Job search tips for international students in Finland

Long Tran is currently an application developer at InSolution Oy, Tampere. He graduated from Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Automation Engineering. Long also accomplished his Master’s degree in the same field at Aalto University.

Long Tran, Vietnamese student at HAMK

Long Tran

When asked about his secrets in job searching, Long gave us a bunch!

  • Actively do your own research on small or medium-sized local companies. If you are lucky enough to have contact of a HR person or a department executive from a company to which you are interested in applying, don’t be shy to ask them about their available vacancies. In Finland, a lot of jobs are referred by acquaintances, not through online or offline advertisement.
  • Attend different job fairs and career events, not only you will find useful information relating job market in Finland, but also it is an opportunity for you to get in touch with recruitment staff of potential companies. 
  • Search for job vacancy advertisements on different websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Duunitori and Te-palvelut. Even though, a lot of the time the job titles and descriptions are in Finnish, you can always use Google translate or ask for help from your Finnish friends. Some positions do not require Finnish language skills.
A happy student with a graduation cap
  • If your field of work belongs to the practical side, prepare a portfolio or a demo that displays products which were created by yourself. You should send that together with your application so the recruiters can actually see and evaluate your ability. A well-made portfolio would of course also elevate your chance of being noticed more among other applications!
food stylist photographer portfolio
  • In case you think the salary offer is not so high, don’t be too taken back by it. If you think the position will teach you a lot, that’s all that matters.
  • If you still cannot seem to find a suitable professional position, a traineeship or an internship can be a not-so-bad option.
  • Consider reapplying for companies to which you have applied long time ago but did not succeed. Who knows, after all these 6 months or so, now your skills have improved and meet the requirement criteria!
A woman writing on a notebook
  • Keep track of your ‘lessons learned’. Often, you might fail at several applications or interviews, but these will give you ‘lessons’ that you can learn and gradually work on. Sometimes I even ask the recruiter for their feedback in a follow-up email, with a nice manner of course (but don’t be disappointed if they don’t reply because they are mostly just busy and do not have time). From those ‘lessons’, you can try improving different aspects of your application, such as fixing your cover letter, adding more specific skills or answering an interview question in a different way.

More career tips and finding your niche here.

-written by Sophie Nguyen, coordinator at Edunation

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