learn.
Finally, you should run a spell check on your text. The application letter is an opportunity to demonstrate your competence, and even small details matter. Therefore, make sure that there are no spelling mistakes in the text.
When working on a CV, try to make it comprehensive yet also clear. You can use creativity when making your CV, but you should not divert too far from the commonly used structure. Express yourself concisely. It is, after all, very important that the recruiter finds the relevant information easily and quickly, as not much time is necessarily given to each individual CV.
A good CV is visually interesting, clear and easy to understand. It quickly indicates whether you meet the requirements of the position.
It is a good idea to describe your work experience and educational information in chronological order, with the most recent experience first. Briefly describe each of your work experiences. Describe what your tasks have included and what you have learned from the work. In addition to work experience, you can also describe your language and IT skills, and provide a list of references.
Check that your resume includes your contact information.
LinkedIn profiles have not superseded traditional CVs, but the service can support your CV in the job application process.
You can also write an application letter in the email message field. Consider the text in your email message as carefully as if you were writing a traditional application letter.
- In the subject field, write “Application” and the title of the position you are applying for.
- Upload your CV as an attachment to the message.
- Begin with a friendly greeting.
- Type your application letter in the text field. You do not need to follow the layout of a traditional application letter.
- Explain that your CV is attached to the email message.
- End your letter with a closing phrase and your contact information.
Employers’ own electronic job search services have their own specific characteristics. Recruiters may, for example, perform word searches on them. In other words, search the job posting for keywords describing the nature of the task and the applicant’s characteristics, and use them in your application. Remember to also describe your personal expertise.
When submitting an application in the employer’s online service, read the instructions carefully. It is a good idea to first write your text using a text editing programme and copy it to the form afterwards.
In the case of an open application, update it regularly.
It is increasingly common for employers to request video applications from job seekers. Video material makes it easier for the employer to pre-select applicants. You can use a video to give a more authentic image of yourself than with a traditional job application.
Make a short, 1–3 minute video and upload it to a video service. Send the link to the employer.
You should practice beforehand so that you can express yourself naturally instead of reading from a piece of paper. For example, you can use the video to
- describe your special talents,
- talk about your personality and strengths, or
- provide an example of your language skills.
A portfolio is a collection of your best and most important work or achievements. You can assemble a portfolio in different ways. It can be a folder, portfolio, demo, plan, drawing, or a photo collection.
Portfolios are most commonly used in the creative sector, but they work well in many other fields, too. For example, a chef’s portfolio may include their personal recipes, photos of dishes and customer feedback.
You should assemble a new portfolio for every new application. However, do not make your portfolio too broad in scope.
A portfolio can include
- certificates, recommendations and evaluations,
- samples of various work tasks in the form of brochures, posters, programmes, magazine articles or similar, or
- anything that will help you land the job.
You can send your portfolio to the employer or take it with you to your job interview and present it there. If your portfolio can be found online, remember to include a link in your job application.
You should not think of a job interview as a one-sided interrogation, but as an opportunity for people to get to know each other. For employers, an interview is a way to test the suitability of a job seeker for an open position and the work community. The applicant will also familiarise themselves with the employer and reflect on their suitability for the position and their interest in becoming part of the organisation. Keep this in mind when you attend the job interview.
When you challenge the interviewer and ask questions about the employer or position, you will give the impression that you are motivated and indicate that you are genuinely interested in the position. At the same time, you will gain information on whether the position is right for you.
Next, we will give you tips on how to succeed in a job interview.
When you are well-prepared for the interview, you can relax and be yourself. It is alright to feel a little nervous.
You should do the following before the interview.
- Find out more about the employer.
- Remind yourself of the job description and what is stated in the job posting.
- Go over your competencies and be prepared to describe them concisely.
- Think about the questions that you would like to ask about the job and your potential employer.
A positive first impression goes a long way when people meet for the first time. Dress in a way that suits the position and employer. Remember to take your application letter, CV, work and educational certificates and possible portfolio with you. Be on time.
In the interview, the recruiter will evaluate whether you are genuinely interested in the position and whether your skills and competence are suited for the position. Above all, the interview will reveal your interaction skills and attitude. If there are more than one interviewers present, give each one of them an equal amount of attention.
Remember that your body language, expressions and the way that you speak tell a lot about yourself. Listen to what they are asking you, and take your time to think before answering. When answering, be honest, but remember to also consider what should possibly be left out.
There are usually three stages to an interview.
- General issues are often discussed in the beginning. The aim is to create an overview of the interviewee.
- In the middle of the interview, the interviewers ask questions with the aim to find out how motivated you are and how you would fit the position. The questions will also involve your career and changes therein. In addition, the interviewers will want to know what kind of a person you are, your values, and your attitude.
- The final stage of the interview focuses on the more practical matters related to the position, such as your salary, working time and start date. The interviewer also often describes how the application process will continue. If necessary, you can also ask questions about the next stages of the process.
After the interview is over, think about how it went. Assess what went well and what you could improve on.
If you are not chosen for the position, ask the employer or interviewer what factors were emphasised in the selection, and what were the reasons why you were not chosen for the job.
Practice answering the questions and consider appropriate answers in advance. The better you prepare, the more confident you will feel during the interview.
- Tell us briefly about yourself.
- Describe your current or most recent employment relationship.
- Why are you applying for this job?
- Why do you want to switch jobs?
- What are your goals for the future?
- What are you like as a colleague or supervisor?
- What are the most important things that you have learned in your previous jobs?
- Describe your dream job or workplace.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How will your strengths help you succeed in your task? What have you done or will you do to fix your weaknesses?
- What motivates you as an employee?
- Describe the type of work community that you thrive in.
- Describe your idea of a good place to work.
- Do you prefer working alone or in a group?
- Why are you applying for a position that is not related to your previous work experience and educational background?
- How do you work under pressure? Give a concrete example.
- Are you ready to travel for work?
- Are you prepared to be flexible with your working hours?
- How much salary do you want?
- What have you learned in your previous jobs?
- What achievement are you particularly proud of?
- Why should we choose you?
- What would you like to know about us?
- Who could recommend you for the position?
- If we called the person giving you a reference, what would they tell us about you?
You may be asked several similar questions, and the order of the questions may seem completely random. This way, the interviewer may simply be testing how you cope under pressure.
Other matters related to the job seeking process
It is worth remembering that you do not need to answer all questions asked by the employer. It is also good to be aware that, in addition to the job interview, the employer can examine your suitability for the position by means of personal assessments and aptitude tests.
There are certain topics that should not affect the recruitment process. During a job interview or similar encounter, you do not need to answer questions related to your
- family relationships or plans,
- sexual orientation,
- ethnic background,
- religion, or
- political orientation.
The employer is not allowed to place job seekers in an unequal position on the basis of the aforementioned characteristics.
Exceptions to this may include some situations where the listed features have a material impact on the performance of the work tasks.
In addition to a job interview, your competence and aptitude for the task may be evaluated in other ways.
Your professional competence may be tested in different ways. For example, you may be asked to do a demo in a situation that resembles work, participate in group work, or give a small-scale presentation.
A psychological evaluation can be used to assess and predict how you will perform in a task by studying your thinking, expertise, skills, characteristics, or operating models.
Through psychological assessment, the employer may wish to find out, for example,
- how you solve problems,
- how well you withstand pressure, and
- what kind of interaction style and personality you have.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the tests are based on reliable methods and that the information gained during the testing process is accurate. The people who perform these tests must have sufficient expertise.
The best way to prepare for these types of tests is to be yourself and go in with an open mind. You are always entitled to receive a copy of your test report or oral feedback on it.
An employment relationship is created when you agree with your future employer on what work you will be doing and what kind of compensation you will receive for your work.
A well-functioning employment relationship is based on a carefully prepared employment contract. The employment contract may be written or verbal, but it is usually a good idea to prepare it in writing so that the terms and conditions of the employment relationship can be easily checked. The employment contract specifies the rights and obligations of both the employer and the employee, so to avoid misunderstandings, the employment contract should be drawn up carefully.
You can freely agree with your employer on tasks, working hours, pay and other benefits and conditions, as long as these comply with the law. Labour legislation contains boundary conditions concerning issues such as working hours, workload, and pay. A generally binding collective agreement may also affect the terms and conditions of the employment agreement if one is used in your industry. Legislation and collective agreements aim to ensure your rights as an employee.
An employment contract is made to be either valid until further notice or for a fixed period. In a fixed-term employment contract, you agree in advance on the end date of the employment relationship. There must always be a valid reason for a fixed-term employment relationship. You can read about when there are grounds for drawing up a fixed-term employment relationship on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
If you want to ensure that your employment relationship is legal and that your rights are realised, you should read more about the topic.
Employment relationships involving those under 18 have special conditions
If you are a young employee, ask for your employment contract to be made in writing. Make sure that your salary is paid correctly and that you get to take the holidays that you are entitled to.
If you have reached the age of 15, you may conclude, terminate, and cancel the employment contract yourself. If you are under 15, your guardian’s consent is required for the employment relationship.
Under the legislation, young people may not be hired for work that could be excessively hard or impede on the young person’s school attendance. The involvement of young people in certain jobs and work tasks is either limited or forbidden entirely. As a result, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the special regulations of the employment relationship so that you know your rights and obligations.
If you are unsure about your rights, take a look at the Young worker web page on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website. The One-Stop Guidance Center also provides support and answers to questions related to work.
The Finnish working life is governed by different rules that both employees and employers must comply with. Legislation and collective agreements specify, for example, the minimum wage, working hours, holidays, sick pay and terms of notice.
As an employee, you are entitled to, among other things,
- a salary or wages in accordance with the collective agreement and other minimum terms of employment (e.g., holidays, sick pay, family leave and terms of notice),
- working hours in accordance with the law and agreements,
- join a trade union,
- a healthy and safe working environment,
- occupational health care and occupational safety,
- a written employment contract, and
- equal treatment in the workplace.
As an employee, you also have obligations. For example, you must:
- do your work carefully,
- observe the agreed working hours,
- follow instructions given to you by your employer about performing the work (right of supervision), and
- take into account the employer's interests (loyalty obligation) also in your free time.
Furthermore, you must not harm your employer. For example, do not talk about any business and professional secrets outside your work.
The employer is only allowed to process personal data necessary for the employee’s employment relationship, i.e., the information must be connected to managing your or your employer's rights and obligations.
Personal data collected by the employer on you must principally be collected only from you. However, the employee's consent to acquire information is not required when an authority needs to disclose information to the employer to enable the latter to fulfil a statutory duty or when the employer acquires on legal grounds personal credit data or information from the criminal record in order to establish the employee’s reliability.
The employer must not store outdated, erroneous or unnecessary information on its employees.
Right to strike
The Constitution of Finland guarantees the freedom of association, which includes the right to strike as an essential element. The right to strike is also included in the fundamental rights of workers defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO). A trade union is always responsible for a decision to go on strike, not an individual member. Employer and employee organisations provide more information on strikes.
Neglect of obligations
If you neglect your job duties or your other obligations, your employer may reprimand you or issue a warning.
If you have received a warning, you have the chance to amend your conduct. If you feel that the warning you were given is unfounded, submit a written response to the employer, stating your differing opinion and the grounds for it.
Repeated negligence and the resulting warnings may lead to your employment relationship being terminated. In the case of such gross misconduct that the employer cannot reasonably be expected to uphold the employment relationship, an employment contract may be terminated even after a single such incident.
As an employee, you have the right to work without discrimination. If you experience unequal treatment or witness others being treated unequally, notify your employer and, if necessary, the authorities dealing with equality issues.
Workplace discrimination is not allowed. The Finnish Equality Act prohibits discrimination on grounds such as gender and its expression, parenthood and family responsibilities. Under the Non-Discrimination Act, no one may be discriminated on the grounds of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.
Workplace equality must be promoted especially in pay, working conditions, terms of employment and career development. Your employer must treat everyone equally when it comes to recruitment, orientation, division of duties, promotions and dismissal situations.
Very different types of discrimination can occur in the workplace. It can be, for example, uneven distribution of work tasks, sexual harassment or unfair pay. Discrimination can also occur before the actual hiring, if the employer sets irrelevant or inappropriate requirements for the employee to be recruited as selection criteria or in the job posting. In a hiring situation it is considered discrimination when, for example, the employer recruits a less meritorious person instead of a more meritorious person solely on the basis of gender.
Reporting and preventing discrimination
If discrimination occurs at your workplace, report it to your employer. You can discuss the subject with your supervisor in one-on-one development discussions, for example. If you suspect that you have experienced discrimination but are not sure, or if your employer will not intervene in the discrimination, there are several parties you can contact. For example, you can get advice on your situation from the Ombudsman for Equality, the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal or the occupational safety and health authorities of a regional state administrative agency.
Do remember that, if your workplace has at least 30 employees, it must have a prepared gender equality plan. The plan must be drawn up in consultation with representatives appointed by the staff. Among other things, the equality plan should address recruitment, pay, performance assessment, opportunities to influence and well-being at work. A plan alone is not enough. Instead, the issues presented in the equality plan must be put into practice. As an employee, you have the right to familiarise yourself with the equality plan.
Guide on how to apply for a residence permit