Find a Job in Zagreb


How to look for work in Zagreb


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Croatian Job Market

Currently, the job market in Croatia is not particularly promising. High unemployment rates coupled with strict regulations regarding the hire of foreign nationals makes finding legal work in Croatia challenging.

However, with perseverance and special skills, it is possible to find work in Croatia. Native speakers of foreign languages, including English, are in high demand and often find work as teachers, proofreaders, or editors. Foreigners also sometimes find work at universities or in tourism. 

Resume / CV

When applying for a job or inquiring about employment positions, always send a resume or a CV. Though a CV is more commonly used in Croatia, resumes are also accepted.

  • Resume- brief overview of work and educational experience. Prominent in the US when applying for employment. Typically one page.
  • CV (curriculum vitae) - more in-depth look at work and educational experience. Prominent in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Typically two or more pages.

For more information about the differences between the two, read the EasyExpat article "CV vs. Résumé".

Layout

The CV should contain:

  • Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page including: name, phone number, address, and email address.
  • Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically. List your work experience with: your title, the name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your achievements in that job.
  • Education: If you are still in school or are a recent graduate with little work experience related to the position, list this section first. Make sure to provide the name of the school or university and the degree you received.
  • Certificates, Publications, and Grants: Devote sections to certificates for pertinent courses, seminars, congresses conferences you have participated in; published articles or books; or grants received. You may also dedicate a section to professional awards and honors.
  • Languages: This is extremely important for an international job. List which languages you speak and your level (i.e. advanced, intermediate or beginner). Point out if you can translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in English and it is not your first language, be sure to have a native speaker read it first. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important.
  • Related Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, social networking or online publishing experience, etc.

Tips

  • Write in a concise, straightforward style. Use standard paper and a simple font, such as Times New Roman (12-point font).
  • Be neat. Pay attention to appearance and format. Check your spelling.
  • Make sure that key information is easy to find.
  • You don't need to date or sign your CV.
  • Create one basic CV that you can adjust to each job you are applying for.
  • Print original copies on high quality paper - don't send photocopies.
  • If you are sending your CV via email, make sure to send a PDF file.

Cover Letter

A cover letter, also known as a covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation, usually accompanies your CV in a job application. It establishes your tone and intent and introduces you to potential employers.

Format

  • Header - The header includes the applicant's name and address, the recipient' name and address, the date sent, and a salutation addressing the recipient (e.g., "Dear Hiring Managers").
  • Introduction - The introduction states the specific position desired and should catch the employer' eye.
  • Body - The body explains why you are interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. You may refer to and expand upon information from your CV, but do not simply repeat your credentials. Instead, relate them to the position.
  • Closing - The closing concludes the letter, briefly restating reasons the employer should hire you. You may invite the employer to contact you and state that you look forward to speaking with him or her. End the letter with a valediction ("Sincerely") and your signature.

If you are applying for a job via email, note that the cover letter may be sent as an attachment or pasted directly into the body of your email. Check the job posting for submission preferences.

Job Search

Searching for a job in Croatia, as in most other countries, requires a lot of time and patience. There are many ways to go about finding a job, including contacting recruitment agencies or potential employers directly, looking for leads on online forums, and searching classifieds sites. Word of mouth is also a powerful tool in Croatia, so start making local contacts immediately.

Search Engines

Search engines such as Moj Posao and Posao allow you to keyword search job listings in Croatia and set up email alerts when new positions are posted. You can also post your CV online for hiring managers to see.

The classifieds websites Plavi oglasnik and Njuškalo are also great resources for anyone looking for a job in Croatia, though the ads are usually in Croatian and can be tedious to sift through.

EURES

EURES is a resource that facilitates mobility between EU member states. It provides information about job vacancies, living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.

However, though Croatia is slated to join the EU in June 2013, it could take several years for job seekers to be able to move freely between Croatia and other EU member states. This transitional period may last up to seven years.

EURAXESS

EURAXESS is an international initiative that supports European and non-European researchers hoping to find research careers in Europe. Croatia is one of 38 member countries. Available research positions are posted online.

Forums

Expat and social forums, such as Easy Expat's Croatia forum, are another resource for job seekers. EasyExpat's LinkedIn group is another place to research options and share information.

Newspaper

Newspapers are actually not a popular resource for job listings. It's better to browse the classifieds sites such as Njuškalo and Moj Posao listed above.

Recruitment Agencies

Though some recruitment agencies may not be able to help foreigners obtain jobs in Croatia, it is worth inquiring if you want extra help. Recruitment agencies include:

Networking

One of the best things you can do is network. Start making friends and professional contacts immediately. Once they get to know a bit more about you and your skills, they will generally be happy to endorse you, and a personal endorsement can take you far in Croatia.

Don't be afraid to go ahead and contact companies or organizations that interest you. Unsolicited contact is welcome and generally warmly received. Businesses are often delighted when foreigners take an interest in their activities, and they are impressed by initiative. Even if they aren't hiring, they might suggest some valuable leads.

Teaching English

Teaching English is a great way to find work in Croatia. Though a large number of the population speaks English, Croatians recognize the value of having a good grasp of English and are generally interested in improving their language skills.

Schools

There are several language schools throughout the country and most are interested in hiring native speakers. Many don't require ESL teaching certification, and prior teaching experience is not always necessary. A solid grasp of the language, of course, is.

The application process varies from school to school. The best way to find out about available positions is to simply start contacting schools in the city where you would like to live. Sending an inquiry email along with your CV is usually sufficient. If the school is interested in you, they might ask you to come for an interview.

Keep in mind, though, that many language schools will not be able officially hire you, due to current laws on hiring foreigners. They may offer to take you on as a "volunteer" and then pay you cash under the table. Though this arrangement is common, keep in mind that it is illegal.

If you get the job, you might find yourself teaching anything from conversation classes to test preparation classes. The teaching method and style might vary from school to school. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.

If you have excellent academic and professional credentials, consider seeking a position at one of Croatia's universities, where you might have more support in obtaining a visa and other benefits.

Private Classes

It is also an option to give private lessons. Again, this is common practice, but technically illegal if you do not have a work permit. Giving private lessons is usually more profitable per hour, but may require more work finding customers.

A great way to find private students is to post an advertisement on Moje Instruckije, a site dedicated specifically to academic classifieds. Another option, if you are already in Croatia, is to post flyers near university buildings where students will see them.

Teaching Certificates

TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.

If you are a native speaker and demonstrate a sound knowledge of English grammar, you might not need a teaching certificate to teach in Croatia. Many schools don't require one. However, having a teaching certificate will likely give you an advantage over a candidate who does not.

Interview

When applying for a job in Croatia, you may be asked to interview for a position, but don't be surprised if instead you are invited for a more casual conversation over coffee. Croatians love their coffee dates, and important business unfolds over coffee. They also give you and your potential employer to get to know each other in a more casual context, to see if you could work well together. Keep in mind, though, that in many ways a coffee date is still an interview, so you don't want to be too casual.

You may offer to pay the bill, but customarily your potential employer will, since he or she invited you.

Whether you are meeting for coffee or going in for an actual interview, the same rules generally apply:

  • Do your homework. Research the company and its mission.
  • Dress neatly and conservatively.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Bring your CV, business card, and copies of any certificates, just in case.
  • Ask questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.

Temporary Agencies

If you are in need of short-term work of any kind, you might try contacting the recruitment agencies listed above, as several also offer assistance in finding temporary positions that relate to your skills. As an added bonus, sometimes short-term work can lead to longer contract.

Work Visas & Permits

To legally work in the Croatia, foreigners must obtain either a work or business permit, except in the cases outlined in The Aliens Act that allow foreigners in certain positions to work without a business or work permit.

There is a quota for work permits issued in Croatia, established annually by The Government of the Republic of Croatia, meaning that there is a limited number of work permits available. Once that limit has been reached, it's very difficult for more permits to be issued.

A business permit may be granted to private founders of companies in Croatia or foreigners who have at least 51% share in a company that carries out business in Croatia, sole proprietors who have registered their business in Croatia, foreigners engaged in freelancing in line with the regulations of the Republic of Croatia, and foreigners providing services on behalf of a foreign employer.

In addition to applying for a work or business permit, foreigners planning to live and work in Croatia must apply for a temporary stay visa.

Refer to "Passport & Visa" section of the guide for full details.


Update 14/03/2016



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