• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

FEATURE: How to get a job in Norway

The Local · 20 Sep 2013, 07:57

Published: 20 Sep 2013 07:57 GMT+02:00

Norway has been ranked as the most attractive country for migrant workers in Scandinavia. But that doesn't mean it's easy.  According to a recent study by the University of Bergen, Norwegian employers favour ethnic Norwegians even when a foreigner is better qualified for the job.

The key message to take on board is that unless you work extremely hard to integrate yourself into Norwegian culture, your job prospects will be limited. 

So the very first step to getting a Norwegian career is to make yourself as proficient as possible in the language. 

Language requirements

If you come to Norway from a non-EU country to work, you need to complete 300 hours of tuition in Norwegian, unless you are a citizen of one of the Nordic countries.

This is actually very useful.  While having English as a first language does provide a definite advantage, a good knowledge of both written and spoken Norwegian provides better access to work opportunities.

There are excellent state-provided Norwegian classes which allow immigrants to learn Norwegian and acquire a good knowledge of how things work in Norway.

Permits

A new registration scheme now allows EU nationals to live and work in Norway without applying for a residence permit, as long as they register with the police. 

All EU nationals who want to stay in Norway for more than three months must register with the police, showing that they have a basis for residence, presenting a valid identity card or passport, and submitting documents proving that that they will not be a burden on the public welfare services.

For immigrants coming from outside the EU, the process is more complicated. 

Up-to date information and applications procedures are available at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (Utlendingsdirtektoratet). www.udi.no.

Job seeking sources 

Writing a good cover letter and CV is the first but most important step in successful job seeking. The application letter should then be adapted towards each individual job application. When applying for jobs advertised in Norwegian, it is best to have your CV translated into Norwegian. The CV should include key information from previous jobs and a short personal description.

The aim is to convince employers of how motivated you are to work for them. It can work well to approach prospective employers even when no job has been advertised, as initiative tends to be viewed favourably in Norway. 

It may also be useful to use the Norwegian agency NOKUT, which verifies the educational achievements of foreign citizens. www.nokut.no

It is also a good idea to have a LinkedIn account where your CV can be viewed online. Recruitment agencies in Norway actively search for candidates on LinkedIn. 

Sites such as www.finn.no  and www.manpower.no are also popular among job seekers and prospective employers. Experis, www.experis.no is the country’s largest recruitment company, specialising in IT, financial consultancy and engineering.  Agencies such as Adecco (www.adecco.no), Capus (www.capus.no) and Orion (www.orion-search.no) are also key players in the Norwegian labour market. 

Norway’s stable currency and oil wealth has resulted in low unemployment and steady job creation.  The country is now facing a shortage of 16,000 engineers, more than twice as many as last year. In particular, there is a national shortage of civil and petroleum engineers. 

Taxes

Everyone resident in Norway is liable to pay taxes on all their income and wealth. You must also have a tax deduction card, which shows employers how much tax to deduct from your pay cheque, and complete an annual tax return, whether you are fully or partially liable to pay taxes in Norway. 

When tax returns have been processed, you will receive a tax settlement notice, which contains information about the income on which the tax assessment is based and how much tax has been deducted. 

www.taxnorway.no.

Politics

While Norwegian employers do tend to prefer Norwegians, the political environment is generally positive towards employment policies which embrace immigrants working in Norway. 

Interviews

In general, the dress code for job interviews is quite casual in Norway. While wearing a tie is not always unnecessary, it is advisable to dress neatly.

Norwegians pride themselves on being punctual so being on time is important. It is also good to begin an interview with a firm handshake, and to maintain good eye contact thoughout. 

An interview panel can consist of anything from two to five people  and interviews can take anything from 45 to 90 minutes.

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway oil investments set to drop again in 2017
After 15 years of solid growth boosted by rising oil and gas prices, the Norwegian economy has rapidly slumped. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Oil investments, one of the main drivers of Norway's economy, are expected to fall for a third straight year.

App-surd! Norwegians read app terms for 32 hours
The Norwegian consumer protection agency staged the readathon as part of its #appfail campaign. Photo: Forbrukerrådet

In a live-streamed 'readathon' Norway consumers read the "very bad" terms and conditions of popular smartphone apps.

Norway firm to buy portion of Finland defence company
Patria specializes in armoured vehicles. Photo: Patria

A portion of Finnish state-owned defence manufacturer Patria will be privatized through a sell to Kongsberg, a partially state-owned defence company in Norway.

'Historic': McDonald's agrees to contain Arctic cod fishing
The McDonald's on Nedre Slottsgate in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

For the first time ever, major players in the seafood industry have voluntarily imposed limitations on industrial fishing in the Arctic.

Norwegian ship rescues over 1,000 refugees
Kripos said that the ship had never before brought so many people on board. Photo: Kripos/Scanpix

The Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot on Wednesday came to the aid of more than 1,000 people off the coast of Libya.

Shareholders at Norway's Opera accept Chinese bid
Opera's Oslo offices. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Deal for the world's fight-biggest internet browser will now need US and Chinese approval.

Ryanair departure will doom Norway airport
Passengers depart a Ryanair flight at Moss Airport Rygge. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

The board of directors at Moss Airport Rygge will shut down the airport's commercial operations if Irish carrier Ryanair makes good on its threats to abandon its base there.

Norway teacher sexually assaulted 108 children
Police prosecutor Julie Dalsveen and state attorney Jo Christian Jordet. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Gjøvik District Court on Tuesday sentenced a former teacher to 12 years behind bars for sexually abusing 108 children.

Norway woman killed by cow in ‘natural’ act
The cow killed the woman when she tried to help with the birthing process. Photo: Yngve Brox Guldbjørnsen / NTB scanpix

A cow who attacked an 80-year-old woman in Rødøy Municipality in Nordland over the weekend will be put down, its owner said.

Video
Kygo sets all-time Norway record on US Billboard chart
Kygo's debut album, 'Cloud Nine', will land at number 11 on the next Billboard chart. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Bergen native Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, better known as Kygo, is now the highest-ever placing Norwegian act on the Billboard 200 list.

Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
National
Oslo is the real ‘Capital of Scandinavia’
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
2,023
jobs available