How to get a job in Europe: step by step guide

Landing a job in Europe is the dream of many people around the World. The good news is that this is not an impossible dream, as long as it is well planned and with an understanding of how the European labor market works.

If building an international career is your goal, follow the article below. In it, you will have a step by step on how to get a job in Europe and if it is really worth working here.

Article index

  • Employment in Europe: pandemic makes everything difficult
  • How to get a job in Europe?
  • What is the best country in Europe for Brazilians?
  • Which professions employ the most in Europe?
  • What is the best place in Europe to work?
  • Differentials to get a job in Europe
  • Documents that will be needed
  • How are job interviews in Europe
  • Do you need to have a job in Europe before moving to the continent?
  • Is it easy to get a job in Europe?

Employment in Europe: the pandemic makes everything difficult

If you are thinking about looking for a job in Europe, you must already imagine that, as in the rest of the world, unemployment is a post-Covid-19 reality here.

The measures of closing borders and social distance represented the closing of stores, restaurants, bars, museums, hotels, schools and factory shutdowns for a good period, which culminated in layoffs and bankruptcies of many businesses. The immediate effect, of course, is an increase in unemployment.

Data show that fewer jobs are available in Europe

According to the most current data provided by Eurostat , the official statistics office of the European Union, employment in the region decreased by 2.9% when comparing the second with the first quarter of 2020. The same drop was registered in comparison with the second quarter of 2020. This was the biggest drop on record since 1995 , when the job search began.

Among the countries, the most critical situation in the labor market was observed in Spain, which had a decrease of 7.5% in the level of employment. Ireland was the second most affected, with a 6.1% drop in jobs. Hungary (-5.3%) and Estonia (-5.1%) are behind the list of countries hardest hit by unemployment.

Conversely, Malta was the only country that registered a 0.6% increase – as you can see in the chart below.

job in Europe graphic
Reproduction / Eurostat

So, if your dream is to get a job in Europe, here’s the tip: have extra patience during this period of economic recovery, not least because the pandemic is not over and new impacts can be perceived in the job market.

How to get a job in Europe?

As we have seen, it is not an easy process, but it is also not impossible if you have good training and a lot of persistence to win your place. Changing continents and completely changing your career path should not be an untimely decision. It takes a lot of reflection, a lot of research and a lot of courage. Below, we list some tips that may be relevant to you. We hope to help!

Choose the country and city you want to live in

This step is essential. Each country in the European Union has its own rules, visas and requirements, so defining this point is already a big step towards more accurate planning. It is necessary to analyze how the labor market works in the country, the professions that are currently on the rise and even understand how labor laws work there. In addition, it should be noted that each European country has its own requirements regarding the entry of immigrants. Visas to work even diploma validation can be quite different between one nation and another.

How to find jobs in Europe

But don’t ignore another point: you’re not just going to work, work and work. You will live, live, walk, eat, have fun in this new place. So, be honest with yourself and don’t underestimate your personal tastes.

Ignoring this, you may even find “the dream job”, but most likely the experience will expire because, after the initial adrenaline rush, you will be frustrated. Practical example: if you are a person who needs sun to be in a good mood, do not push yourself trying to live in a country that is six months in the dark. It’s not going to work! Can believe!

Prepare your resume

Once you have defined your destination country, it is time to prepare your resume to apply for job openings in Europe.

Here it should be noted that the curriculum model adopted on the continent is Europass , a standardized document that addresses, in a clear and effective way, the competences and skills of the professional. The Europass curriculum consists of completing some essential elements: skills and qualifications, language skills and professional experiences acquired in another European country.

In addition, there is also education and training, in which the knowledge obtained from professional and higher education courses must be described. Unlike the Brazilian curriculum model, Europass should be filled with a summary of your academic qualifications and professional experiences.

That is, you must describe your acquired knowledge and activities carried out in other companies in a clear and direct way. To prepare your resume on this model, go to the official Europass website .

Presentation letter

Many companies abroad request that a cover letter or motivation letter be sent with your CV for your application. In it, you will talk a little about yourself, your characteristics and your intentions in relation to work. The letter must be very direct. Many recruiters use it as part of the selection process.

Search for job vacancies in the country

It is possible to get a job in Europe in Brazil, without leaving home! We have selected the best sites for you to do your search.

  • Eurojobs : has an intuitive layout and thousands of vacancy ads for different market sectors. It also has a blog with useful tips for candidates;
  • Eures : the European Commission’s website and offers vacancies across the continent. And it reports on trends in the European market;
  • Glassdoor : presents vacancies across Europe and tips on how to prepare for a job interview;
  • : one of the UK’s largest virtual employment agencies. Among the areas with the most demand are engineering, health and technology;
  • Infojobs : displays job openings in Spain and Italy;
  • Infoempleo : presents vacancies throughout Europe;
  • Monster : the portal has vacancies all over the world.

Best tip: use and abuse Linkedin . The professional social network will be useful not only for you to see possible vacancies, but also for you to become familiar with the companies you are interested in in Europe. You can also find out about the reality of the labor market in the country you want. Read, get informed, and be prepared and safe at the time of the selection process. This helps a lot to make a good impression.

In addition, participating in Facebook groups is also an excellent alternative to stay up to date on the job market in Europe.

Make a list of companies you would like to work for

Choose possible companies to submit your resume and study about them. Here, Linkedin can also be extremely helpful. This will be essential for you to make more accurate moves, towards companies that have to do with your professional goals.


Knowing how to speak English and the language of the country where you intend to live are essential requirements for getting a job in Europe. Even if you intend to live in Portugal, you must at least know English. In Portugal, students learn at least two languages ​​in addition to Portuguese.

Use the 90 days visa free to visit countries, cities and evaluate possibilities

Most non-EU citizens have the possibility to stay 90 days in Europe without the need for a visa. But don’t use this benefit to try to “get and stay” in Europe if you don’t have a job yet.

Staying illegally in Europe , if you remain there without a job and without a visa after three months, can result in deportation and seizure of passports.

A better idea is to use this period to make an adaptation. Go to the country you want to visit, get to know the cities, take a close look at companies, housing and transport conditions. Test for climate, neighborhood, nightlife, services available. It is not just the vacancy that counts, but your adaptation to new life as well.

Another option is to take advantage of these three months to also take a language course and be even more prepared for the new life.

If necessary (and if possible financially), hire a consultant

Do you think it is worth investing money to shorten the path to the long-awaited job vacancy in Europe? Do you think it is worth investing money to take more accurate actions and make less mistakes in changing countries and jobs? So, you should look for a professional placement advice.

job in Europe man

What is the best country in Europe for working?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it involves subjective questions. It involves professional decision-making, the countries that Brazilians adapt best to, with less cultural shock, etc. To help you understand, we have listed below the countries that hire for example the most Brazilians.

According to the Brazilian Association of Consultancy and Advisory in Foreign Trade ( Abracomex ), the countries that most hire Brazilians in Europe are these:

  • Portugal : due to the ease of language and nationalization;
  • Ireland : the country allows Brazilians to study and work in the country, which leads many young people interested in improving their English, but having gains to meet the financial costs;
  • Germany : it is the most solid economy in Europe, a destination not only for Brazilians, but even for young Europeans in search of better opportunities;
  • Sweden : like Germany, it is the focus of many professionals interested in high-qualification positions.

Which professions employ the most in Europe?

Among the professions that most employ foreign labor in Europe are technology that is, by far, the sector that hires the most in the region.

Civil engineers also have good opportunities, as well as professionals in the pharmaceutical field, whether with a college degree or technical course. Marketing and graphic design complement the positions they employ the most.

What is the best place in Europe to work?

Again, it depends on what you are looking for. In general, the country considered the best in Europe (and the world) to work is Switzerland.

Differentials to get a job in Europe

To get a job in Europe, some differentials help a lot:

  • Fluency in the language of the destination country;
  • Time availability;
  • Professional or higher education in the desired area;
  • Technology skills (use of computers, tablets, smartphones);
  • Previous professional experience in the desired position or in similar positions;
  • Ease to face the selection process – for this, the tip is: train, train a lot. The more interviews you do in life, the easier it gets. Then, you can start! Remember those questions that every recruiter loves and that everyone gets in the way of answering: a great professional achievement, the reason for leaving your last job, where you imagine yourself in a few years. Good luck!

Documents that will be needed

Each country in Europe has its specificities for foreigners who come to work.

But, in general, it happens as follows: you, still in Brazil, get the vacancy or job invitation, after going through a selection process that includes curriculum analysis, proof of diploma by sworn translation, specific interviews of the area and also knowledge of the language, among other things that can be requested.

Afterwards, the company provides an invitation letter that you will use to obtain a work visa.

For the visa, you will need:

  • Passport valid for more than 6 months;
  • Brazilian Identity Card;
  • Visa application form and payment of visa fees;
  • Company employment contract and / or letter of invitation to work;
  • Proof of means of subsistence for the next months;
  • Health and travel insurance
  • Proof of residence (hotel address, Airbnb or friend / relative, even if provisional);
  • Criminal record certificate issued by the Federal Police of Brazil;
  • If you are married, the marriage certificate.

How are job interviews in Europe

As in other countries around the world, job interviews in Europe consist of a dialogue between the employer and the candidate. However, they are more direct, generally focused on skills and techniques. Competency interviews assess the candidate’s knowledge, skills and personal characteristics for the position. On the other hand, interviews with a focus on techniques require the professional to demonstrate technical knowledge on a given subject.

Do you need to have a job in Europe before moving to the continent?

Although embarking for the European continent with a promise of work makes life abroad much easier, it is also possible to look for a job directly in the country where you want to live. But as we said above, it is best to come with a guaranteed job.

Is it easy to get a job in Europe?

It’s not easy. But it’s not impossible!

To get a job in Europe, you need qualification and persistence. However, a good preparation for the job interview can be a great differential to achieve an international career. Check out our tips below:

  • Research about the company: when applying for a position, seek to know about the contracting company, such as, for example, its mission, vision and values. In addition, try to understand what products or services the company offers, in addition to researching customer and employee satisfaction;
  • Know the requirements of the position for which you applied: seek to understand exactly what the employer is looking for;
  • Train yourself in using Skype or another internet communication tool: probably the first steps of the interview will take place online. Therefore, acquiring skills with the tool is very useful;
  • Train your English or the required language: in that case, you must show confidence when answering questions in another language. To make this possible, train with friends and family;
  • Prepare yourself for the most common questions: when preparing for questions like “why did you leave such a company?”, “Name your main qualities and defects” or “why do you want this job?”, You have the chance to make more fluid conversation and get in the graces of the employer.