How to Find a Job in Spain Once You Start Your New Expat Life


Advice for expats looking to get a job in Spain

Unless you’re retired, the chances are that you’ll need to find a job when you move to Spain.

You may decide to search for employment in your profession or industry, or choose to go it alone.

This article has been written with the former in mind and provides information and tips for finding a paid position in a company or business in Spain.

The current employment situation in Spain

If you have been following Spanish news, you’ll be aware that the current employment situation in Spain is far from good.

Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in the EU – at the end of 2016, the national rate was over 18.6%.

Unemployment is considerably higher in some parts of Spain, particularly in Andalusia, and in certain sectors such as the under 25s and over 50s.

However, the number of jobless is progressively falling as Spain returns to economic growth and most analysts agree that the job market will continue to improve throughout 2017 and 2018.

Learn to speak Spanish

Your chances of getting a job in Spain will increase considerably if you speak Spanish.

Even if you plan to work entirely in the expat community or for a foreign company, it makes sense to learn the language, even if it’s just to immediate level.

You’ll need an understanding of Spanish to deal with paperwork and above all, it makes a good impression on potential employers if you can at least get by in the local language. You’ll also need Spanish to help you understand job offers and requirements.

READ: Two British Expats on Moving to the Coast to Secure Better Work

Get a Spanish CV

Unless you’re applying to a foreign company in Spain, you should get your CV translated into Spanish.

It’s well worth using a professional to do this – the initial expense will more than pay for itself in results. Bear in mind that the Spanish format for a CV is different from that used in other countries so adapt your CV to the Spanish layout. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you should translate this into Spanish too.

Top tip

Spanish CVs usually have a photo attached – make sure yours is as professional as possible.

Where to look for a job in Spain

There are lots of ways you can start your search for a job including:

Recruitment agencies

Numerous recruitment agencies operate in Spain including multinationals such as Randstad and Michael Page, Spanish agencies such as Standby and Human Selection, and local agencies at city and/or provincial level. All advertise current positions on their website where you can also upload your CV and details to form part of their database.

Online job portals

There are plenty of these and most allow you to narrow down your search to specific location and job sector. Among the best portals are:

  • Info Empleo – one of the longest standing job portals with a wide selection of offers.
  • Info Jobs – probably the largest employment portal in Spain with a long list of job vacancies.
  • Job Today – works as an app on your mobile phone and advertises jobs mostly in restaurants, shops and hotels available in real time.
  • TIC Job – a portal for those looking for a job in technology.
  • TuriJobs – job vacancies in the tourist industry, particularly in hotels.

Top tip

Sign up for email alerts on jobs in your industry or profession

Local papers

Local papers advertise job vacancies in the ‘Empleo’ section, often also available in the online version. Don’t forget to look in the foreign language press too. For example, on the Costa Blanca, the weekly newspaper Costa Blanca News has an employment section and on the Costa del Sol, Sur in English publishes job offers online and in the Friday print edition.

Local expat groups

Make sure your local community know what you’re looking for – often in Spain, the best recommendations come via someone you know. Join local expat groups (real or virtual e.g. on Facebook) and ask around.

Top tip

If you’re looking for employment in a shop or restaurant, visit those in your area and hand a copy of your CV to the manager in person.