Are you interested in entrepreneurship?
Explore the entrepreneurship content at Job Market Finland.
Do you crave a change in your career? Are you interested in a new job, occupation or studying? There are a lot of different training options and professions on offer, so you should gain knowledge to support your choice. At Job Market Finland, you can find information to support you in choosing a field of study or a profession.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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.
Are you planning on working abroad? Before you begin applying for work abroad, evaluate your language skills, expertise, and the employment situation of your field in your destination country.
As a Finnish citizen, you have the same work-related rights and responsibilities in EU and EEA member states and Switzerland as their own citizens.
If you want to work in one of these countries and find information about job vacancies, training, and the labour market in the country, you should check out the EURES online service.
The EURES network helps job seekers from EU countries as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. You can get support from EURES member and partner organisations throughout the job search process. The service is free of charge.
From a EURES advisor, you can get, for example, guidance in the international job search and help with the country-specific preparation of the CV and application.
As a rule, you need a work permit issued by the immigration authority of the destination country to work in countries outside the EU and EEA countries and Switzerland. As a job seeker, you will be personally required to find out the necessary prerequisites and procedures related to the work permits. For more information, contact, for example, the embassies of the countries that you are interested in.
An internship abroad supports your professional development, language skills, and readiness to work internationally.
If you are studying in a vocational institution, you can apply for a workplace learning spot through your educational institution.
If you are a higher education student, traineeships from abroad can be provided to you by, for example, your own educational institution, in case of EDUFI internships, through the Finnish National Agency for Education, which is responsible for international mobility and collaboration as well as international student organisations.
As an unemployed job seeker, you are allowed to go to another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland for three months to look for work and still retain the right to an unemployment benefit that is paid in Finland. During your job seeking trip, you will only be able to receive earnings-related unemployment allowance and basic unemployment allowance. You cannot receive labour market subsidy during the trip.
To be able to receive unemployment benefits while you are abroad, your unemployment before your trip must have lasted for at least four weeks. The expert at the TE Office or the local government pilot can reduce this period at its discretion and for a special reason, for example, if you have already agreed on a job interview. Your unemployment period can also be calculated to include the time that you have participated in a service that promotes employment.
Report the travel date to the TE Office or the local government pilot well in advance of your departure. It will inform the payer of the unemployment benefit that you will be leaving to look for work in another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland.
Remember to order a U2 form from Kela or your unemployment fund well in advance of your departure, as you will need to take this to the labour office of your destination country. Kela or your unemployment fund will determine whether the prerequisites for transferring the unemployment benefit that falls within their domain are met.
After you have arrived at your country of destination, remember to register as a job seeker at the local labour office within seven days. This will allow you to receive your unemployment benefit for the duration of your trip. If you register later, you will only receive money starting from your registration date.
During the job seeking process, you are required to comply with the obligations and supervision methods that have been mandated by the labour officials of your destination country.
Your unemployment allowance is paid by Kela or your unemployment fund. During your job seeking trip, you can apply for unemployment benefits as usual online, or you can post your unemployment period notice to the payer.
Your TE Office or local government pilot can reimburse you for any travel and accommodation costs for a return job interview journey to another EU or EEA country if the work you applied for will last for at least two weeks and your working hours will be at least 18 hours per week on average. Reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs cannot be granted for job search trips to Switzerland.
When you return to Finland, register immediately as a job seeker. Your unemployment security may change if you do not return to Finland and you do not register as a job seeker at the latest on the return date mentioned in the U2 form. This will prevent you from receiving any unemployment benefit before you have been employed or have participated in labour market training in Finland for four weeks. You may be entitled to a labour market subsidy.
For more detailed instructions, contact your TE Office, local government pilot, Kela, or unemployment fund.
If you are not a citizen of an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland, contact the TE Office or local government pilot and the payer of your unemployment benefit.
What would you like to do for a living? It is time to choose a profession when you transition from studies to working life or want to change into a new professional field.
Choosing a profession is an important decision, but it does not determine the rest of your life. These days, people change their careers several times over their life course, either based on their own wishes or due to circumstances. For example, a person may have to change their profession when the employment situation or working conditions in their field change. Meanwhile, some study for a new profession because they want to change their everyday life, learn new things, or develop themselves. Health-related changes are also common reasons for changing professions.
Above all, changing your profession is a question of what you would like to learn to do. When making your choice, you should consider your own values and wishes. It is essential to identify both your strengths and limitations and to consider what kinds of topics you want to work on. After that, you should find out what fields and what kind of work tasks could allow you to work on topics that interest you and enable you to make the best use of your strengths.
When making a choice on your future career, be open-minded in reflecting and finding out what opportunities are available, what you would like to do for a living, and what would be possible for you. Training allows you to increase your competence and skills so that you can find employment in tasks that interest you.
You make your own decisions in choosing a field and profession. If you would like support for your decision process with the help and views of a professional, you can use the psychologist service for career selection and career guidance offered by TE services. You can also take part in career coaching, which enables you to consider your career path together with a career coach and other people in the same situation. If you are looking for information about training, contact the education and training guidance of the TE Office.
If you are already employed and want to get into a new profession, consider what kind of studies you have time and energy for and how the possible change in income level will affect your life. If you do not want to give up your current job because of your studies, you can search for a degree programme that you can complete alongside your job.
Changing professions does not necessarily mean that you should change your industry or even your workplace. You can ask your employer about a study leave or degree programmes that can be completed while working. Developing your competence may enable you to get a new job in your current workplace.
When you are considering different options for your future career, you can learn about different industries and professions in the Professional information service of Job Market Finland. You can get tips for your situation from the interviews and career stories in the section.
ForeAmmatti is a comprehensive digital service that provides information to support job search and career planning. You can find information about different professions in ForeAmmatti. Use the service to find out about things such as
The AVO career choice program is a set of self-assessment tasks that helps you make choices on your profession. Completing the tasks will help you reflect on your goals related to the profession, education and work. Reflect on the questions included in the program to get suggestions based on your answers for professions that are suitable for you.
Use the AVO career choice program to
The Töissä.fi website provides information on the types of positions those who studied in universities and universities of applied sciences work in. The service is provided by higher education institutions.
Once you have found an industry that suits you, you should find out about the employment situation in the field.
Job Market Finland enables you to browse open jobs and see what kinds of tasks are currently available.
Use the Labour Force Barometer to examine the employment opportunities in the industry of your choice in different regions. The Labour Force Barometer contains information about the labour market situation, employment situation, and development prospects for 200 professions. You can check if there is a shortage or oversupply of labour in your industry or profession, and what the recent unemployment and job vacancy rates look like for your profession.
Once you have found an interesting profession and considered the employment situation in the industry, it is time to find out what kind of training is needed to find employment in the industry. The education required by the profession may be a short course, a higher education degree, or anything in between.
If you do not have any previous professional education, your options include completing upper secondary vocational education, apprenticeship training or completing a degree at a university of applied sciences or a university. You can also complete a vocational qualification or its units in some folk high schools. For more information on study places and applying for them, see Studyinfo.
If you are considering entrepreneurship as one of your career options, you can take part in entrepreneurial training or entrepreneur career coaching. Test your suitability as an entrepreneur using a free test by My Enterprise Finland.
Agree on job alternation leave together with your employer. Job alternation leave can vary between 100 and 180 calendar days, during which an unemployed person is hired as your substitute.
If you are considering taking job alternation leave, check whether you meet the following conditions:
The person recruited for the period of your job alternation leave must be registered as an unemployed job seeker at the TE Office.
If you are a customer of a local government employment pilot, contact your regional TE Office in matters related to job alternation leave.
You can receive job alternation compensation for the duration of your job alternation leave. You receive compensation even if your replacement's employment ends before the end of your job alternation leave.
Job alternation compensation is equal to 70% of the daily unemployment allowance that you would receive if you became unemployed. Child increments are not taken into account in this calculation. Job alternation compensation is taxable income.
By way of exception, the daily unemployment allowance on which the job alternation compensation is based is calculated according to the earned income received during the 52 weeks preceding the start of the job alternation leave.
If you have been a member of an unemployment fund for at least 26 weeks immediately prior to the start of your job alternation leave, your benefit is calculated based on your earnings-related unemployment benefit and paid by the unemployment fund.
In other cases, the compensation is based on basic unemployment benefit and paid by Kela.
The purpose of job alternation leave is to support employees in coping at work and to provide unemployed jobseekers with fixed-term employment. You may still do other work during your job alternation leave if you so wish.
Any salary and other earnings received during your job alternation leave reduce your job alternation compensation. In such cases, the compensation is based on your adjusted daily allowance. You are not entitled to compensation for periods where you are in full-time work for more than two weeks.
However, the amount of the job alternation compensation is not affected by pay earned before the leave and paid during the leave if this is not pay for which you receive leisure time. In other words, your job alternation compensation is not affected by, for example, holiday bonus paid during the job alternation leave or by different profit and performance bonuses.
Statutory benefits that reduce unemployment security (such as child home care allowance) also reduce job alternation compensation.
By contrast, your job alternation compensation is affected by
You are not entitled to job alternation compensation for periods during which
The following, however, are not considered as a salary within the context of the first point listed above:
When you plan to take job alternation leave, submit a notification to the TE Office before the leave begins informing them that the conditions for the leave have been met. These include your employment during the preceding year and its full-time status. You can prove these, for example, by providing a copy of your pay slip.
Apply for job alternation compensation from your unemployment fund or from Kela.
Application forms are available on the website of the Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland or from the TE Office.
Attach to the application a pay certificate of the full pay periods covering at least the 52 weeks preceding the job alternation leave and copies of the job alternation agreement.
A retroactive period of three months applies to job alternation compensation applications.
The TE Office issues a statement on the labour policy requirements for paying compensation to the unemployment fund or Kela. They then decide on the compensation and ensure that it is paid. The compensation is paid retroactively on at least a monthly basis.
Deliver to your local TE Office
When you are receiving job alternation compensation, inform the payer without delay of any work, business activity and other matters that affect the payment of the compensation. If you receive too much compensation, you will have to pay it back later.
Your employer, on the other hand, must inform the TE Office without delay if there are significant changes in the employment of the substitute for the person on job alternation leave. This is the case, for example, where their employment ends before the job alternation leave does.
Ending your employment may be a relevant option for you if, for example, you want to change your job, are looking for new challenges, or are moving to another location. Resignation and termination of employment are two means for ending your employment with your current employer.
Before changing jobs, it is worth weighing the good and bad aspects of your current job. What changes will a new employment relationship bring? For example, does the new position have a more interesting job description, an opportunity for remote work, better pay, better opportunities for progress, or like-minded colleagues? If you think that the new employment relationship will have more positive aspects than your current job, it may be a good idea to make a change.
You do not need a special reason to terminate a permanent employment relationship. Remember, however, that you must comply with the notice period agreed in your employment contract, which must be at least as long as the minimum period required by law. Where possible, it is polite to notify your employer of your resignation well in advance.
It is also possible to resign during a fixed term contract if such an agreement has been made with your employer either in the employment contract or during the employment relationship.
In special cases, you may also cancel the employment relationship without any notice period if the employer has seriously violated their obligations. If there is a trial period at the start of the employment, you may cancel the employment relationship during this period without any special reason. Comprehensive instructions for different types of employment termination can be found on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
If you know that you will be unemployed between jobs and want to claim benefits for the period, find out whether you are entitled to unemployment security.
You can also resign from a fixed-term employment relationship if you have agreed on this with the employer in the employment contract or during the employment relationship.
Where possible, it is polite to inform the employer of such a decision in good time. You can announce your resignation with a separate notice of resignation or by sending an email with your name, personal details, and the date.
If there is a trial period at the start of the employment, you may terminate the employment relationship during this period without giving any special reason. During the trial period, you can terminate the employment relationship without serving any period of notice. In such cases, the employment relationship ends immediately, in practice on the same day.
As an employee, you can also terminate the employment contract if your employer violates or neglects very seriously their own obligations, such as payment of wages or occupational safety
Do you wish to develop your competence? There are many different ways to expand your expertise.
Are you aware of all your areas of competence? It is important to acknowledge what you already know and what you could still learn if you are seeking to find a new job or to develop your competence. You can attend higher education institutions to complement your existing competence and degrees, or study at any institution of your choosing alongside work.
Higher education institutions allow you to complement your previous degrees or take studies in an entirely new field. These non-degree studies can also be taken alongside work to expand professional competence.
If you are working, you can take multiform studies or ask your employer about the possibility of taking job alternation or study leave.
Multiform studies are designed to be taken alongside work, so contact teaching is reduced and mostly takes place in the evenings and on weekends. Multiform studies combine different forms of study, which may include contact teaching, online learning, working in study groups and independent study, for example.
Job alternation leave is an arrangement where you and your employee agree upon a longer period of leave. You can use this leave to study, for example.
Policies on study leave vary from workplace to workplace, so discuss them with your own employer.
The way that work is done is changing, opening new opportunities for you to find employment. In addition to traditional salaried work and entrepreneurship, you may also employ yourself in other ways, such as using light entrepreneurship services, working as a freelancer, working on a grant, working in a worker cooperative, or working as a family caregiver, professional athlete, or volunteer. These different ways of working offer you alternatives when preparing for changes in working life.
You can employ yourself in many different ways. You can earn your income from multiple sources, either simultaneously or in alternation. For example, you may work part-time through light entrepreneurship whilst also in paid employment or doing your studies, or your work may consist of a number of short-term job assignments. Have you ever considered that you could also earn money from your hobby?
This may bring up questions about unemployment security. There is no unequivocal model for all self-employed people, as the amount and duration of the work you do has an impact on unemployment security. It is worth taking a look at our Unemployment security section and asking Information and guidance about unemployment security.
Explore the entrepreneurship content at Job Market Finland.