The last article in this miniseries focused on job search from an international perspective. The article presented some general tips and tricks for internationals applying for jobs in Denmark. If you haven’t read it, the link is here. In this article, the second of three, we meet Margarita a young, Russian woman who recently moved to Denmark. She is well educated and has experience with the job market in Russia, but in Denmark the situation is quite different.
The motivation for this miniseries was a short workshop for international job seekers in Denmark, which we held in collaboration with Career Denmark. One of the participants at the event was Margarita, and this short article outlines her professional career. Margarita like many other internationals struggles to find job in Denmark, but in this article, we look at why that is the case, and she will pass on her knowledge about job search in Denmark.
I am Margarita …
Margarita was born and raised in Tomsk, Russia, a city in Siberia with a population of approximately 0,5 million people.
Margarita has a master’s degree in Records Management and a diploma in English translation, which was a great combination for her back in Russia, as she was working at the intersection between academic administration and international academic communication. In the early 2017, she migrated to Denmark together with her husband, who had accepted a job offer from a large international IT company located in Aarhus. And that is how she found herself in a classic accompanying spouse situation.
Just after Margarita and her husband arrived in Denmark, she began her search for job opportunities, however she quickly realized that if she wanted to broaden her career perspectives in Denmark and increase her employability in the long run, she needed to focus on learning Danish. And so, she did. Alongside her studies, she worked as a freelance copywriter and translator in a flexible, part-time mode. Now, after she finished her language education, she has continued her search for permanent fulltime employment.
From Russia to Denmark
“To me, the biggest difference between the Russian and the Danish job search cultures is probably the application tradition. Back in my home country, I hardly ever wrote a cover letter when applying for a job: Typically, I would just send my CV along with a short note right in the body of the email, and that would be enough for being invited to an interview if my qualifications matched the position” says Margarita and continues: “Neither would I ever mention the name of my cat and my love for long walks on my Russian CV. In Denmark, a candidate’s motivation and personality seem to matter just as much as the hard facts about their skills and accomplishments. Another thing that stroke me was the competition rates in my professional field. The fact that, in Aarhus, job openings for entry-leveladministrative positions typically receive over 100 applications seemed astonishing to me. I was also surprised to repeatedly hear other internationals say that they had submitted 100-150 applications before landing a job”.
Shine bright – cause the odds are slim
Margarita thinks the main challenge when applying for a job in Denmark as an international is to be able to translate your foreign experience into the language of the Danish business culture. Here, this does not refer to the challenge of literally translating your CV into Danish, although that can be quite challenging too, rather being able to explain what you have learned through your pastexperience, and how you can add value to the company in terms that make sense to a Danish manager or recruiter, so that they can see you as an asset. Furthermore, she believes that another challenges is to accept the fact that the job search process often takes quite some time, so one needs to get comfortable with receiving dozens of rejections and learn not to take those rejections personally but rather use these numerous repetitions as an opportunity to test different approaches, learn and improve.
Common Mistakes: Job Searching in Denmark
As mentioned, Margarita participated in our event Common Mistakes: Job Searching in Denmark. According to Margarita the event was very educational and useful. She mentioned that for her the key takeaways were partly how recruiter’s perception of different application styles across culture matters, and partly the importance of calling the company both before and after the job interview. She too enjoyed the story from Marwan along with his tips and tricks for landing a job in Denmark. Note that Marwan was one of the speakers at the event, and he will be the centerpiece of the final article in this miniseries of “Job Search in Denmark – An International Perspective”.
If you are interested in learning more about job search in Denmark, we recommend that you read through our guides about job search in Denmark. If you take advantage of these advice, and also read our other guides about job search, we think that you will be able to improve your job search process and increase your chances of landing a job in the future.
Good luck with your job search!
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