Analyzing the experience of job seekers, it’s safe to say that working in Portugal is a competitive but foreigner-friendly environment. Unemployment from 2000 to 2013 left its mark on the mentality in Portugal: here they know that qualifications are valued, people cling to the job. So if you aspire to take one, be prepared to show appropriate skills and hard work.
Working in Portugal is essential if you plan to stay in the country for a long period. We recommend, even before moving to Portugal, to learn Portuguese, as it is the language that is key to starting a career.
And be sure to be ready for the Portuguese bureaucracy – more than anywhere else they love neatly filled out papers (and this is why it’s good if you have a degree).
Briefly about the job market
Let’s note again – work in Portugal, is a foreigner-friendly market, especially for IT companies. It does not matter if you are a programmer or if you specialize in online promotion – you will be welcome because there are not enough experts in Portugal.
The second area, which is very accessible, is online business: online stores, online service portals. The world has become electronic, and the Portuguese market hasn’t kept up. That’s why there is such a need for those who will develop the online entrepreneurship sector.
If you have a few foreign languages to spare (Russian, English is already great), you will be welcome in the tourism sector: aboard airlines, in hotels and hostels, in vacation areas. It is harder for those who are from traditional industries, but there are ways to find employment for them as well.
A worker in any field must pay taxes and pay Social Security.
How to get a job in Portugal if you are a foreigner
First of all, you have to determine if you are eligible to work in Portugal as a foreigner.
Requirements and right to work in Portugal
If you are a European Union citizen, you do not need a visa, nor do you need a work permit. In that case, you only need to register your residential address at the town hall and request a tax number.
If you are a citizen of any other country, then obtaining a long-term work visa is mandatory. In order to obtain it, you will need an employment contract with a company in Portugal or an invitation from your employer promising to employ you. Immediately upon arrival, apply for a residence permit.
As an option, you can arrive on a tourist or study visa and immediately look for work. In this case, you can apply for an extension of your stay. You will be issued a confirmation exactly for the duration of the employment contract.
Employment opportunities in Portugal
The labor market has a number of features:
- Unemployment rates are still higher than the European average.
- There is a high prevalence of Portuguese in the world, so there are many emigrants in the country.
- Many foreign companies are based in Portugal, which makes it easier for foreigners to find work.
You are very likely to be employed in IT, marketing, and any other industry that is related to the Internet and technology. Doors are open in real estate and tourism, but English is required. Keep in mind that most Portuguese are good at English themselves, so a third language (Chinese, Spanish, German or French) will be an advantage. If you know the language, you can get a job as a tutor and teacher. The latter only if you have a college degree.
Start your job search before you move, before paperwork. Make a list of things you could do and from there find companies in Portugal. Their websites will have job openings, so feel free to apply. We also advise you to monitor the Internet resources related to the placement of vacancies. The opportunities are actually substantial, but the search can take several months. To increase your chances, create a bilingual resume and portfolio (English and Portuguese).
How to apply for a job
The best way to get a job in Portugal is to follow their traditions of resume and portfolio writing and learn the nature of interviewing.
Tips for writing a resume
The standard template has three sections:
- The top contains personal information: name, nationality, date of birth, city of residence (address is not necessary, nor is family status). A personal photo will make your resume more appealing. Include links to your professional social media accounts, as well as your contact information.
- Professional experience: most recent positions first. Be sure to include responsibilities.
- Education and qualifications: in reverse chronological order. Don’t forget the refresher courses – it’s appreciated.
Prefer a short one-page resume. If the position requires specific details, you’re allowed to expand your resume to three pages – but no more.
It’s common for us to list hobbies, personal qualities on resumes – keep that information to a minimum. It’s better to list your hard and soft skills, where the former are professional skills and the latter are non-professional, personality-based skills.
Companion letter, references, and appendices
It is not necessary but highly desirable to send your resume along with a cover letter. Look at your field of work and the employer’s requirements.
Recommendations are usually not required, but you can attach them as an attachment. Along with letters of recommendation, the recruiter may ask for the contact information of someone who can vouch for you.
The degree is not required when you first apply. You will send proof of qualifications when you move on to the other stages of employment.
Portuguese interview is important because they value the ability to present themselves. Dress code, communication style, a firm handshake, and no obvious signs of nervousness will give you an advantage.