Spain is a popular destination for both college graduates looking to travel and gain experience, and those searching for an adventure or change of pace. Many come to this country to teach English as an auxiliar de conversación (AKA a North American Language and Culture Assistant). They fall in love with the culture, the lifestyle, or simply make a life for themselves and don’t want to leave. For citizens of the EU, this process is much easier. For the rest, finding a job in order to secure a work visa can be a long and difficult process, especially post-pandemic.
There are a fair number of teaching jobs available, especially for those who are licensed teachers or have had their degrees recognized in Spain. However, finding a job in another field can be challenging. To help you with your search, here are my top five tips for landing a job in Spain.
1. Create a LinkedIn Profile
You might not think of it, but when looking for a job in Spain, the first step is to set up a LinkedIn account. Fill in all the required fields, search for friends to connect with, and scroll through the news feed to find advice that might help further shape your profile page. The app is a great way to both advertise yourself to potential employers and to network with other working professionals.
LinkedIn is one of the primary ways that both employers and prospective employees connect in Spain, especially in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Make a profile that sells you and your skills. Remember, at the end of the day, LinkedIn is a social media app and you should cater your profile to capture potential employers’ attention as they’re searching for candidates.
Tip: Keep it professional! LinkedIn should not be treated as normal social media.
2. Network ‘til You Get Work
Make as many professional contacts as possible. This can be in-person or through LinkedIn. Attend social events and chat with people there to start making connections with people from different fields. These events can range from pub trivia to morning yoga in the park to art classes. Whatever your interests, be open, friendly, and make an effort to get to know at least one or two other people in attendance. On LinkedIn, an effective way to network is to send a request to connect with any and everyone in your field. This builds a web of contacts on the app which can help you to find jobs and also helps potential employers to find you.
3. Build Your Skills and Buff Up Your CV
It’s also important to continue working on your CV and professional development while you look for a job. Hone skills that might help you. If you’re thinking about teaching, for example, consider getting some certifications. Likewise, if you’re looking into translation, consider offering your services for free, especially to local nonprofit organizations. As you continue to build your professional profile, make sure to keep your CV up to date and try to include details that set you apart from the competition.
4. Send Your CV Everywhere — and I Mean Everywhere
Send out your CV, not just to jobs that you want or jobs you think you might fit, but to any job remotely related to your field. If it looks interesting, apply. You never know where you might find an opportunity! And don’t be afraid to apply to that dream job, even if you feel like you’re not quite experienced enough. If you don’t get it the first time, you can always apply again in the future with more experience. In fact, your continued interest in the company could be a point in your favor!
Tip: Nowadays, most companies will expect to receive a CV via email rather than in-person or by mail.
5. Persistence Is Key
Most importantly, don’t give up. Be persistent and don’t get discouraged. Finding a job takes time. It’s perfectly normal to be rejected multiple times, especially if you’re looking for a company that is also willing to sponsor a work visa. Spain is one of the EU countries with the highest rate of unemployment, especially among young people, so don’t feel like a failure if you don’t find a job right away. Be patient, take it one day at a time, and keep trying!
Looking for a job in any country can be a long and arduous process, and that is especially true in a country such as Spain; with high levels of youth unemployment. However, you can get a leg up on the competition by creating a well-developed LinkedIn profile and remaining active on it. Additionally, you can use the platform to network and connect with other working professionals and potential employers. Keep building your skills and improving both your resumé and LinkedIn account. The more knowledgeable you are, the better chance you’ll have of landing that job. Above all, persist. Don’t give up, because the next job you apply for might be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.