Keep in mind that the official language of Latvia is Latvian and for many jobs you will need at least a basic understanding of the state language. Work in the service sector often requires also the knowledge of Russian, particularly in the cities. The knowledge of only English is sufficient in a few areas, most notably, language schools, the IT sector, and middle and upper management of international companies.
The first information a Latvian employer will want to see is your CV (curriculum vitae) - an in depth look at your work and educational experience that, ideally, should not be longer than two pages.
Your CV should contain the following information about you:
A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent.
Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, and narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. They may also allow you to sign-up for e-mail alerts of when new jobs become available.
The following are the biggest search engines available in English.
CV Online is the biggest job database for the Baltic countries. It operates two other very useful websites for jobseekers:
CV Market is another large internet recruitment company that operates in all Baltics
Like IT is a database specifically for information technology jobs
As part of the EU, job seekers can access the European job mobility portal EURES. This resource provides information about job vacancies and the labor market. It also provides information on the living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.
Several papers have a helpful classified's section. There are job offers for executives and professionals, as well as sections dedicated to specific professions, like teaching, computers, and media.
Most agencies specialize in a particular field, such as computers, nursing, secretarial work, accounting, catering, or construction. There are also "Head hunting" agencies that are hired by large companies to recruit executives, managers or professionals.
WorkingDay - The company's main operating directions are selection of management level employees and "head hunting" services, which WorkingDay can provide more effectively and with extremely competitive results thanks to its 15 years of experience in personnel selection. The company increasingly employs specialists who are continuing their careers in the realm of personnel recruitment after previously even working at board member level.
Enjoy Recruitment - A professional and efficient headhunter for position around the world, including in Latvia.
Career fairs are an excellent way to find out about available jobs and opportunities. There are a large variety of employers you can visit in one day. Entrance is usually free, but registering online might be encouraged. Bring your resume and dress to impress as there may be interviews on the spot.
You can find out about upcoming fairs in your industry on the homepage of the International Exhibition Company in Riga.
You can also try going to career fairs in your home country that specialize in jobs abroad.
Sometimes getting a job is about knowing the right people. Talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have connections in the area you would like to work. Expat events can also be a great way to find out how other expats found work and see if their company has any openings. Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln or expat forums.
English-speaking expats are in high demand for teaching English. Language schools usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration. Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.
Once you have found a teaching position, consider joining the Latvian Association of Teachers of English - a professional association for English teachers living in Latvia.
The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. Teaching in the state sector is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience and the best qualifications. These positions offer the paid holidays, excellent salary, and a good pension.
Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson, grammar test or trial period.
It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove themselves reliable and are able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.
It is also an option to give private lessons. These are usually more profitable per hour, but require a lot more work finding customers. In Latvia, private lessons are an unlikely primary profession, but should rather be seen as a flexible supplement to a day job.
The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's Job Listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.
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.
Many language schools in Latvia also accept teachers with the CELTA certificate (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Research the company before the interview to discover their missions and direction. It is not uncommon for there to be a series of interviews, with the first lasting 30-60 min, and further meetings possibly taking an entire day.
If you are in need of short term work of any kind, there are agencies that will find you employment with another company. Jobs may consist of office work, babysitting, gardening, security or any other types of work. They will try to fit with occupations that fit your skill set. As an added bonus, sometimes short term work can lead to longer contract.
Temporary work agencies are a relatively recent phenomenon in the Latvian labor market. You can find out more about the agencies that offer short term positions on the homepage of the Temporary Employment Agencies Association of Latvia (TEAAL).
Latvia is a member of the EU and the Schengen zone therefore citizens of the EU and European Economic Area do not require a working visa. Those coming from countries outside the EU will need to obtain both a residence permit and a work permit. Please refer to "Passport & Visa" section of the guide for full details.
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