I am unemployed or about to be unemployed

Register as a job seeker in the E-services of TE services, no later than your first day of unemployment. Check out job search tips and rules for applying for unemployment security at Job Market Finland. Sign up and create your own job applicant profile to help you get job recommendations that are right for you.

Once you know that you will lose your job, register as a job seeker via E-services no later than your first day of unemployment. After that, you can apply for unemployment security from Kela or your unemployment fund.

In the customer service model, as a job seeker, you will be supported right from the start of your job search in meetings that are personal and held regularly.

Read tips on how to search for jobs, and study the instructions at Job Market Finland. Log in and create your own job applicant profile. This will help you get job recommendations that are right for you, and employers can also contact you

Register as a job seeker

You can easily register as an unemployed job seeker in the E-services of TE services.

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Receiving unemployment benefits is conditional on many factors, which is why you have not only rights but also certain obligations.

The rights of unemployed job seekers    

The term unemployed job seeker refers to people who are without employment, have been laid off, and job seekers who are not part of the workforce.   

Once you have registered as a job seeker, you are entitled to    

  • public employment services, which are determined by your service needs and
  • unemployment security, if you meet the conditions for it.

Together with your assigned expert at either the TE Office or the local government pilot for employment, you will create an employment plan. The plan will be a record of your job seeking goals and obligations, and the actions you will take to achieve those goals. You will review the plan and your progress through it with your assigned expert every three months.

Your entitlement to unemployment benefits is affected by whether you are a wage earner, an entrepreneur, self-employed, or a student. How much work you do and how long you work is also significant.

Your assigned expert will always assess the amount of work required for your activities on a case-by-case basis, as this will have an impact on your unemployment security. The amount of work you do is the key factor in the assessment, not your income or profit. The assessment made by authorities of the TE Office or the local government pilot may not be in line with the decisions made by the providers of unemployment security, i.e. KELA, unemployment insurance funds, or the Tax Administration.

While receiving an unemployment benefit, and provided you meet the prerequisites, you can    

  • study part-time,    
  • complete short-term studies (lasting 6 months at most),
  • engage in volunteering or other work that is unpaid, regular, and for the public good,    
  • work part-time, 
  • work as a part-time entrepreneur or in a short-term commission relationship, or   
  • become a full-time entrepreneur or self-employed. The full or part-time nature of entrepreneurial activity or self-employment is not assessed for the first four months after you start such activities if you have started them while being unemployed. 

However, you must notify the TE Office or the local government pilot in advance of any changes in your situation in order to check your entitlement to unemployment security.

Responsibilities of unemployed job seekers    

If you are applying for or already receive an unemployment benefit, you need to search for full-time work. Only job seekers who receive a partial disability pension are entitled to unemployment benefits without being obligated to seek full-time employment. A nonconditional requirement of receiving unemployment benefits is that your job search is valid. Your job search is considered valid when you are working with the TE Office or local government pilot in the agreed manner and at the agreed times, and you are observing any instructions and deadlines given through E-services or other official channels.

In addition to this, you have to take care of the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure you can be reached and keep your contact information up to date. You can notify officials on any changes through E-services or calling the telephone service.  
  • Accept work that is offered to you by your assigned expert or an employer. If the job offer made by your expert is mandatory, you are required to contact the employer. You must also report contacting the employer by the deadline.
  • Accept training your assigned expert offers you. Training offers require you to apply for programmes such as vocational labour market training. You must report your applications by the deadline. 
  • Attend the agreed interviews, job search discussions, and supplementary job search discussions. Participate in drawing up and reviewing your employment plan, activation plan, or integration plan.
  • Apply for and participate in all employment-promoting services that are agreed in the employment plan or provided to you. Perform all the actions agreed on in the employment plan and report actions you have completed.
  • If you are under 25 and do not have any post-comprehensive or post-upper-secondary education leading to a qualification or professional capabilities, you need to apply for at least two education programmes in the spring to receive unemployment benefits. Your entitlement to unemployment security will be reviewed at the beginning of the autumn semester, starting from 1 September. You can find more information and guidance from the One-Stop Guidance Center closest to you.
  • Inform the TE Office or the local government pilot of any changes to your contact information.

Note that if you neglect your responsibilities, you may lose your entitlement to unemployment security for a fixed period or indefinitely. 

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You can easily register as an unemployed job seeker in the E-services of TE services.

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If your employment is being terminated for production or financial reasons, transition security will help support you.

Transition security is a service that provides you with support for searching for a job and finding new employment as quickly as possible after being dismissed from your job. In dismissal situations, the TE Office or local government pilot experts work with your employer and employee representatives and organise opportunities like information events about services offered to customers by TE services. 

You are already entitled to an employment plan during your period of notice. In the employment plan, you will agree with your assigned expert on the actions and services that will best help you find new employment. When you are dismissed, you are entitled to paid leave while you are preparing an employment plan or participating in job search training, vocational labour market training, or re-employment training agreed on in the plan. 

TE Offices employ designated transition security experts who help both employers and employees in matters related to transition security. If you are a customer of a local government pilot on employment, your assigned expert will advise you on transition security matters. Your regional TE Office’s transition security experts will also help you in situations where you need transition security. Telephone services are also available. 

Know your rights and responsibilities when your employment relationship changes! 

Extended transition security for job seekers aged 55 or over

Extended transition security is intended for you if you are at least 55 years old. The purpose of the service is to promote your speedy employment and improve your position on the labor market.

You are entitled to transition security for job seekers aged 55 or over, if

  • you have turned 55 at the latest on the day of dismissal from work,
  • your employment contract has been terminated for production-economic reasons on or after 1 January 2023,
  • you have been employed by the employer who has dismissed you for at least five years with no more than 30 day interruptions, and
  • you have registered as a job seeker at the TE Office within 60 days of dismissal.

Transition security for job seekers aged 55 or over includes

  • transition security allowance,
  • transition security training,
  • employment leave, which is 5, 15 or 25 days long.

The amount of the transition security allowance corresponds to your average monthly salary. Remember to apply for transition security allowance from your own unemployment fund or from Kela no later than three months after the end of your employment.

Transition security training is a service intended for a person aged 55 or over who has been terminated from their employment. It must be organised and granted by the TE office after receiving information from the employer about the person's termination.

You may have the right to an employment leave if you are facing dismissal due to either production-related or financial reasons, or in connection with a reorganization process and your employer fulfills the job offer and training obligations. You can also negotiate an employment leave with your employer if your dismissal is a result of bankruptcy. During your notice period, you can take an employment leave, during which you have the right to create an employment plan in cooperation with TE Services. During the employment leave, you are also entitled to participate in labour market policy adult education, training programmes, internships, and on-the-job learning, if these actions are agreed upon in the employment leave contract.

Extended transition security for people aged 55 or over — what does it mean for the employee?

55 vuotta täyttäneiden laajennettu muutosturva — mitä se tarkoittaa työntekijän kannalta?
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When you register as a job seeker, you will be asked about matters that affect your eligibility for unemployment security. When you receive unemployment benefits, you must notify us if your situation changes.

Report changes in your employment situation in the E-services, the telephone service, or at the office of the TE Office or the local government pilot.

Report, for example, when

  • you start working, your work ends, or your working hours change,
  • you engage in business activities for more than two weeks (in addition to your own business activity, work in a family-owned enterprise can also be considered as business activities),  
  • you work and receive compensation other than as a wage earner or entrepreneur, for example as an informal carer,  
  • you start studying,
  • your nationality or your residence permit changes,   
  • you discontinue the service promoting employment (notify either the unemployment fund or Kela of individual absences in the application for daily allowance or labour market subsidy), or  
  • your contact information changes.  

Please note that the most common changes that you must notify to the TE Office or the local government pilot are listed above. If you are unsure about how the change in your situation affects your right to unemployment security, you should contact the TE Office, the local government pilot, or the unemployment security helpline. An expert will also give you more detailed instructions on how to report the start and end of employment when you take on temporary work on a regular basis, for example.

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Report changes

As a recipient of an unemployment benefit, you must notify TE officials if your situation changes. You can report changes in the E-services of TE services.

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At the Jobmarket you can register as a job seeker in the E-services of TE Services. If you become unemployed or are laid off, register as a job seeker as soon as possible.

You can register as a job seeker before your unemployment or lay-off begins, but do so no later than on your first day of unemployment, because you can only receive unemployment security from the registration date.

You can identify yourself to the E-services of TE Services with online banking credentials, a mobile certificate, or a chip-based ID card. If you cannot identify yourself in these ways or you are not a citizen of an EU or EEA member state, you can register in the TE Office's general counseling service or by visiting a TE Office in person.

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If you are applying for unemployment security, after starting your job search, you will receive a labour policy statement on your right to unemployment security. You can see the statements given to you in the E-services of TE Services. Unemployment benefits are only paid for the time you are an unemployed job seeker. Your right to unemployment security is influenced by many factors. Read more about them in the "Unemployment security" section.

If you have participated in labour market training or been employed on a pay subsidy and become unemployed again, register as a job seeker.

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Agree on further services with your own expert  

When you start your job search, you will agree with your assigned TE Office or local government pilot expert on how your customer relationship will progress with the TE Services.

You can contact your expert via the E-services of TE Services. There you can also view all your open tasks.

In the E-services of TE Services you can

  • view your employment plan that entails your agreed job search obligations, i.e. tasks that promote your employment, and mark them as completed by the due dates,
  • view your own information related to your unemployment security, such as statements and open requests for clarification,
  • update the changes in your job search situation or inform of employment,
  • maintain your contact information, and
  • submit a contact request to your own expert.
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When you are an unemployed job seeker, unemployment security financially ensures your ability to apply for work and improves your chances of entering or returning to the labour market.

Register as a job seeker and start your job search on your first day of unemployment so that you can receive unemployment security right from the beginning of your unemployment.

After registering you will receive a labour policy statement stating whether you are eligible for unemployment security. If you are applying for unemployment security, you may receive a request for additional information before the statement is issued. 

You may receive an increase in your unemployment security if you participate in services promoting employment. You must agree on participation in the service with your expert either in the employment plan or an equivalent plan.

Unemployment security is paid by either the unemployment fund or Kela

When applying for unemployment security, first find out whether your unemployment benefit is paid by the unemployment fund or Kela. Various forms of unemployment benefits include earnings-related allowance, basic unemployment allowance, and labour market subsidy.

  • If you are a member of an unemployment fund through your trade union, for example, apply for earnings-related unemployment allowance from your fund.
  • If you are not a member of an unemployment fund, apply for basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy from Kela. 

If you have any questions about unemployment security, the experts at the unemployment security helpline will assist you.

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Register as a job seeker

You can easily register as an unemployed job seeker in the E-services of TE services.

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Are you under 25 years of age without a professional degree and have finished comprehensive school or upper secondary school? Conditions for unemployment security that apply to you partially differ from those of other job seekers. Your situation will change when you receive vocational training or take part in a service that promotes employment.

Unemployment security and labour market subsidy for persons under the age of 18

If you are under 18 years of age and have not completed education after comprehensive school or general upper secondary school leading to a qualification that provides professional skills, you are usually not entitled to a labour market subsidy paid on the basis of unemployment.

If you are a 17-year-old job seeker, you can receive  

  • unemployment security that is basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy, if you have completed your compulsory education, i.e. obtained a vocational qualification or matriculation examination, or
  • labour market subsidy for the duration of participation in a service promoting employment if you have completed your compulsory education with a matriculation examination even if you do not have vocational education after general upper secondary school.

A person under the age of 18 may also be entitled to unemployment security provided that they have interrupted their compulsory education due to a weighty reason referred to in the Act on Compulsory Education. These include long-term illness, parental leave, or being abroad.

Those under 25 are obligated to apply for training   

Are you under 25 and have had no education beyond comprehensive school or general upper secondary school? In order to be eligible for unemployment security, in the spring you must apply for at least two opportunities for education leading to a degree that will start in the following autumn, provide professional skills, and for which you meet the requirements for admission.

  • The training does not have to be part of the joint application to upper secondary education and preparatory education. You may also apply to a university or university of applied sciences.   
  • If you have only completed comprehensive school, you may also apply for places to study in general upper secondary schools intended for young people comprising at least 150 credits.
  • If you are completing upper secondary school in the spring, you must apply in the spring that you graduate for education that begins in the autumn and provides professional skills. You must also apply to study if you intend to complete military or non-military service immediately after general upper secondary school.
  • If you are invited to an entrance examination, you must participate in the exam as well as other events related to the application process.   
  • If you are offered a place to study, accept it and begin your studies.   

If reasons related to matters such as your state of health or language skills prevent you from applying for education, discuss the matter with an expert at the TE Office or the local government pilot. You can also agree on meeting the obligation to apply to study in some other way.

Prerequisites for receiving unemployment security  

If you are still an unemployed job seeker at the beginning of the autumn term (1 September), an expert from the TE Office or the local government pilot will inquire what training you have applied for.

You will lose your right to unemployment security from the beginning of the autumn term, i.e. from 1 September until further notice if 

  • you have not applied for at least two educational opportunities without a valid reason, 
  • you are not selected for training due to reasons attributable to you, or 
  • if you refuse to accept training or do not start training without a valid reason.

If you quit your studies without a valid reason, you will lose your right to unemployment security from the day that you quit.    

To receive unemployment security, you are not required to apply in the autumn for education that begins in the spring. However, if you do apply for education in the autumn and you get a place to study, but fail to start your studies in the spring without a valid reason, you will lose your right to unemployment security until further notice.   

Your right to an unemployment security will be restored if one of the following conditions is met:

  • You have completed a vocational qualification or higher education degree.
  • You have spent at least 21 calendar weeks working at a job that meets the conditions of being employed, which means that you have worked at least 18 hours a week, taken part in services that promote employment, studied full time, or worked full time as an entrepreneur or at your own job.   
  • You reach your 25th birthday.

Kela can impose a mandatory waiting period for your labour market subsidy, during which you will not receive the labour market subsidy. The maximum length of the waiting period is 21 weeks. Kela will decide on the length of the waiting period.

Services that promote employment 

If you cannot receive an unemployment benefit due to not applying for education or training options, you can still receive unemployment security while participating in services promoting employment. 

Services promoting employment include rehabilitative work activities, job-search coaching, career coaching, work try-outs, and labour market training.

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As a full-time student, you usually receive your income from financial aid for students. In some cases, you may be entitled to unemployment security during your studies.

Financial aid for students and unemployment security 

As a full-time student, you receive your primary income from financial aid for students. Kela is responsible for the financial aid for students.  
You cannot receive financial aid for students and unemployment security at the same time.

Studying with unemployment security

If you are unemployed and you wish to start studying, you should acquaint yourself with labour market training, the possibilities for short-term or part-time studies, and independent studies with an unemployment benefit (not available for those under the age of 25). When you study in these ways, you may be able to receive an unemployment benefit during your studies.

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Full-time studies  

As a full-time student, you are not usually entitled to unemployment security. This also applies to study holidays.    

Full-time studies are studies with the aim of completing

  • a vocational school degree,
  • a higher vocational school degree,  
  • a lower or higher university degree, or 
  • upper secondary school studies comprising at least 150 credits. In practice this means upper secondary school studies aimed at young people as well as upper secondary school studies in a boarding school.

Full-time studies include studies corresponding to the Act on Vocational Education aimed at completing

  • a vocational upper secondary qualification or module,
  • preparatory training for vocational education and training, or  
  • preparatory training for work and independent living.  

Other studies are also full-time studies when

  • the study plan comprises a minimum of five credits or three course credits or 4.5 ECVET points in a month of study or
  • the studies in the syllabus comprise an average of at least 25 hours per week unless it has been defined in terms of study credits or study weeks or ECVET points.

The TE office or the local government pilot will ascertain if your studies are part-time or full-time.

Concluding studies  

Your studies are considered to be full-time until you show that they have concluded. If you are completing the full syllabus of basic education or upper secondary school, you are considered a full-time student through the end of the term.  

If needed, you can show that your studies have ended by producing, for example,  

  • a diploma,
  • a certificate of the termination of studies, or
  • a clarification showing that the studies to prepare for a skills test have concluded.  

Another indication of the conclusion of your studies is that they have been interrupted for at least a year. Interruption of studies means that you have not completed any credits and you have not taken part in studies or, for example, prepared a final thesis under guidance.

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If you have been laid off, you may be entitled to unemployment security during the lay-off.

If you are laid off, register as a job seeker so that the TE Office or the local government pilot can make a labour policy statement on your right to unemployment security. You can then apply for unemployment security either from the unemployment fund or Kela. For more detailed instructions on registering as a job seeker and applying for unemployment security, see the "How to apply for unemployment security" page. 

Your lay-off must be implemented by the employer due to financial or production-related reasons. Being laid-off for disciplininary reasons does not give you the right to unemployment benefits.

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If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, their family member, or you have a residence permit and become unemployed or are laid off, you may be entitled to unemployment security.

If you become unemployed, register as a job seeker. You can register in the E-services, the telephone service or at a TE Office or local government pilot’s premises.

In order to register as a job seeker, you must be a citizen of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, a member of their family, or you must have a residence permit. If your residence permit states that you may only work for one specific employer, you cannot register as a job seeker. Other restrictions entered in the residence permit, such as permission to work in a specific sector, do not prevent you from registering as a job seeker.

Once you have registered as a job seeker, you may be entitled to unemployment security if

  • you are ready to apply for and accept full-time work,
  • you are ready to participate in services promoting employment and integration, and
  • you have work experience in Finland.

In order to be entitled to unemployment security, you must participate in the initial assessment and in the services agreed upon in your plan, such as integration training.

You are not entitled to unemployment security if you are a full-time student or you cannot accept full-time work, for example because of caring for a child. Your activities as an entrepreneur may also have an impact on receiving an unemployment benefit.

If you have joined an unemployment fund and the employment condition is met, the unemployment fund pays the unemployment benefit. If you are not a member of an unemployment fund or the employment condition is not met, the unemployment benefit is paid by Kela. You can also apply for a labour market subsidy from Kela if you do not yet have enough work experience in Finland. Please note, however, that you cannot receive a labour market subsidy if you have a temporary B residence permit. In addition to this, you may be entitled to social assistance applied for from Kela.

Whether or not you are entitled to Finnish social security is also a factor in determining your right to unemployment security. Kela makes decisions on the right to Finnish social security.

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Register as a job seeker

You can easily register as an unemployed job seeker in the E-services of TE services.

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If your employer has been declared bankrupt or, for some other reason, cannot pay your salary, you can apply for unpaid pay or other payments as pay security.

The pay security system secures your ability to receive pay and other payments if your employer is unable to pay them. You will be compensated as pay security for payments once the grounds and amount of them have been determined.

As a private customer, you can apply for pay security in the ELY Centre's E-services. You will need online banking codes, a mobile certificate, or an identity card with a chip suitable for identification. Instructions for applying for pay security can be found on the ELY Centre's website.

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Are you wondering whether you need to notify the TE Office, the local government pilot, or the party paying your unemployment benefit of the start or end of your employment? The decisive factor is whether the work lasts over or under two weeks.

If you are a customer of a TE Office or a local government pilot, always report any changes in your work situation. You can submit a notification in the E-services or call the telephone service.

At the same time, indicate whether you intend to apply for unemployment security after your employment situation has changed. If necessary, you will receive a new labour policy statement on your right to unemployment security.

You can only receive unemployment security for the time that you are a job seeker and looking for full-time employment. If you are a job seeker who receives a partial disability pension, you do not need to apply for full-time employment.

Register as a job seeker

You can easily register as an unemployed job seeker in the E-services of TE services.

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Termination of entrepreneurial activity of a private entrepreneur

If you are a private entrepreneur, the termination criteria applied to your entrepreneurship are different from those applied to company form business operations. Under the Unemployment Security Act, your entrepreneurial activity as a private entrepreneur is seen to have ceased when production and economic activities have ended according to your notification which is deemed reliable, or it is otherwise evident that you will no longer continue the entrepreneurial activity. It is an additional requirement that you have cancelled your entrepreneur's pension insurance (YEL) or farmer's pension insurance (MYEL), except for MYEL taken out for a grant period.

The TE Office or the local government pilot will, before the matter is decided, send a written request for clarification regarding your entrepreneurial activity.

When you start an employment relationship lasting up to two weeks

  • inform the party paying for your unemployment security of your employment.  

When you start entrepreneurial activity lasting up to two weeks,

  • inform the party paying for your unemployment benefit of your employment, and
  • also inform the TE Office or the local government pilot of your employment if your entrepreneurial activity has previously been considered part-time and your business is expanding, or you are unsure of the duration of your entrepreneurial activity.

When you end an employment relationship or entrepreneurial activity that lasted no more than two weeks, notify the payer of your unemployment benefit of it.

When you start an employment relationship or entrepreneurial activity lasting more than two weeks, report it to

  • the TE Office or the local government pilot, and
  • the payer of your unemployment benefit.

If you wish, you can continue as a job seeker in the TE Services or you can stop your job search completely.  

  • If you stop your job search, you are not entitled to unemployment security.  
  • If you continue as a job seeker, the TE Office or the local government pilot will determine whether you are entitled to unemployment security. In order to be eligible for unemployment security, you must, among other things, keep your job search valid and apply for full-time employment.
  • As a job seeker, you may be entitled to unemployment security for a period of four months when you are an entrepreneur or self-employed, if the new activity starts during your unemployment.
  • You may also be entitled to an adjusted unemployment benefit if the employment relationship is part-time and lasts over two weeks.

When you end an employment relationship or entrepreneurial activity that has lasted more than two weeks, you should take action according to whether your job search is valid.   

  • If your job search is not valid, register as a job seeker.
  • If your job search is already valid, notify the TE Office or the local government pilot of the changes in your situation.

The TE Office or the local government pilot will determine whether you are entitled to unemployment security and can ask you to submit certificates of your business activities or employment relationship.

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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.


Job interview

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

  • age,
  • health,
  • 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.

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