Job Applications in Norway


It has been a while since I last wrote a “how to” post. Many of my friends and acquaintances have asked me questions like “How to search for a job in Norway”? or “How to apply for a job in Norway?” In this post, I will try to document all the information I know on the topic of job applications in Norway. I have tried to keep the information as generic as possible to suit a wide range of job applicants.

During 2010 to 2012, I had applied to 40 job listings. 27 of which were for the summer job as a student and 13 for job listings during the last semester of my master’s. Even with so many applications, I cannot answer everything on this topic, so be wise and proactive by improvising on the information provided in this post as best suited for you.

Hyperlinks to relevant websites are embedded in the text and relevant formats of supporting documents are also available below.

Okay, lets start this!

1. Job Search

Main Industries in Norway: First and foremost, you need to know which industry do you want to work. As of today, the four main industries (engineering/finance/natural science) in Norway are

Once you know which industry matches your profile, next step is to search job vacancies. Be it full time, part time jobs, research jobs or summer jobs you will be able to find it in Norway.

2. Job listings in Norway

I presume that you do not know which websites provide job listings in Norway. In that case, I have listed key Norwegian job listing websites with a short description on each one of them below.

NOTE: Most of these sites require you to upload a CV or register as an user and make a CV as per their own format.

  • http://www.finn.no/jobb/    (Norwegian page)
    Finn.no is the go-to site for Norwegians because it also is the largest online second hand market site (Norwegian equivalent to e-bay). Among the services offered in this website, listing of job vacancies is one of them. Almost all job vacancies in Norway are listed in this website.
  • https://tjenester.nav.no/stillinger/forside  (Norwegian and English pages)
    NAV is the social security network in Norway, and hence both engineering/non-engineering skilled and non-skilled jobs vacancies are listed in this website and you can narrow your search to respective county offices. After finn.no NAV is the second biggest job listing site in Norway.
  • https://www.tu.no/jobb/stilling/jobs/  (Norwegian and English pages)
    This listing site is sponsored by the main student/professional union: Tekna. The site has close cooperation with all the above mentioned industries. If you work or study as an engineer then this is the go-to site to find relevant job vacancies.
  • http://www.jobb24.no/   (Norwegian page)
    Another job listing site which forays into a wide variety of industry in Norway.
  • http://www.statsjobb.no/  (Norwegian page)
    A job listing site which specializes in posting vacancies in county administrative offices and state offices.
  • http://www.medrec.no/ (Norwegian page)
    This website specializes in job listings on medical staff job vacancies. They also collaborate with “Manpower.no” so it is a good idea to follow-up the vacancy through the nearest manpower office.
  • https://www.jobbnorge.no/ (Norwegian and English pages)
    Jobbnorge.no provides vacancies listings on nursing, academia, engineering and vacancies in various county administration offices.
  • http://www.universitetstillinger.no/ (Norwegian page)
    This website specializes in job listings in academia in and around the Nordic region and Europe. So, if you are looking for an academic position this site should be in your to-search list.
  • https://www.trainee.no/ (Norwegian and English page)
    If you have graduated recently from a school, then this site will provide you with job listings on trainee vacancies in Norway.
  • http://www.karrierestart.no/ (Norwegian page)
    This website provides large array of job listings for both recently graduated students and experienced professionals.
  • https://www.jobzone.no/ (Norwegian page)
    In most cities of Norway, you will find a local office of Job Zone. Job Zone mainly deal with part-time job vacancies and some full-time jobs. To find jobs such as cleaning, waiting tables, and other part-time jobs this is the best alternative. You can narrow your search to respective county offices. This can be a useful platform to search for part-time work as a student in Norway.
  • http://www.manpower.no/ (Norwegian and English page)
    Manpower is the multinational recruiting firm which also has a strong base in Norway. Similar to jobzone.no manpower specializes in part-time work and also deal with full-time work possibilities. Manpower has a great deal of expertise in recruiting and hence companies also outsource head-hunting consultants from manpower. In other words they can be a bridge between you and a possible unlisted job vacancy.  You can narrow your search to respective county offices. It is always a good idea to visit the nearest office of manpower and have a chat with one of their recruitment consultant. The contact details of the recruiting consultants are public and are always mentioned on their website.
  • http://www.adecco.no (Norwegian page)
    A swiss multinational recruiting firm which also has similar offerings as manpower. Adecco, is as popular as manpower in Norway. So, it is a good idea to also visit the nearest Adecco office and talk to the relevant recruiting consultant (Full-time or part-time).  You can narrow your search to respective county offices. The contact details of the recruiting consultants are public and are always mentioned on their website.
  • http://www.ecn.as/(Norwegian page)
    As high number of immigrant work force is utilized in engineering companies, Norway has its own share of consultant companies one among the biggest consultant companies is ECN.
  • https://www.linkedin.com/ (English)
    Currently, having a profile in Linkedin is see as a positive attribute by Norwegian head-hunters and Human Resource departments. And number of job listings posted in Linkedin will only grow with time. So, it can be the a good idea to explore your options on this platform as well.

NOTE: Ensure to Google “Konsulent” and you will find many more Norwegian consultant companies.

3. Application preparation

Let us now assume you have found a job vacancy which suits your profile. The next step is to get your application documents in order. In Norway, companies expect you to have certain application documents along with the CV, but do not often inform which documents you need to provide.

Application documents

1. Cover Letter (Template below)

In Norway, a cover letter with a CV is a requirement which goes without asking. Recruiters in Norway like in most countries, like to know the applicant’s reasons for applying to the job. A cover letter gives them a clear idea on your motivation to apply and your background. But don’t not drag the contents to more than one page. Norwegian’s like things which are written in simple words and short.

————————————————Cover Letter Template————————————————–

Feel free to edit the GREEN text as required. Delete RED text. Try to limit the letter to one page.

XXX Applicant                                      01.03.2014
Address
Tlf:

To “Contact Person (listed in the job listing)”
Application: “Job listing heading/reference”

Intro Paragraph 1: Reference to the job and your motivation in one sentence.
After citing your requirement for XXX Position in your website and discussions I had with XXX Person, I would like to apply for “job listing heading/reference”. I found that this particular vacancy suits ideally to my current interest and my long-term career plan.

Body Paragraph 2: Try to answer the following question in this paragraph. What are you doing currently? What educational background do you have? Which subjects field interests you? What experience motivated you to apply to this position?

Body Paragraph 3: Try to answer the following question in this paragraph. Short details on your experience with a field or previous work. What affiliations have you had and what were you achievements previously? Your CV will give more details on this. So, keep it short and simple.  

Conclusion Paragraph 4: Try to answer the following question in this paragraph. Give 3 reasons why you are best suited for this job? Make this paragraph as a lasting impression of you. Think out of the box and keep it to the point.

I am interested in applying at ABC Company for three main reasons. Firstly, ………….. Secondly,……………… Thirdly,……………………..

Thank you for the opportunity given to express myself.

Warm regards,

XXX

———————————————————End————————————————————-

2. Curriculum Vitae  

There is no hard and fast rule of using a certain CV format. All formats have their own advantages. In most Norwegian company websites, you will have to prepare a CV as per the company format, which might be cumbersome and repetitive if you want to apply to multiple vacancies, but there is no other alternative.

“DO NOT WRITE: References will be provided if requested” in your CV. Try to include references, HR advisors in Norway, always I mean always contact your references before offering you the job.

Norwegians usually differentiate between simple and detailed CV formats

Simple CV format
In Norway, CV’s are ought to be simple and short but if you wish to have a detailed CV that is acceptable too. To know more about “Norwegian way of preparing CV’s” check this well written article by Aftenposten (They have attached a sample Norwegian CV for readers to use)

Detailed CV format
The Europass CV format is also used by many applicants and this format a standard format which is used all across the EU states. You can also use any other format, which best suits your profile.

3. Transcripts
All across Norway you are required to provide a copy of your latest educational Transcripts with the job applications. This will include all educational certificates from your High School and upwards. For example, In my applications, I included:

  • Intermediate transcripts (10+2 class from India, is country specific)

  • Bachelors transcripts

  • Masters transcripts

4. Attest/ Recommendation Letter
“Attest” is a term used in Norway for a document, which validates your work in a company where you previously worked. This document is similar to recommendation letter.

Recommendation letters in Norway are also a very important document as everywhere else in the world. HR advisor will contact the reference. You should remember to inform the person who is recommending, so that he knows that you have applied to this position and he is supposed to stay inline with his letter.

5. Relevant additional documents
It is advisable to add additional documents to support your application such as language proficiency, personal certification etc., However, if the CV is prepared in company websites, there may be limitations on the number of application documents you can upload. In that case, you can carry these certifications when you attend the formal interviews.

4. Application process and interview formalities

Application process for some job positions in Norway can be long. especially if you are a new graduate you can expect rounds such as:

  • General aptitude test (including language)

  • Personality test

  • Group task

  • Business case presentation

  • Questionnaire on ethics

  • Personal interview

  • Technical interview

  • Personality interview

  • Etc.,

If you are experienced professional, you will only have parts of the above mentioned rounds.

Informal HR/Technical
The main personality trait companies in Norway look for is HONESTY and DRIVE. In some interviews you can expect consultants who are experts in human psychology, so you need to be as open and truthful as possible during such interviews.

Your personality to socialize and be good to other employees while being able to deliver on your tasks will be deal maker or breaker. This process is very individualistic and company specific in nature. All you can do after the interview process is to look for a positive outcome.

Congratulations! That is all there is to it.

You are now ready to search and apply to Norwegian job listings. I have gathered some additional information, which you can refer.

Good to know

1. Student, Professional, and Trade Unions in Norway

LO
LO is Landsorganisasjonen aka Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (find other unions affiliated to Lo in this link). This union has its reach in blue and white-collar workers covering both private and public sectors.

TEKNA
Tekna is the union for Technical and Scientific professionals in Norway. Students and professionals with a master’s degree or above form the demographic of this union. If you become a member of Tekna you are entitled to certain union benefits. Tekna offers services such as salary negotiations, free legal assistance, salary negotiations, providing housing loans at better interest rates, offering career improvement courses/hobby courses and conferences etc., Every technology company has a Tekna representative in Norway and this result in a very close collaboration between company management and the union.

NITO
NITO: The Norwegian Society of Engineers and Technologies is another union of students, and professionals. NITO also provides the same number of services as Tekna. One can apply to be a NITO member if he or she has a bachelor’s degree and is not required to finish a master’s degree unlike Tekna.

You will also find NITO representatives in most technical companies in Norway.

FLT – affiliated to LO
FLT: Norwegian Engineers and Managers Association (FLT) is a professional union similar to Tekna and NITO but provides a forum for further education to its members in form of subsidized or free part time degree studies. Anyone in a technical field can apply to be a member as this is affiliated to Landsorganisasjonen also known as Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions.

2. Work laws in Norway (For Employers and employees)
Norwegian society gives very high importance to work environment, employee benefits and rights. All work laws and rules are described in this website in Norwegian called the Lovdata

3. Recognizing foreign degrees
NOKUT provides opportunity to recognize your degree from different countries. There is a formal process to be followed. The website provides more details on this process.

4. New in Norway guide
This website is one of the well written websites to understand the systems followed in Norway. It will be useful to both migrants and labour migrants to read through this website before or after coming to Norway.

5. Work visa procedure and requirements

  •  To know the process of work visa and application to work visa, please visit: Work and residence

Each type of work visa requires a different set of supporting documentation. Hence, it is a wise idea to check the above links in UDI to be sure. I will not list the supporting documents since the visa requirements might change from one year to the other. Only rely on the information provided in UDI website.

6. Norwegian Language

  •  Is Norwegian language proficiency a requirement to work in Norway?

No, not for all jobs. If the company has international base, it usually will not require you to have any kind of Norwegian proficiency. Only job vacancies which require you to speak in Norwegian will need certifications showing that you are competent. For example working as school teachers, working in the municipality, working as nurse or doctors and other local jobs will require Norwegian proficiency

  • Is it an advantage to have Norwegian proficiency even if the official working language in the company is English?

Yes, it is a huge advantage. If you know the language of the country you are living in, you make more connections. Similarly, if you know Norwegian language, companies see it as an advantage to recruit you over other applicants who do not have Norwegian proficiency. As I said before “Your personality to socialize and be good to other employees while being able to deliver on your tasks will be deal maker or breaker.”  and knowing the language adds to your social acceptance by other Norwegian employees.

I would like to end this post by a quote I wrote for self-motivation: If you are having troubles do not crib, just keep working hard and if you are successful, do not stop, keep the hunger alive.

“When you fail, look down and dig deeper. When you succeed, look up and  fly higher”

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25 Responses to Job Applications in Norway

  1. bkpriyanka says:

    Hi jeevith
    Can you please tell me what might be your total masters cost.. if possible can you give a very general break up…it will be very helpful for me to plan for my loans …
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  2. bkpriyanka says:

    Hi jeevith
    Can you please tell me your total expenditure for masters.. if possible can you give a brief general break up too… I need to plan for my savings and loans to do my masters in Norway.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Udupiboy says:

      I finished my masters 2 years ago when Indian rupee was stronger now 1 NOK is 10 rupees. I lived a very frugal lifestyle in Trondheim and spent close to 125000 NOK ( around 10 lakh rupees) which is still worth it because a masters education in India will cost more than this in good universities.

      So to start of with you will need 90000 NOK to be deposited to the university account when you get the acceptance letter. This amount will be transferred back to you once you arrive here and get a Norwegian bank account (takes a month after you reach Norway) the 90000 NOK which is transferred is to ensure the candidate coming has enough funds to carry out 1 year of student life in Norway.
      The second year you will have to refill the account to show 90000 NOK for the second year of masters. ( this is a requirement to get a student visa for the second year as well)

      Monthly rent can range from 3000 to 3500 NOK.
      Food expenses can range from 800 to 1500 NOK.
      There are no tuition fee to study in Norway as of today.
      Rest of the expenditure will depend on your lifestyle. (1000 NOK)
      Part time jobs are hard to find so it is better to plan funds with no income in mind.
      So summing up, monthly expenditure will range from 4500 to 6000 NOK.

      If you consider all of the costs it is still a very economical compared to masters education in any other developed country. Work and research opportunities after masters are also plenty so, return on investment is also pretty quick. I have always recommend my friends and family to study in Norway. It is a nice place to live.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

      • bkpriyanka says:

        Hi thanks a lot for responding quickly… just one more thing. I am currently having no work experience… is it still possible to get into good universities food technical courses.. back home I am not getting any relevant work too.. its been a year since my graduation.. I have gone through all your posts but just want to know how important a factor work experience is.. I have done really well in my academics … and did my project in a company.. apart from that I have no work experience or internships…

      • Udupiboy says:

        Work experience is not mandatory during selection for masters, rather bachelor academics is given more importance in Norway. Not having work experience will not affect selection process.

        Did you mean ” food technical courses” if what I think is right you are into nutrition and food technology stream. In that case there are two courses which I found by a quick search, here are those two

        http://www.studyinnorway.no/Masters-course-search/Masterprogram/Master-s-degree-programme-in-Feed-Manufacturing-Technology

        http://www.ntnu.edu/ept/industrial/food ( sub department at NTNU)

        In any case, I would advice you to go through possible courses in studyingnorway website and check if you have relevant background credits to take those courses. Once you have found course which suit your profile then try to contact professors in that department or course co-ordinators. It is totally fine to contact professors directly in Norway. Be frank on your interests and let them know that you are motivated to study. In Norway people are very informal so do not hesitate to contact people. If professors don’t reply then that means they are busy so you can even go ahead and call them that is also very normal.

        Ok, I guess this was a long reply. I’ll stop now!

      • bkpriyanka says:

        Hi jeevith

        Once again thanks a lot for the reply.. I actually meant good university… I now feel so guilty for my stupid typing mistake… you actually went ahead and tried finding courses… thanks a lot friend…. I am so happy that work experience do not matter… I have 92% in 10th … 92 in PUC and(8.98cgpa) eqequivalent to 82% in engineering from a well know college !!! One of top 5 CET college in Karnataka… hope my application is accepted…
        I tried searching about scholarship.. I find DAAD is only for Germany (NAD none of the courses match my choice) and Erasmus too doesn’t match my course choices… can you guide me on any other scholarship programmes if you know ?

      • Udupiboy says:

        Your scores are good so you should do just fine. I have very little of no knowledge about scholarships in countries other than Norway. In Norway there is a scholarship called quota scheme check the link. http://www.ntnu.edu/studies/financingandscholarships/is_quota_scheme
        However, this scheme is only applicable to applicants from collaborating universities. You will also find information if your university in India has collaboration or not.

        By the way which stream are you looking to study and which stream did you study in bachelors? Electronics, computer science, mechanical, etc ?
        You have to take some time to research on courses offered in various universities it can take sometime before you have an overview on interested courses, but then again that is the part of the process.

      • bkpriyanka says:

        Hi again.

        I graduated in mechanical… I don’t think off shore jobs will suit me. So I prefer to take something like product development.. I generally found all mechanical subjects easy apart from turbo machines so I am guessing anything related to energy will also not suit me … which course did u chose ? And how was your masters . ? Easy ? Exam oriented or mostly practical ?

      • bkpriyanka says:

        And since I have no work experience I will have difficulties finding a job.. so I want to take a stream which has enough scope here in India , so tht I have enough opportunities to work here too…

      • bkpriyanka says:

        By the way did you write GRE.. I actually don’t see the importance… Bcz most colleges do not ask for it.. expect for few colleges in Germany… and I cannot afford UK US anyways… so I was just wondering whether there is any use of writing GRE !!! I am planning IELTS

      • Udupiboy says:

        For Norwegian universities you do not need GRE scores. I wrote my GRE because at that time I was uncertain about where I wanted to study. ILETS or TOEFL score will do. Check the university sites for minimum scores, they differ from university to university.

        My masters was in RAMS (Reliability and Safety). I liked my course. Master courses are not that difficult. They are very practical and interesting.

      • bkpriyanka says:

        Thanks a lot friend… what your are doing through this blog might just be one of the biggest social service 😛 thanks a lot 🙂

      • bkpriyanka says:

        Hi jeevith I am back :p … can you please tell me about the climate in Norway in specific maybe NTNU and your work location ? I am a little worried about it after reading some posts 😀

  3. Hello i am aravind from chennai. I want to know if there are any indians studying global production management course in NTNU to know more about the course.
    Thanks in advance.

  4. Ganesh says:

    I have a mild colour blindness so will there be a problem if I plan to work in manufacturing industries involving work in shop floor and assembly lines? Do the companies in norway check for colour blindness? Please try to gather some information on this, it will be really helpful for me.

    • Udupiboy says:

      Hi Ganesh,

      I have been told that people working in the shop floor and offshore have vision tests before they are hired. So this might also involve color blindness tests. This is information which I got from some people I know.
      Hope this helps. Cheers.

      • Ganesh says:

        Can you please provide me the contact details of the people whom you contacted? I have some questions related to this subject area.

  5. Prateek Singh Raghav says:

    Hello Sir, I just want to thank you for writing such a wonderful and helpful blog. I recently applied to NTNU for Msc in petroleum engineering and I only referred to university site and your blog. And everything went butter smooth. I guess the course I have applied to is tough to get in being a fresher, even with good scores in engineering.

    • Hello Prateek,

      I seem to have missed several of the comment notifications. Sorry for the late reply.

      It is good to hear that this blog has helped you. I am glad it is serving its purpose. The admission results are not far away now. I wish you good luck with it. I do not think being a fresher and applying is seen as negative, it is good that you are mature enough to take this decision.

      Cheers!

  6. Debanjan says:

    Hello Jeevith,

    Thank you for such a helpful blog.I have applied to the Chemical Engineering masters program and if accepted I would be taking a bank loan. I need to know whether one also needs to arrange money for the six months stay after the course or it can somehow be managed. Also is it possible to obtain a job offer during the last semester of the course so that one can immediately join after his course completion.
    Also please kindly tell what do people who have taken bank loan generally do,ie, whether they include that amount also while taking the loan.
    I will be really grateful if you could kindly reply to this query

    • Hi Debanjan,

      I am glad this helps you. Dont worry about what is going to happen in two years. You have to believe everything will go as you wish. Yes, the companies recruit in late 3rd semester so if you make it to one, you don’t have to plan for the worst case scenario.

      I am unsure about the bank loan procedures. I know that the Norwegian universities want you to transfer a large amount of money, which will be saved under your name in the university accounts. This process is totally safe and trustworthy. Once you are here the complete amount (negate currency rates) will be transferred back to your account.

  7. Naveed Matloob says:

    Hello Sir,

    RAMS or Project management my two priorites, kindly share the job prospect of RAMS as this is my first preference. I received acceptance in 2014 but compromised because of some personal issues. Now i wish to apply again. I seek your best guidance.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Naveed

    • RAMS is a good field of study. In Norway it is mostly applied in oil and gas, but you can chose other industries to apply RAMS like railways, marine, wind energy, automobile etc. please don’t ask me what are job prospects, it depends in your study and your skills. Good luck.

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