If you are looking for work in Spain, the same principles should apply as if you were still back in your country of origin. Just because the sun is shining and you feel like you’re on holiday, you should not drop your professionalism cloak and turn into a slacker.
Spain Buddy receives job applications from people on almost a daily basis and most are deleted without a second thought because of the approach. Gone are the days where every application is answered – most employers are busy people and if your first approach to the company is less than squeaky clean, then don’t expect to be taken seriously.
We hope the following examples and tips give you a giggle… but we would also like to remind you that your first approach to a prospective employer should be articulate and professional.
Watch that email address
It may have been hilarious when you were 15 to register firstname.lastname@example.org but that is not an appropriate email address to share with an employer. Consider setting up an email address specifically for dealing with your more formal contacts.
One of the first things many employers do when they are approached, is look at a person’s Social Media accounts. Does yours give a good impression to the public eye? If in doubt, tighten your privacy settings.
Spellcheck your application
If you are applying in writing, take a moment to proofread your email or message, and try to at least spell the name of your new home town correctly. If we had a Euro for every application that included a spelling error of a location name, we’d be pretty financially comfortable.
Don’t use text speak
Write your application carefully and in full. Unless you are applying for a job as a “text speak inventor,” it does not give a good first impression.
I’ll do owt, me
While your flexibility may seem the right approach to you… a prospective employer would prefer to hear about your previous experience and what useful skills you can bring to their workforce. The “I’ll do anything,” attitude implies that you have failed to look at the company in greater depth and don’t really care either way about becoming a good fit for the business. It would be far better to say something like: “I would love to join the sales team within your business. I have experience in Customer Service and Direct Sales, which I see your business is currently seeking, and I also have an outgoing personality that has proved to be extremely fruitful in client facing roles.”
“Will do” not “Can do”
Show some drive and determination. Don’t be a “Can do” candidate – be an “I will do” candidate. Show examples in your CV of your experience with solving problems and benefitting your previous employers.
Most (not all) companies in Spain prefer to employ someone that is already in the area. If they can see your face and see that you are determined, you are more likely to get a positive response than if they simply receive a short email once. Keep at it. Even better – get face to face with your chosen business. Don’t give up after one email, phone call or visit.
If you are lucky enough to be selected for an interview, do some extra research on the business. Google is your friend. Make sure you have extra copies of your CV printed out. And above all – don’t be late… so make sure you know the bus times or (if driving) where you can easily park.
Present yourself professionally
Would you have gone to a formal interview in the UK in jeans and a dirty t-shirt? Probably not. So show your prospective employer that you respect them and their business, and show that you’ve made an effort. Make sure your hair (if you have some) if clean and brushed. Ensure that your outfit is clean and ironed. Dig out your interview suit… iron your shirt… don’t wear the skirt with cat sick down the front… and make a really positive first impression. When you bag the new role, your new employer may ask you to adopt a more informal attire… but don’t assume that from day one.
We could go on…
There are many more tips we could include to help guide you while looking for work in Spain but this should get you started. Just be professional and you can’t go wrong. Good luck!
No posting CVs here please!
This is just an information article. Please don’t comment below with your qualifications – contact companies direct.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.